Pitch It! Plan It! Build It!

Start-up companies need lots of support, from our friends and family who understand why we are working late and always on the phone, to the incredibly valuable advice offered to young entrepreneurs. This week, The XY Hemp Corporation is meeting and working with start-up accelerators in Victoria and Edmonton for additional support.

The Innovation Centre for Entrepreneurs (ICE) at the University of Victoria has been an excellent resource during the development of our business plan. After an initial intake meeting, we were directed towards Lean Stack, an online platform that helps entrepreneurs define their products and markets more clearly. These one-page descriptions of our products and customers are perfect for showcasing where we are now, and where we want to be in five years.

We are  participating in a few pitch and plan competitions through ICE this spring. My video submission for PitchIt! is online now, so please watch it and give me a little “heart” so The XY Hemp Corporation can win $500. I will be presenting the elevator pitch live for a panel of judges on March 31st, for another cash prize of $300. These funds will help C and I travel to Saskatchewan this summer to work with Breadroot Farms.

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ICE entrepreneur coach, Robin Milne, has been absolutely amazing. He has helped get my pitch and plan together by providing advice, resources, and letting me just talk things out. Recently, he helped to edit a short company description to submit to TEC Edmonton. The submission was successful and we have an initial meeting with TEC Edmonton Thursday March 19. The XY Hemp Corporation is looking to access the support of a larger start-up accelerator, and TEC Edmonton is the best in Canada!

TEC Edmonton was named the number one start-up incubator in Canada and the number three university business incubator in North America in 2014.  We are most interested in the services provided by the business development, technology management and entrepreneur education teams. TEC Edmonton is an ideal partner as we move beyond the pilot and expanded production phase and into processing industrial hemp. The TEC Venture prize is also an amazing opportunity for start-ups to access capital for expansion, and we hope to be able to compete in that competition after we have solidified our processing goals.

We are extremely grateful for the support we have already received, from Breadroot Farms, Larry Marshall and ICE, just to name a few! With their help we have developed a viable business case for 2015 that will be presented at the ICE PlanIt! competition on April 2nd. If we are successful in that competition, The XY Hemp Corporation will win $5000, which will contribute to our input costs and the transportation of hemp seeds to the commercial buyer. Farming is uncertain and more capital will give us more flexibility when responding to growing conditions this summer. We are very excited to work with ICE to pitch it and plan it, and hope to work with TEC Edmonton in the future to build our dream.

-K

P.S. link to PitchIt! video is: http://uvicpitchitonline.hscampaigns.com/ . Remember to click the little heart!

 

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What’s in a name?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose

By any other name, would smell as sweet”

-W. Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)

While a rose may smell as sweet by any other name, The XY Hemp Corporation sounds much sweeter to me than our previous numbered corporation. This week we are celebrating a small accomplishment: we have chosen a name for our company and made the change official!

At first, it may sound like a placeholder name but it was in fact chosen carefully to reflect our corporation culture and vision.

The XY Hemp Corporation is an ode to Canadian history. Canada was settled by corporate interests before the colonial powers of Britain and France decided to establish colonies and send settlers to the new country. Two powerful trading groups, The Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company, competed for domination in the fur trade in the late 18th and early 19th century. The Hudson’s Bay Company was centrally controlled from London and had very a strict hierarchy, whereas the NorthWest Company was headquartered in Montreal and consisted of partnerships between traders across the country. The NorthWest Company eventually achieved full integration when a London office was opened to market furs from the company. Many of the shareholders of the NorthWest company were voyageurs: traders who lived in Canada and spent their winters in Canadian wilderness. Although power was more decentralized in the NorthWest Company, there was disagreement between the winterers and the management in Montreal. In 1799, the western fur traders broke away from The NorthWest Company to form the New NorthWest Company, also known as the XY Company.

The XY Hemp Corporation aims to become the #1 hemp processing firm in Canada through partnerships and collaboration. We are independent thinkers and firmly rooted in western Canada. Innovation is the key to what makes us different. Our innovative partnership approach to enter the agriculture sector is just the beginning. Willing to take calculated risks and compete with bigger corporations, our competitive advantage is the flexibility to start small and grow into new markets.

Happy #HempDay

XX

-K