ventureLAB, Trainers Choice and Invest Barrie partner to help health and wellness companies gain access to national markets

Call for submissions will create accelerated opportunities for small and medium-sized companies

BARRIE, ON, Feb. 6, 2017 /CNW/ - Trainers Choice, ventureLAB and Invest Barrie have partnered on a new program which will create accelerated opportunities for companies with unique direct-to-consumer health and wellness products, to access established retail markets across Canada.

Combining ventureLAB's access to the vast innovation network across Ontario and experience helping companies grow their businesses, the support of Invest Barrie and expertise of Trainers Choice and their established distribution channels with major retailers across Canada, this program represents an unprecedented opportunity for companies to fast track their market launch. Building on the successful Health Ecosphere model pioneered by ventureLAB and Southlake Regional Health Centre, this Call for Submissions represents the first time a private sector company has engaged with the program.

With a strong reputation of innovation and research, Canadian companies need fast access to markets in order to compete globally. The ability to harness extensive sales and distribution networks and the experience of an established company who has "been there, done that" means those companies will have a distinct market advantages.  They will be able to secure customers, generate revenue, create jobs and develop the next generation of innovative consumer health and wellness products.  Addressing the "need for speed," this program aims to drive growth for ventures.

The Call for Submissions, which was released on Monday, January 16, is targeted towards any company with a market-ready or almost ready consumer-focused health and wellness product, and which could significantly benefit from leveraging the expertise and market channels of Trainers Choice. 

Interested companies can register to participate in an information webinar on Wednesday, February 8 to learn more about the opportunity and determine if this opportunity is the right fit for them. Applications are due on February 20, 2017, and selected companies will be invited to present their products to Trainers Choice at an event in Barrie at the end of March.

"At a time when retailers are looking to reduce the number of suppliers they work with, it can be extremely difficult for new companies to gain entry into the market," said Rick Schaly, President, Trainers Choice. "Trainers Choice has established distribution agreements with large retailers, so we are excited to partner with ventureLAB to harness our many years of experience and expertise to help companies grow."

"Our Health and Wellness Cluster programs have grown significantly in the past few years, attracting innovative companies from across the province," said Karen Dubeau, Director of Partner Engagement, ventureLAB. "Our goal is to help the companies "get further, faster" by ensuring our strong partnerships directly assist companies with their growth objectives. We are thrilled to partner with a leading company like Trainers Choice to engage in our successful Health Ecosphere program."

Full details on the program are available at venturelab.ca/consumer-health-ecosphere.

About Trainers Choice Inc.
Trainers Choice is a manufacturer and national distributor of braces and supports, first-aid and health & wellness products, based in Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Trainers Choice has established distribution agreements with large retail customers including Shoppers Drug Mart, Walmart, Loblaws, Costco, Canadian Tire, London Drugs, Rexall and Home Depot. Aligned with a renowned chain of multidisciplinary Sport Medicine clinics, Trainers Choice brings innovations to market and works daily with a host of health care providers such as orthopedic surgeons, sports medicine physicians, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and sport performance coaches.  Visit www.trainerschoice.ca for more information.

About Invest Barrie
This portfolio brings together several city departments to provide a more comprehensive and collaborative approach to investment in the city of Barrie. Visit Invest Barrie for more information.

About ventureLAB
ventureLAB is a non-profit Regional Innovation Centre, which cultivates supports and celebrates innovative entrepreneurs. Located in York Region, an integral leader in the Digital Corridor, ventureLAB supports entrepreneurs at all stages across York Region, Simcoe County, Muskoka District and the GTA. VentureLAB is the place where talented entrepreneurs get help bringing their innovation to market. Visit www.ventureLAB.ca for more information.

SOURCE ventureLAB

For further information: Rachel Azagury, Director of Marketing, ventureLAB, razagury@venturelab.ca, 905.248.2710

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