Startup Communities

Welcome to Startup Canada Communities!

Startup Canada Communities is the flagship program of Startup Canada to support the connectivity, promotion and maturation of grassroots, entrepreneur-led communities across Canada.  Through the provision of frameworks; technology; branding; impact measurement and reporting tools; national working group sessions; access to world leading advisors; national promotions; and, meaningful connections with financiers and policy makers, Startup Canada Communities is developing the grassroots infrastructure to strengthen Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and culture one community at a time.

Startup Canada Communities gives entrepreneurs the resources they need to build welcoming and supportive entrepreneurial communities across Canada, and it brings them together into a national network of hyperconnected and vibrant grassroots startup communities where entrepreneurs can start and scale their ventures.

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.

How We Help

 Led By Entrepreneurs

Startup Canada’s Communities are led by local entrepreneurs in each community that come together from across sectors and industries with the long-term commitment to advance entrepreneur success in their community.

 

Community Enterprise Partnership (CEP)

Entrepreneur leaders in each community secure a lead Institutional Partner with whom to co-chair regular CEP meetings. CEPs are made up of local enterprise support stakeholders in each community – investor groups, incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, support organisations, chambers, colleges, universities, associations, etc. – that are mandated to support the diverse range of entrepreneurs in the community. The goal of the CEP is to enhance awareness, communication and collaboration to better support local entrepreneurs and optimize available resources. By working together, startup community stakeholders can increase awareness and engagement of entrepreneurs in their programs to deliver great impact.

 

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 with each other and with those who can help them to take their ventures to the next level. Events like Startup Weekend, Startup Drinks and Demo Camp 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.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 with each other and with those who can help them to take their ventures to the next level. Events like Startup Weekend, Startup Drinks and Demo Camp 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.

 

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.

 

Measuring our Impact

Building a startup nation one community at a time is a process. We will begin to measure our impact in terms of (1) speeding the access of entrepreneurs to the support that they need; (2) starting and growing more successful startup communities in terms of infrastructure, level of activity; and. (3) ecosystem maturation overtime. Our overall objective is to start and grow more successful Canadian companies.

Startup Canada Communities provide entrepreneurs with access to mentors, workspace, and funding to start and grow their businesses and to connect with other startup founders. Local networked websites and grassroots entrepreneur-led events and activities unite and strengthen each startup community.

In 2013, the pilot program consisted of 15 Startup Communities across Canada selected for their varied levels of startup sector maturity and to build a coast-to-coast network diverse in community size, demographics, and industry sectors. Moving out of the pilot phase, there are now 20 communities and Startup Communities which are accepting applications to join the program.

Startup Canada supports the communities through training, knowledge exchanges, templates, tools, resources and access to world-leading advisors, while also tracking the progress of the communities in terms of level of engagement, activity, and impact.

  • All
  • Atlantic
  • BC
  • Ontario
  • Prairies
  • Quebec
  • Territories
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Ontario

Startup Saskatoon was a recipient of the Retail Startup Fund and hosted the Saskatoon Maker Faire. More than a market pop-up shop, the Saskatoon Maker Fair is interactive for people with all ages and offers a behind the scenes look at the production process.  The event brought together over 300 people – raising awareness, excitement and sales for over 20 entrepreneur makers that exhibited.


 

Startup Toronto held the #FindOneBeOne Keynote & Networking on March 8. Over 80 entrepreneurs from across Toronto gathered for a celebration for International Women’s Day on March 8th. The event kicked off with a talk by Emily Rose Antflick, CEO of Shecosystem on Women Entrepreneurship & Mentorship and concluded with great networking.


 

Startup Charlottetown & PEI Business Women’s Association joined forces for the Faces of Leadership on PEI.  On March 9th, over 135 joined to hear the stories of cleading women from PEI. Some special attendees include PEI Minister for Status of Women, Hon. Paula Biggar, and Senator Catherine Callbeck.


 

Startup Sarnia-Lambton hosted the Women Entrepreneurs’ Luncheon on March 9 bringing over 30 women together for lunch and to celebrate and support women entrepreneurs in Sarnia-Lambton. This Luncheon also kicked-off the Women Entrepreneurs meetup.


Startup Whitehorse, YuKonstruct & YWITT hosted the Women’s Day Open House on YuKonstruct Maker Space on March 8th. Over 20 women joined YuKonstruct to ignite entrepreneurial spirit for women in STEM.  Special attendees include Minister for the Women’s Directorate, Hon. Jeanie Dendys, among others


Startup Peterborough teamed up with Junior Achievement for their World of Choices event.  The event brought together over 80 young women to meet and be women entrepreneurs and leaders for a day of mentorship sessions and networking.


Startup Smithers received a grant from the Community Investment Fund to run the Raspberry Jam on “Pi Day” which brought together students, business owners, teachers, and aspiring entrepreneurs to explore ideas and solve real world problems using Raspberry Pi 2 robots.  Over 30 community members exchanged ideas and collaborated to create a diverse range of projects including a motion sensored camera, oxygen sensor for increasing the efficiency of older model wood stoves, among others.


 

Startup Halifax was a recipient of the Community Investment Fund and organized the Startup Stimulator – a demo series where startups have an opportunity pitch to established industry players and investors to build relationships and learn.  


