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East Coast Startup Week gets Jump Start in Saint John

The Entrepreneurship Master Class in Saint John, March 14, 2016

SAINT JOHN – Giving budding entrepreneurs the basics was the focus of day one of East Coat Startup Week (ECSW) in Saint John.

The Port City kicked off the week with Innovators’ Jump Start Day, which aimed to squeeze as much information about creating a startup into a single business day.

“It’s kind of like a one-stop shop for people get as much information about starting a business in eight hours as possible,” said one the ECSW Saint John organizers Joanna Killen.

“We are just trying to encourage entrepreneurs to try to build their business and plan it properly so they can be as successful as possible.”

The day featured sessions covering everything from startup insurance, finances, marketing, leadership, and choosing the right business model. It also featured an Entrepreneurial Master Class featuring Saint John business notables Dominique Leger of InPursuit; Geoff Marney of BioSign; Steve Foster of Hemmings House; Terry Blizzard of Afterburn Performance Fitness and Dave Grebenc, CEO of Innovatia.

“We’re trying to cover all these different areas of entrepreneurship and not just tech,” Killen says. “There’s different levels and types of entrepreneurs so we’re trying to represent that with our panel.”

A lot of the participants who showed up on Monday had ventures well passed the “idea” phase. Alex Weaver Crawford recently moved to Saint John and she and her husband just launched a business offering custom designs for the restaurant industry called Menus Made.

“I thought it would be a really good opportunity to just test some of my ideas and get to meet other local entrepreneurs and share and swap ideas,” said Weaver Crawford.

“Because I’ve been so much into the design about how my business is going to work, you kind of forget about the peripherals. I’m really hoping to fill in and fill out my idea with the nuts and bolts about running a business.”

Though a lot of the day’s events are helpful for people who already have the ball rolling on a venture, East Coast Startup Week events are for anyone, even just the curious.

“We’re hoping to see more of the general public, because it all comes down to the fact that people don’t know we’re out there to support the startup community. Unfortunately the narrative has become ‘There’s nothing for us here. We can’t get any help,’ Killan says.

“And it’s so not true.”

Missed out today? It’s cool. You can check out the events for the rest of the week here.