July 2022 Newsletter

IN THIS NEWSLETTER Upcoming events and opportunities

Entrepreneur Spotlight – June Farnworth, Spirit Horse Therapeutic Arts

Event News: An Inspiring Impact-a-thon

In case you missed it – Recap and video link to our June Entrepreneur Ecosystem Coffee Break: Testing Your Business Idea

Calling all mentors!
How to connect with us!  UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES  On Monday, September 26, join Navigate Small Business, Memorial’s Research Innovation Office (previously known as the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office), and the Ocean Startup Project in Gros Morne for the Western Newfoundland and Labrador edition of Ocean Startup Activator.

This event is designed to help prospective and early-stage entrepreneurs, students, researchers and innovators explore and pursue business ideas in Canada’s Blue Economy. 
The Ocean Activator event will kick off with a breakfast networking session, followed by keynote speeches highlighting opportunities in the Blue Economy featuring (both TBC) Kendra MacDonald, CEO at Canada’s Ocean SuperCluster and Eric Siegel, Executive in Residence at the Ocean Startup Project’s and Chief Innovation Officer at Ocean Frontier Institute. Participants will also learn more about various resources available for business development supports regionally and nationally.
This event will take place in Norris Point.    Rock My Business Workshop Series

Aspiring entrepreneurs from across Canada can join Futurpreneur experts at the FREE Rock My Business workshop series!
Supported by RBC Future Launch, the series includes three online workshops that will help aspiring entrepreneurs begin their entrepreneurship journey:
• Rock My Business Idea: Learn how to evaluate your business idea and define next steps to move it forward.
• Rock My Business Plan: Learn the essential elements of a solid business plan and get started on your plan.
• Rock My Cash Flow: Learn how to project a realistic cash flow, including start-up costs, sales and expenses.
Additionally, participants who complete at least two of the workshops are eligible to receive a 30-minute one-on-one coaching session from a Futurpreneur Entrepreneur in Residence, helping you strengthen your idea and business plan further.
Workshops kick off the week of July 4th (TODAY)! If you know someone aged 18-39 who needs direction to develop their business idea, already has a strong business idea OR recently launched a small business that they’d like to grow, please encourage them to register today for the series! REGISTER   We Want A Fresh StartWe’re so over webinars. We crave genuine human connection, hustle, and learning. That’s why Startupfest is back in person, in all its glory, this summer.Join us in Montréal’s iconic Old Port for fresh faces, innovative ideas, prizes and investment opportunities, and remarkable mentors.Your Startupfest pass includes access to the incredible site, participation in a dozen unexpected interactions, and a seat at some of the best startup content on the planet. REGISTER   Ocean Startup Challenge OpensThe bluetech competition will award $750K to early-stage companies.

