FriendlilySHOP.com launches an innovative e-commerce platform to shop local and support charities.

 

FriendLilyShop is a new e-commerce platform that makes it easier for consumers to shop local and contribute to charities.

FriendLilyShop founder and CEO, Jim Riches, has worked with numerous charities over his years of service, including The Kidney Foundation, and has first-hand experience of the amazing work charities do. He is passionate about helping others in need and believes that the platform will make it easier for people to contribute to charitable causes such as Kids Against Hunger, Peterborough Humane Society, and numerous others.

“We wanted to create an effortless way for people to give back and support their local communities,” says Jim. 

The design of the website is simple and straightforward, making it easy for users to search for their favourite local products. With 10% of all proceeds going to charity, FriendLilyShop provides a straightforward way to contribute, with no extra effort required from the consumer. By purchasing through the platform, shoppers can make meaningful donations to charities and help local businesses grow.

“Jim began working with the Innovation Cluster at a time when charities across Canada were facing immense financial strain due to the COVID-19 crisis. The FriendLilyShop model rests on the principle that consumers, local businesses, and charities can all benefit from working together,” stated Michael Skinner, the Innovation Cluster’s CEO.

The e-commerce platform offers a wide range of products from small business owners and artisans as well as video stories from businesses, charities, and communities. Consumers can learn more about the individuals behind these small businesses and charities, and how their purchases are making a real impact on the lives of those they support.

The website is now live and available for shoppers to begin making meaningful purchases. With its wide range of products and stories, FriendLilyShop is connecting buyers, local businesses, and charities in purposeful ways.

To find out more about FriendLilyShop, visit www.friendlilyshop.com

 

About the Innovation Cluster 

The Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that drives innovative, determined entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of their technology-based companies. Supporting four key sectors, agtech, digital, healthcare, and with a strong focus on cleantech, the Innovation Cluster’s dynamic programming and mentoring ensures start-ups find their best path to market. 

Core funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Franklin Empire and the Federal Ontario Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Visit www.innovationcluster.ca

 

Media Contact

Michael Skinner, CEO

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas

mskinner@innovationcluster.ca

 

Jim Riches, Founder

Friendlilyshop.com

jim.riches@sympatico.ca

Nonprofitbidding.org Launches Innovative Online Auction Platform to Help Canadian Organizations Just In Time For The Holidays

Nonprofitbidding.org, an innovative online fundraising auction platform, has officially launched to support Canadian organizations in their fundraising efforts just in time for the holiday season.

The Founder of Nonprofitbidding.org, Donna Enright, has worked for over 20 years in the nonprofit sector and has held both staff and board positions executing grant writing and large fundraising campaigns. Over the past couple of years, Enright watched the pandemic impact organizations’ ability to raise money and became determined to provide a platform that would engage supporters without disruption and not be affected by public health regulations and social distancing guidelines.

“According to Imagine Canada, 75 percent of charities have reported a decline from at least one type of donation since the pandemic, with event-based fundraising being hit the hardest,” states Enright. “I knew by combining my experience with fundraising and developing innovative software solutions we could create a platform to help nonprofits raise money effectively in a fun and engaging way.”

Enright’s drive to help nonprofits led to the birth of Nonprofitbidding.org, a fun, easy-to-use digital platform hosting online fundraising auctions. Organizations simply register, set up an auction, upload donated items, and then share their auction link with supporters and the public. The platform provides a safe and secure way for auction participants to confidently bid on their favourite auction items, with funds from winning bidders linked to the host organization’s online payment processing account on Stripe where funds can immediately be accessed by the charity.

“Donna’s work with the Innovation Cluster has helped her develop multiple innovative solutions that are needed to support communities across Canada,” stated Rose Terry, Innovation Cluster’s Senior Innovation Specialist & Incubation Program Manager. “As communities continue to pivot through the impacts of COVID-19, Nonprofitbidding.org provides greater support for organizations to raise awareness and funds.”

Word has already travelled fast about Enright’s efforts to boost Peterborough’s non-profit sector through her heavy community involvement including serving as the Tech Director for the Women’s Business Network (WBN) and being a part of the Canadian Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a certified diversity supplier. Online auctions have been established by the Peterborough & Kawarthas Chamber of Commerce and by the WBN to support the YWCA Peterborough Haliburton. Auction items up for bid include gift certificates, children’s items, Christmas décor, health and beauty, travel packages, and more.

“What an enjoyable experience it was to work with the Nonprofit Bidding platform for our Annual Auction and fundraising efforts for the YWCA,” says Sandra Wilkins, Program Director of the WBN.

