Spotlight

Alberta Business Spotlight: Park Power

Meet Kris Kasawski, the founder of Park Power, one of the sponsors of the Alberta Podcast Network.

Meet Kris Kasawski, the founder of Park Power, one of the sponsors of the Alberta Podcast Network.

Kris Kasawki finds parallels between the growing world of podcasting and what he does at Park Power, a provider of electricity and natural gas in Alberta.

“The world is democratizing,” he says. “The information is out there. The access to do anything is out there. Podcasts are a great example of that — the airwaves are no longer controlled by the radio companies.”

Similar forces made it possible for him to start his business six years ago. In Alberta, energy deregulation means consumers can choose who to buy their electricity and natural gas from, though the supply remains guaranteed.

That means providers like Park Power have to earn their customers. Kasawski does that by a combination of competitive rates and strong customer service.

“Everything’s Alberta-based — you’re either dealing with some nice ladies in Calgary, or you’re dealing with me, over phone, over email, over social media.”

And he sweetens the deal by contributing 10 per cent of his profits to local charities. When customers sign up, they choose which of Park Power’s community partners to direct those funds to. That’s part of the happiness he hopes to pass on to his customers.

“I’m not trying to hustle you into a deal that’s great for me but not great for the consumer,” he says. “We’re just trying to offer good rates, good services. Instead of your bill coming in every month and you’re just like, “Ughhhh,” … I’ve had consumers tell me they’re like, ‘Ah! I feel kind of good!’ ”

Learn more about where Park Power is coming from and why it supports the Alberta Podcast Network in this conversation:

Be sure to follow Park Power on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. And to learn how you can switch, visit parkpower.ca.

Podcast music is "His Last Share Of The Stars" by Doctor Turtle, courtesy of freemusicarchive.org.

Alberta Business Spotlight: JobJar

Kenzie Dutka of JobJar speaks with Alberta Podcast Network president Karen Unland at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary on Sept. 12, 2018.

Kenzie Dutka of JobJar speaks with Alberta Podcast Network president Karen Unland at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary on Sept. 12, 2018.

You know that big, long “honey-do” list that neither you nor your honey is ever likely to complete? JobJar wants to help.

The Calgary-based startup, which recently expanded to Edmonton and Winnipeg, is a marketplace for people who need work done around their houses, and “skilled doers” who know how to do that work.

Besides connecting homeowners and contractors to “just get it done,” JobJar also has community-building baked into its business model. As marketing guru Kenzie Dutka says,  “We believe business is about doing great by doing good.”

Learn more about how JobJar walks that talk, and hear how the ATB X Accelerator helped JobJar take off, in this interview with Kenzie:

Sign up for JobJar at jobjar.ca. You can also find the company on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

If you’re serious about your business and can spend three months with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to make their ideas happen, apply to ATB X.

October is Small Business Month, which is why we’re shining a light on some small businesses that our founding sponsor, ATB Financial, has helped out.

Photo by Kevin Espenido of ATB. Podcast music is "His Last Share Of The Stars" by Doctor Turtle, courtesy of freemusicarchive.org.





Alberta Business Spotlight: Buttercream Clothing

Candice Munro, founder of Buttercream Clothing, speaks to Karen Unland of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB, at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary on Sept. 12, 2018.

Candice Munro, founder of Buttercream Clothing, speaks to Karen Unland of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB, at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary on Sept. 12, 2018.

Candice Munro started her business by sewing aprons at her kitchen table in Kelowna. It quickly evolved into Buttercream Clothing, a full-fledged company with a warehouse in Calgary and a growing customer base that loves buying and wearing her clothes and accessories, ethically made in Canada.

There’s something about buttercream that tastes like more, and Munro has found that Buttercream’s fans can’t get enough of her wares, either. Some were so excited to support her company that they helped raise $25,000 in less than 24 hours through ATB LendR.

Hear more about that successful campaign and what it has allowed Buttercream to achieve; how Candice and her husband juggle entrepreneurship while raising four children; and Buttercream’s contribution to the revival of a local garment industry:

Check out the new fall line at buttercreamclothing.com. You can also find the company on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

If crowdlending could help your business, or you’re looking to lend some money to a promising Alberta-based business, be sure to check out ATB LendR.  

October is Small Business Month, which is why we’re shining a light on some small businesses that our founding sponsor, ATB Financial, has helped out. Watch for more Alberta Business Spotlights in the coming weeks.

Photo by Kevin Espenido of ATB. Podcast music is "His Last Share Of The Stars" by Doctor Turtle, courtesy of freemusicarchive.org.

Alberta Business Spotlight: Burgundy Oak

Zac Hartley, chief operating officer of Burgundy Oak, speaks to Karen Unland of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB, at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary on Sept. 12, 2018.

Zac Hartley, chief operating officer of Burgundy Oak, speaks to Karen Unland of the Alberta Podcast Network, powered by ATB, at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary on Sept. 12, 2018.

From Mom’s garage to the ATB BoostR stage to Dragons’ Den and beyond — that’s the trajectory of Burgundy Oak, a Calgary-based company that turns whiskey and wine barrels into unique furniture and home decor.

You’ll get to see the Burgundy Boys pitch the Dragons on Oct. 11 (on CBC at 8 p.m. MST). We can’t tell you how they did, but we can confirm after talking to chief operating officer Zac Hartley that this is a fascinating and growing business that hasn’t stopped innovating since it incorporated in 2015.

Hear more about “the coincidence made in heaven” that led to the company; the research-and-development work that left its mark on Zac’s hands; and the role ATB has played in Burgundy Oak’s success — all of that and more is in this conversation recorded at the ATB Entrepreneur Centre in Calgary:

Find your signature piece of furniture or unique gift, crafted from recycled wine or whiskey casks, at burgundyoak.com. You can also find the company on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and you can learn more about the Dragons’ Den process on YouTube.

If you’re looking for guidance to make your small business a success, you’ll find it at ATB’s Entrepreneur Centres. If crowdfunding sounds like a good way to test the market and prove your product’s value, check out ATB BoostR.

October is Small Business Month, which is why we’re shining a light on some small businesses that our founding sponsor, ATB Financial, has helped out. Watch for more Alberta Business Spotlights in the coming weeks.

Photo by Kevin Espenido of ATB. Podcast music is "His Last Share Of The Stars" by Doctor Turtle, courtesy of freemusicarchive.org.