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.
Scared of saying the wrong thing, resulting in unwanted spotlight from an unintentional blunder? The chances of showing up on the trend list on Twitter are lower than you think. PR specialist Lyndon Johnson warns entrepreneurs about being too risk averse, and the real damages done by acting without caution. “Blunders are strange. People think there’s a huge risk in doing something that will embarrass the company or individuals or upset customers. The blunder I see more often than not is people trying to activate relationships before they’ve built them, to the point where they’re randomly shouting at people, ‘do this, help me, buy this product’ before they have the relationship in place.” Lyndon Johnson is the Founder and Strategic PR Specialist behind the platforms ThinkDifferent[LY] and Comms.Bar. He moved to Toronto Canada from the UK, marking the creation of his first public relations business. Lyndon saw an opportunity to innovate public relations and created his company to embody such innovation as well as tailor it towards modern business. More recently, his work in redefining how companies value and define public relations continues with his new platform, Comms.Bar. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Lyndon about his unique approach to PR, his approach to helping his clients, and the stories behind what drove him to create his business.
Inequalities felt in developing nations aren’t always visible. With an estimated 2.5 billion people with unbanked identities, the creation of a digital footprint can make a world of difference for those without traditional documentation. Stephen Ufford knew his next venture would address the identity verification issues faced by over a quarter of the global population. “My whole life was built around transacting online. That wouldn’t have been possible for me if I had simply lived in a [developing country]. I noticed there was a lot of opportunity lost for people in that part of the world… That was really the inspiration.” Stephen is the CEO and founder of Trulioo, a global identity verification company. When it comes to data-driven business, he has founded and successfully sold several consumer data focused start-ups over the last decade. As a serial entrepreneur, Stephen likes to challenge the status quo and if it’s broken, he likes to fix it. In 2011, the identity veteran started his most recent startup, Trulioo, to help build a trust layer into the Internet, and fix the problem of broken identity that today affects so many online businesses. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Stephen about the story behind Trulioo’s creation, and about the awe-inspiring impact Trulioo is having across the globe.
Eli Fathi is the CEO of MindBridge Ai – a company that uses advanced solutions based human-centric AI, machine learning and big data to provide to help identify and eliminate financial crimes. “I was bitten by the bug of entrepreneurship. Because you care, you are going to work that much harder to make sure you are successful”. Eli Fathi is the winner of the 2016 Startup Canada Senior Entrepreneur Award. A serial entrepreneur who has established himself one of Canada’s most notable entrepreneurs, Eli has built, scaled and exited many great companies in the National Capital Region. Eli’s companies currently employ over 300 people and have generated over $500 Million in revenues since their inception – including FluidReview, which was acquired by Surveymonkey. In today’s interview, we’ll learn the story behind a leading champion and enabler of Canada’s entrepreneurship community.
As the new millennium rolled in over 17 years ago, digital technology only grew, giving entrepreneurs the opportunity to start and grow their business and online legacy. By using traditional business development techniques and a future-forward use of the Internet, Ashkan Karbasfrooshan grew a digital empire. “I think the Internet allows you to think that you can just sit at your desk and you have this boundaryless opportunity to go out and build a business, that is global in nature. And you can absolutely do that, but you really do need to get out there and meet people.” WatchMojo has a catalog of 10,000 videos on pop culture and ‘infotainment’, and is watched 300 million times each month by nearly 50 million consumers. Aside from being the CEO of such a successful YouTube channel, Ashkan is also a three-time author, notably of “10-Year Overnight Success: An Entrepreneur’s Manifesto.” In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Ashkan about starting a top 10 channel on YouTube from Canada and how to remain successful in business with the ever changing digital landscape.
Michael Cayley wants startups to thrive everywhere. That’s why he started up Cdling Capital Services Inc, a platform that helps build trust across startup communities. “This all comes from a great passion of being engaged in the world. With a little persistence and ingenuity, we can make a difference.” Michael has worked with hundreds of startups from Toronto, Kitchener, Waterloo, New York City, Silicon Valley and Montreal over the last few years. He’s also facilitated meetings between his clients and over 40 investors from all over the world. When it comes to business, Michael believes that trust and integrity are the two most important drivers of success. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Michael Cayley about new sources of capital and how to give back to the community.
