The Good Stuff is The Next Big Thing
The RED teaching staff are much more than just instructors. When they’re not leading UX , Web Development, UI Design, or Digital Marketing classes, they’re budding entrepreneurs, freelance contractors, or working professionals for some of Canada’s leading agencies (and sometimes all three!). That’s why we’re proud to announce that one of our very own has just joined The Next Big Thing, a non-profit organization founded by Meredith Powell and Ryan Holmes that supports young entrepreneurs. We sat down with Michael Steele, our digital marketing instructor and Co-Founder, to hear all of the good stuff about The Good Stuff.
Tell us about The Good Stuff. How did you come up with the concept?
The Good Stuff delivers frozen, ready-to-blend smoothies across Vancouver. “Ready-to-blend” means we combine fruits, veggies, and superfoods into perfect smoothie recipes, and you just add liquid and blend it when you’re ready.
My co-founder and I met playing varsity basketball together at UBC and quickly bonded over healthy living. Once we graduated, we realized how hard it was to manage a busy personal and professional life while still eating healthy.
We would always start the day with a smoothie, and we quickly realized: there is no great option for a truly healthy smoothie at home. So we decided to build a better smoothie.
What are some of the challenges to starting your own business?
We were fortunate to be able to surround ourselves with domain experts in nutrition and food. But even then, there were many food-related hurdles we had to overcome: understanding the licensing process, creating a supply chain, following regulations.
We are also bootstrapping, which as many entrepreneurs know, can sometimes mean going without a paycheque from your business. Being able to teach part-time at RED has helped us immensely for that.
What are some essential marketing campaigns/skills/tools every entrepreneur must do when launching a small business?
For founders, they need to have a clear understanding of two things when marketing: how to be efficient with their time, and how to learn from every campaign they run. I have a few recommended skills/tools for each:
You’ve recently been accepted into The Next Big Thing (congrats!). Why is this an important partnership?
Thank you! TNBT is a non-profit accelerator connects us into a larger network of professionals, investors, and other entrepreneurs, all who have the knowledge and experience to help take our business to the next level. Their vote of confidence has helped us open doors that may otherwise have been closed to young founders.
Any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
Potential entrepreneurs often make two mistakes: spend tons of time analyzing an opportunity without actually creating anything, or spending tons of time creating a product without analyzing if anyone wants it.
I’d advise anyone with an idea to create a low-fidelity version of their idea as quickly as possible and show it to 10 people. If you’re a tech product, that might be a basic wireframe with a Google Spreadsheet for a back end. For us, it was literally a plastic bag with veggies in it. Being able to watch someone interact with your idea is invaluable in the early stages.
Ready to take your small business to the next level? We just announced a new course that starts November 15th! Taking place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, our Design Thinking and Growth Marketing for New Ventures is designed to help entrepreneurs learn all of the technical skills they need to launch a new business. To learn more about the Toronto course, click here. For Vancouver, click here.
Sean is our Admissions Director who’s got a lazer focus on making RED an educational paradise with the best and brightest students. He’s an aficionado of old-school hip hop, and has over 7 year’s experience working with small tech firms and start-ups, including co-founding and running his own company, Boatwyze.
His background in the vibrant tech scene, bundled with his love for education, fuels his massive enthusiasm for bridging the gap between the innovative tech firms who need good people and the students who need fulfilling jobs. On the weekend, Sean can be found sailing around Vancouver with his friends, mentoring young startup founders, playing beer-league sports and cooking up mildly-successful meals.