The Startup Canada Podcast Show is a production of Startup Canada, a grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement to bring together, celebrate, and give a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurship community. On the podcast, award-winning entrepreneur host Rivers Corbett speaks with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to give a glimpse into the future of business, and share insights on everything from social innovation to the future of work, investing, and why we need to think bigger to take our businesses global. Join Rivers Corbett for new episodes every Tuesday airing at 10 AM ET for lessons, trends, and opportunities in entrepreneurship from Vancouver to Fredericton; and Israel to Peru.
Is your business ready to go global? If you’re about to make the leap into foreign markets, it’s essential to understand how to recognize, avoid and plan around corruption and bribery. “When you’re operating in some of these countries you’ll be faced with ethical dilemmas on a day to day basis.” Justin Taylor is the Senior Corporate Affairs Analyst at Export Development Canada (EDC). He leads anti-corruption due diligence and reputational risk analysis for transactions supported by EDC. As December 9th was Anti-Corruption Day, Justin and his team are raising awareness around the risks Canadian businesses face when doing business abroad. Everyday, Justin works with companies who are facing issues to help them understand their anti-corruption and compliance practices and the steps they’re taking to address business integrity issues in challenging markets. In this week’s podcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Justin about his role in Canada’s fight against corruption and bribery, and how he’s protecting small businesses.
On November 29, the Startup Canada Podcast Show attended the SaaS North Scale-up Conference, Canada’s largest SaaS conference to talk to Meena Sandhu, the SaaS North Conference Director and Meghan Herman, the Head of Inclusion and Innovation at Shopify. Meena and Meghan sat down with guest host Rachelle DeSorcy, Digital Program Coordinator at Startup Canada to discuss the conference and how Shopify is becoming a global leader in inclusion.
Entrepreneurship can be a driving vehicle for hope and reconciliation. After experiencing a tragedy no parent or human should face, Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish turned to entrepreneurship as a way to advocate for peace, while empowering a generation of women and girls. “Businesses can play active roles in the prevention, settlement, transformation and stability of communities… It can lead to social, human impact. It should be based on moral human principals and that’s what I fully believe. [Entrepreneurship] is about exposure and connection and messages of peace and humanity.” Dr. Abuelaish is a Canadian-Palestinian medical doctor, teacher and an internationally recognized human rights and inspirational peace activist. Born and raised in Jabalia Refugee Camp in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abuelaish is a four-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and is known as the “Gaza Doctor” who has dedicated his life to using health as a vehicle for peace. In memory of his daughters, he established Daughters for Life Foundation. Believing that lasting peace depends on empowering girls and young women, it provides scholarships enabling young women of any Middle Eastern nationality or faith to pursue studies otherwise inaccessible to them. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, we’ll talk to Dr. Abuelaish about the power of peace and how he’s working to distinguish the rising acts of hatred around the world.
Millennials are the first generation to have grown up surrounded by digital information. To have access to an unending source of content, opinions, and ideas can be both a blessing and a curse. That’s why Zainab Muse, Co-Founder of Wingd, an award-winning digital media agency is working to align the digital age with the values held by her generation. “Think of us as the digital age caveman, we are the natives of digital age … for us, we can actually change the direction of how generations after us utilize the Internet, because we are the ones pioneering it right now.” Zainab is an advocate for youth entrepreneurship. Her inspiration to start Wingd grew from an idea to make the content shared on mainstream media a lot smarter and solutions-driven in order to empower young people to understand their immense potential. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Zainab about the multimedia company on a mission to empower millennial voices, and how Wingd aims to inspire the next generation of leaders.
Not every business can make it big on Toronto’s Queen Street West. Co-Founder and President of Drake General Store, Carlo Colacci knew it’d take purposeful collections of hand-curated treasures to attract people of all ages. “Our key demographic is everyone. We’re trying to appeal to the young, to the old, to the family, and everyone in between. We try to appeal to the curious culture seeker.” Carlo, in partnership with his Co-Founder Joyce Lo, run the Toronto-based Drake General Store, a unique one-stop-shop for modern and classic Canadian goods that fill all it`s buyers with intrigue and nostalgia. Working with local artists and and in-house designers, Carlo’s curations reflect the modern version of the classic general store. The company’s expansion to other cities like Ottawa, and addition to an online shop that ships across the country, also reinvigorated the interests of local roots while scaling back the fast-changing fashion and consumer good industries. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, we’ll talk to Carlo about how our cultural products can maintain authentic Canadian identity, all the while keeping up with the changing trends of contemporary lifestyle.
