Marketing insight drives Incite Solutions - Ted Kouri and Jared Smith win BDC's Young Entrepreneur Award for Alberta



    EDMONTON, Oct. 21 /CNW Telbec/ - Ted Kouri and Jared Smith, both 33, used
their shared passion for marketing to start Incite Solutions Inc. in 1999.
Today, their full-service marketing company has grown to more than
20 employees, earning industry acclaim as well as national recognition. For
this success, Ted and Jared have won BDC's Young Entrepreneur Award for
Alberta and will be honoured tonight at a ceremony in Vancouver,
British Columbia.
    "Both of our fathers are small business owners, and we knew small and
medium-sized companies don't necessarily have the means to handle their
marketing in house," says Ted. The two University of Alberta graduates began
by handling small, one-time projects. Over time, they refined their business
model to provide clients with a one-stop solution for the planning, strategy
and execution of integrated marketing programs. "Often, companies have to hire
different firms to handle their various marketing needs. We have a diverse
team of talent that combines everything under one roof," says Jared.
    Today, the company works with about 50 key clients in Western Canada,
including professional services firms, manufacturers and non-profit
organizations. Incite's focus on relationship building, rather than mass
advertising, and the varied expertise of its team are two of the things that
set it apart. With a targeted marketing approach called Thrive(TM) that the
partners created, Incite helps clients build enduring customer relationships
and sustainable results. The approach has gained recognition within Canada's
marketing industry as a leading model for building a strong and growing
business. In 2008, Incite made PROFIT magazine's list of Canada's "next 100"
fastest growing companies.

    Partnership a core strength

    As co-owners, Ted and Jared feel their partnership is one of the
strengths of the business. Jared works on external relations, sales and
business development, while Ted handles internal operations, team management,
and business strategy. Both feel that one of the most rewarding things about
their jobs is the team of people at Incite. "There's a lot of pride when we
see the exceptional calibre of work that members of our team deliver," Jared
notes.
    Always active in the community, the Incite team has used its marketing
expertise to help non-profit and community based organizations create unique
fundraising and relationship-building opportunities. "We want our community
initiatives to involve more than a financial commitment and, for us, that
means providing what we do best-marketing services-as well as volunteering our
time and energy," says Ted.
    One of the bigger challenges they face is simply managing growth. "Today,
we're dealing with management challenges that we didn't have when we were
smaller," Jared points out. "Another big one is just the challenge of letting
go. As you grow, you have to be able to step back." Now, their focus is on
building the sustainability of the organization and on moving forward with
high-quality, profitable growth.
    "Ted and Jared exemplify the way two entrepreneurs can effectively
leverage complementary skills and a shared passion to build a thriving
business that draws strength through partnership," says BDC President and CEO
Jean-René Halde.
    Thrilled at winning the award, they're also proud of the team effort that
went into their success. "Our team, clients, advisors and community partners
are all a part of this. The work we do is exciting," says Ted, "but I think
it's secondary to the group of people we do it with."

    Highlighting young leaders

    BDC's Young Entrepreneur Awards are a highlight of Small Business Week.
They recognize the entrepreneurial spirit, and the business and leadership
accomplishments, of Canadians between the ages of 19 and 35. Winners from each
province and territory are selected by a panel based on the originality of
their business concept, success, growth potential and social involvement. The
panel also considers the entrepreneur's age when the business was started and
any special challenges that were overcome.

    Small Business Week partners

    Contributing to the success of this year's Small Business Week and Young
Entrepreneur Awards are the following national sponsors: Rogers, Western
Economic Diversification Canada and Export Development Canada. Privileged
partners are the Pan Canadian Community Futures Group and the Canadian Chamber
of Commerce, which has been a privileged partner of the event since 1981.

    About BDC

    BDC is Canada's business development bank. From 94 branches across the
country, BDC promotes entrepreneurship by providing highly tailored financing,
venture capital and consulting services to entrepreneurs. BDC works with
entrepreneurs in all industries, through all economic cycles and focuses on
helping small and medium sized businesses in their development projects, local
and global. BDC manages a $10.6 billion loan and investment portfolio and
serves over 28,000 clients. Small and medium sized businesses make up 99.7% of
all employer businesses in Canada. Visit www.bdc.ca for more information.

    Small Business Week is a registered trademark of BDC.




For further information:

For further information: or to arrange for an interview on October 21:
BDC Media Room, (604) 893-7343, 1-877-232-9321; After October 21: Johanne
Bissonnette, Media Relations Manager, (514) 283-7929


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