Jonathan and Celine MacKay, owners of Sustain, are the winners of Win This Space 2019. The Win This Space grand prize package is valued at more than $40,000 and includes a downtown storefront free for a year.
Sustain is an eco-lifestyle retail store with a modern, triple bottom line and conscious consumer platform. Born out of a quest for better, more sustainable, non-toxic products, Sustain is positioned as a resource for those in any stage of their sustainable and wellness journey.
Winner Jonathan MacKay of Sustain at Win This Space event at ARIA (photo courtesy DBIA)
Sustain is a source of trust where the consumer can avoid wading through all the green-wash and misinformation and purchase offerings with absolute confidence that have been vetted with great scrutiny.
Sustain is looking to build on the success of their eco lifestyle concept store in Huntsville, a store that has everything a family needs to support zero-waste, plastic free, non-toxic, sustainable lifestyles. Their goal is to expand their concept to Peterborough, which they describe as an eco-progressive, vibrant community.
Winner Jonathan MacKay of Sustain at Win This Space (photo courtesy DBIA)
“This is our third Win This Space and each year I’m inspired and impressed by the interesting businesses people are entering into this competition,” says Terry Guiel, Executive Director of the Downtown Business Improvement Area.
Sustain was selected by the Win This Space judges who evaluated the Top 10 applicants to the program. The Top 10 spent three months fine-tuning their proposals at workshops focused on marketing, financial planning, and business plans.
Flying Colours Corp.—the North American maintenance, repair, overhaul and completions business—is celebrating 30 years of successful MRO and interiors operations.
Launched as an aircraft painting business by current President, John Gillespie, the start-up developed into an aircraft sales business before evolving into a fully-fledged MRO and interiors business in 1989.
John Gillespie, Founder and President of Flying Colours Corp.
The privately owned, family run company has grown from a small hangardedicated to painting turbo-props and small jets at Peterborough Airport to an international company known for:
-> its strong maintenance capabilities -> creative cabin-interior design resulting in functional, yet stylish completions -> refurbishments including Flying Colours branded CRJ ExecLiner -> avionics expertise -> ability to handle complex special mission projects
A rendering of the new hangar due to open in mid-2019
“It’s a well-known fact that the business aviation sector is a competitive and challenging industry to succeed in, and we are extremely proud to be marking our 30th anniversary,” says John Gillespie, Founder and President.
Photo courtesy Flying Colours Corp.
“In some ways, it feels like we are just getting started as we still have a lot of exciting plans to implement over the next decades,” adds Gillespie.
“It goes without saying we would not have got to where we are without the support of our elite set of customers, our reliable long-term partners, and most importantly our highly motivated and skilled technical teams.”
Photo courtesy Flying Colours Corp.
Flying Colours is marking its 30th year with internal and external events with customers, partners and its growing in-house team to demonstrate its gratitude to those that have worked and supported the business through the years.
To be eligible, entrepreneurs must have a registered business (incorporated, sole proprietor or partnership) with annual sales under $200,000 and be able to undertake the proposed work within the next 12 months. Start-up or pre-sales businesses must exhibit a meaningful investment of time, equipment, money, or research and development in their business, and existing businesses must show a significant move towards a new product, service, or market, or commercializing intellectual property.
Bears' Lair Steering Committee Chair, Catia Skinner, announces details for the 2019 Bears’ Lair Entrepreneurial Competition on Tuesday, January 22nd, at VentureNorth.
Steering Committee Chair, Catia Skinner, says this year’s competition is driven to support winners with the financial resources and momentum that they need to boost their business and succeed.
“We hope this competition shows that Peterborough and the Kawarthas is a great place to start and grow a business, encouraging those who might be thinking about building a business to use the available resources,” says Skinner.
Applications can be completed on the Bears’ Lair website at bearslairptbo.ca and are due by Tuesday, February 26th, 2019.
The Innovation Cluster created a tremendous impact for the economy through the success of local technology startups in 2018.
Throughout the course of 2018, the Innovation Cluster generated $15,431,351.37 for the local economy, 15 times the set Provincial goal. While having supported 86 startups in total throughout the year, the Innovation Cluster in turn helped to create 171 jobs for the local economy.
Innovation Cluster is housed in VentureNorth building in downtown Peterborough
Having established over 30 innovation partnerships, the Innovation Cluster has been able to create endless opportunities and connections for startups growing in the region. Of the 86 startups that have been supported in 2018, 46 of those were youth (18 to 29).
“Having close relationships with Fleming College and Trent University has been essential to attracting young, local innovators and keeping them in this region,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “A lot of startup successes and community events has been made possible through these connections.”
Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster, in meeting at the Cluster
Along with Fleming and Trent, the Innovation Cluster has established partnerships that connect startups with easy access to legal advice, marketing, intellectual property, funding and more. Innovation Partners offer one-on-one mentorship as well as free workshops to the Innovation Cluster clients and the Peterborough community.
One of these Innovations Partners is RBC, which sponsors the Innovation Cluster’s Virtual and Augmented Reality Zone inside its incubator. Through this space, the Innovation Cluster has been able to assist its digital technology startups, which now comprise more than 50 percent of the clients it currently supports.
Some of the rapidly growing digital clients include video game companies Bloom Digital and Canuck Play, and mobile app developers Kavtek and Ribitt. (Ribitt recently announced it had raised $600,000 in seed financing.)
“The Cluster is very helpful because people want to know if your company belongs to an incubator or accelerator,” says Ribat Chowdhury, co-founder of Ribitt. “Your chances of succeeding is higher when you have a collaborative environment and are in a tech ecosystem—and that’s what the Innovation Cluster provides us with.”
Along with its digital clients, the reserve of clean technology clients also continues to rise. With the help of the Trent Makerspace at Trent University, clients are able to access lab space and research and development equipment.
With digital and cleantech innovations rapidly growing, in 2019 the Innovation Cluster will be looking to grow its healthcare sector to address innovations towards accessibility and aging in Peterborough.
“The startups that have stayed and grown their companies in Peterborough and the Kawarthas and sought help through the Innovation Cluster is what truly sets this area apart from any other city in Ontario,” adds Skinner.
“The impact made this year has been the greatest to date for startup growth, jobs created and the economic impact it’s resulted in. We plan to keep those numbers on the rise.”
On a mission to eliminate wasteful paper-based time tracking processes, Apsley-based MotherClock is offering free paperless time tracking services to any business in Canada.
“You simply mount a tablet to the wall, download our app, and your employees use it to sign in and out of work,” says Co-Founder Jeff Sayers. “It’s a hassle-free way to track employee work time.”
The clever service, which is already being used by early adopter businesses in Apsley, Peterborough, Toronto and Ottawa, can be used as a time clock to live-capture the time as employees start and leave work, or as a time sheet allowing employees to enter their start and end times then submit for manager approval.
“Our software automatically calculates the work hours including holidays and overtime,” adds Sayers. “It’s a real time saver and great alternative to traditional processes.”
According to MotherClock, hundreds of thousands of businesses in Canada still track employee work time using paper-based methods which generates tonnes of paper waste.
MotherClock is seeking to completely displace paper-based time tracking in Canada by the end of 2019.
“It’s an ambitious goal but we’ve modernized a severely outdated and inefficient practice and by offering the service for free I think we’ll have a lot of uptake,” says Sayers.
The MotherClock app is available for download in the Google Play Store. Learn more about it in this video below…
The Top 10 Win This Space finalists have been selected for a chance to win a free downtown storefront for a year.
Judges and sponsors met Tuesday, November 27th at Providence at 131 Hunter Street West to go through all the application videos submitted. Contestants were asked to submit a 1 to 3 minute video pitch (watch them below) which the judges would use to help select the finalists.
Guests at Providence where the Top 10 finalists were announced
The 10 finalists will go through a series of workshops on building business plans, creating marketing plans and financial forecasting.
WHAT THE WINNER GETS
-> The winner will be announced March 5th at The Venue and will then choose which downtown space they would like to open in.
-> The prize package includes not only a free lease to a downtown storefront for a year, but also thousands of dollars in donated prizes including office and computer supplies, marketing and financial services, and advertising and promotion.
-> This year’s grand prize is valued at more than $40,000.
Mr. Downtown Terry Guiel speaking at Providence at Win This Space event
The Win This Space competition is a Peterborough DBIA initiative in partnership with Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development, Community Futures Peterborough and Shorelines Casino Peterborough.
“Every year there are so many interesting submissions for some really innovative businesses,” says Terry Guiel, Executive Director of the Peterborough Downtown Business Improvement Area. “It’s encouraging to see so much excitement from the next generation of entrepreneurs to open a business here in downtown Peterborough.”
Make sure to shop downtown with your Holiday Shopping Passport over the holiday season for your chance to win up to $3,000 in downtown money.
There are more than 140 places to collect stamps this holiday season in downtown. The passports feature three early bird prizes of $500 in downtown money to be drawn December 5th, 12th and 19th with the grand prize of $1,500 in downtown money to be drawn January 9th.
The Holiday Shopping Passports program rewards people for supporting local businesses by shopping, dining and enjoying downtown. Last year’s program saw shoppers stamp a whopping $1.9 million worth of Holiday Shopping Passports.
