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  • Start-Up Strategies event provides platform for young entrepreneurs
    Posted March 30th, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Start-Up Strategies on March 23

    Young Professionals Windsor and Odette Commerce Society at the University of Windsor brought entrepreneurship to the forefront during Start-Up Strategies on Wednesday, March 23 at Odette School of Business.

    Guest speaker Diane Malenfant of WindsorEssex Small Business Centre educated 25 post-secondary students and young professionals about the benefits of business ownership, financing options and government programs to help budding entrepreneurs.

    Attendees also shared their start-up questions and pitched their business ideas to the audience.

    Young Professionals Windsor wishes to thank Diane Malenfant and attendees for making this a successful night, as well as to Odette Commerce Society for providing the meeting space and promoting the event.

    Look out on YPWindsor’s website, Facebook page and Twitter for details about our April event! Click on our Gallery Page for photos of the event!

    If you are interested in becoming involved with YPWindsor, send an e-mail to members@ypwindsor.com.

    Connect. Lead. Succeed.
    Young Professionals Windsor

  • New business incubator ready to spur growth in Windsor-Essex
    Posted March 25th, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Building a business involves more than an idea and passion.

    Many people, young entrepreneurs especially, struggle to bring their products to market because they lack the necessary start-up funds. Business incubators can help start-ups by providing access to funding, community support and expert advice.

    Several business incubators are in the works for this region and one, Odette Project for Technology, Innovation and Commercialization, Virtual Incubator (OPTIC VI) at the University of Windsor, has launched and is now accepting applications from start-ups and entrepreneurs.

    The project’s mission is to help promote local business growth by awarding up to $5,000 to high potential start-ups or individuals with great business ideas. OPTIC plans to assist 50 to 60 enterprises with funds provided by Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Trade.

    A start-up is an individual or company who has been in business for less than three years and who has an idea for a product or service that is still seeking a business model for commercialization. The start-up must have less than $25,000 in total revenues, and the company must be located in Windsor-Essex.

    OPTIC is accepting applications to cover start-up expenses including legal, research and development, financial consulting and marketing.

    Visit opticvi.com for more information and an application form or call 519-253-3000, ext. 3142.

  • Event Recap: Attracting & Retaining Creative Talent in Windsor
    Posted March 17th, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I had the pleasure of participating in a panel discussion recently on behalf of Young Professionals Windsor regarding the issue of keeping creative and innovative professionals in Windsor-Essex.

    Great discussion was generated by the panelists and audience members. It was refreshing to hear from other people and organizations in Windsor-Essex, who are invested in empowering the creative industries and creating economic opportunities for these professionals.

    The panel, held on March 3, was co-hosted by WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation, WEtech Alliance and Workforce WindsorEssex as part of their efforts to engage people working in creative industries.

    A great recap of the event can be found on OurWindsor.ca. The article features an audio track of the panel session, as well as a link to a video produced by Workforce WindsorEssex.

    What’s your thoughts on the creative class in Windsor-Essex? What can be done to bring these workers together and creating an economy that supports their activities?

    Connect. Lead. Succeed.
    Young Professionals Windsor

  • Learn business basics at Start-Up Strategies!
    Posted March 15th, 2011 at 3:42 pm

    Young Professionals Windsor and the Odette Commerce Society at the University of Windsor are proud to present Start-Up Strategies on March 23!

    The event will feature speaker Diane Malenfant of WindsorEssex Small Business Centre. Diane will speak about the requirement for starting your own business and the number of government programs and funding opportunities available for young entrepreneurs!

    Budding entrepreneurs will also enjoy a bit of networking, Q&A session and a chance to share their start-up experiences and ideas with attendees!

    REGISTER for the event online at Eventbrite or through our events calendar!

    What to expect!

    • Find out how to register your business
    • Receive info about government programs and funding for young entrepreneurs
    • Learn about services at WindsorEssex Small Business Centre
    • Have a start-up question? Receive advice and network with other entrepreneurs during a Q&A session
    • 5-minute Presenters: Come up and share your start-up stories and ideas with fellow entrepreneurs!

    Event details!

    • When: Wednesday, March 23, 2011
    • Time: 7 – 9 p.m.
    • Where: Room 210 Odette School of Business,
      University of Windsor, 401 Sunset Ave.
    • Cost: $5 general public (payable at the door)
      FREE for YPWindsor and Commerce Society members

    E-mail events@ypwindsor.com for more information.

    Connect. Lead. Succeed.
    Young Professionals Windsor

  • 7 Networking blunders … and how to avoid them!
    Posted March 8th, 2011 at 1:31 pm

    Networking definitely has its advantages, but many people feel awkward doing it. Avoid feeling foolish and make the most of your connections by keeping these simple steps in mind at your next networking event!

    View the full article by Kelly Eggers (kelly.eggers@dowjones.com) on The Wall Street Journal.

    1. Don’t arrive late.
    2. To make things easier on yourself, time your arrival so you can maximize the interactions you’re most interested in having.

    3. Don’t just stand there.
    4. This is not the time to wait around for people to approach you. You need to work the room—even if you’re on the shy side. There are ways to step outside your comfort zone and avoid awkwardness.

    5. Don’t feel like you need to talk to everyone.
    6. As a budding business owner or executive, you might enter a networking event with a “more the merrier” mentality when it comes to making new connections. However, it might be advantageous to take a “less is more” stance instead.

      Instead of going to a networking event and grabbing 40 business cards in two hours, speak with fewer people for a longer period of time. This way, you’ll leave networking events energized by new, true connections rather than tuckered out from meeting too many people.

    7. Don’t come unprepared.
    8. Once a new contact tells you what they’re specifically looking for in terms of products or services, you need to be ready to tell them how your specific experience lines up with their needs.

      Your goal isn’t to hard-sell them right then and there—instead, it should be to get them interested in you and what you have to offer. To do that, you need to be prepared with an understanding of what everyone from an investor to a potential client will need, and be armed with the most relevant, useful information to show that you have a solution that works for them.

    9. Don’t forget the big picture.
    10. The bottom line is that, once you leave a networking event, you want the contacts and connections you’ve made to follow up with you and your services in the future.

      You’re trying to maintain the image of your company, and if you’re not prepared to answer detailed questions that cover the ins and outs of what you have to offer, or if you can’t offer it to them in a timely manner, they’ll move on—fast—to someone who can.

    11. Don’t try to multi-task.
    12. Within the first few minutes of meeting someone new, you probably don’t whip out a notebook to write down what they’re saying—and that should be a rule for networking events, as well. Instead of being distracted by a pen and paper, focus intently on the conversation you’re having. After you’ve grabbed a business card and stepped away, jot down a few things that will help you jog your memory when you follow up with them later.

    13. Don’t forget to follow up.
    14. Within 48 hours of your first meeting, you should email a note that pinpoints the most important parts of your earlier conversation, so your contact remembers who you are specifically. A timely turnaround will show that you’re both interested and available to continue the conversation.

    Connect. Lead. Succeed.
    Young Professionals Windsor

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