News

EDC hire to focus on attracting business and investment

February 19, 2016 – The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC) recently hired a Manager of Trade, Investment & Community Marketing. Following a competitive recruitment process, Nevin Buconjic began in the position this week. The role is responsible for the development and implementation of international investment attraction programs, marketing strategies, and programs to attract and grow investment while fostering employment in key sectors.

“The SSMEDC has always worked to attract external business and investment to the community, and we’ve seen much success in these endeavours. The hiring of Nevin enables our organization to dedicate additional time and resources to these efforts,” said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development for the SSMEDC. “Essentially, this position allows us to ramp up our investment attraction activity.”

The Manager of Trade, Investment & Community Marketing position enables the SSMEDC to implement its Invest Sault Ste. Marie initiative. The three-year investment attraction program is being made possible with funding from FedNor – Industry Canada and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation. The ultimate goal of the project is to generate more business startups, job opportunities and wealth generation for the community.

“I am excited to start begin this new position with SSMEDC and look forward to working with the team to further advance economic development projects and make a real impact within Sault Ste. Marie,” said Nevin. “Generating investment and employment opportunities is always crucial for the long-term sustainability of a community, and this is especially important given the Sault’s current economic challenges.”

Nevin has a wealth of experience in business development and marketing. He spent the past decade working for the Province of Ontario as a Strategic Business Advisor with the Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry and as a Northern Development Advisor with the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines. Prior to this, Nevin spent four years working as General Manager of Enterprise and a Small Business Advisor with the SSMEDC.

Along with his employment experience, Nevin is also a serial entrepreneur, having launched five different companies. As well, he is the author of two books on small business and the Founder of StartUP Sault Ste. Marie, a volunteer organization connecting new entrepreneurs with the small business resources available in the community. Nevin holds a Master of Business Administration degree, undergraduate degrees in Business Administration and Computer Science, and certificates in Economic Development and Internet Marketing.

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Nevin to represent the Sault in Ottawa

November 21, 2014 – Nevin Buconjic will be proudly representing Sault Ste. Marie in Canada’s capital next week, meeting with Members of Parliament, Senators and Ministers as part of Startup Canada Day on the Hill.

Startup Canada Day on the Hill is a collaboration of Canada’s entrepreneurial community and partnering political and government leaders.

Set to draw nearly 1,000 attendees throughout the day, including some of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, media personalities and government decision makers, the program is filled with meaningful government roundtables, media interviews, fireside discussions, TED-style keynotes, entrepreneur bootcamps, on-site mentorship, and an evening ‘Startup Soiree’, showcasing entrepreneurs and their products from across Canada.

Nevin will be speaking on stage to share perspectives of entrepreneurs from the community and to the impact that Startup Sault Ste. Marie has had over the last 12 months in fuelling economic development through entrepreneurship.

Nevin will also be working with public servants and industry leaders to educate them on how they can work with grassroots, entrepreneur organizations like Startup Canada to accelerate entrepreneurial growth in Canada.

“I am looking forward to meeting many of my Startup Canada peers from across the country, to forge strong connections that I believe will benefit Startup Sault in the future and help us to bring more ideas and events to Sault Ste. Marie”, said Buconjic. “Startup Canada Day on the Hill is an opportunity for every Canadian entrepreneur to share their experiences and show our government that when we all work together to make Canada more entrepreneurial, we all win.”

In just two short years, Startup Canada has grown to become the leading entrepreneurship organization in Canada with more than 85,000 entrepreneurs, 400 partners and 300 volunteers.

This volunteer organization is helping to launch local startup communities like Startup Sault in cities and towns across Canada and connect them online to one another to build Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Due to the support of CANARIE, a non-profit dedicated to advancing network operations, technology and private sector innovation, Nevin will have the opportunity to meet with and spend 2-days with counterparts from other communities.

For more information on Startup Canada Day on the Hill, visit www.startupday.ca and follow along on November 26 on Twitter via #StartupDay.

For more information about Startup Sault, visit www.startupsault.ca.

Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/startupsault) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/startupsault) to keep up to date on Startup Sault events, startup tips and other useful information.

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Former SSMEDC staffer releases self-help business book (SSMEDC Newsletter)

December 31, 2012 – When it comes to situations involving small business, there are few things Nevin Buconjic hasn’t seen.

The former Manager of Enterprise for the Sault Ste.Marie Economic Development Corporation, and current Strategic Business Advisor with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, has aided hundreds of entrepreneurs in their start-up plans.

