Startup Communities Applications Now Open
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2014 | Today Startup Canada opened applications for its newly-launched Startup Canada Communities program and is now on the lookout for entrepreneurs to take the lead in putting their community on the map.
Since the Startup Communities beta launched in May of 2013, Startup Canada’s team has worked with the nation’s most dedicated community builders to create a platform that helps entrepreneurs make cities and towns from coast to coast better places for entrepreneurial growth.
Startup Communities are entrepreneur-led networks that are inclusive and active. They feature regular events that bring together the entrepreneurial community – like Startup Weekends, Startup Drinks & Demo events; they facilitate peer mentorship; and, they work to make the community more welcoming, encouraging and easy to navigate for entrepreneurs through greater alignment of support and service organizations.
Official Startup Canada Communities currently include: Fredericton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, London, York Region, Waterloo Region, Niagara, Sault Ste Marie, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Smithers, Prince George and Nanaimo.
“Our goal is to make every door the right door for entrepreneurs through enhancing the user experience of Canada’s entrepreneurship community,” said Amanda Stratton, the Manager of Startup Canada’s Communities platform. “Startup Communities enable entrepreneurs from anywhere in Canada to easily plug into Canada’s entrepreneurship network to start and grow their enterprise.”
Startup Community Builders are able to connect into the national network to share, learn and grow; access world-leading advisors and learning opportunities; and, leverage Startup Canada for support with national promotion, impact measurement and government relations opportunities. Official communities also receive a Community Starter Kit with branded materials, tools and a website to easily plug into the network.
More developed communities have access to Startup Canada’s Sister City Network, matching Canadian and global communities to open up new markets and opportunities to local entrepreneurs.
“It has always been difficult for small, rural communities to keep up against urban centres,” said Allan Stroet, a Community Builder in Smithers, BC. “Investment attraction, infrastructure, skills development, etc., always lag behind larger centres. It is a never-ending battle. Startup Canada has made it possible for entrepreneurs of all levels and locations to connect and share their insights and ideas.”
In larger centres, Offcial Startup Communities play an equally important role in building the local ecosystem.
Startup Montreal’s Noah Redler said, “My favorite aspect of Startup Montreal is that we are not looking to compete with services – we are in fact a lead generator for them. We’re the cheerleaders, or as I often say, the Switzerland of the startup community. Our goal is to promote entrepreneurship and to try collaborate with the numerous groups already doing amazing work on the ground so that we can expand the community and make it easier for entrepreneurs to plug in and grow.”
The Startup Communities program was lauded by international startup champions and leaders at last week’s LatAm Startup Conference in Santiago, Chile where Co-founder and CEO Victoria Lennox gave the opening keynote address that revealed the program and Canada’s position as a world leader in building communities that best equip entrepreneurs to succeed.
“We are entrepreneurs working together to make build a more entrepreneurial Canada,” said Lennox, “and the Startup Communities program is at the foundation of how Startup Canada is doing that on the ground in every single community across the country.”