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.
“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.
“Dream big, think the impossible, love passionately, and give generously.” This is the mantra Marissa McTasney created for herself. When McTasney started Moxie Trades, she didn’t have the skills, knowledge, experience or even a mentor. All she had was an opportunity. She dove in head-first, quickly landing a big contract with Home Depot and made a deal with Brett Wilson from Dragons’ Den. Now Moxie Trades is a successful handy-women apparel line that can be found in large retail stores across North America. How was McTasney able to transform an opportunity into a business? She created her own definition of success. In this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast with host Rivers Corbett, Marissa McTasney explains how she found her moxie, grew a company and became a champion for women in entrepreneurship and trades.
“View the entrepreneur as the planter of the seed…The role of venture capital is the water and it is creating the fuel for growth.” John Ruffolo is very selective in picking which seeds to water. One of the most important questions he asks entrepreneurs is “How did you get to this idea?” He believes the best performing companies in his portfolio all started with an entrepreneur that had a passionate story. On this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast, Rivers Corbett interviews the man Bloomberg Business dubbed the “saviour to Canada’s startups” for offering direct investment when it was sparse following the last recession. John Ruffolo is the Chief Executive Officer of OMERS Ventures and the Executive Managing director of OMERS Strategic Investments. Hear why David Goldberg’s two and a half hour pitch for SurveyMonkey was among Ruffolo’s most memorable; how FOMO (or fear of missing out) is contributing to a tech bubble; and why Ruffolo thinks the government shouldn’t put taxpayer dollars towards private business.
“It’s not just a job. It’s a way of thinking. It’s a way of living your life.” This is how Rick Spence describes entrepreneurship. He should know. He has been writing about entrepreneurship and innovation for over 25 years. He currently contributes to the National Entrepreneurship Column in the Financial Post and is writing a book for veterans on entrepreneurship. Spence has interviewed many of the most successful innovators in Canada. There is a particular mindset that Spence believes will help grow the next generation of entrepreneurs. “We’ve got to create confidence in people so that they can make a difference.” In this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast with Rivers Corbett, Spence explains why Canada needs more entrepreneurs willing to make an impact, what traits are needed to be successful, and what support is needed for Canada to compete in innovation.
The Great One summed it nicely for Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes: “You miss 100 per cent of the shots you don’t take.” It’s a piece of advice often quoted by CEO’s and sports stars alike, but Holmes couples it with another mantra: Hustle. Everyday. Just like hockey legend Wayne Gretzky missed the net the first time he shot a puck, Holmes’ first product wasn’t a roaring success. Today he is the CEO of a company with over 10 million customers, and his product is one used by athletes, politicians, and entertainers worldwide. How did he get here? Holmes hustled to build, innovate, fail, and find market fit. He hustled to find the perfect founding team, and to be his company’s greatest cheerleader. In this edition of the Startup Canada Podcast with host Rivers Corbett, The Man Behind Hootsuite shares his insights on the basics of business and the future of entrepreneurship in Canada. Hint: It involves the “h” word.