Our ATB BoostR Campaign is now live! From almost day one we received the support of ATB and we’d be remiss if we didn’t give them a shoutout and put into words a few reasons why BoostR is a great concept for emerging or aspiring entrepreneurs.
Not many people know this but it’s in ATB’s mandate to provide support for small businesses. In 1938, the Social Credit government created a system of temporary financial institutions called Treasury Branches to give Albertans an alternative source of credit during the darkest days of the Great Depression. The first ATB branch opened in Rocky Mountain House almost eighty years ago. So supporting Albertans and small business isn’t just a part of their business plan, its a part of their DNA.
Fast forward the better part of a century and facilities like BoostR, the ATB X Accelerator, and the ATB Entrepreneur Centre have become valuable support structures for new and experienced entrepreneurs alike.
Beyond the crowdfunding element about BoostR, and that you can read all about on their website, we benefitted from two big things when we started working with ATB. First of all, we benefitted from the human resources of ATB in the form of knowledgable and supportive professionals who had experience working with startups and small businesses. They asked us questions that we hadn’t considered, and provided us with a valuable network of connections that could support us in our business. When you’re an entrepreneur, usually your friends and family will be some of your biggest cheerleaders, and thats precisely why you need to go outside of your circle to access resources that can expand your network and provide perspective unique from your own.
The second thing BoostR did for us is really force us to get things done. Having a hard deadline and list of things we needed to do brought our brand forward weeks, if not months. In order to do BoostR we had to settle on a name, a logo, a business structure, and we had to articulate what our product offering and brand position was. Any entrepreneur who’s been through the process of launching a startup will tell you that its one thing to tell someone about your business when you have 20 minutes and a cup of coffee, and its another thing entirely to clearly and concisely put your idea and your passion into a couple hundred words on a sheet of paper in a way that’ll get people to buy in to what you’re doing.
When Wander Adventure Co. went from concept to reality, we had all the skills we needed on paper. Experience in outdoors and mountain biking, event planning, travel and tourism, and branding and marketing. And we saw a wide open space for us to create something that would get people excited about fitness and the outdoors in a time where Alberta needed a breathe of fresh air. But sometimes turning a big idea into a into a living works like gravity, all you need is a little push.
I’m a huge proponent for getting people who have ideas to just get started by telling people and see where that takes you. Starting your own business is scary, awesome, and empowering. Your idea can evolve into a side hustle that keeps you engaged as a hobby, or it can lead you to formulate a plan leave your six figure job and chase your dreams. The choice is yours. Institutions like ATB are there to facilitate turning ideas into businesses, and I encourage you to take advantage of that.