“It might as well be a million dollars to me right now.” Said Chrysalides House owner Nicole Battista about her $15,000 prize. “You don’t even know what this will do for my business and the timing right now is just perfect.”
Nicole heard about our KickStartKW contest on Facebook and felt compelled to enter. Since her pitch at our “Minute to Pitch it” event Nicole has been drumming up attention on social media, something she said she learned thanks to the contest. “I really didn’t know how to use Twitter before this but I’ve made so many connections there, it’s great.” Through her handle @ChrysalidesArt Nicole made the most noise in social media which was a key element in the contest.
The Intuit team made the trip out to Waterloo on Friday to surprize the University of Waterloo grad who has turned her dream of owning her own art studio a reality. “It was a big risk, but I’m happy I did it. It’s slowly but surely growing so I’m hopeful.” She runs art classes, camps and birthday parties for kids. “Art helps them in every facet of their life, people are acknowledging that and there is a need for it.” Nicole runs Chrysalides House on her own with help from her mom, who she called right away. “I won, I won, I won! They came with a cake!….. she’s crying.”
Part of the prize includes professional services from advertising agency Star Shot which is part of the prize that Nicole is very excited about. “The biggest challenge of the business is making people aware that we exist. Marketing costs so much money, to have the funds to do it is monumental.”
With hundreds of entries the contest was narrowed down to the Final Four which also included Neverfrost, Meal in a Jar and Hackademy. Director of Small Business at Intuit Rob King said “Nicole’s entry embodied the spirit of the contest and we felt Chrysalides House is poised to give back to the community as the business grows.”
In a contest full of technology companies Nicole was quick to point out all the different types of small businesses the region is supporting. “People often assume ‘startup’ means tech, and I’m so happy that Intuit QuickBooks didn’t forget about the other types of small businesses that are trying to succeed.”