About Startup Canada Communities

Startup Canada launched the flagship Startup Canada Communities network in 2013 with a vision to support the development of healthy, local entrepreneurial communities connected nationally to foster an environment and culture for entrepreneurial success for every entrepreneur.

Startup Canada Communities support and connect grassroots networks to fuel a culture and environment for entrepreneurship at the local level.   

At the core, Startup Communities: 

  • Provide entrepreneurs with opportunities to connect with inspiration, support, mentors, financing, resources, customers, resources and partners; 
  • Bring together local entrepreneurship organizations to foster collaboration, information sharing, resource optimization, and ignite new opportunities; and, 
  • Connect to the national network to open up new partners, opportunities and initiatives to local entrepreneurs; grow exposure across Canada and globally; and, have a voice in Ottawa.

Led By Entrepreneurs and Supporting Organizations

At the local level, each member community acts as a point-on-entry for entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem, providing a connection to other startup founders, and easy access to mentors, space, funding, and support to start and grow their businesses. Communities do this through online resources as well as grassroots events that welcome, engage, and encourage all entrepreneurs. Each community’s leaders also proactively engage with local stakeholders in government and industry, as well as with investors, to form a partnership with a common goal of supporting the creation and growth of new companies locally.

Startup Canada works with each member community to help build these components of a healthy ecosystem, while also giving them access to a national network of peers, advisors, experts, and opportunities. Startup Communities is laying the foundation of a Pan-Canadian infrastructure to accelerate the creation of startup communities everywhere that advance the success of Canadian entrepreneurs.

Communities Program Mission:

  • To support the efforts in elevating local ecosystems by nurturing their programming with engaging activities that aim to potentiate their growth and impact. 
  • To support entrepreneurs from demographics that lack access to financial and educational support such as visible minorities, rural communities, Indigenous entrepreneurs and newcomers. 
  • To expand the horizons of local entrepreneurship communities by connecting their members across provinces.
  • To provide guidance and resources to Community Leaders that will translate into more proactive ecosystems, that will better serve local entrepreneurs. 

Community-Wide Events

Startup Community leaders and stakeholders ensure that there are core events that bring together the entire entrepreneur community, so that entrepreneurs can connect in-person and digital events with each other and with those who can help them to take their ventures to the next level. 

Online events like Startup Meet & Greets, in-person events such as Startup Weekend and campaigns like Global Entrepreneurship Week are typical of a Startup Community. The focus is to provide regular opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect, learn-by-doing, and promote their ventures to the wider community.

National Exposure & Connectivity

Local community leaders tap into the national network of communities across Canada and receive support and exposure through Startup Canada. Community leaders connect across Canada through monthly online meet ups; receive websites, branding, guidelines, case studies and measurement tools; and, are advised by a world-class team of expert advisors to support them in advancing their own communities on the ground by leveraging best practice, precedence and critical mass.

In addition, national networking online events hosted on a regular basis by the Communities Program Committee, bring together entrepreneurs from coast to coast, elicit knowledge transfer and peer support at a macro-level.

Everyone is Welcome

Startup Communities are not just for tech entrepreneurs. They are open to entrepreneurs of all types and at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Whether you are a med-tech, social or creative entrepreneur, support entrepreneurs or are simply curious about entrepreneurship, get involved, connect with others and help to build your startup community.

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