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Innovation Starts Young - 2017-06-19
There’s no denying the hustle entrepreneurs have in Peterborough and the Kawarthas. From early morning until late at night, the businesses that reside in The Cube advance every day. With their drive and willingness to learn, there’s nothing stopping them from building their business up to success.
We accept entrepreneurs in all stages of their startup, but a pattern often found in The Cube is the amount of young entrepreneurs in our space. It may seem surprising, but arguably, one of the best times to start a business is when your career path is just starting out as well!
Maybe you’re about to choose which program to study, or have just graduated and wondering where your degree will take you. With so many possibilities for a future career, what better time is there to take control of that future and start your own business?
The Innovation Cluster supports many entrepreneurs who want to start their business at a young age, such as those in the FastStart program.
Entrepreneurs in FastStart are aged 18-29, and as we see these clients go through the stages of starting a business, their confidence grows and the need for their innovative idea is seen within the community and beyond.
Since most youth haven’t already spent years in an office that never changes their routine, they have no fear introducing new solutions that are innovative and groundbreaking. So when given an opportunity by an incubator like The Cube to execute those innovations, these youth help the economy grow through positive solutions.
Our incubator focuses on cleantech, agtech, healthcare and digital, so the entrepreneurs in our space have a drive to create new approaches in utilizing technology on a global scale.
We recently welcomed Port Perry High School to tour our space. The grade 11 & 12 students learned a little bit about our entrepreneurs and were asked to think about the potential of starting their own business in the future.
We also had Girls Learning Code host their event in The Cube, helping girls become comfortable with technology and discover if they have a passion for it!
We at the Innovation Cluster believe any person aspiring to be an entrepreneur has every opportunity to carry out their goals, if they have the drive that it takes to succeed.
And who better than those who are young and are starting out their career path, with a creative mindset in place to make those goals a reality.
Because if you don’t, who will?
We are excited to introduce the Innovation Cluster’s member – the newest Entrepreneur Sponsor this year to The Cube: our business incubator for technology start-ups and early-stage companies: Community Futures Ontario East!
Community Futures Ontario East represents 15 Community Futures (CF) organizations across rural Eastern Ontario. For over 25 years, CFs have been helping people turn business ideas into reality.
Community Futures Ontario East:
- Provides support for its 15 CF members and promotes their services and loans to small business.
- Makes business loan financing available to eligible small and medium size, innovative, late stage commercialization companies (SOFII program).
- Invests Federal Government funds to positively impact job creation, GDP growth and sustainable communities.
CFDCs understand small business and the local marketplace. They provide important services to businesses, entrepreneurs and social enterprises, including:
- Business counselling, documentation and referrals
- Guidance with business plans
- Export support
- Entrepreneurial training
- Information on relevant federal and provincial programs and services
About Vince Killen
Executive Director, Community Futures Ontario East & SOFII (Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation)
Vince Killen is the Executive Director for Community Futures Ontario East and the SOFII Program for Eastern Ontario. In this position, he provides direction and leadership for the achievement of private sector growth and job creation across Eastern Ontario while pursuing the objectives of the Government of Canada’s Community Futures Program and acts as a spokesman for the corporation in the promotion and delivery of the Network’s programs and services.
He is an accomplished strategic economic development and financial services professional with extensive experience in a range of areas including finance, banking, project management, and government investment strategies for entrepreneurs. Under Vince’s leadership SOFII Ontario East has provided over $23 million to multiple early stage companies enabling them to expand their sales and marketing, enhance their competitiveness, increase market penetration and grow revenues and employee headcounts in highly competitive market sectors.
Interest bearing loans of $500,000 have been awarded to support these innovative companies and is intended to help finance late stage commercialization activities and new product or service development. Funded applicants span all sectors of the economy including health biotech and life sciences, new materials, telecommunications, information technology, enterprise software, medical equipment and the avionics and aerospace sectors.
For providing many services to entrepreneurs and small businesses, Community Futures Ontario East makes a perfect addition as an Entrepreneur Sponsor to the Innovation Cluster!
Welcome Community Futures Ontario East!
Loch Reaches Over Halfway to Kickstarter Goal for Expanding Sustainable Sunglasses Market - 2017-06-12
Loch, a business supported by the FastStart program for young entrepreneurs, has raised over $7,000 out of their $10,000 Kickstarter goal to support their sunglasses made out of 500-year-old water recovered timber.
Made in the Peterborough area, Loch sunglasses are made out of timber pulled up from the Great Lakes, where they were preserved in a near zero oxygen environment, achieving unparalleled beauty, quality and character, while also increasing strength.
“Lochs are made possible by a proprietary cross-grained lamination technique under thousands of pounds of pressure, as well as advanced machining techniques and handcrafted attention to detail,” explained co-founder Tim Waggoner. “We end up with eyeglass frames of deceptive strength and discerning style.”
Brothers Dan and Tim Waggoner co-founded the business and gained recognition of their unique and notably eco-friendly product after winning in the 2017 Bears’ Lair competition in April.
On their website, Loch offers a customize-able shopping experience, with an array of frames like dark oak and maple that can be paired with six different lense colours.
Loch’s main goal to expand its product selection through the campaign includes adapting its frames to receive prescription lenses. Anyone pledging for a pair of Lochs on Kickstarter will have the choice to use the included sun wear lenses or to take the frames to an optometrist to have their own prescription lenses installed.
Wearing Loch brand provides a bold style while supporting an environmental cause. Created in Peterborough from natural Canadian resources, visit locheffects.com for more on their one-of-a-kind product.
To visit Loch’s Kickstarter campaign, visit https://goo.gl/IBFiWH.
- Innovation Starts Young
- Meet Our New Entrepreneur Sponsor: Community Futures Ontario East
- Loch Reaches Over Halfway to Kickstarter Goal for Expanding Sustainable Sunglasses Market
- Digital Power Breakfast: Geordie Konrad, Co-Founder of Konrad Group, to be Featured Speaker
- Locavorest Launches Grand Opening of Their Online Farmer’s Market Delivery Service