Buconjic, a small business owner himself, recently published a book on his experiences, entitled: Starting Your Own Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Growing a Small Business.

It’s available on the Amazon.com Kindle digital ebook platform. “I ’ve been wanting to write this book for many years now,” said Buconjic. “I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and wanted a way to share some of the experiences, mistakes and knowledge that I have picked up along the way.”

The book is geared towards new entrepreneurs and anyone who is considering starting a small business. It incorporates real examples from the author’s own experiences, as well as topics such as crowd funding, social media and one-page business plans.

Though interested in entrepreneurship at an early age, Buconjic’s time with the small business division of the SSMEDC is where he officially cut his teeth.

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Digital Adventures Awarded Consulting Project with SSMEDC

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – March 25, 2011 – Digital Adventures is proud to announce that the company was awarded a contract to develop a feasibility study for the creation of a small business incubator in downtown Sault Ste. Marie.I am excited for the opportunity to explore such a concept which could support the growth and development of Sault Ste. Marie’s business community, and provide further opportunites for youth in our region.

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Business seminar teaches the importance of social media

Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development News, July 30, 2010 – Sweeping the world by storm, social media has quickly become a powerful force to be reckoned with. Utilizing these tools can have huge benefits, especially for small businesses looking to connect with customers.

This was the message at a recent entrepreneurship seminar organized by the Economic Development Corporation’s Business Sault Ste. Marie division.

“It’s very important for small businesses to embrace social media,” said keynote speaker Nevin Buconjic, a technology enthusiast and President of Interactive Minds.

“First of all, it allows them to engage their customers, as well as share a dialogue about the business and its products or services. Social media can also give businesses the ability to reach large audiences with relative ease. And it’s free.”

The most-commonly used social media tools are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs and YouTube, said Buconjic, a business analyst for the provincial government. Entrepreneurs should first identify the tool or tools that best suits their products, services and clients.

“Each of these tools has pros and cons, but most can be used together to provide greater exposure for a business,”he said.

Since about 75 per cent of online consumers visit social networks and blogs, it makes sense for businesses to use social media to dialogue with them, added Buconjic. This doesn’t mean every business should use social media, “but they should at least consider some of the tools available as a part of their overall marketing efforts,” he said.

For more information, visit www.nevinbuconjic.com.

To download the entire SSMEDC Newsletter (this story on page 3), click here.

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Seminar aims to bring e-business wave to Sault

Sault Star, June 22, 2010 – Enterprise Sault Ste. Marie is hoping to kick-start regional e-business development interest this weekend with a seminar at the Delta Waterfront Hotel and Conference Centre. Local entrepreneur Nevin Buconjic, a technology enthusiast, writer and business analyst with the Ontario government, will be hosting Saturday’s 90-minute session, beginning at 11 a.m.

“E-business is all the rage throughout southern Ontario, everyone’s online, but it has yet to really take off here,” said Terri Chiarello, small business development advisor with the Sault Economic Development Corp. “We’re hoping with a little encouragement local entrepreneurs will come forward and learn about the benefits and methods of going online . . . It’s where business is going.”

Saturday’s seminar will focus on social networking, how to use social networks to grow your business, using blogs, podcasts and videos to grow your brand, as well as communicating and building relationships.

It’s the first in a series of three seminars expected to be presented by Buconjic this summer with additional gatherings expected in July and August.

Buconjic holds degrees in marketing and computer science, as well as a Masters of Business Administration, and more than a decade of experience in business, finance, marketing and small business development.

In addition to having operated several technology-related businesses, Buconjic holds certification in Internet marketing and economic development and has taught computers and business at both the college and university level.

Further information is available by contacting Terri at 759-2616 or emailing t.chiarello@ssmedc.ca.

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2009 Algoma University Alumni Achievement Award: Nevin Buconjic

Nevin is a mentor, entrepreneur, educator and businessman. Currently, he is a Strategic Business Advisor with the Ministry of Natural Resources. He has a BA (Computer Science) from Laurentian University/Algoma U, a B.Sc. in Marketing and Management and a MBA (Lake Superior State University), a Certificate in Internet Marketing (University of British Columbia) and in 2007 completed his Economic Developer’s Certification through the Economic Development Association of Canada.

