Media Release

Local Companies Benefit From $70,000 Micro-Investment

For immediate release
April 21, 2020

Local Companies Benefit From $70,000 Micro-Investment
Training, mentorship, and funding for small businesses

Kingston, Ontario, April 21, 2020 — Kingston Economic Development Corporation announces 14 successful recipients of $5,000 grants from the first intake of the Province’s Starter Company Plus program. 

Starter Company Plus is offered through Kingston Economic Development Corporation with funding from the Government of Ontario. The program is designed to provide training for business owners who are launching or have been in business for less than five years. The program provides an opportunity to pitch for up to $5,000 to support business operations.

Ian Murdoch, Business Development Officer – Business Retention & Expansion said, “I’ve been thoroughly impressed by the dedication to process, openness to learn and engagement through the program. Looking back over the years it’s amazing what businesses in the Kingston and surrounding area have benefitted from the Starter Company Program to date. Looking forward to welcoming a new batch of entrepreneurs this season.”

Twenty-four participants attended a week long business bootcamp, where they received valuable insights into business start-up and expansion as well as business templates such as cash flow projections and business plans.

The business training was facilitated by Andrew Patricio, owner and founder of BizLaunch, who has trained over 100,000 entrepreneurs worldwide. They also work with small business owners who are thinking about starting a business, preparing to launch or currently running one. BizLaunch uses experienced small business owners to train, advise, and coach entrepreneurs.

Claire Bouvier, Small Business Advisor with Kingston Economic Development stated, “They were very energetic and passionate about what they did and it was fascinating to see them grow and evolve from the boot camp to the pitch day. The industry panel had a hard time choosing just 14 people to receive the funding. I am so excited to see these businesses grow in the community over the next year.”

The participants pitched their business plans before a panel of judges that consisted: Laura Brown, Royal Bank of Canada; Zeke Cox, Business Development Bank of Canada; Jason Howes, HollisWealth; Lindsay Neilsen, Lucidity Co.; and Joshua O’Reilly, Invest Ottawa.

Julia Finnegan, a participant in the program said, “I think the strongest aspect for me of this program is the motivational aspect. For people who are advocates for themselves, it’s difficult at times to find the motivation to strive for greatness. This boot camp instills that in you.”

There will be two Starter Company Plus offerings in spring and fall of 2020. Kingston Economic Development Corporation is now accepting applications for the spring intake. Visit to learn more.

Meet the new successful Starter Company Plus applicants:

Red Gold of Afghanistan by Mustafa Ansari

Red Gold of Afghanistan is a social enterprise that aims to empower women farmers in Afghanistan through cultivating, processing, marketing and selling of premium Afghani Saffron to international markets like Canada. Their products include premium grade ‘A’ saffron threads available in 1g bottles, which can be used in making a number of food and drink products such as saffron tea, risotto, saffron rice, etc.

Research Stream by Brooke Resendes

Despite global recruitment expenditures exceeding $5.2 billion each year, 86 per cent of clinical trails are delayed or canceled due to issues with participant recruitment. Research Stream is a web platform and service that connects researchers and participants for human subject research. Their mission is to accelerate medical and scientific breakthroughs by engaging participant communities. By introducing technology into the research recruitment process, they are making it easier for researchers to find the participants they need to hit their recruitment goals. For participants, Research Stream is an easy to use, centralized platform where they can explore research opportunities that interest them

Ready to Root by Lindsey Willison

Ready to Root assembles and packages kits for intimacy and sexual wellness. These kits are typically for camping trips, a night out, or whenever and wherever the mood strikes. To start, the kits will be sold online, directly to consumers. Eventually, Ready to Root will start selling the kits at outdoors stores, tour buses, etc. There are two types of kits available. Each kit will contain a condom, personal lubricant packet as well as a personal hygiene wipe. There are various amounts of other products depending on the kit.

