The VK Accelerate program is intended to find creative entrepreneurs with unique products or services who are ready for their first bricks and mortar space.
Within the first six months of start-up, entrepreneurs qualifying for this unique program will have the opportunity to work with program mentors such as a business coach, an interior designer, a marketing agency and a realtor.
Our program mentors work closely with participants to help them build the skills and knowledge required to accelerate their business to be profitable position as soon as possible.
Deena Aspinall, a registered nurse with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, relocated to Kamloops in 2010. Driven by her desire to make a positive impact on both people and the environment, Deena purchased Your Footprint store in October of 2022. Transitioning from healthcare to entrepreneurship, she saw Your Footprints as the ideal venture to pursue her passion for helping others by recommending environmentally friendly products and promoting a lifestyle with less waste.
Venture Kamloops has been an invaluable resource for me as I enter the world of entrepreneurship without a business background," says Deena. "The support and guidance offered by VK, particularly in handling business-related questions and conducting cost analysis, have been instrumental in my journey. I am excited to fully utilize the support and resources available within the Venture Kamloops community.
- Deena Aspinall
Owner, Roberta Nechvatal reinvented her business by reopening and creating a full line of grab-and-go products that are perfect for busy individuals looking for a quick, healthy meal. In addition to our grab-and-go options, they provide a meal prep service, allowing you to plan and prepare your meals ahead of time.
Making this shift was difficult, but with the help of VK, we were able to retool and get on the right path. They provided me with guidance on everything from financial planning to business projections and helped me stay focused on my goals.
- Roberta Nechvatal
Jeanine Ball and Alex Marr purchased Paul & Company. Jeanine Ball, who started working at Paul & Company in 2016, and Alex Marr, who joined the team in 2020, both dreamed of owning and running their own law practice. The opportunity to purchase Paul & Company came sooner than expected. Still, they are excited about the challenge and the chance to build their own identity for the business while continuing to honor its deep roots in the community.
Venture Kamloops Accelerate Program has been a tremendous help in providing a roadmap for us on how to adjust to the ownership role. The program's in-depth financial projections and connections to a team of professionals through the VK program has provided them with expertise and people to lean on when dealing with something that is beyond their scope.
- Jeanine & Alex
Nick and Christy Driver, owners, and chefs of Harvest Moon Bakery, have a passion for cuisine and sustainable food systems. Their bakery specializes in delicious sour dough breads, pastries, croissants, cinnamon buns, and cookies and are very proud to be a part of the North Shore Community.
Nicole’s help from Venture Kamloops was immeasurable. There are so many things you don’t know when starting your own business. Venture Kamloops Accelerate Program was a resource, and we are thankful for the support through the process.
- Nick and Christy Driver
Chrystina Herron of Studio Micah has been a hair stylist since she was 17 years old. Having her own hair salon has aways been her long game goal. Studio Micah salon offers a modern contemporary vibe with a creative flair and a viewing experience of artwork while being pampered. Studio Micah is excited to be a part of the business community on the North shore of Kamloops.
The VK Accelerate program helped me bring to light the first steps needed to create and implement my business goals! With this support and the incredibly approachable team, this program does make starting a business obtainable.
- Chrystina Harron
After working as a manager for MAC Cosmetics, Cassidy Watt decided to make the transition into owning and operating her own makeup artistry business. Over the past 4 years, she has been one of the biggest names in local weddings. With eyes on expansion, Cassidy connected with the VK to seek out advice and guidance from a wide range of professionals.
I am so grateful to be a participant in the VK Accelerate Program! I felt overwhelmed at the idea of opening my own brick and mortar store but the team at Venture Kamloops connected me with knowledgeable professionals to assist me in my journey. I worked with a real estate agent, an interior designer, and even a business coach to set me up for success while opening my new storefront. Having Nicole and the VK team to mentor me while I navigated through the many challenges of expanding my business was extremely valuable and I am very grateful to have been able to participate in the Venture Kamloops Accelerate Program!
- Cassidy Watt
Brynn Hill started out as a teenager who was obsessed with the Food Network and set a 10-year goal to own her own bakery. After two successful seasons at the Kamloops regional Farmer’s Market with her business partner, Christian Andrew, and 10 years of training in the culinary field, they came to VK Accelerate program for assistance in expanding into their first storefront.
The VK program is highly recommended by Brynn's Bakery. We were able to come up with realistic goals and timelines while getting professional opinions and advice on major content in our business plan.
- Brynn Hill
Lenn Korobanik, owner of RC Nation has created a local hobby and remote-controlled shop that offers retail sales, parts and service, online shopping, and an experiential indoor racetrack rental. RC Nation adds to the Kamloops Community, a safe space to enjoy racing RC’s and a full-service retail shop to purchase additional parts and repairs so that the whole family can enjoy the sport!
Support from Venture Kamloops and the VK Accelerate program’s stable of experts was integral in launching RC Nation during a global pandemic. They want to help you too, just ask!
- Lenn Korobanik
Chelsea, owner of Fern & Frond, came to VK after relocating to Kamloops, where she learned about matching her unique products and services to the needs and desires of her specific target market. Today, Fern & Frond floral studio offers graceful seasonal floral arrangements for every day, gift giving, special occasions, weddings centerpieces and bouquets that are breathtaking.
The VK Accelerate program helped me take my growing home-based business into a retail store front. I had been writing my business plan on and off for years and VK provided me the guidance, support, and accountability to complete my plan and put it into action. I was then able to open my studio storefront in just a couple of months, and they really helped me avoid some of the common challenges first time shop owner’s encounter.
After a successful twenty-five-year career as a secondary French and English teacher, Franca embarked on a brand-new career as a notary public. She came to VK for quick access to financing, coaching, industry experts to assist with finding and leasing a suitable office space, interior design expertise, branding and marketing expertise, and on-going mentorship and advise.
The VK Accelerate program doesn’t create entrepreneurs, but it empowers them to have the greatest opportunity at success.
- Franca Muraca
Calli Duncan and Brianne Sheppard, owners of Far & Wide, officially opened shop on June 23rd, 2018 and haven’t looked back. As the first VK Accelerate program candidates, Far & Wide has become a major player in the retail industry in Kamloops, and will surely continue to see incremental success going forward.
VK Accelerate helped us realistically evaluate our business plans and create a strong foundation to build from - flushing out ideas with industry professionals was invaluable to our start-up success!
- Calli Duncan & Brianne Sheppard
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