Enterprise Toronto

Celebrating Startup Success

Every year Enterprise Toronto works with thousands of entrepreneurs from across the city to help them start and grow their businesses. Read about how entrepreneurs have accessed support from Enterprise Toronto or a local business incubator – and consider how we can help you too.

How They Did It

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Toronto entrepreneurs use open data to re-invent the real estate industry

After Ryan Breen stumbled on a hidden need for open source data to bolster real estate agents websites, he and Camilla Caban teamed up to launch Re-invent Realty around the services. To get their innovative startup off the ground, the pair applied for Enterprise Toronto’s Starter Company.


Foodie abandons nuclear engineering to launch her own taquieria

Cooking started as an evening hobby for nuclear engineer Gauravi Shah. But after realizing she had a flair for coming up with unique culinary creations, the entrepreneurial young chef decided to launch her own restaurant Tilde. She enlisted Enterprise Toronto to navigate the staffing challenges of the heavily saturated industry.


Designer/photographer focuses on female-geared camera accessories

Inspired by her travels and the lack of photography geared towards women, Jacqueline Flaggiello developed her own line of camera accessories. While she had a working knowledge of the industry and an eye for design, she'd never started her own business before so she enlisted some help from Enterprise Toronto.


AgileCPA looks to disrupt ‘old school’ accounting

After nearly a decade in the glacial-paced accounting industry, Wendy Ha thought it was time to strike out on her own to innovate and change the way clients and accountants work together. But first, she needed a little help fine-tuning her marketing plan for AgileCPA.


Entrepreneur takes makeup for men to South Korea

After spending five years building out the concept around his line of make-up for men – including a spot on Dragon’s Den – Andrew Grella enrolled in the Starter Company program to fund a trip to South Korea, the ultimate testing ground for the global cosmetics industry.


Qoints helps big brands set digital marketing benchmarks

After achieving success with their first social media digital marketing startup, Corey Rosenfield and Harris Maxwell decided to take another shot at it, this time helping brands track the success of their campaigns. They knew it'd be a stretch before they earned revenue so they applied for Enterprise Toronto's Starter Company. 


Words to spice up your company’s communications

John Carson has taken his 20 years of experience with communications and journalism and poured them into his own Herb Communications, where he offers editorial services, website redesigns, social media strategy and user experience consulting.


ATR Sports uses Starter Program to surpass milestones

After struggling to launch at the onset of the recession, Mohamed Merali knew his racquet sports-focused ATR Sports needed help getting to the next plateau. He enrolled in Enterprise Toronto’s Starter Company to build out his skill set for running his business.​

Eric Petersen

Jewelry maker uses Starter Company to produce capsule collection in Italy

For the past four years, Scarborough jewelry maker Eric Petersen has taken personal tragedy and turned it into unique creations from skull necklaces to wooden chain hand bags. But his latest collection is his most ambitious yet – a line of red-carpet-ready clutches developed in Italy with help from the Starter Company program. 


From civil war to green-energy entrepreneur

Mussiya escaped the Congo in the late ‘90s due to the country’s civil war. Today, she is looking to grow Jatropha plants there and export them as biodiesel — a green and efficient energy source.


Can-do attitude helps build marketing agency

Megan McElwain's “can-do attitude” has built her marketing and advertising agency. It's been a difficult five years but her experiences and sociability have landed her clients big and small across industries and production styles.


Techie dads develop Yelp-like website for youth activities

Dads Jim Yang and Tom Chen noticed there were no Yelp-like websites for youth activities in the Greater Toronto Area. So they decided to use their IT skills to develop one – and called on Enterprise Toronto to help launch their startup.


Injury leads to healthy lifestyle – and unique yoga business

Jennifer Amor runs her own business, schedules her own hours, and has authored a children’s book. A severe sports injury nine years ago led her to start practicing yoga. Advice from an Enterprise Toronto business advisor helped Amor develop her unique yoga business.


Modern-day pirate seeks booty at Centre Island

Pirates are understood in two ways: as free-spirited adventure seekers, and as pillaging, plundering ruffians. Matt Slaman, the young entrepreneur who founded Pirate Life, is no ruffian, but the independent free spirit has always been with him.


HealthSwapp brings technology to health practitioners

Physiotherapist Maggie Bergeron her partner Elie Afif had an idea for a smartphone app that could help rehab practitioners work more effectively with their patients. A small business consultant at Enterprise Toronto reviewed their business plan and provided valuable feedback. The pair also found funding and mentorship through Futurpreneur.


Career coach launches business with help from Starter Company

After years of helping others through social work, human resources and career counselling, Jennifer Bouley decided to start her own consulting business with support from her husband, who helps with operations, and Enterprise Toronto's Starter Company program.