To host your own fundraising auction or to bid on current auction items, visit Nonprofitbidding.org.

 

About the Innovation Cluster

The Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that drives innovative, determined entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of their technology-based companies. Supporting four key sectors, agtech, digital, healthcare, and with a strong focus on cleantech, the Innovation Cluster’s dynamic programming and mentoring ensures start-ups find their best path to market.

Core funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Franklin Empire and the Federal Ontario Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Visit www.innovationcluster.ca.

 

Media Contacts

Michael Skinner, CEO

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas

mskinner@innovationcluster.ca

 

Donna Enright, Founder

Nonprofitbidding.org

donna@technicalities.ca

Innovation Cluster Seeks New CEO as Michael Skinner and John Gillis Prepare for Departure

The Board of Directors is accepting online applications until Friday, November 18th.

 

November 8, 2022 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (“Innovation Cluster” or the “Organization”) has publicly announced that they are seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. The current CEO Michael Skinner and President John Gillis have resigned and will depart the Organization at the end of the year. 

Mr. Skinner and Mr. Gillis stated, “The Innovation Cluster has always been a labour of love and our passion for supporting business growth and entrepreneurship in our community will not end with our departure. We look forward to staying connected with the people who have made our time at the Innovation Cluster unforgettable.  We are excited to see the introduction of fresh ideas to the Organization under new leadership.” 

Mr. Skinner joined the Innovation Cluster’s Board of Directors in 2012 as a serial entrepreneur, Business Citizen of the Year, and previous founder and CEO of Operitel which was acquired by OpenText in 2011. In 2016, Mr. Skinner became the CEO of the Innovation Cluster and under his leadership, the Organization expanded to its 10,000 sq foot location in downtown Peterborough to include incubation and accelerator services. 

Mr. Gillis joined the Innovation Cluster in 2017 as a business leader within the Canadian cleantech, water, wastewater, and plant automation (IOT) industries. He introduced an H2O Makerspace to the Organization giving clients access to over 30 pieces of sophisticated water testing equipment.

Over the last five years, the two veteran entrepreneurs and business leaders have led the Innovation Cluster to create an economic impact of $54 million, create nearly 900 jobs, and support more than 300 companies to launch, grow, and scale. Mr. Skinner and Mr. Gillis will continue working together after their departure and will be announcing the launch of an exciting, new venture in the new year.

Nicole Stephenson, Chair of the Board of Directors stated, “Both Michael and John have been integral to the growth of the Innovation Cluster over the past few years, especially through the unprecedented challenges of the recent global pandemic.  On behalf of the entire Board, I thank Michael and John for their immense contributions and wish them both continued success in their future endeavours.”

 

The Board of Directors is now accepting applications for the role of Chief Executive Officer; 

The successful candidate will: 

  • Lead the Organization’s strategic vision as a vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem, and future pillar of the Peterborough – Kawartha economy.
  • Be responsible for the operational and strategic leadership of the Innovation Cluster.
  • Have a robust awareness and understanding of the complexities and experiences driving entrepreneurial success.
  • Be skilled in complex project management, executive-level communication, stakeholder cultivation, and partnership building.
  • Have a minimum of 10 years overall experience with an impeccable track record as a founder, leading innovation, promoting organizations, or achieving successful exit strategies.

To review the complete position details and to apply, refer to the full job posting. Interested candidates are encouraged to apply online no later than Friday, November 18th.  

 

About the Innovation Cluster 

The Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that drives innovative, determined entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of their technology-based companies. Supporting four key sectors, agtech, digital, healthcare, and with a strong focus on cleantech, the Innovation Cluster’s dynamic programming and mentoring ensures start-ups find their best path to market. 

Core funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), Franklin Empire and the Federal Ontario Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Visit www.innovationcluster.ca.

 

Media Contact

 

Michael Skinner, CEO

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas

mskinner@innovationcluster.ca 

Applications Now Open for Pitch IT! Student Entrepreneurial Competition

Trent and Fleming students will compete for the title of ‘Best Pitch’ and a $2,000 prize

 

October 6, 2022 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (“Innovation Cluster”) is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Pitch IT! student entrepreneurial competition that will take place on November 9th

Hosted by the Innovation Cluster’s student entrepreneurship program FastStart, Pitch IT! provides the opportunity for Trent University and Fleming College students with an entrepreneurial spirit to pitch their innovative business ideas to a panel of influential investors and business leaders in our community for a chance to win a $2,000 prize (1st place), a $1,000 prize (2nd place), and business exposure across the region.

