Startup ZoneStartup School

Pictured here from left to right is Sam MacLean, Office Coordinator and Shelby McDonald, Communications and Events Manager from Startup Zone.

Meet the rest of the Startup Team

(Left to right) Sam MacLean and Shelby McDonald from Startup Zone

Maybe it's time to go back to school...

This year, the Startup Zone is introducing many new things. They have a new team, new board members, a new strategic plan, and a new branch of programming. The new faces, perspectives, and direction create a lot of new opportunities.

The team is looking forward to supporting SUZ members as they capitalize on these new opportunities to help grow and launch their businesses here on PEI.

Do you have a business idea spinning away in your head, or have you already started planning out your new business?  Before you put pen to paper, let us tell you about Startup School, the newest addition to Startup Zone.

Innovative, Collaborative, Supportive

What prompted or motivated the launch of the Startup School?

The Startup School is a new programming branch at the Startup Zone. One of main motivations behind the development of Startup School was to streamline and accelerate the process of starting and growing a business here on PEI.

What can “students” expect while attending Startup School?

Each Startup School program will assist entrepreneurs as they progress through the key phases of starting and growing businesses on PEI. There are currently programs available for those in the Ideation (Innovator) and Execution (Launch) phases.
At Startup School, entrepreneurs will learn by doing. The Startup School Programs will be interactive and outcome-driven, with accountability milestones for entrepreneurs to keep track of their progress. This is not your traditional school program where the work they will be doing is hypothetical. It’s real life. The ideal participant has identified a problem and through an innovative business idea have found a way to solve it. They’ve already made the decision they want to start a business, now they want to determine if their idea is viable and there is a market fit. Startup School is providing them a set number of hours to focus on working ON the business model rather than in it.

In the end, entrepreneurs will get out of these programs what they are willing to put in. These are fast paced, hands-on sessions with homework each week. If participants are willing to use this time to roll up their sleeves and complete the course work with the program then they will have the tools to move on to the next phase of their business.


What outcome would a successful applicant expect after graduating from the Startup School?

More work! In the best way possible. More work means that through the Startup School program they’ve determined the business idea is viable and it is a market fit. Graduates of the Innovator program will be well equipped to take their businesses forward and work on launching it. The graduates of the Launch program will be equipped to launch their businesses
in the right market and sell their products or services to the right people.

The programs are set up to help hard working entrepreneurs be successful and move forward with their business. What that “success” looks like will be different for everyone.

Startup School programs are designed as continuums of learning, so if a participant is at another point in their entrepreneurial journey, they can certainly participate in another program to help them through that phase of business!

Question for Startup Zone... If you had one piece of advice for new and aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?

There are so many great pieces of advice out there that it’s difficult to choose just one. If we could give a bit of pointed advice to entrepreneurs across PEI it would be:

Come to the Startup Zone. Seriously! We want to help you start and grow your business. We have programs, events, space, knowledge, connections and more. And we always have Receiver coffee brewing.

Do you want to learn more about Startup Zone?

The Startup team is dedicated to providing the resources and making the connections you need to get your business off the ground. They have a network of specialists for you to work with on a variety of business development projects from logo design to sales coaching to website development. The Startup Zone also offers hundreds of webinars annually, focused on the needs of the entrepreneurs in our community.

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