To say that the Spin Master Launch Pad event exceeded my expectations would be a catastrophic understatement. In fact, I would say that not even in my wildest and most farfetched dreams would I have been able to envision an experience quite like this one.
The event began with each of the Spin Master Innovation Fund (SMIF) finalists and many of the top executives from Spin Master Toys meeting for the first time (for breakfast) at the offices of Spin Master. This in itself was a fantastic experience; having the opportunity to be in a room with a group of such intelligent and talented young entrepreneurs was an honor.
After breakfast there was no easing into the boot camp that CYBF and Spin Master had planned for us. Each of the SMIF finalists had meetings with 10 different Spin Master executives who each specialized in a different business function. Each meeting was 30 minutes long and was designed to force each of us to take a closer look at our businesses from a particular point of view; these views included Human Resources, Marketing, Sales, Legal – yes you heard that right we were given 30 minutes of FREE legal advice…
It was truly incredible how each of these 10 Spin Master executives could take a business that they were hearing about for the first time and within 5-8 minutes they were able to completely understand the business and its revenue model. I can assure you; these meetings were not surface discussions, in fact in one case I was given homework following the meeting – which I completed of course…. It was amazing to see just how much Spin Master and its people truly cared about helping each of us succeed in any way they could. In fact in another meeting, I had one of the Spin Master people connect me to two companies that I had been struggling to get in contact with – not only did he connect me, but I have since met with both of these companies.
I had never experienced something like this before; a company that cared so much about helping build someone else’s business that they would go this far out of their way. Now I should point out that I have kept in touch with many of the people I met with at Spin Master – so their commitment was not just a ONE DAY thing – Spin Master is totally committed to helping young entrepreneurs; so much so that they have asked all of us to come back and reconnect in 3-6 months.
My experience as part of the SMIF has been nothing short of extraordinary and more importantly the information imparted and the introductions made have been instrumental in helping me overcome a number of the hurdles I faced.
I want to thank Joelle Foster, CYBF Regional Director for Manitoba, for introducing me to and encouraging me to apply to the Spin Master program, as well as CYBF and Spin Master for everything they have done for me and my business and I would highly recommend CYBF and the SMIF to any young entrepreneur.
Sean Sylvestre, Founder & CEO, Eyewear Evolution Inc.
@sean_sylvestre @CYBFMB @SpinMasterToys @CYBFCanada