"THENEXTPHASE is a four day gauntlet run that replicates the experience of taking a new idea to market. I have been part of the program both as an investor (helping judge the final pitches) and as a participant where I teamed up to assist a local entrepreneur. Toon and David deliver an intensive process that tears down the broken parts of a business and builds around the elements of value. I would recommend it to any entrepreneur looking to improve themselves and validate their approach."
Thomas Rankin, Innovacorp, Halifax
Time and Cash are the most precious resources for an entrepreneur. Not only do we need to know what pain we are solving, we also need to think of how to build a business around that pain and what pitfalls to avoid while raising money. This involves going through the process of identifying your company's value proposition, business model, positioning, market, sources of financing and how you are going to execute on that. THENEXTPHASE program does just that. We at Analyze Re benefited tremendously from this program and would highly recommend that to other companies.
Shivam Rajdev, Analyze Re, Halifax
We are a Hybrid Merchant Bank-Incubator. PhaseMap provided us an ideal format to explore a new opportunity with the idea founder, get to know our new partner and explore what about the idea was scalable and more clearly identify the market niche. Ultimately, we uncovered a much better market penetration strategy that allowed us to invest considerable resources into the opportunity. I think it is going to be big and I give PhaseMap part of the credit. I found the methodology more direct and focused than Lean Startup, more suited for a team with experience.
Sean Sears, Ogden Pond, Halifax
We have taken THENEXTPHASE workshops twice: once when we first decided that we wanted to start up a company based on our PhD research and then after another year when we were going through the Launch 36 program. They were both amazingly useful. The first time, we were able to understand what it takes to bring an idea/prototype to the market and the second time, we were able to focus on the parts of our business which needed more improvement to turn TopLog into a successful company. Toon and David make an amazing duo who will push you hard and make you a better entrepreneur only in a few days.
Ozge Yeloglu, TopLog, Halifax
"Every Atlantic Canadian start-up should seriously consider participating in this session. PhaseMap is an incredibly powerful tool, and Toon and Shawn offered excellent advise for our company. They were able to quickly understand the intricacies of our business and the industry, and were able to provide invaluable feedback on our business plan."
Jennifer Wagner, CarbonCure, Halifax
"The interactions with the other participants, the PhaseMap tool, and the personal advise from Toon and Shawn made participating in the sessions an extremely positive experience for our company. I absolutely would recommend participating in future sessions if you are an early stage start-up looking for high quality, independent, and personalized advise as you built up your business case."
Jennifer Wagner, CarbonCure, Halifax
“Being an entrepreneur is 15% courage, 30% hard work, 15% luck, 1 % foolishness and 39% finding the right people. TheNextPhase team were absolutely the right people for us. Shawn and Toon’s knowledge, humor and drive helped us shape our companies growth. They became part of our team but with sufficient distance and insight to be of significant value in helping our company achieve the objectives that continue to drive our successes.”
Marlene Moore, Green Power, Halifax
“The thenextphase workshop provides an excellent opportunity to focus on the direction and state of your business, and you end up with a compelling pitch at the end of the process.”
Garnett Wilson, Afinin Labs Inc., St John’s
"Being an entrepreneur is a lot like a journey through the jungle. At the beginning, we are essentially only equipped with an unlimited supply of unrealistic enthusiasm and wild energy. Thenextphase workshops equip entrepreneurs with a compass for their journey. As such participants in the workshops will benefit from increased focus and from better knowing where they need to go. Toon, Shawn and also the other participants bring a fresh, friendly and very accurate perspective to any entrepreneur who wants to take their business to the next level."
Yan Simard, CEO, Zaptap, Fredericton.
After attending the Investment Readiness Workshop under the instruction of Toon Nagtegaal and Shawn Carver in April 2011, I was impressed with the framework of the course, the knowledge of the instructors and the practical and immediately applicable knowledge the workshop provided. Many of us in the early stages of a start-up venture run full steam ahead with product development thinking to worry about investment when the time comes.
The workshop clearly demonstrated that thinking about the investor, whether they be suppliers, customers or venture capitalists needs to happen from day one and provides a roadmap to guide the thinking process from the problem definition to the execution of the business plan. The workshop helped me think about our business differently by putting the focus on what makes EMSAT compelling from an investor’s perspective. Over the month, I spent a lot more time thinking about the problem we are trying to solve, how big an issue is it, how is EMSAT different from competition. This shaped how I think about our business and evaluate opportunities.
Dan Brake, EMSAT, St. John’s
DiscoveryGarden found the Investment Readiness Seminars led by thenextphase an invaluable exercise in getting us ready for our next stage of growth. We were really in the dark in terms of understanding our customers and how to make our business more sustainable in the long term. Now we are much better prepared for investors and have a crisper story and presentation of our investment needs as well as exit points for investors.
Chris Leary, Discovery Garden, Charlottetown.
"Being complete newbies to the entrepreneurship world, the workshop was the best thing that has happened to us. Over the 4 days of the workshop we transitioned from being just an interesting idea to a tangible business with a solid plan. Toon and Shawn personally took the responsibility to walk us through every step of a business plan. From collaborating with us over the weekends to email replies at midnight, they were always available for help. A must for every startup in Atlantic Canada."
Tapajyoti Das, LeadSift, Halifax
The Next Phase helped sharpen our business model with their comprehensive workshops, intuitive software (PhaseMap) and deep founder knowledge. PhaseMap forced us to focus on the key details of our business while still enabling us to maintain a holistic view. We were pushed to answer the difficult, yet essential questions about our organization. The perspective provided by Toon and Shawn was invaluable to our company’s development. They shared their honest opinions about the viability of our business and provided great insight for moving forward. Toon and Shawn sincerely invested themselves in our company and are wonderful contacts on a consultant and personal level.
Scott Murray, Esti-MateOnline.com, Halifax
“If you want to get right to the bare foundation of your business plan and be able to articulate what you are trying to accomplish with your business, this workshop is for you. No fluff – this is about stripping your great ideas right down to the bedrock and making sure they are sound. In addition to providing a great web-based tool to build your business plan around, Toon and Shawn will also challenge and sharpen your assumptions about why your idea and plan are as good as you think it is. Their approach is very practical and straightforward but it gets great results.”
Richard Jones, ShiftEnergy, Saint John