FastStart is a program designed to increase entrepreneurship skills, awareness and help innovative, young entrepreneurs create solid business plans that take their products and services to market – quickly and successfully. So how does FastStart help young entrepreneurs turn their business ideas into reality? We’ve taken the top 5 reasons FastStart is best at helping young entrepreneurs succeed.
1. Knowledgeable Staff and Valuable Partnerships – FastStart is powered by knowledgeable members of the Innovation Cluster, Fleming College and Trent University, who have years of experience in business, entrepreneurship, technology and more! Joining FastStart allows any entrepreneur to create personal connections with business leaders and mentors in Peterborough and the Kawarthas and beyond.
2. An Inclusive and Motivational Community – The mission of FastStart is to allow entrepreneurs to have an inclusive community that helps them every step of the way in building a business. Often, young entrepreneurs that are starting out with only a business idea struggle with finding resources and know-how. FastStart uses its partnerships, incubation space, events, workshops and more to give youth every opportunity to make their business ideas reality. FastStart provides a safe, inclusive space for entrepreneurs to work with like minded individuals to achieve their dreams in any sector.
3. FREE Resources – We may argue that the best part about joining FastStart is that everything is FREE, so there’s really no reason any youth entrepreneur in Peterborough and the Kawarthas should feel without help in their business. Our resources include. . .
- Weekly and monthly workshops for youth to enhance their skills on pitching, creating a business plan, cash flow, networking, staying happy, etc.
- Pitching competitions including Cubs Lair and PitchIt!
- Programming for youth to push their limits, including Kawartha Backcountry Entrepreneurship Experience, Camp Startup and Slingshot Summer Incubation Program.
- Monthly networking event E-Connect, where local established entrepreneurs deliver an inspiring speech in a small group setting.
- . . .and so much more!
4. See First-Hand Local Businesses FastStart Has Helped Build – FastStart has been helping youth entrepreneurs for years to learn about owning their own business and how to build one from a business plan to taking it to market. Here are a few entrepreneurs that are currently operating their dream startup!
Lindsay Brock – Amusé Coffee Co.
After 15 years of serving coffee and tea, working locally at both Starbucks and David’s Tea, Lindsay Brock decided it was time to open her own café. After a trip to Paris and experiencing the location’s café charm, she wanted to bring the same experience to Peterborough. Amusé Coffee Co. opened on George St. in Peterborough in 2015, where Brock is still located today. Through the help of FastStart, Lindsay is now serving Fair Trade Organic whole bean coffee, premium loose tea, and a range of baked goods and brunch options with a French-feel.
Alex Gastle – Vetterview
Alex Gastle joined FastStart after entering its program Slingshot and winning the program’s final pitch competition for his company, Vetterview. Vetterview is a platform that connects social media influencers and micro-influencers directly with brands looking to leverage influencer marketing through paid collaborations. Alex Gastle came up with the Vetterview idea while living in London, England, observing that brands could better connect with the world around them. Over countless cups of tea, a flight to Toronto and extensive research into social media endorsement, the Vetterview model came to life. Alex Gastle then came back to Peterborough, and with the help of FastStart, further grew his company, obtained a cash prize and is continuing to operate Vetterview full-time!
Jessica Dalliday – Healthy Sweet Potato
Jessica Dalliday currently lives in Kawartha Lakes and is a very busy entrepreneur, running a full-time blog, athletic therapy services, being an influencer and teaching pilates! Jessica always knew health and fitness would be a big influence in her life, which is why she pursued Kinesiology in school and went on to personal training and athletic therapy in Toronto. Recently, Jessica has moved to the Kawartha Lakes area and joined FastStart to continue her entrepreneurial path in a new area, and is now more busy than ever! Through FastStart, Jessica was able to network in the Peterborough business community and make lasting connections for her career.
5. Make Your Dreams A Reality – FastStart provides a safe, inclusive space for entrepreneurs to work with like minded individuals to achieve their dreams in any sector. Head to our FastStart page HERE for everything you need to know about the programming, upcoming events or workshops and sign up for our monthly newsletter below to stay up-to-date on everything youth entrepreneurship!