Has your small to medium-sized enterprise stalled?
Does global competition keep you up at night?
Are you experiencing sales or marketing challenges?
Calling all small to medium-sized enterprises who are ready to scale!
Our Fast Lane program is specially designed to help you overcome your tough business challenges!
Innovation Guelph provides unique small to medium-sized enterprise (SME) programming through Fast Lane that offers the greatest acceleration for companies who are looking to scale-up, generate more sales and market their products or services locally or globally. Apply today for a free deep-dive into your business and subsequent access to project funding.
Fast Lane FAQ
1. What is the timeframe for the Fast Lane program?
There are two phases, and each has a different timeframe. The Diagnostic Phase is “up to” 15 hours with an experienced mentor – it could be less, depending on your need. The timing will often depend on availability and capacity of the company/owner and the mentor. Once you begin the Diagnostic phase, it should be completed within 45 days.
If you decide to move to the Tune Up Phase (project implementation), it depends on the number of hours that are agreed upon for the defined project. On average, projects range from 45-75 hours of work and are completed within 4-6 months. This timing is also contingent on availability and capacity of the company/owner, the industry specialists, the type of work and the urgency. Typically, there are deadlines imposed by the funder with respect to project completion.
2. Will my time, as a business owner, be required?
This depends on several factors, including how many employees will be involved. During the Diagnostic Phase, it’s important that all decision makers are present and engaged. This phase involves a collaborate approach to discovery and a deep dive into the business. As well, if you are moving forward with a project(s), the decision makers’ involvement is necessary.
During the Tune Up Phase, the success of this program is based on the implementation and execution of projects by our Industry Specialists, which means that a great deal of the actual work is being created and/or delivered by them, with you and/or your team providing information, direction and feedback as required.
For example, you might be asked to provide your current communications strategy, financials for revenue projections, or access to your plant for a LEAN project. Depending on the work and the number of staff you have, this could be delegated to the appropriate employee(s) (i.e. Head of Marketing, Plant Manager, Bookkeeper).
The final project Outcomes Report is delivered and reviewed with the Owner/CEO/Decision-Maker.
3. How much will this cost me?
The Diagnostic Phase is fully funded. There is no financial risk for you to begin the program.
If you choose to move forward with the Tune Up Phase, there is a subsidy towards project work and a co-pay amount from your company. The amount of the subsidy and related co-pay is dictated by the program funder and may change from one program year to another. You can see more about the current intake here: https://innovationguelph.ca/fast-lane/
4. How do you match me with a mentor?
First, each company accepted into Fast Lane has a discovery call with the Fast Lane Program Manager. This allows the Program Manager to get a general sense of the support the company is looking for and how the primary contact prefers to interact. This together with the intake form provides the basis needed to select the right mentor to lead the Diagnostic.
Innovation Guelph has a robust roster of over 50 Mentors and Industry Specialists. Each contractor is onboarded through a comprehensive selection process which provides program specific training and gathers details about their skills and sector experience. We use this skills and sector experience information to create a matrix that helps us determine the best fit taking into account the intake form and discovery call.
5. Are projects discussed with me before they move forward?
The Diagnostic Phase is collaborative. It’s a time for IG and the Mentor to learn more about the company, and it’s also a time for time for you and your company to build a relationship with the Mentor(s).
During this time, you will be having many meaningful discussions and our experienced, high-caliber mentors will also provide advice regarding potential solutions along the way. By the time recommendations for projects are delivered, you will be very much involved and the Tune Up project recommendations that emerge have been discussed with you and have incorporated your input. You are the ultimate decision-maker when it comes to what you want to focus on.
6. Is this a new program?
The Fast Lane Program is a core program at Innovation Guelph. We have been delivering diagnostics and projects to scaling SMEs since 2012. Since that time, we have supported an average of 40 companies per year in the program.
7. Does Innovation Guelph make money from this program?
Innovation Guelph is a not-for-profit corporation without shareholders. We are funded from various sources to deliver business support programming on a cost recovery basis. If we generate surplus revenue through non-program activities (e.g. sponsorship or events) that money is reinvested into the organization to cover funding shortfalls and/or to enhance programming. You can see more about IG and our programming here: https://innovationguelph.ca/about/#annualreport
8. Do we need to sign an NDA?
Our Client Services Agreement, which is accepted on the submission of an Intake Form, details the confidentiality that Innovation Guelph provides and expects. We also send you a copy in your Welcome letter to review.
Our mentors and industry specialists also sign a contract to work with Innovation Guelph. They are also bound by confidentiality and non-compete clauses. Typically, a separate NDA is not required; however, this can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
9. What are examples of the kinds of challenges Fast Lane program can help me overcome?
Innovation Guelph industry specialist can support you, both tactically and strategically, with:
Sales: sales strategy, proposal development, lead generation process, sales cycle/automation, sales process, pipeline health
Planning: sales forecasting, CRM, Sales cost efficiency, KPIs, Benchmarking, Go to Market
Marketing: marketing strategy, key/strategic account management, channel development, e-commerce
Promotion: branding, , social media, branded content, cross-promotion development
Still want to know more about Fast Lane? Get in touch
What’s in it for you?
Fast Lane provides up to $10,000 of expert support for business scale up services that increase or broaden revenue streams and markets.
IG’s Lead Mentors will work with you for up to 15 hours to identify your company’s biggest challenges.
COST: FREE for a select group of qualified SMEs. (OVER A $2,000 VALUE)
Work with an IG industry specialist(s) on project execution focussed on addressing challenges identified in the Diagnostic Phase.
COST: $8000 subsidy available for approved projects with client contribution of $2,500
To explore how Fast Lane can help your business and to determine which Tune Up option best suits your needs
Our Fast Lane program manager provides more insight into how we help SMEs like you! Read More
Who can Qualify?
To be accepted into the Fast Lane program, companies need to have some of these basic components:
Generate $1 Million or more in annual revenue
Be in one of the following sectors:
agri-food, technology, manufacturing, clean technology, bio technology, digital media ICT
Have fewer than 500 employees
“I have embarked on an incredible journey with Innovation Guelph. From my initial meeting with Linda Horowitz, I knew I would be working with a solid team that understood where my process deficiencies lay and I would be supported. Innovation Guelph connected me with an amazing mentor who is works with me to ensure we are covering our work plan and identifying priories even when some become moving targets. Today, in the infancy of our journey, our company has won a new client that can be attributed to working with the Innovation Guelph team. This success was due in no small part to the guidance of my mentor George Staikos, I had the right price model which gave me a new found confidence in the value proposition of our product. The rest is history!”
Lesley Holmes, President, Trillys Systems
“OES worked with Innovation Guelph to develop a sales methodology program defining how our sales team: prospects, qualifies, proposes, forecasts, and closes deals. The program was quick to develop and provided immediate benefits and ROI. We are very happy and thankful that we decided to work with Innovation Guelph on this important project.”