Six New Startup Businesses Join the Hub

Posted on Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Written by Kat Nyman

In November 2015, 10 startup businesses pitched their products and ideas to a group of esteemed judges and mentors in hopes of landing a spot in the Hub Incubator Program. After an intense afternoon of pitching and deliberating, CBaSE is excited to welcome the next cohort of businesses into the Hub!

The Making Box Co, Willow, Vintage Instincts, Better Start Naturals, Protein Innovations and TRAVA began work with Hub manager Niel Palmer on January 20th and are off to a running start! The Hub Incubator Program allows businesses to test and re-test their business models, conduct customer discovery as well as connect with other like-minded individuals in a fail-safe, supportive environment. The group meets weekly to receive coaching, updates and to participate in custom workshops.

The Making Box Co is Guelph’s first hub for live comedy and education through improvisation. Operating with the belief that “play is practical”, The Making Box offers improv classes for both individuals and businesses as well as regular live comedy shows attracting first time stand up acts as well as large “headliner” names.

Team members: Jay Reid and Hayley Kellett

Willow is working to replace milk and reinvent the latte experience, all while reducing food waste. Willow aims to take a chunk out of the beverage industry by offering plant based beverage toppers for both hot and cold drinks – a healthier and more stable alternative than soy, dairy and nut derived milk.

Team members: Sara Bonham and Craig Deebank

Better Start Naturals is a company dedicated to delivering wellness driven foods for kids with the goal of changing the premise of what is considered “healthy” in processed foods for children. Better Start Naturals was born out of concern for the rising obesity rate in Canada and the USA and the amount of sugar being consumed on a daily basis by kids. Better Start Naturals aims to develop a line of organic, preservative free and low sugar snacks and drinks for children, beginning with a line of organic, no sugar added drinking boxes.

Team members: Jessica Phulchand, Stefana Prodea, Michelle Atherton, Jack Baker

Vintage Instincts makes quality apparel that incorporates genuine vintage fabrics into designs, combining modern design with vintage. Vintage Instincts utilizes vintage textiles and also curates a collection of vintage apparel to deliver to excited clients. Every Vintage Instincts creation represents a piece of history that has been repurposed and brought back to life.

Team members: Alex Rogers

Protein Innovations is developing a frost protection spray for professional fruit growers and home gardeners that will help plants survive a potentially damaging and deadly frost. Protein Innovation’s product is food-safe, environmentally friendly and can be produced in a clean, yet highly scalable fashion.

Team members: Tom Keeling, Rob Taylor, Matt Clarke and Dan Krska

TRAVA is an e-commerce company, which aims to design, manufacture and distribute clothing that is globally inspired and promotes local impact in the developing world. TRAVA is distinctive from other e-commerce due to the fact that it offers customers fully styled and bundled 3-piece outfits (top, bottoms and an accessory) for a flat rate price. Alongside the bundling concept, TRAVA is partnered with one of the largest NGOs in Sri Lanka to help create positive change in a developing nation.

Team members: Harmonie Vachon and DeAsia Gaffar

The Hub Incubator program provides office space, mentorship, community as well as up to $8,000 to Guelph-based, youth-led startups.

Applications for the Summer Cohort of the Hub are now open and can be found here.

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