When 20-year-old Luc Chiasson applied to Brock University’s Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship program, all he had was an idea.
An avid angler since he was a small child, he often wondered why he couldn’t find fishing lures that were environmentally friendly. Many of the products he used contained lead, which is harmful to waterways.
“I lose lures in the water all the time,” he said. “If you snap your line and lose a lure, it’s in there for life. It will break down and the lead will leak into the water.”
He came up with the idea for a brand of non-toxic and sustainable lures that would reduce lead trash in waterways and help protect the future of the Canadian fishing industry. Aptly named Future Fish Co., the brand promises to donate five fish to a restocking organization for every lure purchased.
Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship is a free program led by Brock University’s Goodman Group and this year will be delivered in partnership with the Brock LINC. The program is designed to help young entrepreneurs explore their business ideas and advance their early stage entrepreneurial aspirations.
As part of the program, Chiasson attended instructor-led workshops and seminars that connected him with other entrepreneurs and helped him enhance his skills and knowledge.
“Every one of the speakers provided me with a different aspect of entrepreneurial knowledge and experience,” he said. “They talked about things like the legalities of starting a business, how to build a business model and how to grow your business once you got it off the ground.”
Chiasson also met regularly with Goodman Group’s Venture Development staff to receive mentorship, advice and resource referrals to help develop his business plan.
“Joining the Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship program was one of the best decisions I ever made,” he said. “I grew my business so much in the span of two or three months. It got me to the point where I could actually do something with my business idea.”
Applications for the next cohort of the Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship program are due Thursday, Nov. 19 at 11:59 p.m.
The Winter 2021 cohort will take place online from Jan. 3 to April 20 through synchronous workshops and seminars twice per month on Thursdays between 1 and 5 p.m.
Although the program targets entrepreneurs in Niagara between 18 and 29 years old, due to the online nature of the course, anyone with an early stage business idea — from anywhere in the world — can apply.