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, we speak 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. Tune in weekly 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.

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Latest Episode

Business After COVID-19 with Stuart Ducoffe – October 20, 2020

COVID-19 has changed the way we work and interact with each other and has left many nervous about the future. The transition from remote work back to the office can be seamless, but only if we follow occupational health and safety legislation – just ask Stuart Ducoffe!

Stuart Ducoffe is an employment and labour lawyer, as well as founder of e2r, which powers the Ceridian HR Advisory Services solution. He is also partner and co-founder of Woolgar VanWiechen Cosgriffe Ducoffe, LLP and leads the firm’s employment and labour law practice. 

Prior to founding e2r and the law firm, Stuart practiced for many years with one of Canada’s largest and most prestigious Canadian law firms. Stuart is one of only a small group of employment and labour lawyers certified by HRPA as a Certified Human Resources Leader (CHRL).

“We often think of occupational health and safety in the contexts of manufacturing or mining. Now because of COVID-19, the average office space needs to adhere to this legislation because we need to return to work safely.” 

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Stuart discusses the impact COVID-19 has had on business from a labour law perspective and the factors at play as we all return to the office.

Recently Aired Episodes


Cybersecurity for Startups with Anne Genge – October 13, 2020

Every entrepreneur should know the basics of data privacy, cybersecurity, and the risks their startup is exposed to. Just ask Anne Genge, Co-Founder of the Alexio Corporation! 

In 2017 Anne Genge Co-founded Alexio Corporation, now a National and Global Award-winning Cybersecurity firm. With over 20 years of industry experience, Anne knows the challenges healthcare providers face with technology. As healthcare grows increasingly dependent on digital connectivity, cyber-security becomes exponentially more difficult. 

Healthcare practices need all of the same protections as hospitals and large organizations. The problem is that they have much smaller budgets, and little to no access to cybersecurity specialists. This means that more affordable, but robust cybersecurity solutions are crucial, and education is needed to help healthcare practitioners understand their options. 

Anne and her team are champions in the use of automation and machine-learning to solve data security and cyber-risk for healthcare and small to medium sized businesses nation-wide.

“It’s not a matter of if you’ll have a problem with data security, it’s when.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Anne discusses cybersecurity for startups and what you need to know about customer data privacy.

The Non-Linear Journey to Success with Colin Weston – October 6, 2020

The entrepreneurial journey is not a straight line – it often consists of roadblocks, unexpected opportunities, and constantly changing circumstances. According to Colin Weston, Co-Founder of REVIVER Sport Entertainment and Startup Vancouver, the key to your startup’s success is understanding that entrepreneurship is a marathon, not a sprint.

Colin Weston is a sports innovator, entrepreneurship community builder, podcast host and public speaker. His passion lies in re-imagining sport to make the experience more compelling, engaging, relevant and shareable for fans, athletes and brand sponsors.

In 2017, Colin co-founded Startup Vancouver, which is one of over 40 community chapters of Startup Canada. In 2019, he won the Canadian Entrepreneurship Community Leader Award that acknowledged the impactful work he does to help move our innovation ecosystem forward.

Colin is also the creator and host of The ModGolf Podcast which explores the future of golf through conversations with the visionaries and influencers that are shaking up the sport.

As a design professional, he has worked for several international architectural firms, gaining valuable experience leading and collaborating with high performance teams to design and deliver large, complex projects.

“Be consistent is everything you do. Consistency demonstrates to people that you are reliable, dependable, and trustworthy.” 

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Colin discusses the characteristics of a good entrepreneur and the importance of community building.

Monetizing Your Ideas with Aaron Reynolds – September 29, 2020

A simple idea can quickly turn into profit- if you use the right tools. Just ask Aaron Reynolds, the Author of Effin’ Birds.

Aaron is a humourist, professional speaker, and the man behind the @EffinBirds and @swear_trek Twitter accounts. When he’s not on Twitter, you can find him producing a series of podcasts and at ComicCons dressed as George Lucas. 

He has been a baseball writer, a fine art printer, and a mall Santa Claus photographer. Aaron was raised in Mississauga, Canada, a suburb where they cut down all the trees and named the streets after them. He currently splits his time between Toronto and Ottawa.

“I made a good joke yesterday morning. By yesterday night, I was selling it.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Aaron explains how to turn a quirky idea into a brand you can monetize.

Social Media on a Budget with Nichole Howson – September 22, 2020

It’s not about being all over social media- it’s about using your social media consistently, intelligently and effectively. Nichole Howson, Owner of AIM Social Media Marketing, knows this best. 

As an experienced, award-winning social media strategist and consultant, Nicole’s work is focused on reducing her clients’ advertising spend while growing their brand awareness and increasing their sales leads. In only six years of business, Nichole has worked with clients globally, decreasing the cost of ad spend by 91% and increasing website traffic by 26% in as little as 30 days.

Nichole is the oldest of four, born and raised on a Canadian dairy and cash crop farm. She has since found the two great loves of her life: coffee and entrepreneurship (having started her first company at 16!) In her spare time, Nichole dedicates herself to mental health advocacy work.

