Simcoe County entrepreneurs awarded grants and mentorships to support new tourism ideas

Three finalists who made winning pitches for the Simcoe County “Spark” Program were each awarded a $3,000 seed grant and mentorship to help them get started with their new tourism ideas.

The Simcoe County “Spark” Mentorships & Grants Program is a collaborative partnership initiative between Tourism Simcoe County, Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7) and the Tourism Innovation Lab.

The program’s goal is to find, foster and support new tourism ideas, experiences and partnerships that will enhance current offerings, address gaps or challenges, motivate travel and longer stays, and increase year-round visits in the region.

Fourteen applications were received, with the top five being invited to present their new tourism ideas at virtual Pitch Sessions held yesterday. A judge panel of tourism leaders, partner representatives and an entrepreneur from outside the region selected the three winning applicants.

The 2022 Simcoe County “Spark” Program winners are:

  • Alexandra McLaughlin, Art by Alex (Come Paint With Me Experiences)
  • Svetlana Lazareva, Lavender Fox (Year-Round Nature Adventures)
  • Tyneisha Ternent (Simcoe County Poetry Concerts)

In addition to seed funds, mentorship and additional partner support, selected applicants gain access to a n​etwork of tourism innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders across the province.

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