2019 SMARTstart: Meet the entrepreneurs
Sixteen entrepreneurs representing 15 businesses are working their way through the 2019 SMARTstart program.
The program provides entrepreneurs with online business skills training, in-person workshops and mentorship. Connecting the entrepreneurs with a local mentor is one of the most important aspects of the program.
This year’s participants have already completed a draft business, feasibility or strategic plan. By the program end in October, that plan – along with pro forma financial statements – will be complete, providing the entrepreneurs with a solid foundation from which to launch or expand their business.
Let’s meet this year’s entrepreneurs. For a fun Q&A with each, visit airdrielife.ca.
|Chris Lindsey is the co-owner of Leaps N Bounds Inflatables Inc. Leaps N Bounds offers the rental of bouncy houses for any public or private event. Their dream is to open a unique family fun center which will provide families with a fun and affordable entertainment option. Helping Chris is mentor Nadine Woitt of Mezzanine Hair Studio.|
|GetintheLoop launched in Airdrie less than a year ago and co-owner Chrissie Rozak has been going non-stop since then. Getintheloop is an intelligent mobile marketing platform that connects businesses with local consumers. The platform allows businesses to deliver real time experience and exclusive offers directly to the phones of engaged consumer. Helping Chrissie along the way is mentor Kari Lines of Budget Blinds Airdrie.|
|Cigdem Fareed of Distinct Graphics & Software Solutions is looking to launch her app that will help businesses collaborate with the demands of the community to make information more accessible and customized. They are working on creating various platforms, combining data and making information more accessible. Helping Cigdem out is mentor Jo-Anne Yau of Masuch Law LLP.|
|Evolution Performance is a fitness studio operated by owner Colin Bailey. Colin currently offers 1-1 personal training but his goal is to expand into a full-scale commercial location. Colin is looking to expand his business knowledge with SMARTstart and has the help of mentor Joan Traub, former owner of Airdrie Yoga & Fitness.|
|Boulevard Home Inc. provides interior design solutions including: design consultation; rendering and architectural detail drawings; plan reviews; finish selections; styling and staging services. Owner Danielle Doetzel’s long-term goal would be to open a bricks and mortar design boutique to serve as a one-stop shop for locals looking to build, renovate or redecorate. Helping Danielle along the way is mentor Jacqui Jepson of The Pink Wand Cleaning.|
|What started out as a personal hobby has turned into a full-fledged business for Kitty Bexson. She started out creating small items with her hobby vinyl cutter for local moms and it was wildly successful. From there the requests kept coming and it just grew into what we now know as Things by Kitty. She would like to grow her business into a commercial location to better serve the Airdrie market. Helping her along with way is mentor Danielle Coulter, former owner of Tutor Doctor.|
|Airdrie Exchange is a local business directory and events calendar that creates a resource for the community where all businesses that serve Airdrie and area come together. Connecting the community is what owner Lindsey Coyle is all about! She believes that a connected community can change the world. Mentor Melanie Beingessner of Blessingways Family Wellness is helping Lindsey throughout the program.|
|Grounded Natural Cleaning Services is a small cleaning company that is run using all-natural cleaners made by owner Marla Elms. Her future goal is to transition to manufacturing of these cleaners with a retail location. Natural cleaning is one of Marla’s passions and she cannot wait to share it with Airdrie. She is paired with mentor Tracy Goodbrand with Irricana Kountry Kennel.|
|Moonliza Menya enjoys working with fabrics to create beautiful home décor, outfits and much more. She is looking to open Kirabo Fashion and Interiors as a thriving storefront fashion & interiors business in Airdrie. Helping Moonliza along the way is mentor Don Dixon of Cangos.|
|Friends and dental hygienists Morgan Sylvain and Kayla McPhail noticed a need for a local network of available dental professionals within Airdrie and area. After brainstorming how they could help, Smile & Co. was born! Smile & Co. officially launched in August as a dental placement agency. Morgan and Kayla have been paired with mentor Michelle Carre of The Carre Group to help them navigate their business.|
|Nick Davies is looking to open a hybrid co-working/cocktail space. A marriage of two ideas: a co-working space, which will serve as a hub for Airdrie entrepreneurs, small business owner, and everyday residents to gather, work, share ideas. Coupled with a small craft cocktail lounge to enjoy a handcrafted beverage at the end of the day. Helping Nick along the way is mentor Natalie Gibson of InnoVisions and Associates.|
Ryan White is looking to open a business that wraps vehicles in high quality vinyl films to enhance, improve, and customize the look without removing or damaging the original surface. He will also offer the application of logos/decals to commercial vehicles for advertising or branding purposes. Ryan is working with mentor Ron Farrell of Beneficial Insurance Solutions.
|DigiWave Services is a boutique niche digital marketing agency focused on collaborating with small, local businesses to help them grow, utilizing the power of Facebook Messenger automations. Owner Scott Jones sees his business as a thriving alternative or supplement to traditional marketing initiatives for businesses. Paired with Scott is mentor Robyn Pearson of A Friend Indeed.|
|Tara Reid has a passion for design and renovation. Along with her partner, they own Re’Ferbish Group, which is a full-service interior design, and renovation company that acts as the main General Contractor onsite. They do everything from full home remodels to kitchen, bathroom and basement developments. Looking forward Tara would like to open a commercial location to provide customers with the full showroom experience. Tara is matched up with Sid Van der Meer, former owner of Northwest Equipment Ltd.|
|Le Potager Kitchen Gardens is a small start-up focused on supporting individuals and families grow their own food and connect to their environment. Owner Natasha Guillot has a passion for supporting individuals and families grow food despite the challenges of the prairies. This includes products such as seeds and seedlings, custom garden/patio boxes, irrigation systems and special soils, planting and maintenance. Helping Natasha along the way is Sandi Christensen, former owner of Goodmen Roofing.|