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

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.

Recently Aired Episodes

Finding Your Inner Motivation with Evita Machevin & Carol Corera – November 3, 2020

In a fast paced and demanding startup environment, it can sometimes be difficult to sustain your inspiration and productivity. Evita Machevin and Carol Corera of Flying Duchess Inc. believe the key to personal and entrepreneurial success is finding your intrinsic motivation.

Referred to as the Mary Poppins of pet sitting, Flying Duchess is the answer to you and your pet’s prayers.  With a long list of happy clients, both two legged and four, they are Toronto’s most loved and recommended in-home pet sitting service providers.  

Carol Corera is a recovering academic, with a U of T degree in Art History and Teaching.  She felt that graduate life never quite prepared her for real life. She did however love teaching, and it was her golden ticket to travel the world while doing something she loved.  During this time she never tired of watching and observing how very young children learn. They discovered things about themselves and made connections with the wider world through play and by following their own innate sense of curiosity. It was during this time that she adopted a stray kitten while teaching in the middle east. A cat that inadvertently taught her many life lessons, and is the inspiration behind Flying Duchess. 

Evita Machevin is a jack of all trades and an eternal student with an MBA from EDHEC University in France and an undergrad from Schulich at York University. She is the younger sister of Carol and while Carol could be considered the Yin, Evita is the Yang. Knowing from an early age that she wanted to explore and learn from various cultures and contexts, she has used travel as her stepping stone to study and work in multiple countries including Brazil, France, and New Caledonia (an island off the coast of Australia).  When Carol brought the idea of Flying Duchess to Evita, she used her experience and business background to create the base for the Flying Duchess concept.

“Adversity is the mother of invention so, really, the pandemic is the perfect time to start creating and building. Don’t give up on your passion – now is the time to grow.”

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Evita and Carol discuss going above and beyond for your clients and finding your intrinsic motivation.

Building A Brand with Jeremy Miller – October 27, 2020

Branding has the power to build or break a business, but what is branding and how do you master it? Branding is a choice that starts with strategy, just ask Jeremy Miller!

Jeremy Miller is a globally recognized branding expert, and the bestselling author of Sticky Branding and Brand New Name. Jeremy’s path into branding wasn’t traditional. He fell into it out of necessity. 

After watching his family’s business nearly hit rock bottom, he was forced to take a hard look at the way the company was run and at their industry as a whole. Jeremy realized it wasn’t his sales people or marketing processes that were failing, it was the brand: their customers couldn’t distinguish them from anyone else. 

This insight caused him to rethink, reposition, and rebrand the business. The strategy worked, and within a year the company turned the corner and rocketed into growth mode. And in 2013 Jeremy sold his family’s business to focus exclusively on what he does today: build brands.

“Branding is a choice to do something remarkable and serve your customers brilliantly.”  

In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Ceridian, Jeremy discusses the power of branding and the massive role strategy plays in building a good brand.

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.

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, 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.

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