Ladies and gentlemen, startup your businesses

Julian Baker, Zach Gauthier and Alexander Mahon all sat at the front table of the Startup Tune-Up workshop at the University of Ottawa on Jan. 25 as they hung onto every word that the speakers and mentors had to say.

For these three Algonquin College second-year business management and entrepreneurship students, the workshop was an opportunity to learn how to grow their clothing startup, Büddah, and network with fellow students and industry experts.

The company was originally founded by Baker and Gauthier, and joined at a later time by Mahon. They described their startup as a value-based company driven by corporate social responsibility and want it to be more than just profit.

Seminars and workshops like these have helped the group get a better understanding of what it takes for a startup to succeed and prosper.

“A lot of this work we’re seeing is something new to us and it’s kind of the first place my mind goes when I think of starting a new business: what we need to have done and logistics behind it,” said Baker. “So if anything, I think it gives us a good background of where we want to go and what we want to do.”

“I think from an educational standpoint, this doesn’t offer us a lot as the networking does,” said Mahon. “I think we’re coming to this for more of the contacts and also the experience and knowledge that those contacts have.”

Speakers at the Startup Tune-Up workshop included Julie Blais Comeau, an etiquette expert, educator, author and public speaker; Nick May, Carleton University graduate and founder of REMAY, a company that develops and markets a shaving gel in the form of a bar and Tyler Steeves, University of Ottawa graduate and founder of TreeWell Limited, a health beverage company that produces Longevity Drinks.

Attendees looking to start their companies or those hoping to grow their businesses learned the necessary tools and skills it takes to become successful.

“It’s all about people skills,” said Blais Comeau. “Whether you have the idea of the century at Google, Steve Jobs, you’re an introvert; bottom line is, people are investing in an idea. An idea is the way the person is able to send it out. My goal, as an etiquette expert, is to give you the answer so you could be at your best.”

Photo: Julie Blais Comeau, an etiquette expert, educator, author and public speaker, spoke at the Startup Tuneup workshop on Jan. 25.