Left to right: Joel Wiebe, Terry Guiel, Theresa Foley, Jonathan Moreno, James Wallwork and Lena Wallwork
HOW THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING PASSPORT PROGRAM WORKS
-> Every time you spend $10 at a participating business, a box on your passport will be stamped.
-> When your passport is filled (20 stamps), complete the form and drop it off at a ballot box at one of the participating businesses.
-> Each completed passport is a ballot for a draw to win downtown money. There are more than 100 participating businesses downtown.
-> Bring your Holiday Shopping Passport downtown on November 23rd for Black Friday as more than 100 downtown businesses put on some of the biggest sales of the year. FREE PARKING DOWNTOWN
Also, the DBIA’s annual promotion of two hours free street parking starts on Black Friday and runs until the end of December thanks to the City of Peterborough Parking Division.
Check out downtownptbo.ca for the full list of participating passport locations.
Since opening in 2016, VentureNorth (270 George St. N.) has emerged as one of the most important buildings—”spaces” is perhaps a better word to describe it—in Peterborough, standing tall in the heart of downtown and symbolizing the city’s path as an innovative, entrepreneurial destination to encourage startups and existing businesses to grow and thrive.
“We have been very excited about the success of the hub,” VentureNorth Co-Founder Paul Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “Now, Peterborough has a true one door location to start/expand/help a business grow and succeed. What we have seen in the last couple years has been amazing. The success of the Innovation Cluster, PED and JA has been inspiring. With Community Futures joining EOCFDC as part of the VentureNorth team, the sky is the limit for the future of entrepreneurship in our great community.”
The hub—which overlooks both the downtown and Otonabee River—took inspiration from similar successful models in Waterloo (Communitech), Toronto (DMZ) and Oshawa (Spark). But it has now forged a unique identify itself, fuelling an ecosystem of local leaders and innovators with its own “all-inclusive” ethos of offerings and organizations—a concierge service, if you will, to experts with a wide range of subject experise in various areas with a want to help you succeed.
”When the concept of VentureNorth was first envisioned, the goal was to bring all these great organizations together to help entrepreneurs and showcase the competitive advantage that we believe Peterborough has—the people and the place,” Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “We have an overwhelming supportive community and a way of life that is truly second to none. Once people are able to experience living and working in this great community, the roots get planted very quickly.
Indeed, collaboration has been a key ingredient in building momentum in Peterborough for forward thinkers and progress. Breaking down silos (something that can prevent you from thinking outside the box, excecuting on ideas, and just getting stuff done) has shed the barriers to growth, innovation and beta testing.
Growth can be accelerated here as Peterborough—with all the amenities of a big city but a small town feel—is primed to become an entrepreneurial region. It has great support partners at the hub and beyond, and Trent University and Fleming College are absolutely key ingredients and partners in training students and talent, many of which will stay here (retention is key) and become entrepreneurs and leaders.
The concept of VentureNorth from the get-go was to create an ecosystem where entrepreneurs and business people can connect and work alongside each other in open concept spaces to drive success and thrive. Startups and organizations can grow and succeed when they work side-by-side—learn from each other, motivate each other, push each other.
That is happening at VentureNorth, and indeed this hub—itself a startup still in its infancy—has been so successful that it is encountering a problem many startups face: running out of space. “Our struggle moving forward is that we don’t have any more space to offer,” Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “We have had many private businesses (local and from outside town) show interest in being part of this exciting ecosystem, but we don’t have anything to offer them.”
Rendering of what Phase 2 of VentureNorth Building could look like
In response to this, the VentureNorth founders have begun planning a second phase to their vision for the building (see renderings above and below), which would bring much needed expanded space along with further aesthetic exterior and interior upgrades to a hub that has a contemporary design and feel.
“The idea would be to extend the same overall concept that was started with VentureNorth but expand to include some exciting private businesses and a banking partner,” Bennett tells PTBOCanada. “Much the way that Communitech in Waterloo expanded, we want to see VentureNorth expand and bring a great deal of life to our business sector downtown. This will hopefully spur more residential demand and supply in our core to see a new level of vibrancy in our downtown.”
Night rendering of what Phase 2 of VentureNorth Building could look like
These are exciting times for VentureNorth, which is helping put Peterborough on the map right up there with other Canadian cities like Waterloo that have fully embraced the innovation and tech economy. They are willing to play the long game to execute on their vision for building our innovation economy.
To further engage the community about VentureNorth and its promising future, there will be an Open House and Christmas Party on December 4th that the public is welcome to attend, where they can check out the building and see some of the exciting new businesses showcased in the Innovation Cluster showcase. More details will be coming on that soon.