Collaboration for a Common Goal

Aug 31, 2022 | Innovation Guelph Blogs & Stories

What do financial planning and estate executor support have in common? It’s that people don’t know they need these services until the moment is upon them. Kristine Beese from Untangle Money and Debbie Stanley from ETP Canada realized they shared this common hurdle during their experience with Rhyze Ventures.

The Entrepreneurs

Kristine Beese wants women to know that their financial life is going to be different from men’s. We live in a world that was designed for men – finances included. After spending her whole life in male-dominated spaces, it wasn’t until Kristine had kids that she realized her gender played a part in her wages and her wealth. It was this life change that inspired Kristine to create Untangle Money. Her goal is to help women get clarity and support when it comes to their personal finances. By vetting her program by a lot of real women, she’s experienced success. Through education sessions and financial breakdowns, Untangle Money helps women understand their money needs.

Debbie Stanley aims to ease life after death. She works with executors to close the estates of loved ones after death. She tries to make it as human as possible so that people can focus on their grief. Coming from public accounting and dealing with high-net-worth clients and estates, she realized that there was a lack of support for the everyday Canadian. “Death is death, it’s the same for everyone, and you need the same love and care.” Through the help of Rhyze Ventures, Debbie took a leap of faith and launched a video course called “Executor Ready”. She’s currently in the PR phase of development, pitching it to wholesale markets and funeral homes. As she says, she didn’t know how to launch the course, monetize it, or get it to Canadian families that need it, so she joined Rhyze Ventures to support her.

Collaboration & Rhyze Ventures

It was through this video course that Kristine and Debbie found common ground. “Debbie mentioned she created a video course, which had really helped propel giving people information”, says Kristine, “Debbie shared what went into that production, who she worked with, and why it was a good option.” The greatest hurdle Untangle Money faces is, as Kristine puts it, “the people who don’t know they need us can’t find us and aren’t looking for us, so our biggest issue would be awareness, finding customers.”

This mirrors Debbie’s sentiments about her company’s challenges. She says, “people don’t know they need our product until it happens, which comes down to awareness, which comes down to advertising and marketing, which comes down to big dollars, which comes down to more access to funding and loans.”

From there, the collaboration between the two of them just made sense. “As we started chatting,” Debbie says, “we realized our business is aligned with easing certain aspects of women’s lives and we started a conversation on how we could collaborate.” As for Kristine, she felt very lucky that Rhyze was able to put her in touch with Debbie. Meeting a fellow female founder was a great way to connect and see viable business options for her in the future. It helps her to see a similar path that she would like to take, and what the execution of that path would look like. About the collaboration, Kristine says, “it’s our north star, it’s faster with a map.”

Debbie was happy to guide Kristine in her journey. During her own experience with Rhyze Ventures, she really loved the collaboration. Being able to reach out to other women in the cohort for support was one of the most helpful things about the program. “So, when I was asked to do that for someone else,” she says, “it was my chance to give back and talk about my experience.”

Networking, collaboration, and connections were some of the biggest takeaways for Kristine and Debbie from participating in the Rhyze Ventures program. As a busy businesswoman and mom, Kristine appreciated the flexibility of having options for online networking and the opportunity for in-person meetings and connections in the future. Debbie summarized the Rhyze Ventures experience by saying, “it really works, it’s not just like a PR thing or a feel-good thing – something Innovation Guelph does to seem like they’re supporting women – it genuinely works. The process works, the connection between women, the collaboration, it works.”