Doktri, Port Hope, Ontario

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Both San Sivamoorthy and Kuru Jeyanthan are keen on using emerging technology to make individual lives and organizations run smoother. Doktri’s home base is IdeaHub in Port Hope.

What they Do
Doktri is a directory-based web application that helps users find their ideal, peer-reviewed healthcare providers (dentists, massage therapists, optometrists, etc.) and immediately book appointments online.

The Opportunity
Patients have a difficult time finding healthcare appointments that fit their schedule, location, and individual needs (gender, language), while clinics are challenged with filling appointment times and acquiring new patients in order to operate efficiently and increase their profits.

Innovation
Using IT systems to streamline the way Canadian health care providers engage with and manage their clients at intake.

Working With Spark
Doktri came to the attention of the Spark Centre through the N100 entrepreneurship competition, and has been working with Bryan Kanarens, Entrepreneur in Residence, at the Spark Centre, since February 2013. “We always had a clear idea of what our product and services were, but we weren’t sure how to turn Doktri into an actual business. Bryan has been tremendously helpful in asking us the right questions so we can find the solutions for our concerns.” Bryan’s role as a mentor and inquisitor has spurred Doktri on to deepen their awareness of their user’s needs, and the health care space in general. The end result is a stronger business plan and two entrepreneurs who can step out with bolstered confidence!

Next Big Step
Currently all of Doktri’s focus is on their upcoming launch, but the next big thing for them after getting online booking running smoothly, is to list emergency room and walk-in clinic wait times. “We are all very excited and there’s a lot more to come to help make access to healthcare easier for Canadians,” says San.

Advice to Local Entrepreneurs
Knowing how easy it is to stay in the comfort zone with an idea, San adds this perspective, “The end-game of a startup is to become a viable business, so don’t stay in your parents’ basement making something no one wants. Get out there, validate the problem, your solution, and market before writing a single line of code!”

Spark Centre Celebrates Entrepreneurial Creativity

Spark Centre is now part of Creative Social, a movement to bring together the creative-minded to discuss opportunities for collaboration and new business in Durham Region.

Spark Centre works with numerous partners to help encourage entrepreneurship and innovation within our regions. Creative Social is a critical building block for fostering an entrepreneurial culture because creativity and entrepreneurship go hand in hand.

“Entrepreneurship is the art of business”, says Martin Croteau, Executive Director of Spark Centre. “Entrepreneurs create businesses as the medium for making their ideas available – they are business artists”.

Creative Social holds a networking event on the last Thursday of every month, which rotates within local municipalities in Durham Region.

For more information about Creative Social go to their website: www.creativesocial.ca

Pdf – Spark-Creative Social Press Release

VentureStart is a NEW Program that combines Business Skills Training, Experienced Mentoring and up to $30,000 in Seed Capital!

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VentureStart is a new program that enhances the success rate of start-up enterprises by providing essential business training for technology entrepreneurs. Plus, your start-up enterprise has the opportunity to receive matching seed financing of up to $30,000.

Who can enroll
To be eligible for VentureStart, you must be a university or college graduate of a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics (STEM) program, and intend to start your business in Southern Ontario.

To qualify for seed financing, you must successfully complete the business training program and Critical Factor Assessment, and be able to provide matching funds.

Low Cost of Entry for Entrepreneurs. Since RIC Centre covers half the cost of the skills development training phase, the enrollment cost for eligible entrepreneurs is only $1,700. There are no other costs for you to continue in the program, other than the requirement of matching funds for any seed financing you will ultimately apply for, up to a maximum of $30,000.

Phase One: Business Skills Development
Online on-demand business and management skills training.*
Best practices training supplemented by one-on-one coaching.
Foundation for a business development plan for your new venture.
Critical Factor Assessment determines readiness for Phase Two and funding.

Phase Two: Business Launch Support
Individual mentoring by experienced Entrepreneurs in Residence.
Access to key services for launching and operating a new business.
Opportunity to qualify for up to $30,000 of matching seed financing.

To find out more about this program, please contact Spark Centre.

Spark Makes New Home in Cool Digs at Core21

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We’ve moved to Core21 — Oshawa’s first co-working hub! It’s a place where small businesses, organizations and “solopreneurs” share space and resources, keeping overhead low, and networking opportunities high. At Core21, this means that the cost of photocopiers, wifi, front desk reception, kitchen and meeting space are shared amongst the tenants, while the creative energy that comes from neighbourly coaching, collaboration and networking are absolutely free.

For the Spark Centre’s Executive Director, Martin Croteau, it just made sense to make the move. “One of our core values is to support the emerging innovation and start-up community in Durham Region. And to do that, we want to physically be where the action is. We have no doubt that the Core is going to be a hub in that community network.”