Applications have opened for the third Ocean Startup Challenge, which will offer idea- and early-stage bluetech startups up to $40,000 each, as well as specialized training, mentorship, networking, and events. Organized by the Ocean Startup Project, the Ocean Startup Challenge is a program that provides funding and mentorship to early-stage oceantech startups. Each year, it awards development capital to dozens of emerging companies with the goal of building out the pipeline of Canadian bluetech companies. This year, it will award a total of $750,000. “In just a few short years, we have seen the Canadian ocean startup ecosystem blossom, and that’s thanks to a country that is awakening to the incredible opportunities that exist for innovation in the blue economy,” said Ocean Startup Project Director Don Grant in a statement. “We want to continue building on the success we have seen from past Challenge winners by creating more new ocean startups and empowering founders to explore and pursue unique ocean tech solutions that will make a significant impact in Canada and around the world.” The Ocean Startup Challenge began in 2020 and helps turn entrepreneurial ideas or technology into viable businesses.Organizers said that since 2020, more than $1.4 million in funding has been provided to 43 teams through the first two cohorts of the Startup Challenge.The upcoming program, which is open to pre-revenue companies with no institutional investment so far, will run until March 2023.You can apply here. The deadline to apply is Sept. 1.In the past two years, the Ocean Startup Challenge has supported 43 startups with more than $1.6 million in funds. These companies now employ more than 70 people and have raised about $8.5 million in equity investment. APPLY NOW  NAVIGATE ENTREPRENEUR SPOTLIGHT  This month’s Navigate Entrepreneur Spotlight features Spirit Horse Therapeutic Arts, a gallery, studio, and museum offering art exhibits, workshops and gift shop. The centre will feature art, music, history and culture with local handmade products. The gift shop will have high quality arts and crafts, original reproduction works that are locally produced. Navigate asked owner and artist, June Farnworth, to tell a bit about her new centre, which opened its doors on July 1.
Navigate: Why did you decide to start your business?
JF: Originally from Nova Scotia, I grew up surrounded by the Bay of Fundy and St. Mary’s Bay. My love of the ocean, nature and animals has led me to pursue the arts. As I pursued my passion, I fell in love with Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador’s rugged beauty, geology, wildlife, history and culture. I am a self-taught artist, capturing images through the lens of my camera and art storytelling of the history and culture of a place, its people and the environment they live in. I wanted to create a centre where I could pursue my passion for music, art history and culture. With the help of many knowledge keepers from my community, my son, who is an amazing artist, women entrepreneurs, NLowe, and Navigate’s entrepreneurship course, I decided to open at the Women’s Institute in Port au Choix and change careers.
Navigate: How will it serve the needs of people in your area?
JF: Spirit Horse Therapeutic Arts Centre will tell stories through music, art, history and storytelling. It will also provide the community with another business to shop, do workshops, create and connect.
Navigate: Why is entrepreneurism important?
JF: Entrepreneurism is important to rural communities to have a strong economic and vibrant economy. Finding the balance between sustainable renewable resources while making a decent living has always been a challenge. Living in remote rural areas people have become resilient living off their own resources and have a strong cultural interconnective structure towards community, family and business.
Navigate: Any advice for those who may be considering embarking on a new business venture?
JF: Do your research, educate yourself and surround yourself with a good team. Sometimes what you think may work doesn’t or takes lots of twists and turns before you get on the right path. Don’t give up! Have a good solid business plan but be flexible and creative for it to grow and change. Surround yourself with good people from your community, family and people in business. They will help you give you good advice when times get tough and cheer you on when you succeed. Most of all, do it because you love what you do and you want to make a difference.
Navigate: Anything else you’d like to share?
JF: Spirit Horse Therapeutic Arts Centre opened July 1 at the Women’s Institute in Port au Choix. Studio Hours are Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.    My son and I are working on an exhibit of the first floating fish plant. This is his digital art drawing of the plant. The first floating fish plant, as seen here, was towed to Port au Choix to process fish. It was the first job outside of the home that women had. This gave women their independence. So my son and I, along with Stella, the president of the women’s institute and an amazing storyteller, are working to tell the story of this unique piece of our province’s history.  EVENT NEWS   Making an impact: Event participants make social enterprise pitchesThe first Community Impact-a-thon Challenge was hosted recently at Grenfell Campus by Navigate (Grenfell Campus and CNA-Corner Brook) and Memorial’s Centre for Social Enterprise. 
The event consisted of community workshops and consultations over a three-day period.

“We would like to thank the many brave participants who showed up and threw their social enterprise hearts and ideas into the ring!” said Navigate manager Allison Rowe. “Hats off to the six teams who pitched their business ideas – their passion for making a difference in our communities was inspiring!” 

The first-place prize of $1000 went to Jessie Donaldson, whose social enterprise “Art with Jessie” is described as “paying art forward to make art accessible and inclusive for children and persons facing socioeconomic challenges.” 

Roshayne Mendis took the $750 second-place prize for “Tea Cup NL, “sharing tea culture for connection, wellness and a greener environment, one cup at a time.”   

