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.
Understanding Circular Design with Lindsay Lorusso – January 12, 2021
Sustainability is a buzz word in the entrepreneurship community – but what is true sustainability and how do we achieve circularity within our ventures? Just ask Lindsay Lorusso, Co-Founder and CEO of Nudnik!
Lindsay is a circular economy nerd 🤓 After spending 15+ years innovating in the waste management space she launched her own business, along with her twin sister (also a waste management alum), to tackle a growing global waste problem through their clothing brand, Nudnik.
Nudnik transforms the softest 100% organic cotton off-cut fabrics and end-of-roll threads & trims that would otherwise pollute the planet into unisex, contemporary basics for kids with monthly rotating themes.
Nudnik has successfully completed programs at the Joe Fresh Centre for Fashion Innovation, Next Canada’s Next Founders program and EY’s Velocity. Nudnik was selected for Desjardins Good Spark Program, a finalist for the BMO Celebrating Women Grant Program and as a leading Changemaker in the Changemaker Initiative with Startup Canada and Inniskillin Estate Winery.
“I believe that sustainability will be the biggest pillar of business going forward. So whatever you do, do it through a sustainable lens.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard, Lindsay discusses the circular economy, the global problem of textile waste, and running a business with her twin sister.
Recently Aired Episodes
Financing Your Idea with David Kosmayer and Simon Yep – January 5, 2021
Often one of the most daunting tasks an entrepreneur can face – how do you finance your startup? Simon Yep and David Kosmayer chat about the benefits of corporate partnerships vs. traditional venture capital investing when financing your big ideas, and how to navigate entering those partnerships.
Simon Yep, VP of Corporate Development and Partnerships at Moneris, oversees strategy, investments, M&A and partnerships. Simon has over 19 years of experience as a strategic advisor and business leader accountable for developing and executing organic and inorganic initiatives to drive P&L growth in fintech, payments, loyalty, retail and healthcare.
David Kosmayer is CEO and Founder of Bookmark.com, a Website Builder disrupting the future of web design with Artificial Intelligence. David created his first company at 22 just coming out of college. Marketing Extensions Inc., an online affiliate and marketing agency, was born from the basement of his parent’s home. This company grew under his leadership into a 55-person team, topping $60M in revenue in less than a decade.
“Like any relationship, a partnership is work. Have the difficult conversations and find the areas where you can and can’t compromise so you’re on the same page. Honesty and transparency are paramount.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian and powered by Moneris, Simon and David talk about the importance of entering funding partnerships that align with your values and goals, and why corporate partnerships are often a great way to do just that.
Enhancing Success: Adopting New Tech with Dominic Sévigny – December 29, 2020
Technology changes and trends shift every day. However, through hard work, persistence, and a focussed business model, entrepreneurs can equip themselves to adapt to these changes and use them as growth opportunities. Just ask Dominic Sévigny, Founder, President, and COO of SmartUse Solutions Inc.!
Dominic Sévigny has a double degree in electronic and software development. He started out as a programmer in 1998 and worked for the largest software firms in Quebec and France. In 2006, he founded his first business named RunAtServer, which specialized in Silverlight and Windows 8 app development. After selling it, he founded SmartUse in 2012 which became the industry leading construction cloud app for marking up and sharing construction blueprints and documents in real-time. After 8 years, the software is used by thousands of companies across Canada and the United States and it is also deployed on some of the largest Joint-Venture construction projects on the east coast of Canada like KPH-Turcot, Crosslinx Transit Canada, REM and Ottawa Stage 2 LRT.
“Make sure your business model actual works – a lot of people try to copy and paste their business models and it just doesn’t work.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian,, Dominic details first hand the challenges of transitioning to new technologies, but how his team also experienced the ways in which those new tools can enhance success.
For more information on Microsoft Surface, click here.
Knowing When to Say No with Selene Vakharia – December 22, 2020
As entrepreneurs, we’re often taught to say yes to every opportunity that comes our way. Selene Vakharia shares why she thinks there’s a key lesson in learning how to say no – and how to focus on projects that energize you!
SMRT WOMEN is an award-winning community for entrepreneurs. As a Business and Marketing Coach for more than 15 years, Selene has worked with organizations, businesses, and award-winning ad agencies across Canada. In 2014, she moved across the country to the beautiful city of Whitehorse, Yukon, where she started a marketing, design, and events agency.
After running the agency for a couple of years with clients all around the world, Selene realized that what she truly loved was using her marketing, and mindset superpowers to help women entrepreneurs rock THEIR businesses. And so SMRT WOMEN was born. It offers one-to-one coaching, business advising, and longer-form courses and accelerators for women looking to start or grow their businesses.
SMRT Women has gone on to produce two conferences, a sold-out female CEO speaker series, countless workshops and networking events, and two group-coaching programs.
“Really at the end of the day you want to be building a business that is aligned with you and that you want to be waking up to every day, that’s really in tune with what your version of success is.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Selene discusses the importance of community in your marketing, and how to be intentional in choosing communities and projects that fulfill you.
This episode was powered by Microsoft Canada – we thank them for their continued support of Startup Canada and Canada’s entrepreneurship community.
Fighting For Change with Jennifer Sloan – December 15, 2020
There isn’t much Jennifer Sloan hasn’t tried – from private to public sector, Jennifer has seen it all. She shares with us why diversity is key for strengthening your business, and encourages women entrepreneurs in particular to demand change and seek out resources to help level the playing field.
