Today, ventureLAB hosted a hybrid open house for the first time to celebrate Vaughan Small Business Week, a national celebration of small businesses' contributions to local economies. The open house took place at ventureLAB's space at the Pierre Berton Resource Library, where startup founders and alumni clients from across the region participated.
Small businesses play a vital role in providing opportunities for entrepreneurs to innovate and pursue their passions. Canada is home to more than 1.2 million small and medium-sized businesses that fuel the economy, create jobs and strengthen local communities.
Supporting, funding, and building a network with, and for, small businesses have never been more important. This year's theme highlighted businesses driving the local economy and identifying growth opportunities. Small Business Week also focused on making local support available for entrepreneurs and small business owners to help them succeed through economic recovery, despite recent challenges.
At today's open house, Centigram, an alum of ventureLAB's Accelerated Growth Program, joined to share their journey as a small business. Centigram is a Canadian startup company dedicated to building a globally accessible mobile-based eGifting platform that is simple, secure, and inclusive. Most recently, Centigram launched a pilot project in partnership with eDopomoga, a social aid program by the Ukrainian Ministry of Social Policy and ANC, Ukraine's largest pharmacy chain whereby Centigram converts funds from charity organizations and government aid programs into ANC digital gift cards. These eGifts are then distributed to eDopomoga’s recipients, who can instantly redeem them at hundreds of ANC pharmacies across the country, directly on the Centigram app.
Part of the inaugural Accelerate AI program, Mech Solutions showcased their 3D printing solution. Mech Solutions has made waves in the additive manufacturing space, winning multiple prestigious awards including the prestigious 4th Additive Manufacturing Innovation and Application award to expand internationally and their portfolio of offerings. They showcased today that their 3D printers have almost unlimited capabilities.
RideAlike, a client in the Pre-Accelerator Support Program, enlightened guests with their vehicle sharing marketplace solution. RideAlike describes themselves by asking potential customers to “think of RideAlike as Airbnb plus Tinder for vehicles,” and they showcased today exactly how users can both profit off a car when they don’t need it, and equally find exactly what they’re looking for when they do.
Centigram, Mech Solutions, and RideAlike work closely with Garry Chan, a technology entrepreneur advisor at ventureLAB.
Whether your business is in the early stages of seeking funding or looking for networking opportunities, ventureLAB’s Open House is the place for you. Register for the next Orientation here, or sign up for our newsletter here to get involved.