And Marcia Huyer and Robert Hengeveld took third place and $500 for “Cloud Factory,” an artist run organization fostering, facilitating and promoting art, culture and creative exploration in Western NL.

Other teams who competed include: Corner Brook Farmers Market – Gayathri Murugan and Abayomi Taiwo Spirit Horse Therapeutic Arts – Gallery, Gift Shop and Artist’s Gathering Place – June Farnsworth (Opening soon on Fisher Street in Port au Choix! Come see June’s beautiful artwork inspired by the land and its diverse peoples.)Fresh and Healthy Juice Bar – Indeewari Bandara”We also would like to thank our speakers, discussion hosts, mentors and judges who graciously volunteered their time to inspire and guide our participants to be the change they want to see in our communities,” said Ms. Rowe, adding that events like this would not be possible without the hard work and dedication of the many hands behind the scenes who made it all possible.
Speakers and special guests included: Renee Pilgrim (GNP Health and Wellness, and GNP Collective Health) who delivered the keynote address about the great work happening in the health and wellness sector on the Great Northern Peninsula and in the Bonne Bay areaPresenters and discussion hosts who shared stories about opportunities for rural sustainability in food security, arts & tourism, Indigenous communities, green economy and tech, housing, health and social wellness including Josh Smee (Food First NL), Pamela Gill (TNL), Chief Peggy White (Three Rivers Mi’kmaq Band), John Davis (Qalipu Development Corporation), Steve Gaulton (Community Mental Health Initiative), and Louise Gauthier (CB Nuit)Barry Lewis Green from Epic Engage for his motivational session that kick-started the Saturday morning by challenging participants to define who their heroes are, ask themselves what values drive their personal desire for social change, and use those unique passions and gifts to help tackle the world’s social problems big and smallMentors and judges Josh Smee (Food First NL), Louise Gauthier (CB Nuit), Carla May (NLOWE), Denise Gibbons (Navigate Board, and CNA) and Dr. Gillian Morrissey (CSE), who had the daunting task of deliberating and choosing the pitch winners! Event sponsors and funders included the Fry Family Foundation, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Provincial Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Industry, Energy and Technology. “The Centre for Social Enterprise is thrilled to have worked with Navigate and Grenfell Campus on this wonderful event,” said Dr. Gillian Morrissey, manager of Memorial’s Centre for Social Enterprise. “We look forward to collaborating on more social enterprise and social innovation-focused activities for the western and Great Northern Peninsula regions of the island in the future. Thank you to all who participated, our guests, funders, sponsors and volunteers for helping us make the Community Impact-a-thon a huge success!”

Learn more about social enterprise from the Centre for Social Enterprise and Navigate.    IN CASE YOU MISSED IT  June Entrepreneur Ecosystem Coffee Break – Testing Your Business Idea
So, what does it mean to test or validate your business idea?

Idea validation is the process of testing and validating your business idea prior to launching your business name, tagline, product, service or website. This is like the research and development process big companies use to test product ideas before they’re released to the general public. It is an important step in the business development process.
As entrepreneurship guru Steve Blank put it, “No business plan survives first contact with customers so use a business model canvas.”
On June 23rd, we chatted with aspiring entrepreneurs about the many tools that exist to help test a business idea, new product or service prior to going to market to help save time, money and avoid costly mistakes. We also heard from seasoned entrepreneurs who shared their experiences and wisdom and who have relied on these tools to guide them in starting and growing successful businesses. A huge thank you to Mark Tierney, Economic Development Officer with ACOA, for sharing his insights based on both his many years of experience supporting local entrepreneurs and his personal entrepreneurship endeavours.