Entrepreneurship isn’t a guessing game. Everyday, more resources become available for new business owners, for those looking for funding, and for the seasoned entrepreneurs who are looking to exit. Dr. Sean Wise understands the building blocks required to avoid unnecessary risk and to overcome avoidable failures. “In today’s world, we have moved entrepreneurship from an art to a science.” Sean is the Co-Author, alongside Brad Feld, of Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job which ranks on Amazon’s best seller list. He is also the professor and director of the university’s own accelerator program called Ryerson Futures, mentoring hundreds of innovation focused startups. Overall, the startups under his mentorship have collectively raised more than $2.1 Billion in capital. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Dr. Wise about the evolution of entrepreneurship and the science behind starting up.
Failure is a right of passage for entrepreneurs. For Katrina Carroll-Foster, the knowledge gained by closing her first business led her to help over 30 startups transition into large corporations. “Once we had those conversations, once we made some decisions, and really looked up: ‘Why did we fail? What do we learn from it?’ Eight years later, I’ve really tried to leverage that in the work that I do with my clients.” Katrina is the founder and CEO of Kollectively Business Strategies, a strategy consultant firm specializing in brand and marketing strategies. She champions small business and newly-minted entrepreneurs as a mentor, advisor and speaker for organizations like Futurpreneur, the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs and The Next Big Thing. Recently, Katrina helped launch The Raise Collective with 4 other founders to help change the ratio of women in early-stage investing. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Katrina about how her involvement with the startup community has helped shape her into an expert strategist in the marketing field.
Like any other age-old industry, fashion retailers must innovate or die. Peter Simons, President of the Quebec-born La Maison Simons is growing his concept shop style department stores to infuse fashion, art, and cutting edge technologies to create an experience parallel to no other store before it. “We are really in a moment of thinking about 20, 50 years, different social aspects, energy, communication, all these things are going to impact all business, not just retail. We have to build the company for that time frame.” Peter is the President of La Maison Simons, the home-grown Quebec fashion retailer that’s making bold entrances in major cities across the country. At 175 years, the company is older than Canada itself, and still continues to thrive through innovation and aggressive expansion. In a highly competitive industry, Peter maintains the company’s edge with his sensitivity towards artistic creativity and architecture in store design. With 14 locations, customers can choose from a hybrid of products ranging from apparel to home-goods, all engrained with modern twists of Quebec and Canadian identity. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Janice McDonald talks to Peter about his vision for the future, and why it’s essential to engrain social responsibility into all businesses.
Simplicity is incredible, especially when you’re a busy parent looking to help your children discover fun activities outside of school. After struggling to find a centralized platform to choose kid-friendly day camps and classes, Jo-Anne Reynolds fixed a market gap with the creation of SpikeBee. “Any kind of business that runs a camp, activity, event, can go online & list their programs with SpikeBee. On a parents side of things, you can go on and search by a list of demographics including cost.” Jo-Anne started SpikeBee after moving to Calgary from South Africa in 2009. As a mother of two, Jo-Anne became inspired to fill a market gap after struggling to find classes and camps for her young daughters to enroll in. She has grown SpikeBee to become a North American giant, and the company has just recently crossed the ocean to offer its services to residents in her home country of South Africa. In this weeks #StartupPodcast, Jo-Anne will tell us about how her personal experiences shaped her entrepreneurial journey and how she’s connecting parents all over the world to kid-friendly classes and activities.
Did you set up shop when days became warmer and you knew the demand would rise for thirst-quenching juice? That may have been the first time your inner-entrepreneur appeared. “I was always the kid with the lemonade stand.” Anne Whelan is the CEO of Seafair Capital Inc. Based out of Newfoundland, Anne’s journey as a leading woman entrepreneur began as she completed her MBA in Business from Memorial University. Over a decade later, Anne took home the title of Canada’s most 100 Powerful Women in 2016, which was awarded to her from the Women’s Executive Network. She was also named Atlantic Business Magazine’s CEO of the year two years before that. She truly is an amazing woman entrepreneur balancing her family life and a growing million dollar empire. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Anne about the importance of bringing values into organizations and her journey as an award winning mompreneur.