GetGoing Gets Going at Bootcamp
Starting this week, a new Halifax startup is taking part in a boot camp for women in technology at Waterloo, Ont.-based Communitech, the country’s premiere startup lab.
GetGoing hopes to use its time in the Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp to get feedback on its product for entrepreneurs. It has created a simple app that helps small businesses — traditional businesses as well as innovation-based startups — come up with a simple, effective business plan very quickly.
“What we’re trying to do is bring an added sense of confidence to small-business planning, especially people starting businesses for the first time,” said founder Emily Richardson in an interview before leaving for the boot camp.
The team is one of 25 startups accepted into the Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp, which started in Waterloo this week. Richardson, a Halifax entrepreneur who previously worked for such startups as Truleaf Smart Plant Systems and Carboncure Technologies, applied for the boot camp, competing against 70 other teams.
The other team members of GetGoing are Moontasir Abeer (who previously worked on the software for Halifax startup Presenters Podium), Matthew Carleton and Ben Boudreau.
The idea behind GetGoing is to create a simple online tool for anyone starting a business — especially those averse to using products that use Excel spreadsheets. Once the entrepreneur fills out the forms in the program, he or she will be in a position to talk to a banker about the prospects of the business.
The product comprises three components:
•The value proposition: GetGoing helps the entrepreneur craft a single paragraph describing the business and explaining why it has a good chance of succeeding.
•A modified business canvas: This is a basic template outlining the business model, bearing in mind such factors as customer demand, location, competition, etc.
•A financial planner: In about 15 minutes, the entrepreneur can produce realistic financial projections for a new business. A really cool feature of this tool is it includes Industry Canada statistics that show what revenues a certain type of business can expect in a specific province in Canada. So if you’re planning a restaurant in Saskatchewan, you can see the average revenues for a restaurant in that province in its first year. That is important because business people rarely know what revenues to realistically predict in their first few years.
“If you can get through these three programs, you are in pretty good shape with your business, but if you get stuck on any one part, you should probably re-evaluate,” said Carleton.
Richardson said the market is huge given that there are six million new businesses launched in Canada and the U.S. each year. GetGoing will initially target three markets: people under 30, baby boomers, and recent immigrants.
GetGoing spent three days this week at the boot camp, where the mentors included Sally Ng, executive director of Fredericton’s Planet Hatch. The GetGoing team will now return to Halifax to execute on what it learned at the camp. It will return to Waterloo for a wrap-up session in September. It is planning a full launch of the product in late October.
The team has so far not sought any equity funding for the project. Richardson said she and her teammates are hoping to get to launch without taking any investment.
Disclaimer: Entrevestor receives financial support from government agencies that support startup companies in Atlantic Canada. The sponsoring agencies play no role in determining which companies and individuals are featured in this column, nor do they review columns before they are published.