While working on his Accelerated Degree in Computer Science in 2001 at Algoma U, Nevin was tutoring at a local elementary school. Struck by the lack of enthusiasm that students had for computers, Nevin set out to change their attitudes and interests by teaching young people skills in web design and video game design. His passion for computers and entrepreneurship lead Nevin to create Adventures in Computing summer camps, now in their 9th year, here on campus. Nevin went on to co-found a local web design firm, before starting his own internet market and consulting company from which he created a scholarship for students entering into the Computer Science program here at Algoma U.

Over the years, Nevin has committed to being an advocate for youth in our community, taking part in the original Sault Youth Task Force where he spearheaded the Saultyouth.com portal. He has mentored, taught and worked with hundreds of students and young people in the topics of entrepreneurship, computers and technology. He currently writes a technology column for Fresh Magazine and has taught both computer and business courses at Algoma U and Sault College. In 2006 he was a finalist for the Osprey Media/Ontera Northern Ontario Youth Entrepreneur Award for Sault Ste. Marie and Area.

For more information visit Algoma U.

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Nominated for Northern Ontario Youth Entrepreneur Award

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – September 1, 2006 – Digital Adventures is proud to announce that its founder and President, Nevin Buconjic has been nominated and is one of two finalists for the 2006 Osprey Media/Ontera Northern Ontario (Sault Ste. Marie) Youth Entrepreneur Award. The annual award is presented to an individual under 35 years of age who has successfully started up and run one or more businesses and has demonstrated innovation, risk taking and determination. He or she has created a new product or service, created jobs for the local economy, and is a good corporate citizen and takes an active role in his/her community. The awards will be held September 21st in Sault Ste. Marie. For more details visit www.northernontarioyouth.com

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Head of The Class – 10 Top Young Entrepreneurs
Creating Web-wise kids (08/04)
By Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business)

Nevin Buconjic knows the challenges of growing a business from both sides of the ledger.

When the 32-year-old manager of the City of Sault Ste. Marie’s Enterprise Centre isn’t counselling fledgling entrepreneurs on starting up their own businesses, he is operating his own Internet-based consulting and training company, Digital Adventures, specializing in computer camps for kids.

Now in its fourth year, he expects to draw 85 students to the campus of Algoma University College this summer. “It’s roughly grown about 20 per cent per year in revenues. To me it’s proven itself,” says the Sault Ste. Marie native who developed the idea while tutoring at a local elementary school.

After working in the mortgage and finance industry in Arizona and Toronto, Buconjic, who holds a B.Sc. in marketing and management, along with an MBA from Lake Superior State (Michigan) University, returned to his hometown to take advantage of Algoma University College’s one-year accelerated computer sciences program. He had plans on someday starting his own company.

While tutoring, Buconjic realized many kids were less than enthusiastic about their computer training and created a more fun-oriented program around Web design. “Right away I saw the kids change. They wanted to stay in at recess, lunch and after school, and they were finally getting something fun to do.”

Today, his formalized Web design program walks kids through the basics of producing their own personal Web site and progresses through to video game design, a huge university undergraduate growth area. Although the computer camps remain only a seasonal venture, this year represents a crossroads for Digital Adventures. “I’m ready to grow if I want to take the next step,” says Buconjic, who plans on spending this year evaluating an opportunity to expand the camps to other cities in Northern Ontario. “I have a proven program…and I have it down to a science.”

To keep infrastructure costs low, Buconjic is hoping to take his delivery model and partner with other post-secondary institutions similar to U.S. summer computer camps.

As a certified Internet marketing and business specialist, he is also looking to take on other future consulting work and has talked with some local Web design companies about packaging their services together in computer marketing and consulting.

In dealing with many first-time entrepreneurs, Buconjic says a common challenge is that many are not doing their research in identifying their market, as well as securing startup funding sources. “It’s very important to plan out your business. Whether its a formal business plan or not, it’s important to do some research up front to make sure it’s a good idea.

“But you have to take some chances. That’s what entrepreneurship is all about.”

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Buconjic to speak at Internet Marketing Seminar

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – May 28, 2004 – Nevin Buconjic, President of Digital Adventures, will discuss Internet Marketing Strategies at an upcoming SSM Chamber of Commerce seminar – June 3rd. Topics will include website marketing, characteristics of Internet marketing and the online marketing mix. A representative from Lucidia Studios will also be speaking about web development technologies. To register call the Chamber at 949-7512.

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Digital Adventures Assists Young Entrepreneurs Volunteerism opens door for Web business
By Ian Ross (Northern Ontario Business, 11/03)

Clients may do a double take when the brains behind Force-Network Designs walk into the room.