Overcoming adversity is not for the faint of heart. Maayan Ziv, Founder of AccessNow, an app that finds and rates accessible restaurants, stores, hotels, and more worldwide, is working tirelessly to bring accessibility to the forefront of everyone’s minds. “The idea is to actually build an inclusive community where we can all relate to what accessibility means.” Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan is a passionate and relentless advocate for creating a more accessible world. In 2015 she founded AccessNow, a mobile app that maps the accessibility status of locations worldwide. She has since been a regular media commentator on topics such as disability, diversity and inclusion. In 2016, Maayan received the City of Toronto Access Award, the Startup Canada National Resilient Entrepreneur of the Year and the David C. Onley Leadership in Accessibility Award in recognition of her innovative solutions and commitment to improving the lives of people of all abilities. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, Maayan and Rivers talk about what it takes to overcome adversity and start up your own successful business.
Serial entrepreneur Michael Sacca is all about making sure freelancers reach their maximum potential. When he is not interviewing with successful startup founders, he is helping them scale by offering innovative freelance solutions. “We are able to bring quality work to people, we are able to keep them busy, and we also able to treat them like equals, not like they are just working for us.” Michael is the former President of Crew.co and Co-Host of Rocketship.fm. Michael is a trusted entrepreneur amongst his network of independent creatives who work on products used by millions of people for some of the industry’s largest companies like Apple, Google, Uber and Dropbox. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Michael about his path to becoming the president of one of the most successful web development sites, and how he managed to assemble his team of creatives who have worked for some of the most reputable companies today.
The greatest ideas are often those written on napkins, coming into fruition over the course of a night with a seemingly endless supply of cold beer. The idea of Beau’s All Natural Brewing is no different. “I stopped and thought for a minute and said, ‘well if you’re serious, Dad, I will sell my house and quit my job, fold up the record label and I’ll start a brewery with you.’ And we spent the rest of the day dreaming up this brewery we were going to open.” Steve Beauchesne is the CEO and Co-Founder of Beau’s All Natural Brewing. Beau’s is a family-run, employee-owned and totally independent Canadian craft brewery that has seen 500% growth in the past 5 years. Since it started in 2006, Beau’s has won more than 85 national and international awards for beer-making, marketing, sustainability, and has raised more than 1 million dollars for charity. Steve certified Beau’s as Canada’s first-ever B-Corp brewery, founded February 1 as International Gruit Day and successfully lobbied to have some of Canada’s old beer laws changed to recognize the rights of craft brewers. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Steve about his journey into B-Corp beer-preneurship and how Beau’s integrates giving back into its business model.
14-time award-winning thought leader, two time TEDx Speaker and CEO to Lovell Corporation, Kelly Lovell is a youth motivator working to connect youth entrepreneurs to communities and businesses on the global stage. “If you want to make a change there is no better way to do so than doing it yourself. And with time, the attraction will all be organic. Stop listening to no; society is full of negativity. Your focus should be to use the doubts as a pivot. Hence, motivativating yourself to make your plans work.” As one of Canada’s premier youth consultancy firms, Lovell Corporation helps Fortune Global 500® companies build effective youth marketing and millennial employee retention strategies. Lovell is also the Founder and CEO of My Effect, a personal development platform that helps people and organizations differentiate in the market by tracking skill-building volunteering and leadership achievements. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Kelly about new sources of capital and how to give back to the community.
What does it take to disrupt an industry? This is a common question asked by entrepreneurs looking to power the next tsunami of change. Eric Apps is making waves in the field of law by using his experiences as an entrepreneur to innovate. “As an entrepreneur, disrupting an industry doesn’t mean getting into a fight or competing at a higher level, but it entails knowing who you want to disrupt, how you are going to go about it and how you are going to get money out of it.” Eric is a Toronto-based serial entrepreneur on a mission. He is the Co-Founder of Aluvion Law, Organimi and Founding-Partner of Wildeboer Dellelce LLP. Eric was President of an AI and machine learning software company called Angoss for over a decade, long before it was fashionable. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Eric about how he combines tech, business, and law to disrupt an age-old industry.