Launching Pad for International Gaming Business Within Barrie’s Own Ecosystem
Starting out with a simple Google search, Ricardo Rodrigues was trying to find a way to turn his university project into a full time business. Having a background in computer sciences, Ricardo entered into the world of entrepreneurship with no business experience. His goal: develop a website development business, Eonic Solutions, and launch his personally created Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG) called Turf Battles.
After an initial search of information, Ricardo learned of the Starter Company program, facilitated by the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Simcoe County, and Orillia. The Starter Company program provides young entrepreneurs with mentorship and funding to start or grow a business. With assistance from the Small Business Centre staff, Ricardo was able to create a sound business plan and receive funding to start his business.
Within a couple of weeks of approval into Starter Company, Ricardo received mentorship and resources from a multitude of Barrie entrepreneurs from all sectors. Being an international level business, Ricardo was guided in the areas of taxes and currencies, navigating international digital media laws, and business operations. During the program’s monthly mentor meetings, Ricardo had an opportunity to engage with Invest Barrie, a City of Barrie portfolio designed to provide a comprehensive and collaborative approach to business development.
Through this connection with Invest Barrie, Ricardo was able to gain the full scope of the City of Barrie’s business development resources. Ricardo was quickly introduced to ventureLAB, known for assisting high-growth and innovative businesses, as well as the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre located on the Georgian College Barrie Campus. Benefitting from ongoing collaboration between these organizations, Ricardo has become an active participant in events and programs hosted and developed by these partnering organizations; most notably the Agile Planning Series, a six-week intensive workshop that teaches how to create an agile business through lean startup tools and methodologies.
Using the connections made in the Barrie community and economic ecosystem, and driven by his own passion for his business, Ricardo has successfully launched and grown Eonic Solutions. Turf Battles, in Open Beta mode, has exploded into the online gaming world, and is now played in countries across the globe. During his six month participation in Starter Company, and aided by the collaboration of community partners across the City of Barrie, Ricardo was able to bring in four times his forecasted revenue projections. Moving forward, with the assistance of the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre mentors and ventureLAB teachings, Ricardo is preparing to rebrand his business to focus as a Free to Play Online Game Platform, and will continue to follow his passion in offering unique and interactive online games.