CEEDling Spotlight: B-Line Analytics
A special blog post contribution by B-Line Analytics Founder Aaron Short.
“As an entrepreneur, you often have to make decisions without discussing your options with others. CEED was extremely valuable in terms of giving us the framework to talk to customers, helping us realize the questions that should be asked and enhancing our marketing. It provided us with an extensive support network through other CEEDlings and the promotional campaigns through their networks and social media platforms. As well, CEED Business Advisors were fantastic to bounce ideas off of, sift through the ideas and helped us to focus our energy.”
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur just starting out?
“This choice of career demands a certain personality type. Being an entrepreneur means working more hours and having your life revolve around your business It is not easy and at times, it can feel as though you are alone, so it is important to surround yourself with people who are as passionate about the business as you are.
Entrepreneurship is about communication, preparation and opportunity meeting at the right time. Take the time to talk to customers and investors, know your audience, understand your value proposition and know how to tell your story in a way that resonates with people. The best pitch allows those not in your industry to understand your business.
Anybody can start a business but an entrepreneur takes the time to develop a business and has that tenacity to push through the hard times.”
In your opinion, what excelled B-Line Analytics to be the first international company to be accepted into the New Venture Challenge accelerator?
“Our team is strong and the progress/traction we had made with very little financial support was impressive. They noticed our passion and tenacity for B-Line Analytics, as well as liked the problem our business was solving. The Director of the New Venture Challenge had worked with an architecture firm for 25 years and when we pitched, he immediately understood our value proposition, knew a number of contacts he could put us in touch with and wanted to accelerate our growth based on that network. As well, I had experience, through pitch competitions and customer interviews, to be able to craft my pitch and tell our story well and concisely. Being able to do that spoke volumes to the accelerator team, whom later told me were very impressed with the pitch.”
How has your experience, thus far, been with the New Venture Challenge accelerator?
“This experience has been intense, but so great. A work-life balance has been almost impossible because we have been doing everything from financials to customer discovery all at the same time. They really are accelerating our growth and putting pressure on our company to see where it is strong and where it needs work and then helping us to fill those gaps to make it stronger.”
What are your future aspirations for B-Line Analytics?
“We’ve been asked to apply to two different accelerators, the Creative Destruction Lab in Toronto and Eco-Fuel in Montreal, which will be lining up for the fall. As well, we are hoping to open a sales office in the US because we have made so many great contacts in the US; however, we plan to keep our research and development in Canada.”