Starting up start-ups
Jennifer Turliuk, Com’10, knows entrepreneurism can be a lonely path for young people unless they have a supportive network. That’s where her new company, Founder2Founder, comes in.
“I noticed that many young, bright entrepreneurial students were choosing to go to corporations following graduation instead of following their entrepreneurial dreams,” says Jennifer, who teamed up with Ahmad Iqbal, Com’10, and Jeremy Einhorn, Com’09, to establish Founder2Founder in February 2011.
“Founder2Founder was created with the aim of offering young people an encouraging entrepreneurial community, educational programs and conferences, and group trips.”
Jennifer credits her experience of running the Queen's Entrepreneurs' Competition (Canada's largest undergraduate international business plan competition) as vital for teaching her what factors contribute to the success of young entrepreneurs.
Already, the Toronto-based company is successfully supporting a variety of entrepreneurial projects, ranging from a tutoring service called Tutorbright (the founder of which was recently named one of Toronto's hottest young entrepreneurs by The Globe and Mail), a website project that aggregates available children’s activities, and a textbook rental service for Canadian students.
And now Founder2Founder is dipping its toes into international waters. Out of more than 600 original applications, the company is one of 154 international projects that have been selected to participate in the Start-Up Chile initiative, a program designed to attract world-class early entrepreneurs to start their businesses in Chile.
This January, Jennifer moved to Santiago for six months to participate in the program, get a business foothold in Chile, and learn how entrepreneurship education can help reduce poverty in developing countries.
During her six months in South America, Jennifer’s goal is to open new chapters of Founder2Founder in Chile and nearby countries like Brazil. She also plans to raise sponsorship for the company and develop a long-term, sustainable Founder2Founder model.
“I’m excited and nervous,” she said before leaving Toronto, “ but I’m definitely ready for the challenge!”
For more information about Jennifer’s company, visit founder2founder.org