by Ramneek Purewal and Lisa Zhu If you’ve ever helped plan a wedding, you’ve probably witnessed some of the turmoil that comes with picking out color schemes, going to food tastings and trying to find the perfect cake on a budget. Some can spend a whole year going through the agonizing planning process, which is time consuming, stressful and expensive for the bride, groom and … Continue reading Evented: Taking the Planning Out Of Weddings
by Ben Kostiuk I recently spent my Saturday attending the Cappsule Tribe Conference at the Garneau Theatre in Edmonton on May 28th. Despite my cynical reservations, as it describes itself as an “un-conference” and “Millennial as ****,” this networking and entrepreneurial connected me with similarly driven people and changed my attitude towards building a resume and achieving future ambitions. Indeed, too often I look for … Continue reading Thoughts From Cappsule Tribe’s UnConference: Defining & Measuring Success
There seems to be a saying going on right now: “If you can’t find a job, make one.” More students are looking to their creative side to start business ventures and pursue careers where they can be their own boss. But going from an idea to a solid business plan is no cake walk; a lot of blood, sweat, and tears are shed by these students along … Continue reading How to Successfully Pitch Your Idea | By Juanita Gnanapragasam
Startups seem so glamorous these days, don’t they? We have all read the familiar narrative of an awkward twenty-something tucked away in his dorm, hacking on the next million dollar, or if he’s lucky, billion dollar platform that is sure to disrupt an entire industry. We see headlines of some of the most outrageous startup ideas being funded and achieving astronomical valuations pre-profit. Throw in Oscar nominated … Continue reading The Startup Grind: My Year in Review | By Neha Kumari
It’s rather obvious that regulatory barriers, taxes, and legal hurdles are no friend of the aspiring entrepreneur. The challenge of creating a product from scratch and building a successful company from nothing is more than strenuous enough without the added burden of tax and regulatory compliance. At best, a lot of entrepreneurs ignore the government and operate as if it doesn’t exist; at worst, many entrepreneurs … Continue reading 3 Worthwhile Government Resources Your Company Isn’t Taking Advantage Of | By Nenad Dumanovic
A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Startup Edmonton’s 5th Annual Launch Party, where each year 10 up and coming startup companies in Edmonton are featured. This year the list included:
This year’s event was held at the EPCOR Tower, a pristine new business venue in Edmonton. As a nursing student attending business events in my semester off, I was glowing with excitement. Just as we were walking in, we ran into Mayor Don Iveson, looking dapper, and exceptionally approachable, as always. Already a great start to an impressive event! The venue was filled with a mix of students, investors and business professionals eager to learn more about these exciting new companies.
The night started with opening speeches from representatives of Startup Edmonton, the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation (EEDC) and the Mayor. Derek Hudson from EEDC spoke about igniteedmonton.com, a new website to support entrepreneurship in Edmonton, and for customers and partners to discover local businesses. The Mayor spoke to our city’s emerging economy, and acknowledged the creativity of these startups. Edmonton is rapidly changing: 40% of new jobs in the country were created in Edmonton. “People are starting to take notice of Edmonton and recognize that it is the best place to take a risk and create something,” the Mayor concluded.
The opening pitches from each company gave a brief introduction of what they were all about. However, I wanted to get to know a little more about some of these companies and how they started. Time was limited, so I went straight to the companies that caught my attention the most.
Pogo Carshare officially launched that night. Pogo is a locally-based company that allows Edmontonians to use Pogo cars in their area. I talked to James Kwan, a University of Alberta graduate and co-founder of the company:
Who are the people involved and responsible for the start of the company?
Our team consists of five people in total, two of which are University of Alberta grads.
How does the service work?
Currently, we have twenty cars in total: twelve active and eight in preparation. What you would do is check to see if there is a Pogo car available in your area (we have an app in the works) and check out the pick-up and drop-off zones. For example, say you were tired of studying at the University and wanted to head to Whyte. You would locate a car in the University area, access it and park on Whyte. And since they are in the same zone, you do not need to return the car to where you originally found it.
The payment options are per minute, per hour, or per km after 200km. For insurance purposes, we also have eligibility requirements; members have to be over the age of 21 and they require good driver’s abstract.
What are your goals as a startup company?
We want to grow as quickly and sustainably as we can while delivering as much value as possible to Edmontonians. We hope to reach 150 cars by the end of next year.
How will you deal with problems such as downtown parking and the criticism that you will be taking up parking spaces for Edmontonians?
I would argue that although it seems counterintuitive, our service will help with the congestion and help with parking downtown. For example, many car owners are looking to transition from two cars to one, sell their cars, or look for alternatives to car ownership. This would be a great way for people to still drive to the places they need without the stress of car ownership. Parking is also included with our service as we are in partnership with the city.
What was your motivation for starting this company in Edmonton?
It was something that we felt was missing. Many of our founders use alternative modes of transportation; one of our co-founders is a huge cycling enthusiast. We wanted a way to help make Edmonton more sustainable and also provide a service that would give back.