Corl is a fascinating business. The company provides a highly efficient process for startups and expanding businesses to access growth capital, using machine learning to analyze organizations and expedite the funding process. The initial success and demand for Corl’s platform means that business developer and co-founder Ben Ames is extremely busy. This is one of the main reasons that the has been an investor with Forge & Foster for several years – investment opportunities with Forge & Foster offer excellent returns across multiple bottom lines, while requiring no active engagement from investors.

Ben is a native Hamiltonian, born and raised in Dundas. After years of traveling and working across the world, he was looking for an opportunity to put his learnings and his degree in Economics from the University of Guelph to use. Forge and Foster hired him, and gave him first hand insight into the challenges and opportunities that come with growing a small, high potential enterprise. Ben credits this experience with giving him both motivation and many lessons that have helped him to thrive as an entrepreneur.

Although he is no longer an employee, Ben has continued to invest in multiple projects with Forge and Foster. In addition to consistent returns and the ability to invest passively, he is proud to be part of an enterprise that has shared value at the core of its mission, and is transforming and revitalizing many great buildings and neighbourhoods in Hamilton. He notes: “It’s a great feeling to be able to see your investment, and to appreciate the beauty and social and economic growth that its development brings to an area. It’s much more tangible than an abstract financial instrument where it is almost impossible to track the flow and impact of your investment.”

He reflects on a number of projects that he has invested in, such as 69 John Street South, a cornerstone property in downtown Hamilton. During the time that Forge and Foster owned the building, they completed a significant amount of building improvements, such as retrofitting the HVAC systems, improving lighting, redesigning and outfitting interior suites, and sprucing up the exterior with a new façade and signage. These updates helped ensure that this building can continue its long legacy of being a hub for number of excellent Hamilton-based businesses.

Reflecting on Forge & Foster’s core values, Ben finds particular resonance with entrepreneurialism and integrity. Integrity means having strong and consistent principles, but also being whole and undivided. Ben hopes that the Corl platform will be one that helps to support many Hamilton based businesses over the coming decades, including those in properties developed by Forge & Foster, in addition to others across North America. In this way, he explains, he’ll have helped tie together an ecosystem that is truly bringing value and advancing opportunities for a diversity of stakeholders.

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Forge & Foster’s Shared Value Initiative identifies and pursue initiatives that create benefits and opportunities for all Forge & Foster stakeholder groups. Our spotlights showcase stakeholders who are committed to shared value and the company’s purpose of bringing vitality to cities through real estate investment.