Since starting our business in December of last year, we've been busy mapping out strategies, getting to know our customers, and fulfilling orders. In between all that, we've also been leaning on and learning from as many community resources as possible in order to grow our business, expand our network, and soak up all that the Ottawa business community has to offer. We're thrilled to share that one of those resources, UOttawa's Startup Garage, has accepted us into their 2020 cohort!
About Startup Garage
Startup Garage is a 4-month pre-accelerator program led by the University of Ottawa’s Entrepreneurship Hub to foster and support entrepreneurship. Run by a mix of UOttawa students, professors, and corporate partners, the accelerator program provides funding, training, mentorship, and space (someday) to its participants.
Participants in the program include a wide range of businesses, from ambitious corporate gifting companies like ours to hi-tech businesses conducting cutting-edge research and engineering.
Networking in the Time of COVID
Although the program is usually conducted in person, it has been switched to a series of Zoom sessions to comply with social distancing guidelines. Despite the distance, program coordinators have been doing a great job of keeping things social, regularly scheduling social hours via Zoom to give participants a chance to get to know each other.
Each participating business gets assigned two mentors as part of the program. This was a huge motivating factor for us applying in the first place, as we knew that we had so much to learn. So far we've only met with our mentors once, but that one session provided us with valuable feedback and left us with plenty to think about. We're looking forward to leveraging future mentorship sessions to help our business grow.
The Startup Garage curriculum is jam-packed with training sessions and workshops aimed at giving the cohort a solid foundation from which to grow their business. From marketing to legal, our co-founder Olivia has been busy taking in everything that has been shared and putting the lessons into action items.
Although we're only in the first month of the program, the support that we've received from program coordinators, mentors, and fellow participants has been overwhelming. We're excited to write another blog post at the end of the program to share our full experience and detail our progress! In the meantime, visit startupgarage.ca to learn more about the program.