Vaughan, Ontario, is the commercial real estate market to watch. Mega developments, a business-friendly climate and a bold approach to city-building are creating unprecedented opportunities for businesses and residents. Host Michelle Samson takes a deep dive into Vaughan’s most exciting projects with the leaders making this Greater Toronto area city the place to be.
2.10 How to find opportunities in crisis situations
Chris Carder is the Executive Director of Innovation & Entrepreneurship at the Schulich School of Business at York University. He helps students and grads build their businesses and advises on entrepreneurship and innovation.
He’s an advisor now, but his expertise was hard-earned in the trenches. Before joining the university, he was a serial entrepreneur with his share of successes—like building Canada’s largest email marketing platform, ThinData—and some failures too. After surviving and thriving through both the dotcom crash and the 2008 recession, Chris sees a world of possibilities in crisis situations and shows us how to see it too.
2.9 Fruit of the Land gives consumers what they want
Fruit of the Land is a Vaughan-based retailer and wholesaler that specializes in farm-fresh foods, kosher gift baskets and holiday gifting. They also produce award-winning foods under a family of brands.
Since the first lockdown in March, co-founders Michael and Stacey Kurtz have fought to survive in their mall-based locations at Promenade, Vaughan Mills and Bayview Village. As a food retailer, they were an essential service but couldn’t operate as such because the malls were closed. Immediately, they started developing an arsenal of strategies to survive and reach their customers.
2.8 The College of Carpenters and Allied Trades maintains its talent pipeline
The College of Carpenters and Allied Trades delivers construction skills courses in its two state-of-the-art facilities in Vaughan. It is home to half of all registered carpenter apprentices in Ontario and provides critical health and safety and continuing education courses for the industry.
With COVID-19 measures in place, the College can't train as many people at once as they used to. This has far-reaching effects down the entire pipeline for skilled workers, which was already tight before the pandemic. The College needed to rethink its approach–and fast.
2.7 Kontrol Energy invents real-time COVID analyzer
Kontrol Energy is a smart building technology company. When the pandemic began, CEO Paul Ghezzi noticed that a lot of their customers started to worry about having service companies like Kontrol on site. More people in a space meant feeling less safe in that space.
This problem, combined with their expertise in air quality monitoring, was the seed of a big idea: could they develop a technology that detects the COVID-19 virus in the air, in real time?
2.6 Hop In Technologies picks up essential workers
For this episode of Vaughan Rising, we’re getting the startup perspective.
Hop In Technologies is a logistics software platform that helps employees get to work, particularly in areas outside the metropolitan core where transit service is limited. Hop In fills the last mile gap by arranging shuttles on optimized routes.
When Ontario shut down most workplaces in mid-March, commuting plummeted. According to Statistics Canada, public transit trips fell 42% in March and 85% in April. Hop In’s model was shaken to the core. Time for a pivot!
2.5 Millennial's Choice expands their brand during a pandemic
In the last four years, the Millennial’s Choice brand has grown into a group of companies offering real estate, mortgages, life insurance, and financial literacy education.
The team was on an upward track and started 2020 with a clear game plan for developing the business. In mid-March, that plan went out the window but Founder and Owner Matthew Ablakan refused to slow down. Instead, he hatched a new plan that doubled down on content creation.
Great summarized view on whats in store for Vaughan for the next decade. Would love to hear some more soon.
A very insightful and informative podcast about the exciting city-building initiatives shaping the future of Canada’s most promising city - Vaughan.