He’s at it again
The 1-800-GOT-JUNK franchise has long been a hugely successful trash-hauling enterprise. About a year ago, its founder, Brian Scudamore, launched a new franchising venture known as 1-888-WOW-1DAY, where a surge of painters converge on a home to paint the whole place in a day.
Mr. Scudamore has recently launched what he hopes will be another disruptive force, this time taking aim at the moving industry. You Move Me rolled out more than 25 franchises on May 1. “Our goal is to make a challenging time almost fun, by offering a moving experience that’s based solely on the customer experience,” Mr. Scudamore says in a press release.
He adds he was inspired to start the service after he was “let down” by movers he had hired. You Move Me offers “complimentary morning coffees, clear arrival windows, a housewarming plant as a post-move gift, and unexpectedly high standards of customer service,” the press release adds.
The franchises offer a one-time travel fee, which covers protection, assembly and disassembly, and a wardrobe service. But for some reason, this time there’s no catchy phone number.
Atlantic provinces score regional VC fund
In 2010, Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter had the idea to create a regional venture capital fund for the Atlantic provinces. On Tuesday came the launch of Build Ventures, a privately managed fund seeking investment opportunities. The Halifax-based fund will be managed by Patrick Keefe and Rob Barbara. Mr. Keefe has more than 15 years of investment and entrepreneurial experience, and Mr. Barbara is also a seasoned investment manager. “Build Ventures will concentrate on making Series A investments,” according to a press release. “These are investments made in companies that are early stage yet have an established business model, a solid team, a large target market, and some revenue generation, and now need ramp-up capital.” Nova Scotia made a $15-million commitment, and other investors include New Brunswick ($15 million), PEI ($2.5 million), BDC Venture Capital ($10 million), Moncton-based Technology Venture Corp. ($5 million), and the fund managers themselves ($1 million).
Business intersects with charity
Three entrepreneurs have launched I Have Hope In The Fight Against AIDS, a charity that manages Hope In The Fight Productions, which develops content for non-profit organizations. While the charity is trying to rally youth in the fight against AIDS, the production arm asks businesses to make charitable investments in it, and says any profits will be donated on investors’ behalfs to the charity, for which they get a tax receipt. The founders claim the business side is generating revenue, but they are trying to raise $57,000 to help it grow. So far, $17,700 in capital contributions have been received. A short video was produced to help explain the model.
EVENTS AND KEY DATES
Want to talk crowdfunding?
On June 11, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) is hosting a roundtable to examine how investors can help small businesses raise funds, Advisor.ca reports. Options that allow greater flexibility, such as crowdfunding, will be discussed, with an eye on ways to sufficiently protect investors. Are you interested in making these types of investments? RSVP by email to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 6. A brief presentation will be followed by an open discussion, running from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., on the 22nd floor of 20 Queen St. W. in Toronto.
Commerce meets creativity
The annual C2-MTL conference takes place in Montreal from May 21 to 23. The aim is to explore the relationship between commerce and creativity, and its potential to redefine business. The “smorgasbord of non-traditional experiences,” includes speakers, exhibitions, workshops, a creativity boot camp and evening festivities. The “innovation village” in which it takes place is “designed specifically to enhance the C2-MTL experience.”
EDITOR’S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS
How to best make use of capital
Business is good for privately held Williams and White Machine Inc. In the past two years the company has almost doubled in size, to about 45 employees from 25. But one of the company’s biggest challenges is how best to use its capital. “There’s a limited resource of funds,” the CEO says.
FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES
Attract and retain talent
For many small businesses, ensuring a steady flow of revenue falls to the sales team. The challenge, then, is to first attract, then retain, top-notch talent in the face of competition.
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