Spin Master Ltd.  and The Canadian Youth Business Foundation  (CYBF) honoured Canada’s leading young entrepreneurs last night as recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund to celebrate innovation, entrepreneurship and the guidance and support they received on their path to business success. For the third consecutive year, CYBF and innovative children’s toy and entertainment company Spin Master Ltd. teamed up for the Spin Master Innovation Fund, which provides young entrepreneurs with $50,000 in start-up financing, a hand-matched mentor from CYBF’s industry-leading mentorship program and a trip to Toronto to attend a two-day Innovation Workshop, with exclusive access to industry experts and senior Spin Master executives. Last year’s Fund culminated with last night’s networking celebration, held at Toronto’s The Spoke Club, honouring their tremendous achievements as innovative young entrepreneurs.
The event featured keynote speakers Ron Tite, award-winning advertising writer, executive creative director and creativity and innovation expert; Ronnen Harary, Co-CEO of Spin Master Ltd.; John Risley, CYBF Board Chair; and Julia Deans, CEO, CYBF. The speakers were joined by Canada’s top innovators, in celebrating Canadian innovation and showcasing the many accomplishments of past Spin Master Fund recipients, many of whom were recently featured in CYBF’s “Where Are They Now?” campaign, which followed the path of several young entrepreneurs who have demonstrated the impact of having a network of people who believed in their potential from the beginning: all received financing, mentoring and expert resources from Spin Master Ltd. and CYBF.
“The Spin Master Innovation Fund provided us with the opportunity to access advice and support from senior executives at Spin Master Ltd. As well as from a CYBF mentor in our community,” said Ryan MacGregor, CEO of SweetSeat. “Some of the most valuable advice was from Spin Master’s marketing and public relations team. The attention we’ve since received has helped us grow our business significantly.”
MacGregor developed a smartphone application that provides in-seat merchandise and concession orders to venues. After attending the Spin Master Innovation Launch Pad Workshop in 2012, Ryan’s company expanded to five venues in five months, was accepted into Ottawa’s Grindspace Accelerator Program, was a finalist for the Best Customer Service Bootstrap Award and then, in 2013, completed a second season with Ontario Hockey League teams and is poised for major expansion in year three.
Other Spin Master Innovation Fund recipients who were featured in the campaign include:
- Eric St. Pierre and Awane Moufide Jones, founders of Merchlar  (Montreal)
- Jenviev Azzolin, founder of pplconnect  (Montreal)
- Andrew White, founder of CHAR Technologies  (Toronto)
- Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of Twenty One Toys  (Montreal)
- Sean Sylvestre, founder of Eyewear Evolution  (Winnipeg) http://bit.ly/19auILj 
- Ryan MacGregor, founder of SweetSeat  (Ottawa)
“All of these young entrepreneurs have shown an outstanding ability to think creatively and strategically,” said Julia Deans, CEO, CYBF. “They continue to shine as leaders and innovators who now have the opportunity to become Canada’s next great business success stories. We’re pleased to partner with Spin Master Ltd. to help kick start innovative businesses from coast to coast.”
“The success of the Spin Master Innovation Fund has allowed us to give back to young entrepreneurs all across Canada,” said Spin Master Ltd.’s President and Co-CEO Ronnen Harary. “With the impressive recipients who have already come through the Fund, we’ve been so excited to see the high quality of candidates and the creativity, passion and outstanding character they’ve demonstrated once again this year. We look forward to witnessing their continued success.”