When you think of growth within a business, what do you think of? Often, we find ourselves reaching for accolades and successes as a measure of growth, but growth can be found in smaller but equally impactful steps. Education, connections, breakthroughs, and hard lessons all act as a form of growth within entrepreneurship that leads to success stories and big wins just as much as investments or acquisitions.
Understanding the steps that a founder takes towards success is the driving motivation behind TechAlliance’s GROW Accelerator, empowering entrepreneurs to make the crucial leap from start-up to scale-up. Proudly facilitating its 6th consecutive cohort, GROW Accelerator participants have consistently made impressive strides in our tech and innovation industry post-accelerator. Mentored by growth coaches in varying sectors of our industry, accelerator participants receive world-class, intensive learning opportunities while being supported by our venture growth team in their entrepreneurial learnings and successes. Advised thoroughly by TechAlliance’s founder-focused advisory team, GROW Accelerator participants receive mentorship from serial entrepreneurs in our local ecosystem, focusing on the entrepreneurial touchpoints that will bolster connections and education for each participant, continuing their growth in our local, national, and global economy.
The Fall 2022 GROW cohort consists of strong, innovative ventures, all powered by dedicated entrepreneurs and creative founders. From brand new businesses to multi-year venture journeys, the companies have had the opportunity to connect with each other and their mentors to prepare for accelerated growth.
Here are the members of the Fall 2022 GROW Accelerator cohort:
Step Sciences is a one-of-a-kind custom personalized orthotics brand that is built to create beneficial long-term outcomes for its users. Innovating forward from traditional orthotics, Step Sciences optimizes their custom products to repair and recover previous injuries, make the wearer stronger, and cause influence in the physical changes to anatomy, all with a focus on providing a pain free path to performance and daily life. Founded by best friends and Co-founders, Matt Bellia and Alex Kopacz, Step Sciences was built on the backs of Founder connections and teamwork, making them a perfect fit as GROW participants who are expected to network and connect throughout their accelerator experience. “The connection to other entrepreneurs and founders was awesome”, says Bellia, “There are so many opportunities for us to build each other up and support our individual journeys, as well as networking with the incredible growth coaches for the sessions that created connections outside of the cohort that will continue to benefit our careers”.
Producing stress education workshops to help businesses with employee retention and satisfaction, RKease provides engagements that actively decrease workplace stress. Rashidi Kabamba founded RKease with a mission to help work through stress management through creativity and intention. Finding an area of focus in B2B sales, RKease quickly became built for corporate use, offered as a solution for employers to provide to their employees, strengthening employee retention and overall cost savings for businesses.
Finding strength in the connections he made with likeminded entrepreneurs and growth coaches, Kabamba boasts the GROW Accelerator experience as one that truly propels young entrepreneurs like himself into learning opportunities within Southwestern Ontario’s tech and innovation ecosystem.
“As a founder, GROW Accelerator was instrumental to my overall growth and my business acumen”, says Kabamba, “Each lesson and mentor involved helped me gain a broader perspective on what it truly takes to succeed in entrepreneurship”.
With a goal to make dentures more accessible for low-income individuals, Smile Wide is a D2C venture offering custom dentures delivered by mail. Providing one-on-one consultation, they omit the need for multiple in-office visits by transforming a traditionally in-person process to a remotely accessible service. Founded by Lu Yao, a Vanier Science graduate and trained dentist, Smile Wide is an incredible example of a problem-solving innovation built by a first-time entrepreneur who has a deep passion for her work and an understanding of the industry. Being an expert in dental care but not yet in entrepreneurship, her involvement in the GROW Accelerator has started to build access and career-changing opportunities for this early-stage startup.
As we continue to uplift the incredible doers, makers, and dreamers in our ecosystem, we narrow in on the importance of building entrepreneurial connections and thriving through our network of experts, entrepreneurs, and founders. Propelling the vibrant innovations that continue to come out of Southwestern Ontario’s tech ecosystem, we continue to expertly facilitate TechAlliance’s GROW Accelerator for founders and entrepreneurs who are putting their best foot forward in the world of innovation and venture growth.
If you are interested in joining a future GROW Accelerator cohort to connect with and learn from industry experts, advisors, and peers, visit techalliance.ca/grow