ATB BoostR Live Event
Have you turned on the television lately and watched want to be entrepreneurs on all these shows?
Shows like Dragons Den and Shark Tank have become very popular. With successful business men and women like Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Barbara Corcoran, Chris Sacca, Arlene Dickinson, Jim Treliving and Calgary’s own Manji Minhas.
These successful entrepreneurs are looking to invest their money into the next big idea.
How cool would it be to go to a live event where want to be business men and women are looking for funding?
It was awesome because I went to my first Alberta Treasury Bank (ATB) entrepreneur event.
This was the 10th event put on called ATB called ATB BoostR. The funding event allows local Calgary and Alberta entrepreneur to showcase their start-up businesses.
The program is a great place to network, market and meet other individuals who are trying to bring awareness to their products and services.
ATB Financial is working on becoming the bank for the entrepreneur. They want to help grow the Alberta economy by helping fund small businesses and their ideas.
What ATB did was develop a crowdfunding platform which allows entrepreneurs to receive investments from the bank and expose their ideas to the public.
ATB BoostR, started a few years ago. As of Dec 6, 2016 over 58 people have pitched their innovative ideas. The different hosts of the event promote using 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, listen, gather ideas and learn how to take their own idea’s to the next level.
The members of the audience could use the #BoosterstageYYC and submit a video that they recorded of the evening. The winning video gets a Bo Levi Mitchell jersey.
There were five sponsors of the event and three pitch coaches who helped the entrepreneurs put together the best presentation possible. The six businesses who were there to collect money had three mins to convey the message they wanted the judges and audience to hear.
After the three minutes were up, the four judges asked questions and provided important feedback to each presenter.
The total price money up for grabs is $5,000. The money is split up based on percentage of votes the audience gives to each presenter. There was also $2,000 available for legal services and an opportunity to down with a ATB financial representative to discuss other funding option.
Before the presentations began, 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.
The Four Judges
- 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 is an Edmonton, Alberta based startup which was started 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 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 unwanted items. Ismail knew he had to create a better platform than what already existed.
The business was launched November 1, 2016. It help make the communication between the person who wasn’t to store their goods and the person who has space, 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 does one communicate the time they want 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 like a concept called, Paint Night. Maker Creative works in the Do It Yourself (DIY) space. They get local businesses to host adults at their establishments and teach them how to make different crafts.
The company held its first event on February 1,2016 and since then has seen a steadily growth. They are looking for $10,000 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 at businesses that have slow nights and are looking to bring in patrons. The crowd size is usually between 40 – 70 people.
- Do you have repeat business? Cost to get new customers?
The business usually has 3 repeat customers at each event. Cost to get a new customer is $5.23. Instagram is currently being 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 in that country.
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 improved shipping and distribution they hope to put more money in the farmer’s pockets.
- How much for 1 bag of coffee?
They pay $5/6 per pound. 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 and build the business.
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. After packaging he sells all his products throughout Canada. Currently his products are in 1,000 stores which include Safeway, IGA and Loblaws.
With the co-packing model, Jamie and the team, work with local small business and show them how they can grow, package and sell their products.
- Can you package any product?
Yes, we help local businesses package their own brand of products.
- How does my product get space in local stores?
The team works with local businesses and introduce them to the people Jamie 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 and is making money on volume. They charge money to help local businesses develop their food line. They also charge a percentage for helping others distributer 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. Before the idea, they had worked in the industry for 12 years. They know there has better product to carry on a hike when looking for a drink.
They currently have three flavor mixes which include Old Fashion’s, Margarita’s and Caesars. BarCntry is working on four new flavor to bring to the market. Currently they are looking for $5-10,000 so they can launch the product in the 2017.
- What the competition like?
Cocktails and ready to drink bottles are main competition. They are competing on flavor and ease of use of products 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 markets. They are looking to sell products to back country uses but don’t want to limit the products reach.
- How do I get your product?
Release date will be March 2017. Currently they are marketing at tradeshows. The goal is to sell the product in liquor stores, outdoor gear stores and on their e-commerces site.
- Cost of product vs. Can of cola?
Looking to sell the non-alcohol mix at price point between $10 to 12 for a 6 pack. They are branding the drink as a premium cocktail mix.
This is Calgary’s first on demand landscaping service company. They allow uses to request services for lawn mowing and/or snow removal.
Aidan Klingbeil say his business is 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 complete.
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% of the income and the service provider receives 70% after the job is complete.
- Who is your staff?
Current staff is students who are looking to make money, people who have lost their jobs or anyone looking to make some extra cash on the weekends.
- How will you market the business?
Currently they hire and train the people. They drive business by going door to door. Customers set the price at min $20 per job.
- What if I do not have a car?
Currently you must have a car, shovel and/or lawnmower. The goal is to have the business so busy that 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 the audience had the opportunity to ask 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 had to laugh at this question because it was not very thought out.)
- 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?
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 their pitch:
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