Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with Spin Master Inc., and supported by Morrison Financial and Dentons Canada, recently launched the Growth Accelerator; an exclusive opportunity for growth-focused Futurpreneur entrepreneurs to receive coaching, resources and support from experts in order to maximize their chance of successfully scaling their business.
In order to be accepted into the program, candidates needed to demonstrate that they had an innovative and proven business model that offered a unique product or service, an improved process or the potential to impact the market in new ways. After pitching live to a panel of judges, ten businesses were selected to travel to Toronto and attend exclusive seminars and mentoring sessions from October 24 to 25.
Here’s a recap of their experience!
On the first day, the Growth Accelerator cohort attended mentoring sessions at the Spin Master offices led by Spin Master leaders themselves, as well as global law firm Dentons. These 70 minute, one-on-one meetings allowed our entrepreneurs to discuss the specific growth challenges they face in their businesses and gain insight from key executives.
“I loved the format and the fact we could ask questions to the co-founder of Spin Master,” said Minh Phan of Naak about the meetings. “It was a really customized experience.”
Adds Jeremy Demont of PropertyGuys.com: “Meeting execs from Spin Master one-on-one on the specific topics and needs of the company is priceless.”
Following the mentoring sessions, the cohort participated in a Q&A with Spin Master co-founder Ronnen Harary, who shared some of the lessons he’s learned in growing the Spin Master business, brand and culture.
After a packed day of informative sessions, the cohort had dinner at Little Anthony’s. The dinner included guests from a variety of professional backgrounds, from investors and marketers to HR professionals and partners. At the dinner, the Growth Accelerator entrepreneurs got the chance to talk about their business and reflect on their first day in the program.
The second day of the program was hosted at Dentons. The morning started with a panel on the topic of “Understanding Financing Vehicles.” Panelists included Alex Morrison of Morrison Financial, Kevin Taylor of SVX Toronto, Alain-Olivier Debois of Espace Inc and Rich Emerich of Altus Assessments. The panel discussed the pros and cons of debt and equity financing, crowdfunding and getting ready to access additional growth.
Stephanie Reid of PermissionClick found the talk, “very informative, especially the clear-cut view of the lifecycle of a start-up, opinions on ESOP, and options outside of VC.”
Next up was a presentation and workshop from James Chalmers and Laura Richard of Tack10 on hacking your growth through partnerships. The entrepreneurs were asked to look at case studies and find the differences between traditional partnerships versus strategic partnerships. Afterwards, the cohort was split up into breakout groups so they could dive into deeper conversations about this strategy. Following this, the entrepreneurs had one-on-one sessions with Alex Tveit of Morrison Financial.
“I like that it was a small group, that sessions were highly tailored, that we formed ongoing relationships, and that there will be a follow-up,” says cohort participant Meghan Athavale of LumoInteractive.
Lastly, the entrepreneurs got the exciting chance to pitch their businesses to Dentons and marketing and communications agency Ramp Communications for $10,000 worth of services from both organizations. The cohort only had two minutes each to pitch to the businesses. In the end, junk removal company 505-Junk and apparel company Wully Outerwear came out on top. After the mini pitch competition, the cohort ended the day with some goal setting.
Thank you to Spin Master, Dentons, Morrison Financial, Ramp Communications, Tack10 and our panelists and session hosts for contributing their support and expertise to the Growth Accelerator Program. You can learn more about the Growth Accelerator program here.