smOffice Acceleration Program Provides Solution for Ontario Small Business Owners
Dubbed as Canada’s most innovative incubation program, the 2017 smOffice contest is in its third year and has pumped out four successful enterprises to date. The contest is now accepting applications until May 1, 2017 and will be selecting three qualified entrepreneurs, one from out of town/province and two locally, who will put in their pitch for $60,000 in prizes, including free office space, professional services, mentorship and seed funding – all to fuel their small business dream.
“We’ll be looking for creative entrepreneurs who have a clear vision and bring passion to what they are doing,” said Chad Ballantyne, owner of The Creative Space, who is hosting the contest. “We’re offering startups a chance to bring their small business dream to life within a collaborative startup environment. We can accelerate their business in ways they could never do on their own.”
2016 winners can attest to that. Troy McNamara and Cole Rowden were able to get their social media event app, GetWyred, off the ground with help from the incubation and mentorship offered through smOffice. They credit the contest for their success to date. “We wouldn’t be anywhere without the support of smOffice. None of this would be possible,” said Rowden. “Doing it on your own is a thousand times harder and less efficient than when you have the help of experts who have the answers to most, if not all of your problems!”
During their six month incubation out of The Creative Space, GetWyred was able to obtain new branding and design, funding opportunities, new pricing structure, PR exposure and hours of mentorship and support. They have since launched on the App Store for iPhone and are aiming for a user base of 200 million by 2022.
Another 2016 winner, Liam Squires of Tandempark, an online volunteer network, said, “smOffice has created an environment for startups where ideas and expertise collide. They’ve helped shape my company in ways that goes beyond desk space and wifi and for that, I am truly grateful.” smOffice alumni and CEO of Chickapea Pasta, Shelby Taylor launched her organic line of healthy chickpea pasta through the program back in 2015. The product has grown rapidly, having surpassed 400 stores in Canada and is now available in the US.
Each 2017 contest winner will be set up in Canada’s smallest office, steps from the Barrie waterfront, access to a Sonders e-bike, yoga and fitness memberships, full entrepreneur centre, $1,000 in seed funds, *accommodations, mentorship and counsel from Profit Top 50 companies, plus free Topper’s Pizza for the duration of the program.