The Province: This business helps other businesses get on feet

What do you do? We have a start-up centre for entrepreneurs. We rent office and meeting-room time, provide receptionist and mailing room services and networking opportunities to help entrepreneurs look professional when they’re starting out. We also help with business plans. It’s the stuff you can’t afford at the beginning, especially the young professionals just out of university.

How did you get started? We were all young programmers and web developers — John is my brother — who started out in our basements. We wanted to offer entrepreneurs resources and networking opportunities that would have made it easier for us. Working from home is not a luxury — not when you know exactly when Oprah is on and you can’t exactly get your business off the ground when you’re doing errands around the house every few minutes.

How does your service work? We have about 20 companies using the space right now — most are solo entrepreneurs just starting up. They pay a monthly fee and choose from several packages based on what they need. IT has become our focus just because of our location in downtown Vancouver. We try to choose people who won’t be competing with for the same business so we can increase the collaboration among our community.

What do you like most? It has become a community, with everyone co-operating, sharing leads and resources and supporting each other.

What is your biggest challenge? Providing enough support to meet the demand. We have had to start a waiting list.

Source: The Province

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