Essentially, Core21, and other co-working hubs like it, are ecosystems for entrepreneurs. The physical and technical infrastructure of an office is present, but most importantly, the people needed to fulfill the ‘social capital’ are also there. Co-working colleagues are steps away, and can usually provide all the trouble-shooting, coaching and professional expertise required. If they can’t do it themselves, someone in their immediate network can!

A proponent the pay-it-forward approach to business, Claire Bloddaert, Coordinator at Core21, is enthusiastic about what’s in store. “Core21 is going to be so good for Oshawa and the Region, with all the new grads from UOIT, and others starting up their own businesses. This space takes it a step further than just renting office space. It allows opportunities for collaboration and learning from others.” This very hands-up approach is something Bloddaert wishes she had when starting her own tech business in the “school of hard knocks”. Back then there were no helpers along the way to coach her. As coordinator, it’s her job to help make those connections happen.

General Manager at Core21, Amy Gazdik, is also excited to see the new faces and buzz in the office. After six months of intense work pre-launch, she is planning a grand opening party for September to celebrate and thank all the people who helped to turn their vision into reality.

If you’re interested in co-working at Core21, there are still hot-desks available, 2 enclosed office spaces, and 4 private desks. The big events room can also be rented by members of Core21 and the public for professional events of up to 60 people. Please contact Amy Gadzik for more details.

Ignite Finale 2013 Celebration

On June 25th, we celebrated the growing community of entrepreneurs and cultural leaders in Durham Region at the Ignite Finale. Highlights included hearing the latest successes of our finalists fresh out of start-up bootcamp and a keynote from international bestseller, Tim Ferriss in the Regent Theatre. Afterwards, we partied in Oshawa style with great music, local gourmet nibbles and drinks, breakdancers and participatory art. We even had a Twitter contest — and made #IgniteDurham the number 2 trending tags across Canada! On fire, indeed! More to come in 2014 . . . Sign up for the Spark Centre e-newsletter for the latest news on Ignite 2014

A big thank you to all the 2012-2013 Ignite sponsors, especially those who donated the two iPad Minis – Durham Workforce Authority and Collins Barrow Durham LLP.

Check out the photos from the evening on the Spark Centre Facebook photo album – The Ignite Finale!

Ignite Finale Promises Inspiration to Change Your World, Big Announcements, & Prizes

Oshawa, Ontario – June 25, 2013 – A celebration of Durham Region’s sparks of entrepreneurial innovation at the Ignite Finale 2013, June 25th. A night to network, hear start-up success stories, be inspired by Canada’s top entrepreneurs, and absorb the challenge to ‘follow your dreams’ from keynote, Tim Ferriss.

Read the full Press Release: Ignite Finale_June25

Best Networking Event of the Year for Local Entrepreneurs!

Looking for some entrepreneurial inspiration? See why you should start your business here in Durham!

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Tuesday, June 25
Regent Theatre, Oshawa at 5:00pm

Join us at the Ignite Finale 2013 to hear CBC Dragon, Bruce Croxon, and other members of our Power Panel, keynote speaker and international bestseller Tim Ferriss, as well as the start-up Ignite Finalists!

You’ll start your evening with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the outdoor lounge beside the Regent Theatre at 5:00pm, and follow that with the formal Ignite Finale program. At 7:00pm the outdoor space will change gears and turn into a Street Party, complete with a converted boxcar-to-bar dubbed the “Ice Box” Social Media Lounge. (Sponsored by 360Incentives, Construct Durham Corporation, Kleurvision and Search Engine People.)

Your ticket gets you a complimentary drink, local gourmet food from The Patty Shack, Buster Rhinos and The Table, DJ and entertainment, plus a FREE copy of Tim Ferriss’ latest inspiration for entrepreneurs, “The Four-Hour Chef”. Tickets are selling fast – buy your ticket to the networking event of the year today!

Tickets: $45 general admission / $60 door includes FREE BOOK!

Celebration of local start ups sure to inspire future Durham Region entrepreneurs

Whitby, Ontario — May 14, 2013 – Come celebrate Durham Region’s sparks of entrepreneurial innovation at the Ignite Finale 2013 on June 25th at Oshawa’s Regent Theatre. It will be a night to hear local success stories, network with the Region’s top talent, and absorb the chutzpah of international bestseller, Tim Ferriss, and Ignite’s Power Panel of top Canadian entrepreneurs.

Read the full Press Release: Ignite Finale PR

Ignite Durham Rounds Down to the Final Five Entrepreneurs after Pitch Night

WHITBY, ON Feb 5, 2013 – A final group of five entrepreneurs have been chosen to move on to the next phase of Ignite Durham. On Monday, February 4th, a short list of 30 Ignite participants pitched live in front of the Power Panel and 250 members of the community. The 30 were selected from a pool of 102 applicants for Ignite Durham (www.ignitedurham.ca), a brand-new start-up boot camp that will set two local companies on the path to success.

To read the full Press Release: Ignite-Final Five PR

For more information about who are the final five: http://www.ignitedurham.ca/ignite_news/the-final-five/