“I want to shine a light on New Brunswick because it’s a hidden gem. We have exceptional students, teachers, and education professionals here and it’s a beautiful place to live,” says Kenneth Gunn, founder of BoostEdu. “I want the rest of Canada and beyond to know this province can lead in world-class education too.”
After a decade teaching across Canada followed by several years in the corporate world, Gunn left his most recent position in September 2020. With the pandemic placing extra strain on schools and students across the country, Gunn felt he needed to help in his own unique way. “I figured it was possible to bring academic support resources to every corner of the province with a virtual solution, I just needed help getting started.”
The result is BoostEdu, an academic support company offering live academic support sessions (touching K-12 in both official languages) as well as adult ESL sessions, all in a virtual setting.
A Growing Team
BoostEdu has already hired nine education specialists, and while students are New Brunswick-based, these specialists have been recruited from across Canada. “My team represents British Columbia to Newfoundland and I am thrilled with the number of great candidates I’ve met so far. With these first nine alone I have every subject covered, and we have several more candidates currently being vetted.”
Gunn says the one question he asks every applicant is why they hoped to work for BoostEdu, and the answer from many was exactly what he’d hoped for. “People have answered that our job ad was written in a way that promotes the students, not simply our company. That’s exactly what I was going for! That’s who I am, and what I represent. I’m always rooting for my students. We’re not just their instructors, we’re their advocates.”
The Business Navigators
Gunn first contacted ONB Business Navigator Damilola Ajibade (Dami) in October 2020, seeking guidance on launching his new venture. “I had no idea what I was doing; I’m an educator, not an entrepreneur. Dami was incredibly patient with me and answered every question I had, and I had many.”
He says Dami helped him with business registration, market research, and job match resources. Perhaps most crucially, she introduced him to every partner BoostEdu would need to get started. “She connected me with the best people at CBDC, PETL, EECD, Working NB, and ACOA. Through these organizations I eventually connected with 3+ Corporation and Venn Innovation here in Greater Moncton, I’m now in their Venn Garage program, as well as the accelerator offered by Propel ICT.” He also singles out Venn for introducing him to Norbert Demps and his company cloud&more, which has allowed him to move BoostEdu to a local business for all his tech needs including web hosting, email, data security, and more.
“I owe all of this to ONB and Dami. On top of being a delight to speak with, her service was prompt, professional, and essential to my launch. I was put in contact with a few great people, and then my network just steadily grew from there. In a short time, I’ve collected some amazing partners. It all began with Dami being extremely patient with me and as I went through growing pains and learned what it’s like to become an entrepreneur.”
Gunn says his long-term goal is to bring academic support to students across Canada. “I’m starting in New Brunswick because it’s my home and I love it, but I am looking forward to bringing our service to students in every corner of Canada. It will take time but I’m confident we’ll get there.”