Startup Story: Justin Kozuch of Refresh Events

justin

Name
Justin Kozuch

Company name
Refresh Events

justin@refresh-events.ca
www.refresh-events.ca

What does your business do?
Refresh Events is a Toronto-based community organization initiative dedicated to the promotion and advancement of the interactive industry through affordable, accessible and relevant digital media programming. We provide designers, developers and other interactive types with a launching pad for connecting to others within the interactive community.

We hold gatherings at the Centre for Social Innovation on the 3rd Monday of each month. These events feature 6 Ignite presentations, as well as a guest speaker. Our gatherings are recorded and made available online (audio only for now, video coming soon!). We also serve free refreshments (beer/wine) at our monthly gatherings.

Our audience consists of web designers, web developers, information architects, flash designers/developers, motion graphic artists, managers, and creative directors, as well as entrepreneurs and a handful of superstars from Toronto’s interactive community. In other words, we encourage creative talents of all skill levels, streams of business and disciplines to participate through discussion, collaboration and the sharing of ideas.

What makes your business different? What is that you do that makes your business unique?
Refresh Events is focused on inspiring, educating and sparking dialogue through the organization of free or affordable events, open to all creative talents of all levels and disciplines within the interactive community. We don’t charge for admission to our monthly gatherings and we don’t charge for membership.

Why did you decide to start your own business?
Refresh was borne out of a need to provide the interactive community with a forum to discuss ideas, solve problems and help those in the community break out of their bubble and get to know some of their peers. It was also borne out of a passion for community organization and event design.

What’s the best part of being an entrepreneur?

  • In the past 2 years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet some incredibly talented and passionate people, and their successes have inspired me to work harder to reach that level of awesome.
  • I own my own success. I have a flexible work schedule with complete creative control.
  • Happiness. I am happiest working in an environment that I can control. Being an entrepreneur affords me that opportunity.

What’s the worst part of being and entrepreneur?
Nothing. Refresh has been incredibly fun, and I don’t expect that to change – ever!

How long have you been in business?
10 months

How did you raise the start-up cash?
Boot-strapped and self-funded, until Aquent sponsored the cost of refreshments at our monthly gatherings.

Identify and discuss a few lessons you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
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  • Never back down, never give up. Starting your own business is hard work. Push yourself to your limit, and you will never be unhappy!
  • Be passionate! People love those that show passion, it’s infectious and it shows you care.
  • Smile when you answer the phone. The person at the other end can hear it in your voice, and they will always respond positively!

    What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?
    Market research is critical. Find out what others are doing, and how you can make your product/service offering different. Be innovative! Stand out from the pack!

    What are your goals and plans for the future?

    1. Build the Toronto community and make it sustainable.
    2. Provide more tools on our site to build an online community.
    3. Curate events in other Canadian cities.

    This is only the beginning, we have so many more plans in store!

    To find out more about Justin and Refresh Events take a look at www.refresh-events.ca

    Find a BizLaunch Seminar near you at http://bizlaunch.ca

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  • One response to “Startup Story: Justin Kozuch of Refresh Events

    1. Interesting post. I have made a twitter post about this. Others no doubt will like it like I did.

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