Have you turned on the Television and watch Dragons Den or Shark Tank? How cool would it be to go to a live event?
In December 2016, I went to my first Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB) entrepreneur event.
This was the 10th event put on called ATB BoostR. This event allows local Calgary and Alberta entrepreneur to showcase their start-up businesses.
ATB wants to be known as the bank for the entrepreneur and is working to help grow the Alberta economy by helping fund small businesses. What ATB did was develop a crowdfunding platform which allow entrepreneurs to connect with investment.
ATB BoostR started 18 months ago and as of Dec 6 over 58 people have pitched their innovative ideas. The hosts of the event use social media, mainly twitter, and networking as the main way to get the ideas out to the public.
ATB BoostR was hosted by local Calgary comedian, Andrew Phung, who is on the hit Canadian Show, Kim’s Convenience. Five hundred people attended, all of who had the opportunity to network and listen, gather ideas and learn how to take their own idea’s to the next level.
The members in the audience had an opportunity to use the #BoosterstageYYC and submit a video of the evening to win a signed Bo Levi Mitchell jersey.
There were five sponsors of the event and three pitch coaches who helped the entrepreneurs put together the best presentation they could give. The six businesses who were there to pitch their ideas had three mins to convey the message they wanted the judges and audience to hear. After they would be questioned by the four judges who also provided feedback.
The total price money up for grabs was $5000. This money was split up based on percentage of votes from the audience, after the all the presentations were completed. There was $2000 available for legal services and a sit down with a ATB financial representative.
All four judges made it clear what they were looking from the six presenters. They wanted to know how the product would benefit them and they wanted to feel the passion that each business brought, based on the product or service they were pitching.
- Dan Allen – ATB VP – @dallen_dan
- Alice Reimer – Tech Entrepreneur – @Reimeraa
- Christine Nesbitt – Canadian Olympian – @Cnezzy
- Bo Levi Mitchell – Calgary Stampeders QB, CFL – @Bolevimitchell
Stashii was started in Edmonton, Alberta by Ismail Attitalla. The business is a peer to peer company who provides storage and parking solutions to the market place. They help home owners make extra money by renting out the extra space in their homes or garages.
The business model started because Ismail did not want to live a limited space lifestyle anymore and felt others did not want the same. After researching his idea and testing the market, he knew there had to be a better way for people to store their items. Ismail knew he had to create a better platform than what existed.
The business was launched November 1, 2016 in Edmonton and makes the communication between the both parties seamless.
- Is there a screening process?
Yes, Stashii will do credit checks, check both parties out on social media and interview them.
- Is the business scalable?
Currently Stashii meets up with all parties in person. In the future, they want to make this process completely automatic. Most clients store items for a 6 to 12 month-term
- How do we communicate times to visit products?
The terms and prices are set by the host of the items
- Do you use the service?
Yes, said Ismail. His parents were the first hosts on his website and he stored items at their place
This Calgary based business was started by two long-time friends. Kathryn Kozody was the speaker. The idea they came up with is similar to a concept called, Paint Night. Maker Creative works in the DIY space. They get local businesses to host adults at their establishments and teach them how to make crafts.
The company held its first event on February 1 and since then has seen a steady growth. They are looking for $10k so they can continue to grow the business and allow people to have the time, space and inspiration to create.
- Do you host private parties?
Yes, they have held private parties which also have wine at the events
- How do you pick the venues?
Maker Creative looks for modern to rustic locations. They hold events when the business has a slow night. They usually host between 40 – 70 people.
- Do you have repeat business? Cost to get new customers?
Usually have 3 repeat customers at each event. Cost to get a new customer is $5.23. Instagram is used to market to potential customers.
- What are the barriers to competition?
No barriers so anyone can start the same business model. Main competitor is paint night. They host 6 workshops a month and try to get the best venues.
Good Trade Co is a non-for-profit company who purchases coffee from local farmers in Columbia. Speaker Brandon Waardenburg is a social entrepreneur who want to help improve the lives of the poor.
Good Trade Co, currently purchase coffee at a price 20 to 30% higher than fair trade prices. The profits are used to build schools, homes and roads. The company is looking for $8000 so they can rebrand the product and put money into marketing the coffee.
- What is the back story?
The business started when a friend moved to Canada from Columbia. After finding out about the hardship his friend went through five friends stated the company.
- Why pay more for coffee?
Fair trade prices are not always living wages. So through better shipping and distribution they hope to put even move money in the farmers pockets
- How much for a bag?
