By Victoria Lennox (@vlennox) on Tour with Startup Canada
More than 125 entrepreneurs from across St. John’s and Corner Brook convened for two dynamic Town Halls hosted by the Newfoundland & Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI). The Town Hall, which were facilitated by National Post columnist Rick Spence, uncovered some creative solutions to advancing entrepreneurship in Newfoundland.
Table 1: TLC Mentoring App for Women Entrepreneurs – Participants identified that women entrepreneurs desire collegial mentorship and relationships with other women entrepreneurs and that they want to learn and connect in a way that is conducive to their demanding schedules. The app would enable women to connect, share and learn in a way that is accessible, flexible and gentle.
Table 2: Platform to Access Global Markets – Entrepreneurs in St. John’s that want to succeed need to think big and start global. Table two decided to create a website that would connect entrepreneurs with local, national and international resources to help them to export, import and access global markets. The online infrastructure would provide information, real-time mentors, and inspiring case studies and success stories.
Table 3: Rock Shot – Accelerators are popping up across Canada and St. John’s wants in. Rock Shot is an accelerator program for high-growth companies, which provides startups with space, mentors and investors to take ideas to the next level.
Table 4: Tools for the Trades – Targeting young people in the skilled trades, Tools for the Trades will provide youth with a mentorship network over the course of 3 years to foster entrepreneurial drive and business skills in St. John’s.
Table 5: BiziKidz – Business incubators across Canada have a disproportional number of men vs. women, in part because women prefer to work at home to care for children. BiziKidz is an office daycare centre for children of parents that work in incubators. Table participants suggested that the program could be piloted in St. John’s and then scaled across the province. The program would encourage more women to “take the plunge” and would take the chose between family and entrepreneurship out of the equation.
Table 6: Newfound.com – To help to foster a more entrepreneurial culture, Newfound.com will be the home of a province-wide campaign to share entrepreneurial success stories from across Newfoundland and Labrador and to engage entrepreneurs across the province in blogging, imparting their advice and experience, and inspiring new entrepreneurs. It would be based on a volunteer structure to develop a collective knowledge bank.
Table 7: Zero to Start – This is an initiative to bring together enterprise support organizations across the province to host regular Startup Weekend events to help enterprising individual to start their ideas.
Table 8: Get ‘Appy – This would be a startup company that would make apps accessible to small businesses and other entrepreneurs by providing cost-effective mobilize web-optimisation and app solutions to the Newfoundland SME market.
Table 9: ProBarter.com – This is a web-based bartering site for entrepreneurs to lend B2B services to each each other
Table 10: Business Bootcamp – An accelerator bootcamp for entrepreneurs to develop the knowledge, skills and network to take their ideas to the next level in association with Grenfell University
Table 11: Young Millionaires Club – A program for Newfoundland youth aimed to inspire young people to own their own businesses and to assist small business owner’s with succession planning by pairing youth with business owners as mentors and developing a learning / startup incubator program around the relationships between the mentors and the young people to facilitate succession planning.
Table 12: Clued In - This is a social enterprise that would provide young people with entrepreneurial business experience by employing them as project-based consultants to support organizations and small business with accessing Teen markets, engaging in social media, and providing focus groups where the Teens and young people themselves are the subject-matter experts.