Jennifer Sloan has extensive experience across all aspects of government, media and public relations, and internal and external affairs. In addition to working for Target (Canada), and Vale (Inco) Ltd., she also worked with some of Canada’s leading government and political figures and represented Canada as the Head of Political/Economic Relations & Public Affairs at the Canadian Consulate in New York. As the vice president of public policy at Mastercard Canada, Jennifer leads the development and management of the company’s public affairs and government relations programs. She is a member of Mastercard Canada’s business leadership team.
Jennifer is also the vice-chair of the Board of the Canadian American Business Council (CABC) and the current and first independent chair of Music Canada’s Board of Directors. She previously served as the president of the University of Georgia’s Grady College Alumni Board and the Board of Trust, the president of the Canadian Club of Toronto, and was the chair-elect of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) Board of Directors.
“You’re not alone. Access to mentorship programs and connecting with like-minded owners are means of advancing women entrepreneurs…with access to resources we can help women bring a positive impact to their communities.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Jennifer discusses practical ways to tackle inequities and fight for structural change within the business world.
Shoot Your Shot: Navigating the Gig Economy with Nicole Smith – December 8, 2020
Building an engaged, happy global community in the gig economy isn’t easy, but it is possible – just ask Nicole Smith, Founder and CEO of Flytographer!
Nicole’s company Flytographer is a marketplace that connects travelers with hand-picked local photographers for fun vacation photoshoots.
In six years, Nicole has grown Flytographer into a multi-million dollar business that operates in 300 cities globally and has captured over two million memories. It was ranked as one of the fastest-growing startups in Canada by Canadian Business Magazine, called the “The Future of Travel Photography” by Conde Nast Traveler, which appeared on a Netflix show, The New York Times and Oprah.com.
Prior to Flytographer, Nicole spent 13 years in marketing at Microsoft. She is also a board member at The Forum for Women Entrepreneurs.
“We can all dream a lot bigger. I think we artificially ceiling ourselves but there is SO much opportunity out there.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Nicole discusses being the first to market, bootstrapping from product to market fit, and gig economy entrepreneurship.
Attracting and Retaining Top Talent with Lisa Bull – December 1, 2020
Having an adaptable, high performing workforce behind you can help drive growth and alleviate pressures for entrepreneurs. Just ask Lisa Bull, Vice President of Talent Development at Ceridian!
Lisa Bull is the Vice-President of the Talent Development team at Ceridian. Over the past 18 years, Lisa has delivered training to thousands of clients across North America and has designed and developed training programs for a wide variety of corporate, government and not-for-profit organizations. As a member of Ceridian’s global HR team, Lisa currently has responsibility for employee and leadership learning and development, diversity, equity and inclusion, performance management and onboarding. In addition, Lisa was part of the team which created Ceridian’s charity for children and families in need, Ceridian Cares. She was a founding Board member and has served as Vice-Chair of the charity’s Board for two terms.
As a leader, Lisa has also worked in broadcast communications, organizational safety, and Employee Assistance Programs. Lisa has a Diploma in Broadcast Communications, a Bachelor of Arts degree and an M.Ed in Educational Psychology.
“Your employees are essential in helping you navigate through all of this change and in helping to identify opportunities.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Lisa discusses the importance of attracting, engaging, and retaining the right people for your team.
Cybersecurity During COVID with Sukhmani Dev – November 24, 2020
Canadian companies represent 50% of all global phishing attempts. But there are ways entrepreneurs can protect their startups from cyber attacks – just ask Sukhmani Dev, the head of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions for Mastercard Canada!
Sukhmani Dev (Sukh) is the head of Digital Payments & Cybersecurity Solutions for Mastercard Canada leading commercialization of Mastercard’s ecommerce payment & cybersecurity solutions. Sukh acts as a key strategic advisor to business executives and IT stakeholders. With extensive experience in technology strategy, digital product development & delivery, Sukh’s passions include building scalable B2B2C products.
Prior to joining Mastercard, Sukh was at ICF Next where she was responsible for Enterprise Architecture & Cloud Consulting. Sukh graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Engineering in Computer Networks & Security, and has a certificate in Strategic Management from Harvard University.
“A lot of small businesses go under after one cyber attack. Think of cybersecurity as an essential part of business in a post-COVID world.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Sukhmani discusses the rise in cybersecurity attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic and the strategies and tools we can use to protect our data.
Having Trust in Yourself with Janice Tsao – November 17, 2020
To be a successful entrepreneur, you need to trust yourself and radically embrace uncertainty, just ask Janice Tsao, Co-Founder of Crying Out Loud.
Janice Tsao is a co-founder of Crying Out Loud. Her personal journey of mental wellness truly began with the sudden death of her partner in 2017, and the hail storm that immediately followed of becoming a young widow and single mom to her 2-year-old son.
Janice comes from a professional background in branding and marketing and is most excited about building an open, authentic, and powerful community of shared experiences and the healing it can provide. She weaves into her grief process exploration of self-awareness and relationships, mental illness and substance use, and what it means (and takes) to love someone struggling with an addiction.
“Everyone can do a better job at trusting their gut and taking that leap.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Janice discusses her entrepreneurial journey and the importance of embracing uncertainty through hard times and personal loss.
Navigating the LifeRaft with Mary Jane Leslie – November 10, 2020
When it comes to your business, the leveraging of open-source intelligence could help to ensure that security is as tight as possible. Just ask Mary Jane Leslie, Chief Growth Officer at LifeRaft Inc. in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
MJ specializes in identifying how to leverage open-source intelligence for security programs from enterprise clients to investigative firms.
Her career has been focused on the education and implementation of SaaS-based products and services, targeted in the security industry. With a background in technology and communications, MJ understands the unique needs of clients and how to identify solutions for the ever-changing security landscape.
“The application is very broad, depending on the industry, but it’s all surrounded by security.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Mary Jane discusses how her successes through failures made her into who she is today.