Members of The Hub Incubator Program See Great Success

Posted on Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Written by Kat Nyman

"There is no such thing as a "million dollar idea", ideas are worthless until you get them out of your head to see what they can do". We are not immune to the "yeah, but..." comments that come along with a big statement like that, we get it. The commonality between the successful entrepreneurs you're about to read about however, is that they pushed past the "yeah, but..." red flags in their head, and, they were all participants of The Hub Incubator Program.

Whether for, or not-for profit The Hub Incubator Program will provide you with the key ingredients you and your startup need to get past those "yeah, but..." clauses. Mentorship - access to successful entrepreneurs and legal advice, office space, invaluable workshops and up to $8,000 in funding are only some of the things that businesses accepted into The Hub will gain. The Hub is a program designed to help youth-led startups develop strong business models and processes that can be rigorously tested and intelligently scaled. Eligible teams must have at least one co-founder who is a current University of Guelph student or alumnus between the ages of 18 to 29. Applications for The Hub Incubator program are due on Oct. 31st and can be found here.

LocalXChange

Founded by Emil Smolders and Harsh Gadgil, LocalXChange aims to be a key part of the buy-local movement currently sweeping Ontario. What began as a token system, has now grown into a successful IOS Application that connects consumers with their favourite local stores, restaurants and more. Upon downloading the LocalXChange app, users are presented with deals and discounts from participating local businesses which they can then decide to take advantage of (by swiping right) or bypass (swipe left).

Business owners have complete control over what type of promotions and content they want to distribute to potential customers, while consumers can customize their profile to receive only the types of deals and promotions that are most relevant to them.

Since being a part of The Hub Incubator Program, LocalXChange has been featured on the front page of the Guelph Tribune, launched functioning iOS and Android apps and has presented many successful discounts and promotions to customers!

Of The Hub Incubator Program, founder Emil has said:

"Strong mentorship, skills-based workshops and funding under The Hub Incubator Program not only helped me launch a successful business, but it also contributed to my own personal development. The Hub forced me out of my comfort zone and help me gain new insights and perspectives through interviewing clients, customers and experts face-to-face. Listening and taking in feedback everyday have been my life lines in producing a sustainable and ever-changing business".

Revel Cider

Revel Cider founder Tariq Ahmed says that creating and running his own business has been "the most stressful, but rewarding experience". Tariq has been making cider for over two years, and interest the spiralled out of an internship with Chris Rucker at ManoRun Organic Farm in Copetown. "The first week into the internship, Chris Krucker and his family, who owned the farm, invited me up to the house for dinner since it was Mothers Day. He brought out all these bottles of home brew that he made 2 years prior and I started drinking them and all the sudden they were finished, big 750 ml bottles too! I loved it so I had to learn how to do it! Chris gave me the instructional book and the equipment and I taught myself on my off hours". Shortly there after, Tariq began renting space and receiving mentorship from the owner of West Avenue Cider company. Revel Cider Co. began distributing to restaurants this past spring and has since been nominated for numerous awards including The Innovation Guelph Award and placed 3rd in the "New World Cider" category at the Great Lakes International Cider & Perry Competition.

Tariq has said that "everyone at CBaSE" was hugely helpful in connecting him with much needed resources, including Innovation Guelph mentors Steve Barrett and Monica Schut. His biggest take away from his time in The Hub Incubator Program was "A ton of help through the workshops that they run. When we started, I had to work through incorporating and legal requirements. Then I moved into building the brand. The Hub also connected me with John Philips from the digital haptic lab at UofG who is making me the coolest tap handles ever!". - Valuable resources, indeed.

Redtree Robotics

Jason Ernst and Tom Hummel, (PhD students from The University of Guelph) of Red Tree Robotics have managed to do something that no one else has yet to be able to do. (Via Techvibes) Redtree Robotics is "Accelerating Robot Evolution". Jason & Tom have created the worlds first "full-stack" invention of custom circuits and code. The Redtree Hydra is designed to make it easy to attach components necessary to eliminate designing and building complicated circuits, this means that you can view and utilize data from the platform right away.

The Hub Incubator program played a key role in providing funds to help to build Redtree's initial prototype. Redtree founders have since participated in numerous pitching competitions offered by CBaSE and Innovation Guelph and have come out on top again and again.

"Yeah, but..." statements didn't stop these entrepreneurs from meeting and exceeding their goals and expectations. Why should they stop you? For those requiring more information regarding The Hub applications or any other CBaSE programming, please contact Kat at cbase@uoguelph.ca !

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