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.
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.
Leading the Canadian music scene for over two decades is George Stroumboulopoulos, a Toronto-born pop culture legend who’s shared stories and experiences with the world’s best in sound and entertainment. Not everyone can make it to where George has, but those who do follow his sage advice:“I’m a big believer in ‘just go for it’. George has introduced thousands of Canadians to new beats, sounds, and stories as a MuchMusic VJ in the early 2000s, and more recently as the host of the Strombo Show and George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight. His latest gig, House of Strombo, features a big-name concert series that airs on Apple Music and CBC Radio 2. He’s championed environmentalism and social change as an advocate for the UN’s World Food Programme, Nelson Mandela’s Children’s Fund, and Canada for Haiti, just to name a few. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, the interviewer becomes interviewee as host Rivers Corbett talks to George about innovation within media and how his multi faceted career led him to where he is today.
It’s no surprise founders can attribute some of their success to their network of colleagues and friends. Nicole Verkindt knows that if you want to become the best you can be, who you engage with can make all the difference.“The five closest people who you hang around with have a huge influence.” Nicole Verkindt is one of the newest Dragons on CBC’s Next Gen Den. She launched her first startup, a manufacturing business selling to government, when she was just 23. Four years later at the age of 27, she founded Offset Market Exchange (OMX), a tech company that supports businesses to be more efficient, reduce costs, and reap the highest economic benefit from government procurement contracts. Today, she is highly involved in Canada’s entrepreneurship community, and even joined Startup Canada on International Women’s Day 2017 to share her story with entrepreneurs and policy makers. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, guest host Janice MacDonald talks to Nicole about growing up in the tech industry, procurement for small businesses, and the impact of policy on Canada’s entrepreneur-driven economy.
From creating prototypes for NASA to facilitating workshops that provide top brands with innovative ideas, Sarah St. Jules and Shelby Walsh from Trend Hunter are always ready to take a leap of faith. “Even if something seems outside of your comfort zone, that’s actually where the best ideas come from.” Sarah is the head of Trend Hunters annual Future Festival and Shelby is the President and Head of Research at Trend Hunter. Together, they run the popular Toronto-based Future Festival, a high-ranking innovation conference that’s been dubbed the best business event by notable brands like Red Bull, Samsung, Netflix and Starbucks. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Sarah and Shelby about Trend Hunters prized conference and what it takes to partner with A-list brands.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. That’s why making meaningful and targeted connections can take your business to the next level. Founder of SholdMediaGroup.com, Taylor Shold, is connecting those in the media industry with the right people, at the right time. “Networking is the #1 thing to do to get your name and your business out there.” Taylor is an entrepreneur whose goal is to connect like minded individuals in media with one another through networking. His journey began back in 2004 when he took a co-op placement at the sports department for Rogers Television, and since then has been involved in the development of broadcasting different sports programs, notably the NHL Network. Today, he has amassed a conglomerated portfolio of connections within the media industry. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Taylor about how he overcame the challenges he faced when entering the broadcasting industry and what you can do to make the right connections for your business.
New Brunswick is transforming into a hub for business, tech, and profit as this Maritime province is embracing the potential of entrepreneurship. Stephen Lund, CEO and Deputy Minister of Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB) is at the forefront of building a new Atlantic Canada. “I’ve been around the world and seen many companies, and I think we are world class. We strive to be professional world class, world leaders, and striving for results.” Since beginning his role at ONB, Stephen has helped to increase the job opportunities by nearly 3,000 new jobs. ONB has been pin pointed as a great place to work, making Atlantic Canada’s Top Employers list of 2017. Prior to ONB, Stephen was the President and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc., generating $1.2 billion in new client direct payroll, and he is recognized as one of the top 500 most influential people in financial centers worldwide. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Stephen about his goals and aspirations while getting top-level tips on how to grow a successful organization.
As children, we’re taught to treat others how we want to be treated. This life lesson follows you into adulthood, where we learn that it’s even more important not to burn bridges. That’s why Malcolm MacKillop strives to build relationships that last a lifetime. “Everybody you meet on this planet is somebody that may be willing to help you at some point in your life.” Malcolm is a founding member and primary partner at Shields O’Donnell MacKillop LLP. He is a successful trial lawyer, a law professor, a professional speaker, and an author. Malcolm is certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Civil Litigation and has been ranked by Lexpert as one of the top Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada. Malcolm has also achieved the highest Peer Rating by Martindale-Hubbel and was awarded the 2016 Randall Echlin Mentorship Award, all the while has authored a number of acclaimed texts in employment law, and has published columns in the Globe & Mail and the Toronto Star. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, special guest host Janice McDonald talks to Malcolm about the basics of business law and discuss the importance of legal literacy when starting a business.
When your employees are happy, business does better. For David Segal, knowing how to hire and creating the right environment for employees was just as close to his heart as the products he’s delivering to the world. “The number one most important thing in business is culture and hiring. David is a serial entrepreneur and Co-Founder of DavidsTEA, a Canadian speciality tea empire with more than 200 stores across North America. Before stepping down in 2016, David grew the company to become a 200 million dollar retail giant. Having successfully created the brand culture that transcended a tea vendor to a gallery of 150 different unique tea blends, Forbes named DavidsTEA one of the 25 most innovative consumer and retail brands in the world. In 2013, Oprah Winfrey publicly expressed her love of DavidsTEA on her show and magazine on several occasions. Today, David is expanding his visionary mind with a new restaurant business, Mad Radish Inc., that just launched this summer. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, guest host Janice McDonald talks to David about how branding can make or break a startup, and how he transformed the industry of one of the world’s oldest and most loved beverages.
Whether you’re running a logistics startup or breaking ground in healthcare wearables, founders need to encourage problem solving, risk taking, innovation and employee satisfaction. That’s why Catherine Dahl, Co-Founder and CEO of Beanworks strives to create a healthy company where employees are driven to succeed. “Culture eats strategy every time. If you don’t have a healthy culture in your company, you can’t scale fast and you won’t succeed very long.” Catherine launched Beanworks in 2012 and transformed it into the disruptive fintech tool it is today. In her spare time, she is an active champion for mental health and is dedicated to ensuring that women have the opportunities and resources they need to grow their careers. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Catherine about what it mean to innovate traditional finance and how this gastown startup is giving back.