Centennial Speed Mentoring event a success

The key difference between speed mentoring and speed dating is that 100% of entrepreneurs at a recent Centennial event, wanted their mentoring “dates” to continue well beyond the allotted time!

The Speed Mentoring session was held Thursday, March 16 at the College’s Fireside Gallery and hosted by Centennial staff from ACCEL, the Accelerator for Centennial Community Entrepreneurs and Leaders, which helps youth startups.

For those who are unaware, speed mentoring links up mentors and entrepreneurs for a limited time – typically 10-15 minutes – before they switch and pair up in another combination. It’s a valuable exercise as young entrepreneurs get to explain their business in a hyper-focused way, and ask succinct questions of esteemed business professionals and get important feedback.

The entrepreneur-graduates of ACCEL, comprised a diverse group of business startups, everything from the performance arts, to car detailing, eco-tourism, fitness, watch design, software solutions and more.

Kiron Clarke is CEO and founder of Athletic Showcase Inc. He helps elite student athletes garner attention from American college scouts. Sports scholarships are big business stateside, and Clarke tells us “there’s nothing like this in Canada.” He records games, then edits and packages the very best plays, setting them to music, and making a professional high-quality highlight reel. It’s basically a social media business card for budding student athletes. He tells us that he is looking to expand his business beyond his core focus – football (where he played at a collegiate level) to include Ontario hockey prospects looking to land scholarships at big northeast US colleges.

Derek Chan, founder and head Instructor at Ko Fung Martial Arts, tells us he is pursuing courses in nutrition, in order to offer a competitive advantage over similar businesses, who may only offer fitness classes rather than a range of services like self-help and diet advice.

Kumar Erramilli, Chief Technology Officer of ACTO App, an Information Technology and Services company, and recent recipient of Training Magazine’s Mobile Learning gold award, was one of the mentors on hand. He brings with him a wealth of experience developing software for the likes of Blackberry, Sick Kids, and Equitable Life. Erramilli said the “event was very energetic” and that it was “great to see the enthusiasm and the passion that the founders/entrepreneurs had…”

Mentor Mary Ellinelle Maddie, PCP, concurs. She’s an Associate Consultant, Investors Group Financial Services Inc. Ellinelle Maddie reports taht she had a “wonderful night and met very persistent and determined young entrepreneurs.” She reports being “amazed with all the ideas that just flowed out…”

The entrepreneurs all really appreciated the event, and no doubt another will be planned soon. So stay tuned.

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