Participants at the Lead to Win Boot Camp

Carleton’s Lead to Win Boot Camp Teaches Startups the Secrets of Success

By Susan Hickman

The first and third floors of the St. Patrick’s Building at Carleton University were filled this week with dozens of entrepreneurs gathered at the Lead to Win Boot Camp to learn how to grow their startups’ revenues.

“Money is being created in Room 306,”said Tony Bailetti, director of Carleton’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program and creator of Lead To Win. “One of 10 ventures participating in the Boot Camp will make a million dollars a year within three years.”

The Boot Camp that Bailetti talks about – 13 years old this month — takes place on campus twice a year, attracting some 50 Ottawa-area startups who want to learn what it takes to create a million-dollar a year business.

“I’m learning about finances and sales big time,” said participant Jaqui Duck, co-founder of the cybersecurity company TwoDucks Inc.

“It’s giving us a better understanding of cash flow and the role sales actually play in a business and where you stand with potential investors,” said Duck, whose company entered the Lead To Win program two months ago.

The Boot Camp’s objective is to support startup founders grow theirventures to generate annual revenues of $1 million. Successful entrepreneurs TIM faculty members, and employees of the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) volunteer their time and expertise to discuss bootstrapping, value propositions, sales, intellectual property, patents, trademarks and more, and they provide feedback on the business plans of the participants.

“It really helps with business acceleration,” said Colin Pritchard, co-founder and chief operating officer of InteractiveStudios Inc., which has made a second big sale of its interactive signage system to the Carleton-led Accelerator.

Bailetti made the announcement of the purchase on the second day of this week’s Boot Camp.

“I congratulate (InteractiveStudios) for their time and effort dedicated to us. I am the toughest buyer,” he added.

InteractiveStudios (www.interactivestudios.ca) builds solutions to help visitors navigate various facilities, institutions and malls using 3-D mapping and interactive digital directories.

“It’s huge for us to have a second sale in Ottawa,” said Pritchard, whose company has already sold its product to Queensway-Carleton Hospital.

“Our goal is to put Ottawa on the map as an innovative city, to help companies communicate more effectively in a quicker manner,” added Brendan McCrann, InteractiveStudios’ director of project management. The Boot Camp, he notes, “teaches you how to work as a team and gives you the support to grow your business.”

Boot Camp participants “feed on each other’s energies,” said Patrick Millward, co-founder and chief executive officer of InteractiveStudios.

The Boot Camp is a component of Carleton’s unique Lead to Win business development ecosystem. Launched in 2002 at the request of venture capitalists, the program’s first cohort of 29 comprised mainly ex-Nortel and ex-Newbridge employees – “incredibly smart and talented people who had lost their jobs and didn’t know how to create companies,” said Bailetti.

Founded originally to develop technology-based businesses, Lead to Win has grown to encompass all startups designed to generate annual revenue of $1 million.

“I’m pleased that Carleton’s Lead to Win Boot Camp has stood the test of time. Many people from the community have benefitted from Carleton’s ecosystem approach to wealth creation”

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