We believe shared knowledge and experience strengthen our business community. Our network of Experts in Residence offers a powerful virtual resource for businesses at any stage. Access top notch perspectives in business law, finance, marketing, accounting, e-commerce, communications and so much more! 

Burning questions, challenges you need to overcome, needing strategic guidance – this program provides a free all access opportunity for you to share and receive expert feedback in order to support with moving your business forward successfully. Get acquainted with our experts now!

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The purpose of the EXPERTS IN RESIDENCE (EIR) PROGRAM is to provide a limited touch mentorship based FREE service to qualified Sandbox Centre Members & Guests.

In this capacity, the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR’s) will devote volunteer hours as mutually agreed (per month) to touch mentoring of qualified Sandbox Centre members & guests.  Touch mentoring is defined as intermittently providing advice, training, review of work, and networking connections.  Mentoring does not include doing work for Members & Guests.  

The EIR PROGRAM is meant to act as a tool to provide insight into considerations, challenges and opportunities Members & Guests may be facing, to help guide them on their journey to success.  Members & Guests understand the information and/or advice received from the EIR’s in the context of the EIR PROGRAM can not be used to hold liable the EIR or Sandbox Centre in any way. It is at the sole discretion of the Members & Guests, how they choose to, or not to, employ the information and/or advice received from the EIR’s.  Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

Rest assured you will be sharing in confidence! Proprietary information and the nature of your conversations will be protected. Part of the EIR’s role is to provide insight while maintaining the confidentiality of such information. Sandbox Centre will only use transactional data (who you met with / when / duration / services rendered / connections made etc.) for limited program reporting purposes.  Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

A conflict of interest includes, but is not limited to, any circumstances where a EIR has outside commitments, financial interests or relationships, including those with any Related Persons (i) that could or could be seen to exercise an improper influence over the objective, unbiased and impartial exercise of the EIR’s independent judgement; or (ii) could or could be seen to compromise, impair or be incompatible with the effective carrying out of the Sandbox Centre duties. Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff.

In fulfillment of a EIR’s duties, he or she must remain at “Arms Length” with guests.  “Arms Length” is defined as a relationship between two or more parties where the parties are not Related Persons. Related Persons do not deal with each other at Arms Length.

An EIR is obligated to disclose any conflict of interest of which he or she becomes aware, whether or not it involves him or her.  Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

Programming under the Experts in Residence Banners specifically the PLANNING STARTUP & EXPANSION as well as the BUSINESS STRATEGY pillars is a 1 on 1 session available on a first come first serve basis. Have your questions for the EIR ready to maximize your time. Registration can be completed through the calendar links.

A waiting list will be implemented based on demand for the EIR’s time. Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

E-Commerce Made Simple

Are you an entrepreneur looking to take your business online? Perhaps you’re already online and looking to take the next step in how your business can be developed further through e-commerce. We have stepped into a primarily digital world and if you aren’t online in some aspect it’s time to step up your game! From live/on-demand workshops and community meetups, to online tools and courses, we invite you to join our partner Experts at Shopify to twirl you around the e-commerce dancefloor seamlessly. Shopify is here to not only elevate your business through change, but support you with removing barriers and friction in order to grow your business successfully.

marketing 101

Advertising, social media, email, blogging, websites, SEM, SEO, branding, CRM, and more – so many avenues to market your business, so little time! When it comes to generating new sales for your business and the marketing strategy currently being executed, are you optimizing all areas? Learn more and expand your strategy with our marketing experts who are ready to support you with leveling up all of the above. 101 questions with 101 answers straight from the experts in residence. 

Our network of marketing experts include NetGain SEO, Thinkfuel Marketing, Larche Communications, Central Ontario Broadcasting Network, and Siva Creative

The Legal Brief

Whether you’re starting out, growing, buying & selling, succession planning, and more – Barriston’s team of experts can point you in the right direction when it comes to topics related to all aspects of your business. Join Barriston Law and the Sandbox virtually for a fireside chat every month.

