EPIC Nimble Program

Background Nimble Program

Many small businesses not only in our community but around the world have been significantly impacted by COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. Their traditional business models are now being challenged as they are not able to operate as usual under strict social distancing guidelines.

Funded by FedDev Ontario, the EPIC Nimble Program is poised to support existing traditional small businesses currently facing challenges in their businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will help participants looking to create new revenue streams, pivot to a new business model, or find new ways of reaching customers to achieve sustainability and stay competitive in the fast-changing marketplace.

The program is open to any existing for-profit small business in the Windsor-Essex region with at least 1 year of operation, from the date of business registration. Eligible applicants must propose an innovative idea, describing how the idea can help their businesses achieve sustainability or to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Here are just a few examples of our past Nimble Businesses

Yoga with Lora, winner of the WEtech Alliance 2021 Tech Adoption Award, was able to create new service offerings that allowed for a stronger online presence, as well as integrating technology to facilitate faster, safer, and easier booking and attendance for her sessions.

The Grove Hotel, winner of a 2021 Tripadvisor “Best of the Best” award for #3 best small hotel in Canada, was able to revamp their web presence to help create unique booking experiences for their guests.

Dan’s Nautical shop used funds from the Nimble program to create a social media presence and YouTube channel that features the use of boat finishing products applied to home décor!

Ergonow, which provides ergonomics support to organizations of all sizes and in any industry, as well as to individuals, was teamed up with a University of Windsor student to implement an AI based chat interface. This allows the owner, a Canadian Certified Professional Ergonomist, the bandwidth to focus on her customer’s individual needs.

Riverside Pie utilized the Nimble Program to pivot their traditional “brick and mortar” business to incorporate an online presence and e-commerce capability to their business model.

Will you be the next Nimble business?

The program is valued at over $5,000 in cash and services, which includes:

  • Up to $3,000 in funding for eligible costs (**see details below)
  • One-on-one mentorship through EPICentre
  • Access to the EPIC Community; a network of entrepreneurs, advisors, and like-minded business owners
  • Business spotlight in EPICentre marketing channels

Successful participants will receive up to $3,000 in funds that must be used towards the proposed project. Participants will meet with EPICentre Program Lead to finalize the project and proposed budget before the project begins. The use of funds must be directly related to the proposed project and used within the project timeline.

Eligible expenses may include, but are not limited to:

  • Tech integration and development costs
  • Hiring of UWindsor students or consultants in an identified area of expertise
  • E-commerce integration costs
  • Software licenses and subscriptions (some restrictions apply)
  • Marketing costs
  • Legal costs
  • Other costs deemed eligible by Program Administration

By completing and submitting this application, applicants agree to:

  • Be entered into EPICentre’s database and receive relevant information in the future (can opt-out later)
  • Be included in any promotional material and news article published by EPICentre and partners
  • Respect the final decision made by Selection Committee

 

If approved, participants agree to:

  • Review and finalize project plan and budget with EPICentre’s Program Lead
  • Meet with assigned mentor to review the project scope, set project milestones and review progress of the project as required
  • Complete post-program evaluation
  • Report relevant metrics to EPICentre for reporting purposes up to three years after completion of the program
Application Process:

 

Step 1 – Download the “2021 Nimble Program Budget Proposal” template using the link below, and save it with your business name in the file name

Step 2 – Follow the link to the 2021 Nimble Program Application”, create an AcceleratorApp login, and then begin the application

Step 3 – In the application, you will see a place to upload and attach the Budget Proposal. Make sure you do so. (Applications submitted without a budget proposal will not be considered for the program)

Step 4 – Save and submit your completed application no later than 5pm EST, June 20th, 2021

Step 5 – Gather any supporting documents that might be required by the application review committee to support your application. This may include proof of business registration (with the date of registration), any documents reflecting your ability to do business under a name that is different than your legal business name (ie. Ontario corp. #12345, Doing Business As “Business Stuff R Us”), or any documents supporting your project (bids, materials cost estimates, etc.)

 

Application Resources

 

Please download and use the 2021 Nimble Program Budget Proposal as part of your application to the 2021 Nimble Program.

This document is not the application itself but is a required supplemental document that will be uploaded as part of your completed application. You may download the Budget Proposal template and work on it before starting your application, but the completed Budget Proposal must be attached to the completed application at the time of submission.

  • June 1st, 2021 – Application Opens
  • June 20th, 2021 at 5pm EST – Application Closes
  • June 25th, 2021 – Successful Applicants Notified
  • July 5th through December 17th, 2021 – Program Duration (projects may start anytime after July 4th but must complete by December 17th)

The program is open to any existing for-profit small business in the Windsor-Essex region with at least 1 year of operation, from the date of business registration. Eligible applicants must propose an innovative idea, describing how the idea can help their businesses achieve sustainability or to gain competitive advantage in the marketplace. This program is valued at over $5,000 and is 100% free of cost to all participants.

Join us for an information session on June 10th, this webinar is intended to give you:

  • Overview of EPIC Nimble Program
  • Review of eligibility and requirements
  • Detailed information about the application process
  • Opportunity for Q&A

Please click here to register

EPIC Nimble
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QUESTIONS

Contact Paul.Brereton@uwindsor.ca with any questions.