Julie Hirschfeld was brushing her teeth when inspiration struck.
Quite suddenly she knew that her new business would be called Brushes With Nature.
When it’s up and running, Hirschfeld will take people into accessible areas of the Rockies so they can paint water colours. All equipment will be provided, from stools to brushes.
Inspiration, however, isn’t enough to start a business.
|Chris Wood, Business Edge|
|Christine Quennell, here with generationgo's Jeff Sand, was one of three winners in a contest to start their own ventures.|
But with the help of a contest held last week by generation.go, a Calgary company which helps people take a concept and turn it into a viable business, Hirschfeld and a group of 19 other young entrepreneurs are now on their way to a solid business footing.
Hirschfeld, Christine Quennell and Jomo Green were the three top winners and they came away last week with more than $23,000 in products and services each in the Start Your Own Venture competition, sponsored in part by Business Edge.
In total, $160,000 of products and services was donated for prizes, says Rob Briscoe, 32, a former geologist, who with his partner, Jeff Sand, 28, created generationgo.
None of the finalists came away with less than $1,450 in products and services and all 20 participated in a series of workshops. Quennell, 33, plans to publish a free magazine for pet owners.
A stay-at-home parent and volunteer for the last few years, she hopes to launch Pet Pages in the fall. “I’m thrilled. It’s a big boost,” she said thanking everyone involved.
Green’s business, Hot Chow Network, has been up for a year, but the 30-year-old admits it’s still difficult to raise cash.
The workshops have helped him set a strategy for his business, which enables diners to order food online (www.hotchow.com).
“When you run a business, you juggle everything, now I can focus on the foundation . . . It brought me back to the basics.”
Green also appreciates the fact he can check back in with generationgo on a weekly basis because they are a good sounding-board.
Hirschfeld, 31, says her business could start tomorrow, but she’s at the “treading water” stage.
“This gives me a kick-start.”
Generationgo, which evolved into its current state last October, does away with red tape, says Briscoe. “It translates into great energy.”
Besides being fun for the competitors, he says, the contest will also be of interest to the public because they can track Quennell, Hirschfeld and Green’s progress on the Web.