Synching Government with Startups

Left: Minister Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board with Montreal entrepreneurs at the Notman House

By Melloney Campbell, Startup Canada Communications 

What do you get when you put together a startup savvy Federal Minister, a grassroots entrepreneur non-profit, and a room full of tech and data entrepreneurs? Innovation, impact and a better environment for startups.

On September 8, 2014, grassroots entrepreneur non-profit Startup Canada, in partnership with Noah Redler, in his new role as Campus Director at the Notman House in Montreal, QC., is set to host Minster Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada, for a special entrepreneurs’ round table to discuss the potential of leveraging open data in the Canadian startup community for economic growth, job creation and innovation.

As the headquarters for the FounderFuel startup accelerator program and a technology hub for entrepreneurs in the web, mobile and data-tech community in Montreal, Notman House is a fitting backdrop for the unveiling of Startup Connect and for a discussion on synching government and startups through open data.

Minister Clement, who is a Member of Parliament for Parry Sound-Muskoka, a leader at the forefront of the Open Data initiative, and arguably one of the most connected and social media savvy parliamentarians has a track record of actively engaging Canada’s entrepreneur community through hack-a-thons, Google hangouts and his regular Twitter repartee.

During this special visit, Minister Clement will also have the opportunity to tour the Notman House and be the first Federal Minister to demo Startup Canada’s StartupConnect.ca platform. Startup Connect is an open-data platform to encourage and speed entrepreneurs’ access and connectivity to the Canadian entrepreneurship community.

Startup Canada’s co-founder, Victoria Lennox, is no stranger to influencing government policy and connecting politicians to startups. Having developed a youth entrepreneurship movement in the UK, as the founder of government-backed charity NACUE.org, and as the only Canadian to be awarded Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion, Ms. Lennox has been active in soliciting government engagement and involvement in creating the conditions for entrepreneur success here in Canada, in part, through Startup Canada’s annual flaghship event in Ottawa, Startup Canada Day on the Hill, which happens each November, and through the Startup Canada Task Force, which focuses on issues of startup finance, the conditions for newcomer entrepreneurs and strengthening Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem.

According to Ms. Lennox, “This meeting is another example of how Startup Canada is actively connecting Government leaders with entrepreneur founders to have meaningful and action-oriented conversations about how Government can create an enabling environment for entrepreneurs to innovate, and in doing so, empower entrepreneurs to tackle some of the most significant challenges and opportunities confronting us today.

Entrepreneurs across Canada will be watching the open-data initiative closely to better understand how they can leverage open-data to identify new opportunities and develop an edge in a competitive global landscape.

For Noah Redler, this meeting is a welcome opportunity to demonstrate to government leaders how entrepreneurs are taking it upon themselves to mobilize, build community – as evidenced through the Notman House community – and their willingness to work with government in its efforts to create a better environment for startup success.

“We all want the same thing,” said Mr. Redler. “We want Canada to become the best country in the world for entrepreneurial growth – a fertile territory for disruptive innovations in health, energy, environment and industry. The Startup Canada movement makes this clear; this generation of entrepreneurs wants to work closely with government to get there.”