What is FastStart?
FastStart is a partnership designed to increase entrepreneurial awareness and skills while helping students create solid business plans that take their products and services to market – quickly and successfully.
FastStart DC operates in collaboration with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), Spark Centre, Trent University, Fleming College and Greater Peterborough Innovation Cluster (GPIC) and leverages existing business resources in the community.
What can FastStart offer to me?
FastStart DC provides entrepreneurial services and training programs, including:
Workshops and Seminars:
Workshops and seminars provide information on starting a business while also providing effective start-up tips and techniques. You will hear from local entrepreneurs who will share their wealth of first-hand knowledge and meet with service providers, faculty and staff who can answer specific questions in specialized fields.
Competitions, Boot Camps and Accelerators:
You will develop the confidence you need to succeed in business by participating in competitions that are available throughout the year. These include pitch competitions where you’ll have the opportunity to share your business ideas as you vie for cash prizes. Other fun experiences may include attending conferences and events across the country.
You will also able to attend longer-term boot camps and incubator/accelerator programs which provide intensive crash courses in start-ups to help businesses launch quickly and effectively.
Student advisors are available in-house for you to use as a resource; feel free to walk in and bounce ideas off of them. They can help you think about your idea or venture in a different light and also provide insight into many different areas regarding your business.
Space and Resources:
An entrepreneurial centre, we have space for you to work. We also have access to many community resources, organizations and mentors that are available to student and youth entrepreneurs. Whether you are ready to go to market, are starting from the beginning or looking to elevate your current business, help is available each step of the way. FastStart DC can also act as the means to connect you with the appropriate contacts in your industry.
Why should I create a start-up business?
Creating your own business has many benefits. It allows you to be your own boss. It allows you to strive for business profit and pay yourself as you see fit. You also have potential job security, control over your own destiny, and can make your own hours to blend work and the other aspects of your life.
I have a business idea. What should I do now?
Bring your idea to the FastStart office at Durham College (B233 – the VIBE). We would love to meet you, review your business idea and get you registered for our ‘IdeaEngine’ intake program. Every student starts with this free, online course and once they finish, they become eligible to receive one-on-one coaching and customized mentorship with FastStart, depending on their business needs! Every business is different, so we will create a program that works for you.
How do I know that my idea is safe?
Your idea is safe. If instructed, we will not share or talk about your business idea outside our discussions.
Where is FastStart DC located?
FastStart DC is located in The VIBE (B233) on the 2nd floor of the Gordon Willey building at DC’s Oshawa Campus.
What are your hours of operation?
The VIBE is open most days from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday. A weekly schedule of events is posted outside the VIBE. Occasionally, the VIBE will close if we are away for special events or meetings.
Why do you call the VIBE “the VIBE”?
VIBE is an acronym for our model of service delivery, and it stands for Vision, Inspire, Build, and Elevate. FastStart’s role is to first create a Vision of entrepreneurship, so you can determine whether life as an entrepreneur is a good fit for you. For those interested in pursuing a new venture, we aim to Inspire through participation in events and competitions that build your knowledge and develop your skills to be a successful entrepreneur. With the development of a solid business idea, FastStart will assist you to Build your business, and then Elevate your business through specialized supports and access to funding.
Who is eligible to access FastStart DC services?
Current Durham College students, alumni, and youth in the community up to the age of 29 are eligible to participate in FastStart DC services.
Where can I get funding for my start-up?
We can provide you with information on funding options that are available in the community. Contact FastStart DC or visit us in the VIBE to learn more.
How much does cost to participate in FastStart services?
There is no cost to participate.
Who can I contact to help me get started?
Questions on FastStart DC can be directed to Lindsey Jeremiah , Entrepreneurship Coordinator, at 905.721.2000 ext. 3600 or FastStartDC@durhamcollege.ca, or visit Lindsey in the VIBE.