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.
“I’m constantly blown away by how much innovation and talent there is here with such a small population.” – Ron Taylor, CEO, Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI). Ron Taylor is a Toronto native who decided to move to St. John’s, Newfoundland in 2002. Today, as CEO of the Newfoundland and Labrador Association of Technology Industries (NATI), he has seen technology act as an equalizer, creating new opportunities for more of Atlantic Canada’s young population to work and live in their home community. Over the years, NATI has established itself as a leading player in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in St. John’s and across the province. What is casino the key to growing a tech company in Newfoundland? Exporting, says Taylor. “If you’re not exporting it, you’re not going to get that exponential growth,” he says. In this Startup Podcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Taylor about the role of tech industries in fueling growth in Atlantic Canada, why startup communities are particularly important in rural locations, and why entrepreneurs should consider exporting early in their ventures.
“If you’re passionate about what you do and you work hard, something is going to come out of it.” – Linda Manziaris, Founder of Body Bijou; Winner of Startup Canada’s 2014 Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Linda Manziaris started Body Bijou when she was 13 because she saw it as a way to help others. Not only is Body Bijou successfully selling uniquely designed jewelry, it is also creating impact. Manziaris donates 50% of her company’s profits to help young girls in developing countries receive an education. According to 15-year-old Manziaris, the three most important secrets for success are: have grit, always say yes, and never take ‘no’ for an answer. Today on Startup Canada Podcast with Rivers Corbett, Manziaris discusses the appeal of entrepreneurship for young people, creating a social enterprise and what it takes to grow a company while in school.
“It is hard to build a business, but 10 years later you’ll be walking down the street and somebody will ask ‘How did you became an overnight success?’” – Frank O’Dea, Co-Founder of Second Cup and serial entrepreneur. Second Cup wasn’t an overnight success. It took innovative ideas and years of testing to land on the gourmet coffee model that continues to grow to this day. By exploring a new idea, Frank O’Dea learned that people are willing to pay more for a good cup of coffee in the right environment. “It changed the relationship between the coffee and the customer. It was no longer about having a beverage. It was now about a treat.” O’Dea believes the Blue Ocean Strategy, which involves creating a new industry, is useful for any entrepreneur. He also believes that creating the right environment is integral for any company, including tech startups. In this episode of Startup Canada Podcast with Rivers Corbett, O’Dea talks about the Blue Ocean Strategy, the three things entrepreneurs need to succeed, and how the Canadian government can empower entrepreneurs.
“There’s a huge wealth of innovation and a wealth of startups and their stories need to get out.” – Karen Greve Young, VP of Partnerships at MaRS Discovery District. MaRS Discovery District is not only a place for Canadian startups to grow, but is also where innovative multi-nationals such as Airbnb and Etsy have built their Canadian home. Like all good startups, Toronto’s main innovation hub has grown significantly and made significant pivots along the way. According to Karen Greve Young, VP of Partnerships at MaRS, Canada is at a pivotal moment where it needs to optimize success stories and make innovation a priority. “I don’t know if it was Canadian modesty, but we have not done a good job of commercializing or capturing the value for Canada. We’ve kinda given it away,” she says. In this episode of Startup Podcasts with Rivers Corbett, Karen Greve Young talks about why Toronto is a great place for innovation and how MaRS is putting Canadian innovation on the map.
“In order to finance these failures, you need money.” – Honourable Rafael Barak, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada. Did you know that in Israel, almost 4 per cent of GDP goes towards innovative developments? Israel is a leading hub for startups and innovation. Tel Aviv was ranked the fifth best startup ecosystem according to Compass. It was the only city outside the United States to break the top five. According to the Honourable Rafael Barak, Israel’s Ambassador to Canada, failure is part of the innovation process. In this episode of the Startup Canada Podcast with host Rivers Corbett, Barak explains the secret sauce behind Israel’s innovative culture and how the Israeli government is actively exploring new ways to collaborate with startup ecosystems in countries like Canada.
“Entrepreneurship is about perseverance and not giving up. It’s important to continue to push that boulder up that hill and not be phased by distractions.” – Ronen Benin, Founder & CEO of RightBlue Labs Inc. RightBlue Labs Inc. is a Toronto-based tech startup that is already working some of the leading national sports brands, including Hockey Canada. Recently, Benin and RightBlue Labs Inc. won the Start Tel Aviv competition and a trip to Israel to network with investors and professionals from one of the top startup ecosystems in the world. Benin’s advice for entrepreneurs that plan to enter major startup competitions? Be ready to on-board new clients. Winning comes with lots of opportunities, but entrepreneurs need to make sure that they are able to deliver. In this episode of the Startup Canada Podcast with host Rivers Corbett, Benin talks about his goals for visiting Tel Aviv, Toronto’s startup ecosystem and working with family.
“Out of the way entrepreneurs, seniorpreneurs are taking over.” – Wendy Mayhew Mayhew is an advocate for promoting seniorpreneurship in Canada. She is the producer of Real World Entrepreneur Training, author and the founder of Business Launch Solutions, an organization that helps startups tackle business fundamentals. Did you know: オンライン カジノ Gordon Bowker founded Starbucks at age 51. Ferdinand Porsche founded the Porsche car company at age 55. Estée Lauder started her namesake cosmetics company at age 54. Mayhew believes that in order for more seniors to have the confidence to pursue entrepreneurship, they need a community of entrepreneurs their own age. In this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast with Rivers Corbett, Mayhew discusses the state of Seniorpreneurship in Canada and how the startup community can make people over 50 feel welcome.
“We all have a lot to offer and we all have a lot to learn.” Noah Redler is in the trenches, growing the startup ecosystem in Montreal. He’s a Community Leader for Startup Montreal, Campus Director at the tech startup hub Notman House, and Co-founder of Publikit. To Redler, startups have a lot to gain by connecting with their local startup ecosystem. The growing ecosystem in Montreal has a creative energy that is breeding successful startups such as Busbud, Breather and Mixology. In this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast, host Rivers Corbett interviews Noah Redler about building an engaged startup community that serves and supports the interests of the people in that community. “It’s not trying to copy Silicon Valley or New York…It’s taking the best practices they’ve created and doing it in our own special way.”
“Six years in we’re still pivoting.” – Yona Shtern, Founder and CEO of of Beyond the Rack. Although Beyond the Rack is now one of Canada’s most successful startups, it wasn’t clear from the beginning that the business would survive. After the lead in their first investment round backed out, Shtern thought the whole thing might crumble. He spent $3,000 of his dwindling budget to fly to Zurich to meet with an interested investor. It was a gamble that paid off big time. This is reflected in the wisdom he wants to impart on the next generation: “Persevere and don’t give up. If you see an opportunity…don’t leave anything on the bench.” In this episode of the Startup Canada Podcast with host Rivers Corbett, Shtern talks about proving concept, growing a business and maintaining a strong co-founder relationship.
“If everyone told you what they wanted, then everyone would have horses.” – Henry Ford, Founder of Ford Motor Company. Chris Johnson thinks Ford’s thoughts on innovating transportation applies just as easily to developing new technology today. To Johnson, it’s not about coming up with new ideas that the customer doesn’t know they want yet. It’s about reading between the lines of what customers say and delighting them in a way they didn’t expect. In this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast, host Rivers Corbett talks with Chris Johnson, CEO and co-founder at Permission Click and one of the founders of Startup Winnipeg. Johnson gets real about the challenges of being an entrepreneur and why it’s important to be connected to the startup ecosystem. What is his advice for entrepreneurs in the startup ecosystem? Invest ahead of the curve. Investing time and energy to build the community will pay off in the long run.