They pay $5/6 per pound bags. Shipping is $8/bag. Sale price is $17/bag. Profit is $3/bag. Again, they are non-for-profits so all money goes to pay expenses.
This presentation was by Jamie Ayles who hopes his business can provide entry level co-packers the ability to sell their products.
By trade, Jamie is a chef. He decided to share his passion for cooking and package his product and sell it throughout Canada. Currently his products are in 1000 stores which include Safeway, IGA and Loblaws.
With co-packing Jamie and the team work with local small business and show them how to do the same thing he did with his products.
- Can you package any product?
Yes, we help locals package their own brand of products.
- How does my product get space in local stores?
They work with local businesses and introduce them to the people he works with so they can pitch their product to food chains.
- How do you make money?
Co-pack charges a lower fee then its competition. Charge money to help local businesses develop their food line. Charge a percentage for helping others distribute their products.
- How are you successful running different product brands and this company?
They are only looking to help small co-packers. They are not looking to work with long-term or larger packers.
Kole Kuntz and Matt, no last name given, stared the business. They want to provide a dehydrated product that can be carried by people who are looking for a celebration drink at the end of their hike. There mix is completely non-alcoholic.
The concept came to the two as they are very familiar with the bar industry. They have worked in the industry for 12 years and thought there must be a better product to carry with oneself when looking for a drink.
They currently have three flavor mixes which include Old Fashion’s, Margarita’s and Caesars and are working on four new flavor to bring to the market. Currently they are looking for $5-10k so they can launch the product in the new year.
- What the competition like?
Cocktails and ready to drink bottles are main competition. They are competing on flavor and ease of use of product not against the products or big companies.
- Who is your target market?
They are looking to sell to millennials but are open to other people also. They are looking to sell product to back country uses but don’t want to limit product.
- How do I get your product?
Release date will be March 2017. They market at tradeshows. Want to sell product in liquor stores, outdoor gear stores and working on E-Commerces site.
- Cost of product vs. Can of cola?
Looking to sell mix at price point of $10 to 12 for a 6 pack. They are celling a premium cocktail mix so the price.
This is Calgary’s first on demand landscaping service company phone application that allows uses to request services for lawn mowing and/or snow removal.
Aidan Klingbeil that his business was a landscaping business with an Uber twist. Users go on the app, pick the service and set the price. Then people who are looking to pick up some extra work and money choose the jobs they want to completes.
Once the job is complete the service provider gets paid but first they must provide before and after service pictures to show the job was completed. When the customer is satisfied the payment is processed. Workers can earn up to $30/hour.
The business model allows MowShowPros to keep 30% and the service provider 70% after the job is complete.
- Who is your staff?
Currently staff is students looking to make extra money, people who lost their jobs or anyone looking to make some extra cash.
- How will you market the business?
Currently they hire and train the people. They do door to door sales. Customers set the price at min $20 per job.
- What if I do not have a car?
Currently you must have a car and your own shovel and/or lawnmower. Hope is that the business is so busy the workers don’t have to leave local area they live in.
- How do you market your services?
Currently using Facebook, Kijiji, door hangers and flyers.
After the presentations were completed the audience asked a few questions. I have included a small sample of questions asked to the various businesses.
- Stashii, do you require people who are storing items to have flood or fire insurance? What about any illegal activities that might take place on other people’s properties?
- Stashii and MowSnowPros, can’t we just cut you out of the picture and keep the full 100% of the money vs sharing a percentage with you?
- Good Trade co, what’s the difference between fair trade and direct trade?
- Canmore Co-pack collective, on other people products, do you collect a royalty or a flat cost on packaging?
- BarCntry Dehydrated Cocktails, how do you evaporate alcohol? (To be honest I laughed at this question because I thought it was not thought out very well)
- Stashii and MowSnowPros, are the people storing items or people shoveling and mowing lawns required to pay taxes?
- Good Trade Co, how do people find out about your coffee?
I admit, this was my first product and marketing event and I was impressed. It reminded me of the Dragon’s Den and Shark Tank but with no investment at the end of the night.
After all the presentations and questions were asked, it was time for us the audience to vote on the best business idea. The winner of the largest percentage of the prize money was:
BarCntry Dehydrated Cocktails with 24% of the total votes. Check out there pitch:
Now its your turn to make a difference. Share the solution people are looking for on your favourite social media platform. It’s easy to do and a proven fact your inner circle wants to know what you know.
Leave a comment by telling us what live local event you will attend in the future.
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