SignAble Vi5ion by Leah Riddell

SignAble Vi5ion is run and owned by Leah Riddell, an Inclusion Consultant and Advisor. SignAble Vi5ion guides businesses and their employees toward creating cultures of knowledge and respect for the hearing impaired/signing community. They provide customized education, workshops, and tools on hearing impaired inclusion, culture, and the American Sign Language community. They also provide assessment and support services.

Frenchies by Christopher Charlebois

Frenchies is a traditional chip truck with exceptional local products with daily specials. Frenchies will be geared towards a quick stop for a drive in/out experience or a quick seat with friends and family in the sun. The chip truck will also offer locals and cottagers dinner sized options that are affordable. 

Doppl Inc. by Erik Koning

Doppl Inc. builds long-range sensors for smart city applications. Their first product is a zero energy waste monitoring sensor, capable of fill-level, odour, and fire detection. Using Doppl’s software application, city officials can create an optimized vehicle route sending garbage trucks only to bins that are full. Their solution makes cities cleaner, smarter, while reducing waste collection costs by 30 per cent. By leveraging their network, Doppl sensors are perfect for all environments. 

Kelly’s Gourmet Mushrooms by Darin Kelly

Kelly’s Gourmet Mushrooms is a small gourmet mushroom farm, growing shiitake, blue oyster, and lion’s mane mushrooms, and creating at-home mushrooms growing kits for sale to restaurants, grocery stores, and farmer’s markets in the area as well as some distribution to Ottawa and Prince Edward County through Findlay Foods. Currently, the farm operates out of a small indoor facility on Wolfe Island, and produce approximately 350 lbs of mushrooms per week. They also provide tours and education, where visitors are shown the growing process from beginning to end and able to purchase mushrooms and growing kits on site.

Grapnel Security Systems by Gregory Losier

Grapnel Security Systems is a security consultancy specializing in training, exercise design/delivery, executive leadership and management, security, resource protection, risk assessment and business continuity. Their company helps identify corporate security culture and how it is practiced.

J & J Landscaping by Jordan Saunders

J & J Landscaping is a landscape and construction business. Their services include retaining wall construction, landscape maintenance, excavation, snow plowing, salt/sanding, etc. They also do garbage removal, tree removal, tree and shrub installation, rototilling, basement water proofing, lawn rolling/aeration, post-hole digging for fencing, etc.

CT & Associates by Chris Duncan

CT & Associates is an independent sales contractor for Wasau Tile and it’s two product divisions Tectur Designs and Wasusmade. Their product lines offer interior flooring finishes including terrazzo tile, precast terrazzo and sintered stone products. Their exterior lines offer concrete pavers, snow melt panel systems, custom precast concrete, site furnishings and exterior building facades.

Nufuuds by Karthik Koppuravuri

Nufuuds prides itself on creating sustainable, delicious, and nutrient rich products made from the world’s oldest smallest superfood, algae. They began with a 4-month consumer research study to validate algae as a food source, which is currently labeled as a health food product and not a main source of food. They are going to market with THE IMPACT Bar – a plant-based nutrient rich bar made with algae. 

HeroHub by Marina Radovanovic

HeroHub is a charitable ecosystem that creates a greater social impact, by connecting individuals with charities, non-profits, and other opportunities with five innovative tools. For less than a dollar a day, HeroHub provides a way for charities and non-profits to easily, conveniently, and affordably market their organization and opportunities to individuals in the community. HeroHub is a subscription-based, SaaS company.

Skippers by Janet Fowlow

Skippers Take Out and Catering is located in the Royal Kingston Curling Club. They will be providing food services to the 650 members at the Club, while becoming the premier caterer at the Royal Kingston Curling Club. With the intent to provide off site catering services to the community.

Wrapture by Kado Serri-Charette

Wrapture is a newly locally owned and operated Vehicle Wrap, Paint Protection Film, Window Tint and decal provider to the Kingston and surrounding area. They offer top quality installs and only use high quality materials. They believe in constantly learning new techniques, being on top of the latest trends in the market including new material, new equipment or tools and new ways to install so that they can offer the best value to their clients. Wrapture is a family oriented business, offering old school values and new school trends.


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.