While most entrepreneurs are looking to solve a problem, many are unsure how to navigate the early stages of starting a business.
The Brock LINC’s NAVIGATE program is returning this spring for its second cohort and is designed to support students, as well as alumni and community members, who are looking to explore and develop their business ideas.
Run by the Brock LINC, the program is built around the ‘lean startup’ methodology, which focuses on testing and iterating a business idea through extensive customer feedback.
The intensive 11-week program will guide participants through the lean startup process. This includes talking to 10 customers each week and then modifying the business idea based on insights and information gathered during those interviews. As part of the program, students will work weekly with Brock LINC staff, external mentors and other entrepreneurs in the program.
Brock Master of Science in Management student Milad Nourvand is currently enrolled in the first cohort of the program, building out his newly launched company CareCanada.
CareCanada is a search engine platform that matches patients with suitable practitioners, guiding patients through their health-care journey and reducing the burden on family doctors.
Through NAVIGATE, Nourvand has been able to speak to several practitioners in Ottawa, the Greater Toronto Area and the Niagara region to pinpoint the disconnect between practitioners and patients.
“Ontario residents will no longer have to rely solely on overburdened family doctors for all their health-care needs,” he says. “Our platform will save time, reduce inefficiencies and ensure that patients receive the most appropriate care from the right professionals.”
By following the ‘lean startup’ methodology, Nourvand and his business partner, Komeil Mehranfar, have eliminated roadblocks and set themselves up for success with a product patients are looking for and practitioners support.
“Participating in this program has been a crucial factor in helping us navigate Canada’s business ecosystem, as it motivated us to seek out users and engage with them, which proved to be invaluable,” says Nourvand. “Additionally, we received guidance on Canadian business regulations and established valuable networks.”
While primarily intended for students, NAVIGATE also welcomes alumni and community members to participate. All participants who fully complete the program are eligible to receive a certificate of completion, and students who complete the program will also get credit towards the Innovative and Creative Thinking domain in Brock’s Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum.
The program will consist of asynchronous learning components and weekly in-person sessions where entrepreneurs will share their progress and receive feedback and mentorship.
NAVIGATE will be offered in person at Brock University on Wednesdays from 3 to 5 p.m. from May to July. There is no cost to participate, though enrolment in the program will be limited to ensure small groups and personalized feedback and mentorship.
Applications are open until Sunday, April 23. Anyone with questions about the program can contact LINC Program Manager Cassie Conte at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the NAVIGATE website.
For more information on all entrepreneurship programs offered by the Brock LINC, visit the Brock LINC website.