Watch the video now to learn more!
Some of the key tools and resources we discussed included:
A one-page business plan template to help you deconstruct your business idea into its key assumptions using 9 basic building blocks. Created by Ash Maurya, it is a quick and simple way to develop and validate a business model.
lean-canvas-powerpoint-template.pptx (
For information on how to use the Lean Canvas visit: 
Lean Canvas | LEANSTACK
Build Your Lean Canvas – Techstars Entrepreneur’s Toolkit
Create a new Lean Canvas – Canvanizer

A one-page tool to help you understand your business in a clear, structured way by breaking it down into 9 basic building blocks. Created by Alexander Osterwalder, it is a quick and simple way to visualize and communicate the fundamental elements of a validated business.
Business Model Canvas – Download the Official Template (
For information on how to use the Business Model Canvas visit:
Business Model Canvas Explained – YouTube 

A tool to help ensure a fit between your products/services and what customers actually value and need.
Value Proposition Canvas – Download the Official Template (
Value Proposition Canvas Explained: 
Strategyzer’s Value Proposition Canvas Explained – YouTube

Having trouble coming up with your value proposition? The Value Prop Adlib tool can help.
Value Proposition Adlib | Reason Street

At the heart of any new startup validation is the MVP! An MVP is a prototype to test the core of your product idea or the biggest assumption in your business model. It is usually inexpensive and easy to apply, having just enough features to be usable by early customers who can provide feedback for future product development.
Minimum Viable Product (MVP) – Business Model Toolbox (
MVP Explained: What is a Minimum Viable Product? – YouTube

For more fillable online canvases including Product-Market-Fit Canvas, SWOT Analysis, HR Innovation Canvas, Pitch Planner Canvas, Decision Making Canvas and many more useful tools visit:
Choose Canvas – Canvanizer
We also had a number of aspiring and new entrepreneurs and support organizations join us in June to connect and to highlight their businesses and programs including: Entrepreneurs
Dafna Ziv, AR Management and Business Consulting Services, St. John’s
Dafna is a registered CCP specializing in cash flow and accounts receivables.  You can reach her via email at

Janet Davis, GREENleaf Cleaners, AB and NL
An Alberta-based business with family and business ties in NL, taking great pride in providing a GREEN, fresh, clean, inviting environment for your staff and clients! For details visit:
Justin McCarthy, Opus Men’s Group, Benoit’s Cove
Military veteran serving and guiding men on their journey to wellness via a men’s circle offering guided practices for mindfulness and grounding, breath work, visioning sessions, and sharing of stories and experience for improved wellbeing, support and connectivity. Connect with Justin @newfoundawakening on Gmail: 
Instagram: @newfoundawakening
Mireille Sampson, User-Friendly web Design, Corner Brook
Mireille is a UX Designer and Webflow Developer who recently moved back to Western NL from the UK to launch her new website design business. For details, contact Mireille at or visit
Mohammad Chehreh Ghani, Atlantic Canada Student Immigration Services (ACSIS), Corner Brook
Mo has been busy working with team ACSIS to launch this new business providing services and social media to promote international student immigration to Atlantic Canada. Stay tuned for more information as this business takes flight! To learn more, contact Mo at
Viv Wright, Aspiring Entrepreneur
Exploring opportunities in the Blue Economy including in coastal/maritime recreation.
Support Organizations

Mark Tierney, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Corner Brook
Mark is available to speak to entrepreneurs about funding opportunities available from ACOA. He can be reached at or 709-632-2749.
For more information on programs and services visit:

Thank you again to everyone who attended this session! We will be taking a short break over the summer, but we look forward to connecting with you again in the fall. Have a great summer!

Carole and Allison VIDEO LINK  Navigate is recruiting mentors!

Eligibility Criteria and Expectations:Looking for mentors with 5+ years entrepreneurship experience or 10+ years corporate experience in a pivotal roleAvailable to work with an entrepreneur mentee for a minimum of 4 hours per monthWilling to work with a mentee to set goals and expectations in addition to providing knowledge, advice, networking connections, etc.Agree to provide feedback and updates to Navigate Manager on the progress of the mentee and goals and targets attainedFor more information, contact Allison Rowe at to become a mentor with Navigate.   
Navigate Small Business
Navigate Small Business

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