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.
“We need to recognize that it is still early days for entrepreneurship in universities and allow the diversity of entrepreneurship on campus to blossom.” Dr. Rob Annan is the Chief Research Officer for Mitacs, a university-based organization that supports research initiatives in Canada, particularly through graduate student internships. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett speaks with Rob about his experience recruiting more than 1,000 international students to Canada, the role of universities in helping entrepreneurs, transformations in the higher education sector to better meet market demands and the rise of entrepreneurial campuses.
Yukon Brewing craft beer has cemented its place as a local favourite up North. But expanding the brand into other Canadian provinces hasn’t been easy without that hometown advantage, says Bob Baxter, Co-founder and President of Yukon Brewing. “We can’t outspend the big guys. We can’t even outspend the little guys who are right down the road. But we can outwork them.” The company has set out to do just that by introducing a batch of Two Brewers Yukon Single Malt Whisky this year and bringing their beer to global markets as far as Japan and Germany – all while working to support the local startup community in Whitehorse. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, Bob tells us about the pros and cons of operating a company in the Yukon, how local liquor laws have impacted the business and his ultimate vision for entrepreneurship in Canada’s Great North.
Janie Goldstein argues that startups should have a social mission from the start. However, before she created The Upside Foundation, entrepreneurs didn’t have a model or platform to work from. “We know they (entrepreneurs) have no time, and they should be very focused on building a company and getting a product out. We know they have no cash. So that’s why this platform was created. People talk about what’s the problem, what’s the solution? They know they want to be philanthropic… but they don’t have the means or platform to do it.” Janie Goldstein is the Executive Director and founder of The Upside Foundation of Canada, a new philanthropic venture that helps startups to commit options, which are then given back to Canadian charities upon the company’s exit. Janie obtained a degree from Montreal’s McGill University in Electrical Engineering, followed by an MBA from Harvard University. Her marketing and technical career started at Bell-Northern Research (later Nortel) and took her into consulting, where she stayed for over a decade. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, Rivers and Janie delve deep into social entrepreneurship in Canada while using Janie’s insight to understand why startups should start with a plan to give back.
Tracey Scarlett is an expert in women entrepreneurship. Over her career, she’s learned what it takes for women to thrive and grow. “Women in general are really well prepared. They’re educated, they have great ideas, and they want to build businesses. A lot of the times it’s the external validation that says: ‘I’m not the only one in the world doing this, and I’m not the only one in the world doing this while I still have X,Y, and Z.’” Tracey is one of Canada’s leading catalysts, advocates and experts in women’s entrepreneurship and growth. For over two decades, Tracey has been mentoring, advising and fostering the growth of businesses run by female entrepreneurs in Canada. Tracey also lends her time to NSERC as a member of their council, volunteers with TEC Venture Prize and the University of Alberta School of Business MBA program. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, Rivers and Tracey chat about starting up, scaling and taking women entrepreneurship to new heights.
We are thrilled to have as our guest today, Randy Thompson, Founder and CEO of VA Angels, one of Canada’s most active angel groups. VA Angels recently celebrated their 130th company funded for over $38M in total investments which includes deals in the US, UK and Africa. Today, we speak with Randy about the Calgary’s startup community, go inside the mind of an investor and learn the ins and outs of building a fundable and investment-ready business. Randy is a true leader in the Canadian startup scene, is a member of The A100 and has fostered the community through years of mentorship. He is currently invested in twenty two companies and has been working in the startup venture space for 20+ years. Randy has been named Angel of the Year in Canada by Startup Canada 2014. As an entrepreneur he has been the founder or founding partner in four entities, and is currently building GenerUS Marketing Solutions, a platform for not-for-profits to raise money.
Camille McInnis knows the recipe for building a successful startup community. “Having people both internal and external to your community who understand what you’re trying to do, and who can connect you with other resources are so important to the long term success of startup communities.” Camille is the Community Advisor for Startup Canada, an official Startup Canada Community, as well as the Acquisition and Marketing Toronto for Square Canada, a processing and business solutions provider based in Toronto. She has worked with companies such as Innovate Calgary, Tailsman Energy, and Breezingly, on everything from marketing and social media to events and programming. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, Camille offers tangible tips for building startup communities from the ground up to help local entrepreneurs reach their full potential.
Crowdfunding and marketing genius Viktor Grabovskyy is often asked how the Foreverspin campaign gained so much support and raised so much money. “The items that succeed the most are the ones that you as an individual can imagine yourself using… What you can dream, you can accomplish through crowdfunding” Viktor Grabovskyy, a recent grad from the University of Waterloo, is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Operations at Niche Media Marketing Group (NMM) and Triple Jump Media. NMM is the company behind the famous ForeverSpin Spinning Tops, which had $1.5 million in sales in 2014, after raising $130K on its first Kickstarter campaign. Most recently, ForeverSpin was featured on CBC’s Dragon’s Den to raise funding for global expansion. In this #StartupPodcast, we talk about crowdfunding, marketing, manufacturing, and starting up young.
Nobody ever told Stephanie Yong she might not get a job after studying what she loved. After graduating with a degree in Political Science, Stephanie did what many others do and left her home town. “I went overseas for 7 years and travelled the world. I saw as much of the world as I possibly could before coming back, which really opened up my eyes to so many different things. I traveled back to Saskatoon and started my MBA and started a business shortly after.” Stephanie Yong is the Director at the University of Saskatchewan’s Brett Wilson Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning & Startup Canada Saskatoon Community Leader. Stephanie is an intrapraneur who has been instrumental to the development of Saskatchewan’s startup entrepreneurship and campus community. On this week’s #StartupPodcast, we get the low-down on the Saskatoon startup scene, building entrepreneurial campuses and intra-preneurship.
Just because you’re not an expert doesn’t mean you can’t play the game. Jason Field learned this important lesson when he started BrainStation, a digital learning facility with locations in Toronto, Vancouver, and New York. “In order to be a successful entrepreneur, always be looking outside of your comfort zone because that is where the magic happens, and the reward is amazing.” In this week’s #StartupPodcast, learn how Jason abandoned his comfort zone to start his company, why experiential learning is key, and how you can build your business skills by connecting with your startup community.
Canadian entrepreneur, consultant, and software developer Mike Iwasiow knows the secret to creating a sustainable work-life balance. “Don’t focus so much on success, or the traditional definition of that…. Focus on happiness and fulfillment of your whole day. Try to maximize your day, and everything else will fall out from that.” Mike is the Founder and CEO of BookedIN, an online appointment scheduling and payment software for small businesses. As a family man and a successful entrepreneur, Mike has powerful thoughts on emails, unplugging, and routine. This week’s #StartupPodcast hones in on what work-life balance means for startup entrepreneurs like Mike. Learn how he has more responsibilities than ever, but only works for 35 hours a week.