“It’s really exciting to say, ‘Hey, I’m on platform,’ but the reality of it is that you might not have the time to commit to doing every social media platform. So picking one or two that you can be really good at is the best.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Nichole explains how business owners can capitalize on social media using engagement, entertainment, and education.

Industry Disruption and Resilience with Danish Yusuf – September 15, 2020

In order to disrupt your industry, you will need more than luck. According to Danish Yusuf, CEO and co-founder of Zensurance, resilience and grit are the true keys to success in today’s entrepreneurial world. 

Danish Yusuf is the CEO and co-founder of zensurance.com, a Toronto-based technology startup focused on commercial insurance product and distribution. Danish is a former leader in McKinsey & Company’s Digital Insurance practice, supporting insurance clients globally in defining their digital strategy. Prior to McKinsey, Danish was a software architect and developer at IBM Canada. Danish earned a bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from the University of Toronto and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.

“I am a true believer in the roles grit and resilience play in the success of an entrepreneur. Luck matters, but grit allows you to be around long enough for you to find luck.” 

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Danish discusses the challenges and opportunities of industry disruption and how to foster resilience within your start-up. 

Building a Team Culture with Rob Catalano – September 8, 2020

Fostering a team culture based on motivation and positive feedback is the best way to increase engagement. Employee engagement is vital to improving overall company performance, just ask Rob Catalano!  

Rob Catalano is the Chief Engagement Officer at WorkTango. Rob started off studying Marketing at Ryerson University, and worked at a Marketing agency with a few employees until it got to over 100. He soon realized all the concepts studied in school about Marketing, such as theories of motivation and why people buy products, plus all the analytics and data that are available about customers – none of that marketing magic was as interesting as when you apply it to the workplace!

Rob spent 11 years at Achievers, a Canadian startup dedicated to finding new ways to help companies engage and and energize their employees. After Achievers was sold to California-based Blackhawk Networks, Rob still had passion for improving the workplace. So he moved back to Canada and co-founded WorkTango, a platform that helps make it easier for companies to hear the voice of their employees and build better employee experiences.

“Business is an infinite game – you will always face new challenges and competition. If you focus solely on dollars and cents, you lose. You win when you find a purpose and share it with your team.”   

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Rob discusses the impact transparency can have on employee engagement and the importance of finding an empowering team culture.

Financial Fitness for Entrepreneurs with Tracey Bissett – September 1, 2020

Like physical fitness, financial fitness is key to a healthy well-balanced business– just ask Tracey Bissett, Host of the Young Money Podcast and Founder of Bissett Financial Fitness. 

Tracey is on a mission to redefine the economic future of the world by addressing financial literacy of young adults and entrepreneurs. She does this through her weekly podcast, Young Money – the advice show for millionaires in the making, teaching and delivery of financial courses, coaching and consulting. A native of Nova Scotia, she holds a BCOMM, MBA and is a CFA Charterholder. She LOVES her golden retriever Rosie, roller coasters and music, especially live concerts!

“Whether you’re an individual or entrepreneur, think about what steps you can take today to learn a little bit more. We don’t need to learn everything, but we can certainly increase our knowledge”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Tracey gives advice to entrepreneurs on where to find support for your financial fitness and how to make sure you’re always learning.

The Art of Pitching with Kevin Smith – August 25th 2020

There’s  nothing as powerful as a pitch that tells a story, and Chief Story Architect, Kevin Smith will be the first to tell you!

Kevin is a Story Architect.  In his career in sales, marketing, entrepreneurship, and politics, Kevin has done over 10,000 pitches. As the Chief Story Architect for TheStoryArchitect.com, Kevin helps start-ups, small businesses, and social enterprises unleash their story to secure customers and investors, by helping them understand what their core customer story is and then helping them get their story to market.

Kevin is also an educational workshop facilitator at MaRS, a volunteer advisor at the RIC Center, HumberLaunch, and UTM i-CUBE, as well as a frequent speaker at Small Business Enterprise Centers.  He previously worked at Dell for 14+ years in enterprise sales and marketing. Author of the upcoming book “The Pitch Lab”.

“Anybody can pitch- but the idea is, how do we make that pitch persuasive and effective?”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Kevin explains how entrepreneurs can capture the attention of the right people, and leave a lasting impression. 

Empowering Canadian Entrepreneurs with Portia Asli – August 18th 2020

It’s never been more important to tell your story, just ask Portia Asli, Founder and CEO of Px Venture Services Inc.

Portia is a global thought leader, serial entrepreneur and engineer who’s built international businesses in wearable tech, online education and influencer marketing. Having been deeply immersed in the entrepreneurial ecosystems of Europe, Asia and North America, Portia is passionate about increasing the success rates of startups.

She is currently the Founder and CEO of Px Venture Services, which helps startups of all kinds scale new lines of revenue. Px has advised and consulted over 200 companies on capital, customer acquisition and the founders’ mindset. Institutions, incubators and accelerators seek Px Venture Services for a results-oriented entrepreneurial curriculum to help their portfolio companies grow.

“My goal is to empower entrepreneurs and community members of startup Canada to prioritize building a customer-centric business.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Portia discusses the importance of social entrepreneurship in shaping tomorrow’s world.



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