Pitch IT! provides a tremendous opportunity for not only the winner and runner-up but all participants. Prior to the competition, all students participate in a workshop to develop and improve their business pitch skills. In addition, all participants get the chance to network with business professionals, investors, and other entrepreneurs.

FastStart Program Manager Lindsey Irwin stated, “Pitch IT! is an invaluable experience for post-secondary students that have entrepreneurial passion and drive. We are looking for students who are truly innovative with their ideas, and have a desire to learn and grow into successful entrepreneurs in our community.” 

 

APPLY NOW! https://www.innovationcluster.ca/programs/pitch-it/ 

Applications close on October 23rd at 11:59 p.m. Accepted applicants will be announced on October 26th.

 

About the Innovation Cluster 

The Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that drives innovative, determined entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of their technology-based companies. Supporting four key sectors, agtech, digital, healthcare and with a strong focus on cleantech, the Innovation Cluster’s dynamic programming and mentoring ensures start-ups find their best path to market. 

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Peterborough Utilities Group. Visit www.innovationcluster.ca 

 

Media Contact

Innovation Cluster

Lindsey Irwin

Senior Innovation Specialist & FastStart Program Manager

lirwin@innovationcluster.ca 

Fleming College Student Troy Blackwell is the Winner of the 2022 Pitch It Entrepreneurial Competition and a $2,000 Prize!

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (“Innovation Cluster”) announces that Troy Blackwell, a Fleming College student in the Fish and Wildlife Program, was the champion of Friday’s 2022 Pitch It Entrepreneurial Competition.

Hosted by the Innovation Cluster’s FastStart Program, this year’s Pitch It competition welcomed 7 student finalists from Fleming College and Trent University who all competed for the title of Best Pitch and a $2,000 prize. 

Each finalist had 5 minutes to pitch their unique business idea, followed by a 5-minute question period from a panel of judges. The panel was made up of three startup growth and investment experts: David Bonn of Part-Time CFO Services; Gail Moorhouse, Executive Director of Community Futures Peterborough; and experienced startup founder and investor, Sam Ault. 

Troy won the judges over with his pitch for his business Top Knotch Paracord, which produces quality customized, handmade paracord items for outdoor enthusiasts using Canadian-sourced materials. He approached the front of the room in full hunting clothing and handed each judge one of his products so they could see his high-quality craftsmanship up-close. 

As a passionate waterfowl hunter, Troy expressed the importance of keeping hunting gear such as game calls readily accessible, dry, and secure. Current lanyard products on the market are one-size-fits-all leading many people to resort to making low-quality homemade items. Neither option results in happy end-users hindering their overall hunting or fishing experience. Top Knotch Paracord was launched in 2020 and has steadily grown its customer base ever since. 

Gail Moorhouse stated, “Troy showed impressive levels of passion, authenticity, and focus during his pitch. His high-quality products are a relevant and much-needed solution to the challenges so many hunters and anglers face. Top Knotch Paracord shows enormous potential, and Peterborough and the Kawarthas’ entrepreneurial ecosystem can mentor Troy to grow his business for long-term success.”

In second place winning a $1,000 prize was fellow Fleming student Neil Hamilton, who is currently enrolled in the Earth Resources Technician Program. He delivered an impressive pitch on his business DentoMet which is striving to become Canada’s first leader in bone, tooth, and fossil sectioning and analysis techniques using an IsoMet saw. Neil’s pitch emphasized the enormous market opportunity his work has across Canada, with organizations currently forced to outsource this type of analysis to U.S. companies. 

“On behalf of our entire team, I want to congratulate Troy, Neil, and all of our Pitch It finalists,” stated Camila Duarte, Innovation Specialist at the Innovation Cluster. “This year’s students brought a high level of determination and skill – such a fantastic way to kick off the Innovation Cluster’s return to in-person events.” 

About the Innovation Cluster 

The Innovation Cluster is a not-for-profit organization that drives innovative, determined entrepreneurs in the formation and growth of their technology-based companies. Supporting four key sectors, agtech, digital, healthcare and with a strong focus on cleantech, the Innovation Cluster’s dynamic programming and mentoring ensures start-ups find their best path to market. 

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, Peterborough Region Angel Network, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, Ontario Trillium Foundation and Peterborough Utilities Group. Visit www.innovationcluster.ca 

Media Contact:

Michael Skinner, Innovation Cluster CEO

mskinner@innovationcluster.ca

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