Turning experience into a business to help others Today, Gelhorn is a learning strategist, ADHD coach, and entrepreneur who founded ADDvocacy, a coaching and training company based in Halifax that is committed to helping clients excel in their personal, scholastic and professional lives. “Our coaches collaborate with clients on how to master executive function strategies, such as organization, time management, goal-setting, emotions management and communication skills,” says Gelhorn. “We also help them navigate community programming and relevant funding opportunities.” In addition, Gelhorn provides professional development training for educators and employers on how to boost productivity in a diverse workforce. As ADDvocacy’s coaching is one-on-one, and disability and mental health resources are stretched thin in Nova Scotia, Gelhorn realized there was a bigger opportunity to help more of his target demographic (ages 16 to 39) by incorporating technology. “What if we could develop a platform that enables 24/7 text-based learning strategies and real-time support between coaching meetings, or as a stand-alone service?” The app ADDtext was born, and like its potential clients, it needed help. How SmartBusiness helped Gelhorn met with the Halifax Partnership’s SmartBusiness account executive, Minder Singh, in November 2016. Singh introduced Gelhorn to Dr. Adrian Kelly, grants facilitator at Saint Mary’s University, who sourced the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) as the right fit for ADDvocacy’s growing needs. IRAP helps businesses with advice, funding, access to global markets and support for hiring youth; a perfect fit for ADDvocacy, which employs young coaches who have experienced and managed similar emotional and mental challenges as their clients. Through IRAP, ADDtext received advisory services and funding in January 2017, and the app was up and running within a month. The current platform has room for up to 5,000 early adopters to help fine-tune the service. In mid-2018, the full version of the app will launch to an expected 600 million users worldwide. From Singh’s many introductions, Gelhorn learned about an opportunity to pitch his company and network with like-minded developers and entrepreneurs at a Propel ICT event. “Singh is methodological in his approach. For example, he recognized I needed a programmer and provided connections through Saint Mary’s University to find one. It’s been priceless working with him because every contact he has given me has been influential in my work.” “Gelhorn made the most of SmartBusiness,” says Singh. “He followed up on every introduction to gain the information and connections to help his business take the next step,” a head-on, diligent approach to success even a former principal would have praised. To learn more about how the SmartBusiness Program can help your business, click here.]]>