Starter Company helps fast-track digital marketing firm Social Buzz

The Toronto entrepreneurs who started up digital marketing agency Social Buzz were strong on the creative, social media and customer service side, but it was only after enrolling in the Starter Company program that they turned their ideas into a business that could make money.


Creator of wellness program grows her practice

Anne Sophie Roy created a wellness program based on music and dance, called Motion Reflexion. To grow her practice, Roy consulted with an Enterprise Toronto advisor who helped fine tune her business plan while tapping into her originality.


Freelancers use Starter Company grant to launch agency

The co-founders of boutique advertising and production house West&SOCIAL wanted to build their company on a freelance lifestyle. They also wanted to make sure they had a solid foundation for the business and applied to the Starter Company program, where they got advice and a $5,000 grant.


Entrepreneur develops solution for property managers

Working in property management, Andre McNaughton got tired of making calls to tenants about late rent payments. So he developed a software solution that allows property managers to record and send out a voice message through a distribution list. His RentBark software had other useful applications, and he decided to incorporate and go into business.


‘Shoe nuts’ turn passion into business

Shamere Gentles and Leslie Roach have been friends since junior high where they were both serious basketball players and “big shoe nuts." After reconnecting as fathers, they launched a business that is being embraced by sneaker enthusiasts.


Quip Magazine finds its niche

Kateryna Topol started online alternative music and arts magazine Quip as a side project. A consultation with a small business advisor at Enterprise Toronto helped her solidify her business plan and focus on her niche. Today, Quip has 40 contributors and publishes in several cities.


Jewelry maker turns passion into profit

When Marigrace Galura first started her jewelry making business she found it overwhelming. As a creative person trying to turn her passion into a profit, she needed a  plan to achieve her goals. At Enterprise Toronto, Marigrace accessed reference material on the industry and received guidance on her business plan from a seasoned consultant.


Skymark Travel takes flight with the help of Enterprise Toronto

Rinkee Ahmed worked as a travel consultant for many years before deciding to set up her own specialized travel agency. She took an entrepreneurship course at a local college and then continued her small business education by attending Enterprise Toronto seminars.


Dating app developers make the right connections

When entrepreneur Anthony Rinella pitched Modu Design Communications on a business idea for a dating app, the agency’s co-founders jumped on the idea. The group realized that developing such an app is a big job, and reached out to the Toronto Business Development Centre and Enterprise Toronto for assistance.


Design collective finds success through planning and marketing

Enterprise Toronto helped design collective Arc & Co. draft a proper business plan and learn how to market their services. An advisor also helped them reorganize their workflow and structure. The assistance allowed Arc & Co. to develop their business in a profitable way.


Duo opens makerspace for artisans and other creative workers

Marissa Maislin and Michelle Organ had an idea to open a "makerspace" that offers tools and a work space for artisans and other creative workers. Thanks to the Starter Company program and a loan from Futurpreneur, the pair are well on their way to making it work.


Art entrepreneurs have a business plan

Amanda Dunn and Julia Wehkamp noticed that there's a new generation of art collectors, so they developed a business plan to make their One Art Nation web-based services a go-to resource.


Filmmaker looks through entrepreneurial lens

Tricia Lee started up a film production company after graduating from York University’s film program and releasing her first short film. A chance encounter led her to get advice from Enterprise Toronto – and what she learned about business plans, pitches and investments has her looking at film production through an entrepreneurial lens.

Sanober Motiwala

Entrepreneur Enjoys Sweet Success with Ice Cream Sandwich Company

A few years ago, Sanober Motiwala left her office job for something a little more to her taste and created Sweet Sammies Ice Cream Sandwich Co. Today she provides catering for weddings, corporate events and private parties, and sells at farmers markets across Toronto.

Robert Szasz, owner of Wine Region Rentals

Retiree turns passion for wine and travel into online venture

Robert Szasz retired from his role at MTS Allstream and decided to turn his passion for wine and travel into a niche business in a budding market. Now he is expanding and learning new skills. And after a lifetime as an employee, he’s learning them under nobody’s supervision but his own.


Massaging out the fear

How coaching from Enterprise Toronto helped a young chiropractor build his dream business


Entrepreneur leverages Starter Company participation to grow business

Zach Matlow had an idea for a digital task management and compliance tool that restaurants could use to track their washroom conditions. He started up Dine and Comply to make it a reality, and has since grown the range of cloud-based checklists and processes that businesses can track – thanks in part to participation in the Starter Company Program.

Megan Kozak, owner of POUT

Mentorship gives entrepreneur no reason to POUT

Former model and Registered Nurse Megan Kozak had dreams of running a modest small-scale aesthetic injection business. Now, with help from her Enterprise Toronto mentor, she’s got plans to turn her business endeavor into a Botox empire.