Media Release

10 New Start-Up Businesses Launched in Kingston

For immediate release

June 14, 2021



Kingston, Ontario – June 14, 2021 – The 2021 Summer Company students have started their businesses for the summer months. The Summer Company program is funded by the Government of Ontario and delivered by Kingston Economic Development. Summer Company students not only receive hands-on business mentoring from local business leaders, but also $3,000 in funding to start their business. This year, 10 students received the Summer Company grant to start a business in Kingston.

“I’m very excited for this year’s cohort of incredibly innovative and resourceful Summer Company students. It’s amazing to see the ingenuity and creativity as we come out of months of lockdown,” says Claire Bouvier, Small Business Advisor with Kingston Economic Development Corporation. Claire is a former high school teacher, serial entrepreneur and business coach who has been delivering the program in Kingston for the past three years. “This has been one of the most competitive years for the $3,000 Summer Company grant program. I cannot wait to see these businesses create an amazing impact in Kingston’s business economy this summer.”

The Summer Company program’s selection committee and mentors consist of Kingston based entrepreneurs in various fields; Tara Tennant of Working with Tara, Josh Leavitt of Karawana Fine Dining, Brandon Royce of Journey Media, and Ksenia Knyazeva of Patriam.

The young entrepreneurs are required to attend and participate in a weekly virtual business bootcamp every Monday, where they will receive valuable insights into business start-up as well as business plan templates such as cash flow projections and business plans.

“I really like that this program gives an opportunity for young entrepreneurs to branch out and take the next step in starting a business. Many youths have creative and unique ideas but never act on them due to lack of experience. I am looking forward to learning how to start a business and learning different marketing strategies,” Darcy Zeng, Z-Paint, Summer Company Participant.

Meet The 2021 Summer Company Participants:

NXT Agency by Kassandra Greenhalgh

NXT Agency is Kingston’s newest marketing agency focused on helping businesses with their digital presence through websites, social media, branding and more. As a Queen’s Commerce student, Kassandra is ready to bring her marketing knowledge to local businesses.


1000 Island Express by Lyla Hinton

Living on an island, Lyla noticed that very few companies deliver packages directly to doors. She came up with 1000 Island Express, a delivery service to deliver packages directly to cottages, boats and houses in the Thousand Islands region.


Yasa by Liam Hough

Yasa, created by Liam Hough, is looking to bring yoga sessions at home into the future through virtual instructors driven by computer vision. Liam is doing this by creating a platform with low-cost on-demand content while giving real-time feedback on poses and providing recommendations on future sessions based on progress.


CustEM Kicks by Elliott McDermott

CustEM Kicks is a home shoe-painting business, turning plain white athletic shoes into a masterpiece worthy of any trendsetter. Designs and colour schemes can be requested to match anyone’s style, created by the owner and artist, Elliott McDermott.


KGA Line Painting by Lukas Kaufman

KGA Line Painting helps local business renovate their rundown parking lot. KGA Line Painting provides services, including sweeping, new lot layout, and re-striping existing parking lots.


Penni by Lauren Carson

Penni is an app designed to centralize local businesses such as artists, makers, and restaurants for easy shopping. Lauren’s app will bring the convenience of shopping local to the palm of your hand.


Jaz Perry Home Service by Jaz Perry

Jaz Perry Home Service specializes in three main areas: planning/approvals, maintenance/repairs, and fine woodworking/carpentry. Jaz Perry Home Services fills the gap between the everyday handyman and large-scale contractor.


Model One by Adam Tibi

Model One creates 3D printed objects to help with technological needs. In addition, Model One makes it easy and accessible to purchase blueprints for these devices so that you can make a product to your specifications.


Z-Paint by Darcy Zeng

Z-Paint, a local business specializing in online art for computers and phones like lock screens, screensaver, etc. Darcy Zeng, the artist of Z-Paint is creating each piece unique from customer specifications.



Media Contact

Nour Mazloum

Communications & Events Officer

Kingston Economic Development Corporation


[email protected]