Ontario Phase 2 Return To Work
Multiple Wills & Estate Planning
COVID 19 Return to Work Measures
COVID-19 Employment Law & Health Benefits

Financial Growth

Our network of finance professionals are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs at every stage of growth. Perhaps you have questions about understanding your lending choices or need some feedback on what the right financial resources are – whatever the reason – join a finance professional and the Sandbox virtually for a fireside chat weekly for all the answers.

Our network of finance professionals includes BMO, CIBC, CFO Centre, Georgian Angel Network, RBC, RBC Wealth Management, National Bank, Scotiabank, Stonebrooke Wealth Management, and TD.

Perspective of Angel Investors
Engaging an Angel Investor
Pitching an Angel Investor
Q&A with GAN Managing Director

Business Accounting and Tax

Our business accounting and tax Experts in Residence are here to answer your questions about corporate tax, HST, registering a business, CRA challenges and pretty much any other burning accounting questions you might have. Our experts have promised to make this fireside chat fearless, and wait for it… fun! 

Our network of business accounting and tax experts includes BDO & Grant Thornton.

Planning Startup & Expansion

Do you have a business idea, but don’t know where to start? Would you like to get the lay-of-the-land when it comes to understanding the many support resources available for entrepreneurs? Whether you’re nervous about preparing a business plan or just need another perspective, run it by our entrepreneur in residence for some valuable feedback.

Business strategy

Are you in need of a strategic planning session for your business, but don’t know where to start? Do you have some strategic plans on the go, but need a sounding board to move you in the right direction? From scaling businesses to getting IPO ready and building operational strategies to raise capital, our entrepreneur in residence can help you today. 


The Small Business Centre is committed to assisting aspiring entrepreneurs of all ages realize their dreams of becoming their own bosses by providing assistance and support to small businesses in both their start-up and early growth stages. Our team is happy to help you find answers and resources for all your business needs.


Starting Your Business Basics

Welcome to the World of Entrepreneurship!

Are you considering venturing into the wild journey of entrepreneurship? Have you already started your business and ready to take on what’s next? The Starting Your Business sessions delivered by the Small Business Centre of Barrie, Orillia, and Simcoe County are here for you to take advantage of! Get involved in these small intimate sessions and harness the knowledge offered to you by a Small Business Consultant to support your journey.

Topics include:

  • Assessing the feasibility of your business idea
  • The pros and cons of different forms of business (Sole Proprietorship, Partnership, Corporation)
  • Protecting yourself and the business
  • HST
  • Allowable deductions
  • Sources of financing

Business Plan Basics – Parts 1 & 2 Sessions

Writing your first business plan is a major step in putting your small business on the map! A business plan articulates the concepts that inspired you to start your business, as well as evaluate potential hurdles like competition and funding issues. Whether you are seeking start-up capital or just want a solid road map to guide you through the early years of your business, a workable small business plan will help you accomplish your goals. Explore what will be addressed in part one and two of business plan basics: 

  • Part 1 : Introduction to planning, contents of a plan, executive summary, company overview, marketing strategy, and introduction to market research
  • Part 2 : Operations, financials, critical path, and other library resources that can assist you with your business plan

Digital Main Street and BeyonD

Digital Main Street and Beyond is a program built around an online learning platform, structured training through the Digital Service Squad team. These highly trained professionals help businesses through the adoption of digital tools and technology. When businesses join they receive a free Digital Assessment and recommended to-do list that can help their business meet their digital goals. The Digital Service Squad can work with businesses one-on-one to activate free and easy to use tools.

How it Works:

  • Complete the free digital onboarding
  • Receive a personalized to-do list with recommendations on how to reach your goals
  • Access a list of digital product and service providers who are offering exclusive discounts


Monday-Friday during business hours (so long as there are no events happening in the Connectivity Space!) you can work on your business venture looking out on the Spirit Catcher and Kempenfelt Bay. Start-ups, Scale-ups, Solopreneurs and Small Business Owners are all invited to use our large main room & patio to connect with others in the business community or to work on your own entrepreneurial pursuits.