When co-founder and co-CEO of Spin Master Anton Rabie shared this insight with a group of 27 entrepreneurs at our Fall 2018 Growth Accelerator, it felt like something clicked in their minds. He continued by stressing that a strategy can change and move, benefiting from constant tweaks, and at that moment everyone paused to think about how their strategies would adapt.
From October 22 to 24, 19 businesses from coast to coast gathered in Toronto for three days in Toronto to further hone and develop their strategies in a way that would take their businesses to the next level. The Growth Accelerator is an exclusive opportunity for Futurpreneur-supported businesses to learn from experts, mentors and their peers through 1-on-1 meetings, group coaching and networking sessions.
These businesses were ready to make key business decisions and received advice and best practices from our partners at Spin Master, Dentons, Morrison Financial and Ramp Communications, as well as a pool of subject matter experts drawn from the Toronto ecosystem.
“Getting a lot of different opinions and different angles at looking at my strategy has been helpful,” said Tim Gourlay of Fit Set.
Several of the entrepreneurs agreed that the level of knowledge shared was way more than they could have ever expected. The mix of experts in different functional areas – marketing, logistics, finance, legal – was very valuable for FRANC and Tribe of Lambs, two businesses from our Spring 2018 cohort who absorbed the knowledge provided in the tailored meetings.
At the same time, the opportunity to connect with other people who were not only entrepreneurs but also participants of the Growth Accelerator was one they each found just as valuable as the program itself.
When you put like-minded people of similar sized businesses together, you’re bound to learn “tips and tricks that [you] didn’t know,” says Chris Au of Vital House, as he looks to grow his meal replacement business responsibly.
Sheena Bradley of Tease Tea was thoroughly surprised and impressed by the calibre of the entrepreneurs who surrounded her, finding welcome support and camaraderie in the ability to share stories, insights and learnings among a group of people who were at the same point in their business journeys.
For all of the businesses who participated, the Growth Accelerator was a chance to step out of the day-to-day and focus their time and energy on their business, like Jocelyn Molyneaux of Wastenot Farms who found having a “new perspective on old problems” helped her explore ways new and alternative approaches and solutions.
While growth was the agenda over the three days, how that was defined by each business was as varied as the industries they were in. Take Igloo for instance, whose idea of ‘growth’ for their innovatively designed travel pillow is to be in every airport in the world in five years time, while the aim for award-winning brewers North Brewing Company is to be a case study for staying in Nova Scotia while having your business be a model of quality, sustainability and culture for others.
For us at Futurpreneur Canada, supporting young entrepreneurs by launching their businesses is just one element of the work we do. We’re taking our efforts to the next level as well, by ensuring that the businesses with aspirations to be even better are presented with the knowledge, tools and connections to make that possible.
Nick Yeo is the Senior Program Manager at Futurpreneur Canada.