Cochrane celebrates the 2024 SMARTstart program launch

SMARTstart. Setting your business up for success.

(Cochrane, AB) – Cochrane Business Development is proud to launch the 2024 SMARTstart program, with seven participating entrepreneurs and seven local mentors to support and nurture business in Cochrane. The program launch was celebrated on April 9 with Cochrane Council, Administration, participants and program partner, Community Futures Centre West

The SMARTstart program is a guided roadmap for ideation stage startups and entrepreneurs who are eager to transform their innovative ideas into successful businesses. Established by Community Futures Centre West, the program offers workshops on business and strategic planning and information from industry experts to help navigate the first year of starting a business. 

“Entrepreneurs often face numerous challenges, from refining their business plans to navigating the complexities of the market. This program will provide them with access to a dedicated network of mentors who can offer guidance, share insights, and help them overcome obstacles on their journey to launch a business,” says Mark Krysinski, Director of Community Growth, Town of Cochrane. “It's not just a program; it's a partnership that invests in your business and the future of Cochrane.” 

Throughout the program, participants complete 11 in-person training sessions to build their business aptitude in legal and financial structuring, sales, branding and networking. Additionally, each participant is matched with a local business owner and meets with them monthly as they develop a business plan. 

“Mentor matching is an important aspect of support throughout the SMARTstart program,” says Shane Pegg, Program Manager, Town of Cochrane. “Established business owners can provide invaluable Cochrane-specific knowledge through mentorship to help those eager to join and grow the Cochrane business community and the opportunities within it. This program would not be possible without the support and wisdom of mentors, and we are thankful for the business owners that are helping to cultivate an ecosystem where businesses help one another to succeed.”

The seven local business mentors include: Beneficial Insurance, Two Pharmacy, Trailblazers, AIgility Solutions, Corner Coworking, Innovate Cochrane and Polar Block. For more information on SMARTstart and other programs to support business in Cochrane, visit

About Cochrane Business Development 

Cochrane Business Development is committed to building a vibrant local economy by supporting small, growing and established businesses. Through business licences and programs including the Cochrane Business Incubator and SMARTstart, Cochrane Business Development provides resources, guidance and initiatives to help startups and businesses at all stages to thrive, ultimately driving economic growth and enhancing the quality of life for all residents. 

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