Media Release


For immediate release
August 6, 2020

Program offers young entrepreneurs training and $27,000 Grants

Kingston, Ontario, August 6, 2020 – The 2020 Summer Company students have started their businesses for the summer months. The Summer Company program is funded by the Government of Ontario and Kingston Economic Development has been helping students between the ages of 15 – 29 to start and run their own business since 2001. Summer Company students not only receive hands-on business mentoring from local business leaders, but also $3,000 in funding to make their dream job a reality. This year 9 students received the Summer Company grant to start a business in Kingston.

“It is refreshing to see the passion that the students have when they talk about their plans for their summer business during these unprecedented times,” says Claire Bouvier, Small Business Advisor with Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “It is great seeing all the energy about starting a business among the participants and how they’re pivoting their ideas to be able to work during the pandemic. We are eager to see where these students take their business ideas in the future.”

This year, the Summer Company program’s selection committee and mentors consist of local entrepreneurs in various fields; Brandy Wright of ChewMarks, Ben Bowen of Open Door Media, Niki Hodgskiss of Venture Food Trucks, Danielle McAllister of Rebellious Clove, and Kelly Gardiner from Business Development Bank of Canada.

“The process of developing a business plan and making a video pitch felt a little like I was an aspiring Dragons' Den entrepreneur!  Learning along with others, and hearing about their ideas and experiences is a neat aspect of Summer Company,” says, Mikayla McFarlane, Summer Company grant recipient. “Our bootcamp instructor, tailored our learning to our specific products or services - making the learning very personally valuable, and giving us ideas we could implement right away. Summer Company has really introduced me to the great supports there are within Kingston if a young person wants to start their own business.”

2020 Summer Company Participants:

Kingston Wholesalers by Alexey Makarov
Kingston Wholesalers is an online platform that sells and advertises for local businesses and their products.

MaskEra by Gabriela Cruz
MaskEra is a company that resales pandemic response products such as non-Medical-Grade custom face mask (disposable and reusable), custom reusable bandana and branded face shield.

The Safe-Box by Ibrahim Kettaneh
The Safe-box is a smart mailbox that not only connects to the owner’s digital technology, but it can also sanitize parcels and shelter them - protecting the household from recontamination, and the parcels from weather damage or porch theft. Through disinfecting parcels, the Safe-box is useful for households to combat Coronavirus and post-pandemic worries of the increasing risk of viruses and bacteria, giving households an effective protection measure and peace of mind.

Volleyball Backboard Trainer by Mikayla McFarlane
The Volleyball Backboard Trainer (VBT) allows a player to train on their own by hitting a volleyball against a 4' x 4' solid wood surface, and having the volleyball return in an arc. The VBT's adjustable angles allow players to practice all skills required in a volleyball game through drills and self-rally.

Custom Designs by Hector Perez
Due to the demand of businesses going online, Hector Perez will be offering affordable and professional videography and photography for businesses that need to create and/or update their online websites, social platforms and e-commerce stores.

Love Human Madness by Ryan Muharrem
Love Human Madness is a unique multimedia, multi-platform brand experience. This company spreads messages of equality and understanding but also provides entertainment with educational value through the podcast format.

AZ Productions by Aiden Zabukovec
AZ Productions is a videography company that specializes in capturing video for companies, musicians and athletes. Their video footage tells a story about a business, musicians and athletes. With quality video and creative editing styles, AZ Productions provides recaps of music artists, fitness studios and young athletes looking to be recruited for post secondary schools.

Z.B. Baits by Zachary Baker
Z.B. Baits produces and sells soft plastic fishing baits at local shops in eastern Ontario. 

Squeaky Clean Horses by Gwen Griffith
Squeaky Clean Horses is a company that specializes in cleaning horses particularly for the SETHJA Horse Shows.


Media Contact: 
Nour Mazloum
Communications & Events Officer 
Kingston Economic Development Corporation 
[email protected]

About Kingston Economic Development Corporation 
Kingston Economic Development Corporation is focused on building a strong community and supporting Kingston’s thriving economy. Its mission is to provide dynamic and collaborative leadership by leveraging Kingston's unique assets to create jobs and investments in order to sustain, grow, and transform Kingston's economy to meet the needs of the 21st century.