Launching a business is a major milestone for any burgeoning entrepreneur. However, growing a start-up is a whole different challenge altogether.
That’s why Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with Spin Master Inc., 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. The successful participants will be provided with travel stipends and accommodation for Accelerator workshops, 1-on-1 mentoring with executives, networking and pitching opportunities, and much more.
We received many first-rate applications, but a select few came out on top. Without further ado, here are our Fall 2017 Growth Accelerator winners!
Barry Hartman and Scott Foran are the co-founders of 505-Junk, an award-winning junk removal and recycling business based in Richmond, British Columbia. The business is one of the first of its kind to build custom trucks equipped with scales, which allows their truck teams to charge clients based on the exact weight of their material. 505-Junk partners with local charities and recycling depots and has diverted millions of pounds of waste from landfills. 505-Junk is launching its first three franchises this year and has plans to expand across North America.
Affordance Studio specializes in designing and developing serious games and gamification solutions. Based in Saint-Laurent, Quebec, they believe that game design thinking and video games can be used to solve any problem in the world. Since its inception in 2014, Affordance Studio has completed serious game projects and training solutions for academic institutions, hospitals and textbook publishers. Its founders also work to develop and promote the Quebec video game industry through their involvement in higher education, scientific and social research as well as through professional associations such as the Quebec Independent Video Game Developers Guild.
ChargeHub is a community-driven platform that allows electric vehicle drivers to locate and activate all public charging stations in North America with a single account. Its website and mobile application also help both current and future electric vehicle drivers plan trips, interact with the community, and quickly find answers to their questions. They also provide market reports to industry and government stakeholders. With over 200,000 users, ChargeHub is making the transition to electric vehicles seamless and enjoyable.
In 2014, co-founder Claudia Poulin made a conscious effort to consume more fruits and vegetables. The shift in her diet made her realize the overall positive effect that a plant-based diet can have on a person’s well-being. However, she, along with her partner Dominic Dubé, knew that many people lack the time and knowledge to make the same kind of lifestyle change.
This new understanding led the couple to launch Evive Smoothie in June 2015. The company’s innovative smoothie cubes allow people to prepare healthy, delicious smoothies quickly and easily, without using a blender. In fact, they were the first North American start-up to launch the concept. Today, Evive Smoothie products can be found in 350 stores across Quebec and Ontario.
Kotmo is a certified B Corp company that offers sustainable and local promotional items for corporations. At the heart of this innovative business is a commitment to being both human and design-focused, as well as helping to build a more responsible economy for their community and the world. For instance, they produce impact reports for every client to show how their investment affects the economy, environment, and community. Overall, Kotmo aims to change how promotional items are perceived and purchased, as well as help businesses tell the story behind their brand to their respective audiences.
Winnipeg-based Lumo Interactive is a company that provides custom interactive display software development and installation services for events and retail. The company’s co-founders have a background in game design and multimedia, and joined forces to create motion, gesture, and touch interactive solutions for business after spending time experimenting with the technology for personal projects. In August of 2016, the company launched LumoPlay.com, a platform designed to allow any advertisers, designers, or childcare professionals to easily and affordably create a custom interactive floor or wall using any type of large format display technology, including projectors, TVs and LED signage.
Based in Montreal, Quebec, Naak develops and sells modern food products made with entirely natural and eco-friendly ingredients. Naak’s mission is to help athletes go beyond their limits with super healthy and sustainable food products. Its first product is an energy bar made with an innovative protein source: crickets. Cricket protein has exceptional nutritional properties and cricket farming requires significantly less water, feed and space and it produces less greenhouse gases than any other protein source. Developed in collaboration with sport nutritionists, the Naak bars cover the energy needs of the greatest endurance athletes and is suitable as a snack for all active people – and also taste great!
Permission Click aims to revolutionize the administrative processes of K-12 school districts by delivering digital permission slips, automating internal workflows and approvals, and more. The business’ intuitive user experience, top-notch customer support, and laser-sharp focus on school needs have proven to be a winning combination as they have received numerous awards, including Scholastic Instructor Magazine’s selection of Permission Click as its ‘Teacher’s Top Pick of the Year’. The company is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba where it powers an ever-growing number of schools around the globe.
PropertyGuys.com is reconstructing real estate by helping buyers and sellers avoid the high cost of commission by connecting directly. It also gives sellers all the tools they need to sell successfully, without sacrificing expertise. Instead of the agent “jack-of-all-trades” approach, their system leverages real estate lawyers, certified appraisers, expert marketing professionals, and a call answering and appointment booking service to leave nothing to chance. The revolutionary real estate model has allowed them to grow into Canada’s largest private sale franchise network, with over 110 franchise locations serving more than 600 communities from coast to coast.
Wully Outerwear is an ethical lifestyle brand that designs and manufactures premium quality outerwear in Canada. Born from a love of wildlife and a vision of vegan outerwear, they strive to make the best jackets available worldwide while also making positive social impact along the way. Whether it’s creating employment opportunities in underserved communities, minimizing their ecological impact or saving the lives of animals, each decision is meticulously made with the same dedication and detail they put into the design of their garments. In the end, their goal is to deliver a product that makes their customers feel warm, both inside and out.
Once again, congratulations to our Fall 2017 Growth Accelerator winners! For more information, visit Futurpreneur.ca/GrowthAccelerator.