Mark Oleniuk and Harpreet Singh met while working for a mining client and spotted an opportunity. With specialized consulting experience managing industrial projects, the pair decided to start their own consulting company in the mining and gas space and co-founded Element Project Services (EPS).
EPS offers project and construction management for commercial and industrial clients, and while their first projects were in oil and gas, they transitioned to service hospitality sectors as well.
The company offers their clients a full range of project management services such as construction management, engineering support, and conceptual design support. Their facility management assistance consists of preventative maintenance, general maintenance management, asset management, and a 24/7 call centre care line.
After seeking out a startup accelerator and gaining big clients like NR, Cameco, Vale, Mosaic, Imperial, Stantec, and Tim Hortons, EPS is now a team of 20 employees. EPS has grown intro a strong team with a main-stay group of clients that they have continued to service over the years.
After taking on the industrial sector, the EPS team rebuilt the very first Tim Hortons location in Hamilton, Ontario, as part of Tim Horton’s 50th year anniversary. The renovation celebrated the iconic flagship store, showed people where the brand came from, and highlighted what it has become today.
Post construction of the first Tim Horton’s restaurant in Hamilton, Ontario.
From their first hospitality project with Tim Horton’s a new entrepreneurial idea was borne – a maintenance service originally geared towards Tim Hortons franchises called “Fix My Tims”.
With new business components in the mix EPS joined RIC Centre following a referral and once given advisory services and support the company decided to undergo rebranding. Oleniuk explains:
ResQ started off as a brand called ‘Fix My Tims.’ We had this new idea where we wanted to build a software platform to help restaurant managers and owners manage their facility mainly through [the] software platform, and that was our first attempt at building a software company. And because of that we thought it’d be beneficial to get the help and advice of the RIC Centre, and that’s why we ended up engaging with the RIC Centre initially—to get a bit of guidance based on the fact that there are some professionals that have been through that business model before and have really good advice on that side of things.”
ResQ offers a service on a mobile app platform that allows restaurant managers to save time and money by connecting them with qualified, nearby repair experts. A wide range of services can be contracted including equipment repair and plumbing, electrical and HVAC services. Along with service requests, and contractors, invoices are also managed through the app.
The Impact of RIC Services
Mark emphasizes that opportunities and resources are readily available for entrepreneurs – founders need only look to their local communities for help to get started. He recommends reaching out to a startup accelerator, like the RIC Centre, to kickstart unique ideas into success.
EPS also recently participated in RIC Centre’s monthly 360 Virtual Advisory Board pitching panel – an event where companies have the chance to pitch to business and technology advisors and garner feedback on their business model and go-to-market strategy. Mark says that his company benefited from receiving feedback on their pitch and idea, as well as from the questions that were raised about the business.
The most invaluable resource from RIC Centre actually came in the form of his Entrepreneur in Residence, Paul Barter. The advisory and relationship that was developed with Paul since Mark’s start with the startup accelerator, made his membership all the more worthwhile.
For people with a business idea, if you’ve never started a business before, there are business fundamentals they can help you with, whether it’s company setup, intellectual property, legal advice or whatever the case may be. All those resources are at your fingertips to leverage and get off the ground quicker,” Mark says. “I think that’s where the RIC Centre and other resources are fantastic. [They] really help you as an entrepreneur to go forward and make that idea a reality.”
Editor’s Note: Written by Ward Surour (Communications Intern), edited by Jessica Cabral (Communications Intern)
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