A Fleetwood resident has some big dreams for her cloud-based business, thanks to some additional start-up cash earned during a Dragons’ Den-style competition held at KPU’s Surrey campus.
Kathie-Lee Pugsley is the top winner of this year’s Coast Capital Savings Youth Entrepreneurship Award, which comes with $5,000 in funding for her fledgling company, Focused Interiors (focusedinteriors.com).
Pugsley, a recent grad of the interior design program at KPU’s Wilson School of Design, aims to design the future of real estate marketing by offering services exclusive to realtors.
She uses 3D modeling computer technology to create interactive 360-degree tours of properties, and tries to keep pricing affordable as part of her business strategy.
“About 90 per cent of buyers and owners can’t visualize the potential of a space,” suggested Pugsley. “Creating photo-realistic images enables potential owners to envision what’s possible, regardless of the current state.”
Pugsley, a Semiahmoo Secondary grad originally from Regina, said she’ll use the $5,000 to upgrade the computer software program she currently uses, for faster turnaround times.
“I want to make sure that the moment I’ve done the design, the client can get the final product,” she told the Now-Leader on Tuesday.
In addition to the funding, Pugsley will also be given time with a business mentor, and Coast Capital will waive one year of monthly fees on a small-business account.
She was told about the award late last month, following the event at KPU’s Surrey campus.
“I got a call at the end of the day, on a Tuesday, from the award presenters saying they were very impressed with my business model,” Pugsley recalled.
“I’ve been working on the business over the last year and really worked to develop it, getting feedback from realtors and clients and other people,” she added. “It feels incredible to be known as an entrepreneur. I took a leap of faith to leave a static nine-to-five job to do this.”
The Youth Entrepreneurship Award (kpu.ca/awards/ccsyea) was created to recognize KPU students and alumni who show excellence in the start-up phase of their entrepreneurial ventures. The award will be offered again in 2018.
Don Coulter, president and CEO of Coast Capital Savings, said the award combines two things the company is passionate about — “building a richer future for youth and helping small business owners achieve what’s important in their lives. We are excited to partner with KPU to help innovative young entrepreneurs on these crucial early steps toward success and financial well-being.”