Steve Sauve and Kevin Rusnell. But Steve Sauve and Kevin Rusnell, two talented, teenaged Sault entrepreneurs, are years ahead of their time, having already launched their own Web design company. Force-Network Designs offers Web design, hosting and content management solutions. All their layouts are custom made.

Steve, 15, does the eye-catching graphics, design and layout. Kevin, 14, does the PHP scripting, database work and content management systems. “Together we can create some pretty crazy things,” says Sauve, a Grade 10 students at Sir James Dunn Collegiate.

The pair met two years ago at a computer summer camp hosted by Nevin Buconjic, the small business advisor at the city’s Enterprise Centre.

Buconjic, who acts as their mentor, says it was clear they were the most advanced in the class and had the best handle on the topics. They love making Web sites and began asking questions of him about how to start a business. It eventually led to the point of registering their company in early October.

To get their feet wet, the two young entrepreneurs began volunteering to build the Web site for the Norgoma Marine Heritage Centre. They are also doing some paying jobs including designing the subscriber up-load system for an online editing service.

The two work from their homes but they are investigating leasing some business incubator space at Algoma University College’s proposed ICT centre, hoping to share a joint office with Buconjic’s company, Digital Adventures, an Internet consulting and computer training firm. “Clients might come through me,” says Buconjic, “but I’ll be sub-contracting work to them.”

Both have aspirations to stay in the industry. “I want to work for or own a major (computer) company,” says Rusnell. “If we can get this going, maybe we can expand but I definitely want something in the field of computers,” says Sauve. For more information visit www.force-network.com

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Digital Adventures – Algoma U. Scholarship

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – September 2, 2003 – Digital Adventures announced today, the creation of a $500 entrance scholarship at Algoma University College. The scholarship, which will be awarded in November of each year, will go to a first year Computer Science student with a minimum entrance average of 80% and who best answers the question “Why am I excited about a career in Computer Science?” in 100 words or less.

According to Nevin Buconjic, President of Digital Adventures, “I created the scholarship because I wanted to give something back to Algoma U. They have been nothing but supportive and encouraging with our Computer Camps program. Without the help of Dr. Celia Ross and many of the staff at Algoma U., the camps may not have become a reality. Secondly, I wanted to do something to reward a student for being excited about taking Computer Science at Algoma U. As a graduate of the program, I was very satisfied with the education I recieved, and I would like to see more of our young people staying in Sault Ste. Marie for their education.”

Officials at Algoma University were very excited to accept the scholarship on behalf of future students, and are expected to make a formal announcement shortly.

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CBC Radio Interview

SUDBURY, ON – July 7, 2003 – The President of Digital Adventures, Nevin Buconjic, was interviewed by Dan Lesard of CBC Radio North, regarding the summer computer camp program at Algoma University College. The interview reveals how the program began in 2001, the different camps available and what some the campers have gone on to do since taking part in the Digital Adventures’ camps.

Click to hear interview. (Windows Media Audio file requires Windows Media Player – 2.64 MB)

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Summer Camp Gives Kids a Taste of Tech
By SALEEM KHAN
FOR METRO TORONTO

TORONTO, ON – June 12, 2003 – Children and teenagers attending summer camps in Sault Ste. Marie will have the chance to learn how to design their own Web sites and program three-dimensional (3D) computer games.

Computer training company Digital Adventures of Sault Ste. Marie has teamed up with Algoma University College to offer this year’s programs, which have added courses in advanced web and 3D game design, both for children age 12-to-16. Returning this year are a general computer camp and a Web page design camp for ages 9-to-15, and a video game design camp where children aged 11-to-16 years can learn how to create two-dimensional (2D) games.

Algoma U. connection

The video game design programs are a particularly good match for Algoma University, which plans to introduce a Masters of Science in Computer Game Technology degree program in co-operation with the University of Abertay in Scotland this September. “While the computer camps are not directly linked to the M.Sc. program, the intent is certainly to have activities for youth that link up with our computer science and IT fields,” said Krista Yetman, Algoma’s director of external relations. “It is also an excellent way to demonstrate partnerships and educational options in the area of computer science and information technology.”

The camps start in July and registrations will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit the Web site www.digitaladventures.ca/camps.htm, or call (705) 257-1691. Registrations will be taken in the main office at Algoma University or by calling (705) 949-2301 ext. 236.

To view the original article in the Toronto Metro newspaper please click here

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