I kept it quiet from everyone and I think I can finally share it now. I have participated in a program called Starter Company Plus. This program is run by the BCGW (Business Center Guelph Wellington). The program has started in April and run for 20 weeks. First 5 weeks of training were at the class setting with blocks of materials and very valuable knowledge passed to the whole group. Further 15 weeks were one on one with assigned business consultants.
During all this time amazing things happened. It was lots of hard work but well worth it. I have managed to structure the direction of the business, detail description of services and marketing strategy. Created business plan and next two years of cash flow was a real eye-opener. I never expected to achieve so much from this program and on top of it, I became eligible to take a part in the Fall 2018 Pitch Competition which is an ending element of the program. The competition happened on the 25th of October and it really made my adrenalin jump. We had a fantastic line up of 8 companies specialized in different types of businesses which means we didn’t have to be worried about comparing the performance of similar businesses between each other. We just had to go out and do our best and hope that judges will find it captivating and they will believe our skills and that investment is going to make an important impact on the business they will award.
Art Studio Guelph was 6th in line to present. There were just 3 minutes for a 5 slides presentation and then 2 minutes to answer additional questions from the judges. It went by like the flash of a photo camera. I still feel it was just like a dream and all evening was just mesmerizing. Everybody was so supportive and just happy to be part of the gathering. We had a big group of visitors, family members, friends, and other entrepreneurs. Business Center was full!
Once all the presentations were completed we had about 45 minutes of waiting for the judges to return. During this time we did some great networking and talk to the visitors. I have given away several business cards and some of my flyers were gone too.
The judges finally came back and we were all called back to the main room. I couldn’t believe my ears when my name was called out and I have been awarded a partial amount as an investment in the business. We all hoped to win the first place but it was a competition so only one business could win it and I’m so grateful for selecting Art Studio Guelph as one of those businesses who deserve to be awarded. I’m so proud and honored! Thank you so much for seeing Art Studio Guelph as a professional and well-built business. I feel more empowered and more optimistic about the future now. I’m sure I’m creating community building and family friendly environment for those who love art, love finding a new interest, relaxing with a brush in their hand or simply having some fun time with their family members.
Pitch Competition was an amazing opportunity to showcase the art business and its actual value. I’m giving big Thank You to the Business Center which has created this opportunity and thank you so much to my business advisor Olga George-Cosh. I couldn’t have done it without you!