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click-to-support-adHi everyone,

This is a very special post and a milestone in our five year journey. Yes – we are almost five years old!

I am amazed at how we’ve gone from 1300sf with three or four members to 6200sf with over 32 member companies representing about 55 individual professionals!

I’ve always attributed the success to the calibre of the people in the space. Thank you for hanging in and helping to create a great foundation for entrepreneurs in the Barrie area!

Our new location has made it work for Ignite Barrie (four under our belt), programs for kids (SPARK), small business workshops, partnerships with the YMCA, space for local art and culture events from fine arts, video, music, literature, etc. And the birthplace for Open Coffees (others planted in Huntsville, Collingwood and Toronto).

We’ve launched our first not-for-profit with SimCoLab. Simcoe County’s first hacker space community. We’ll soon be running workshops for 3D Printing, electronics, soldering, coding, etc.

As with any entrepreneurial venture, we’ve encountered some setbacks, but we’ve seen some great successes! Thanks to some investments from members and Laurentian’s partnership, we’ve been able to keep moving forward, grow the membership and open up other revenue stream opportunities (events, space rentals, etc).

That said, our income doesn’t always match our expenses each month and other than the investments, we (Chad and Sandra) have had to fill in the gap. However, we believe that the investment into the entrepreneurs and startups in Barrie is worth it!

In order to take things to the next level, including improving the space, we are embarking on a crowdfunding campaign.

We’re launching a major effort to build on top of an already amazing story.  A self-sustaining local business and arts community center– one which can act as a hub of activity for anyone with an independent disposition and a beacon for those who seek a chance to build great things alongside the city’s best and brightest.

It’s open to all, where startups, hackers, freelancers, students, digital artists and those who can work anywhere can gather to collaborate, socialize, teach, learn, play and work.

Together we’re building an affordable place where people can work happier, be more successful and thrive.

We’ve taken on a big beautiful 6200 s/f space on Dunlop Street East at Barrie’s historic 5 Points, and are rallying community support to help keep our doors open and continue growing the entrepreneurial community in Barrie. We’re at 31 members so far!

So here’s the BIG ASK!

What we hope, through your generosity, to see funded: 

– Security and keyless door systems so we can go 24/7!
– New tools and tech (flat panels, conference tools, etc.), and improve the network
– Finish renos and add extra lighting (hanging mason jar clusters – DIY!)
– Basement reno for new not-for-profit hackerspace, SimCoLab (back entrance, ventilation system, electrical, furniture)
– Seed money for expansion into adjacent spaces and around Ontario
– HVAC for backspace and loft areas
– Modernizing the windows for more efficiency and coziness
– Improve our infrastructure and programming for ongoing youth mentorship.

Add it up = $150k!!

Ambitious for sure!
Here’s what we need from you, the community:

Consider contributing. Your support in this campaign will go directly back to your Community and Downtown Barrie, so, invest in yourself!

Spread the word. Stats show that 80% of the funds come from 20% of your core community, because the rest comes from the 20% convincing other 80% that it’s a worthy cause.
Share the links 
Connect your favourite blog with 1000’s of fans and ask them to share the story. Ask your local media to consider talking about it (paper, radio, TV). I’ll have some templated PR docs to use. Tweet, Facebook, etc….

Once you’ve made a donation, go here and share, share, share!

Do a video 
I’d like to ask each of you who have experienced the power of community, collaboration and networking at TCS to do a short vlog or allow me to video you during the campaign to update it every 5 days.

Do a blog post 
Write a blog post to your audience.

Thanks in advance. It seems daunting, but we can do this!

Here’s to continuing the growth of the entrepreneurial culture in Barrie!


Chad and Sandra.