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    President: Teresa Dukes

    441 – 100 Innovation Drive
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6G2• P: 204-262-6400

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    President: Shane Li

    24 Aberdeen Avenue
    Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 • P: 204-262-6400

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    Vice-President: Marney Stapley

    3rd Floor, 125 Adelaide Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0W4 • P: 204-799-2033

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Selling the Gateway Bug

When Alex Drysdale started Crik Nutrition, a cricket-based protein powder supplement, he figured he had a great idea. When media outlets like BuzzFeed, Forbes and CNBC came knocking before he even had a website to direct them to, he knew he was onto something big.

“I wasn’t ready for it, it happened really quickly. That very day I was doing interviews, it was immediate,” said Drysdale.

But before and after the media interest, the entrepreneur scene around North Forge in Winnipeg helped Drysdale through the crucial validation stage in his path from idea to product launch.

“Having a mentor is crucial – especially in the validation stage. They are very good at making you prove your idea. The most important thing was the tough love I received. Giving me context, feedback and taking me seriously.”

The North Forge startup program aims to help you understand every detail of your product and proposed solution before spending big money on your idea, with subject matter experts and mentors who have gone through the process.

“Bouncing ideas off people is great, but these people have tangible experience delivering business solutions. It’s a support system, with daily or weekly meetings and contacts in the community of experts. You’re tapping into everything that’s going on,” he said.

“Through the entrepreneur community in Winnipeg, everyone was extremely generous with time and advice. They were able to help me work through problems, introduce me to people who were instrumental for us – they really care.”

Having a successful Kickstarter campaign also helped build outside interest in his product. He worked with a local PR person with media contacts to get the word out for Crik Nutrition and was quickly featured as one of the world’s hottest 20 startups by CNBC and on the homepage of MSN.com.

For Drysdale, crickets can be the “gateway bug” to insect-based protein. Getting over the “ick” factor is surprisingly easy as Crik’s flavours are on par with any other mainstream protein powder on the market. To finalize the formula, Drysdale sought out a team of scientists who specialize in formulating top-selling products for national brands.

Once your idea is in place, Drysdale suggests entrepreneurs be ready for the press, and to know the ins and outs of your business. That way, when funding is in place, you can push a button and go.

“Make sure you know all your costs, know your timelines and know your contracts. Be 100 per cent confident that you can do it and use your mentors for advice.”

Crik is sold via criknutrition.com and the warehouse will typically get the order to anywhere in the continental U.S. and Canada within 24 hours Monday-Friday. They ship internationally, too.

Drysdale is excited for what’s next for Crik Nutrition, as he works to launch two new flavours, expand online retail avenues and create new products.

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MNP LLP

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Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We are one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provide personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services and capital markets products and services on a global basis. We have over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 36 other countries.

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For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

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Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

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