 

 

Startup Prince George was a recipient of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund and used their grant to spearhead Be the Change – an International Women’s Day event, held on March 12, to inspire the next generation of women changemakers by sharing the stories of women entrepreneurs and leaders in the community.  Hosted by Hubspot, Be the Change reached almost 100 people from the Prince George community and inspired spin off events such as meetups to keep the conversations going.


The following communities are supported by the Space Fund:

Startup Charlottetown &

The Spot

Startup Calgary &

Innovate Calgary

Startup Halifax

& Volta Labs

Startup Barrie

& The Creative Space

Startup Revelstoke

Startup Saskatoon was a recipient of the Retail Startup Fund and hosted the Saskatoon Maker Faire. More than a market pop-up shop, the Saskatoon Maker Fair is interactive for people with all ages and offers a behind the scenes look at the production process.  The event brought together over 300 people – raising awareness, excitement and sales for over 20 entrepreneur makers that exhibited. Startup Toronto held the #FindOneBeOne Keynote & Networking on March 8. Over 80 entrepreneurs from across Toronto gathered for a celebration for International Women’s Day on March 8th. The event kicked off with a talk by Emily Rose Antflick, CEO of Shecosystem on Women Entrepreneurship & Mentorship and concluded with great networking. Startup Charlottetown & PEI Business Women’s Association joined forces for the Faces of Leadership on PEI.  On March 9th, over 135 joined to hear the stories of leading women from PEI. Some special attendees include PEI Minister for Status of Women, Hon. Paula Biggar, and Senator Catherine Callbeck.
Startup Sarnia-Lambton hosted the Women Entrepreneurs’ Luncheon on March 9 bringing over 30 women together for lunch and to celebrate and support women entrepreneurs in Sarnia-Lambton. This Luncheon also kicked-off the Women Entrepreneurs meetup. Startup Whitehorse, YuKonstruct & YWITT hosted the Women’s Day Open House on YuKonstruct Maker Space on March 8th. Over 20 women joined YuKonstruct to ignite entrepreneurial spirit for women in STEM.  Special attendees include Minister for the Women’s Directorate, Hon. Jeanie Dendys, among others Startup Peterborough teamed up with Junior Achievement for their World of Choices event.  The event brought together over 80 young women to meet and be women entrepreneurs and leaders for a day of mentorship sessions and networking.
Startup Smithers received a grant from the Community Investment Fund to run the Raspberry Jam on “Pi Day” which brought together students, business owners, teachers, and aspiring entrepreneurs to explore ideas and solve real world problems using Raspberry Pi 2 robots.  Over 30 community members exchanged ideas and collaborated to create a diverse range of projects including a motion sensored camera, oxygen sensor for increasing the efficiency of older model wood stoves, among others. Startup Halifax was a recipient of the Community Investment Fund and organized the Startup Stimulator – a demo series where startups have an opportunity pitch to established industry players and investors to build relationships and learn.    Startup Prince George was a recipient of the Women Entrepreneurship Fund and used their grant to spearhead Be the Change – an International Women’s Day event, held on March 12, to inspire the next generation of women changemakers by sharing the stories of women entrepreneurs and leaders in the community.  Hosted by Hubspot, Be the Change reached almost 100 people from the Prince George community and inspired spin off events such as meetups to keep the conversations going.

The following communities are supported by the Space Fund:

Startup Charlottetown &

The Spot

Startup Calgary &

Innovate Calgary

Startup Halifax

& Volta Labs

Startup Barrie

& The Creative Space

Startup Revelstoke

& Mountain CoLab

Our Programs

Startup Canada Communities connect entrepreneurs to the resources they need by offering a roadmap to local and national  resources and access to national programming and events.

Startup Communities can access plug-and-play events to build ecosystem, entrepreneurial competencies and provide platforms that give entrepreneurs a voice.  From streaming national events live to hosting sessions jointly.

In 2016, Startup Communities hosted Startup Finance Bootcamp and Go Global Bootcamps as well as participated in other online programs.


Startup Canada Bootcamp

Since 2015, Startup Canada, Startup Communities and Intuit Canada have worked together to improve financial literacy for entrepreneurs.

This year, from February to April, 6 Startup Communities hosted Startup Finance Bootcamps: Startup Toronto, Startup Halifax, Startup Waterloo Region, Startup Calgary, Spring, and Startup Montreal and RJCCQ.

The 4th series of Startup Finance Bootcamps launched in November 2016 with Bootcamps hosted by Startup Montreal, Startup Ottawa, and Startup York Region. In 2017, Startup Communities will continue to run Startup Finance Bootcamps. Together, we will educate over 3,000 entrepreneurs as part of the Startup Foundations program through online and grassroots events in 2017.

Highlights:

  • 1200+ entrepreneurs engaged
  • 100+ mentors
  • 9 Startup Finance Bootcamps
  • $9,800+ received by Startup Communities to run these events.
  • 2 Ministers Engaged | the Hon. Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Bus. and Tourism visited the Bootcamp in Waterloo and the Hon. Lebouthillier, Minister of National Revenue in Montreal.
  • Minister Lebouthillier joined the Entrepreneurs’ Roundtable in Montreal to hear from 12 of Montreal’s top entrepreneurs and social innovators about their thoughts on financial literacy and challenges they face when working with government.

Go Global Bootcamp

Startup Communities joined forces with Startup Canada and UPS Canada for the pilot-run of Go Global Bootcamps which connected entrepreneurs to information, resources and experts to help them scale globally.

Six bootcamps were held across Canada with our partners Planet Hatch and Startup Fredericton, Startup Waterloo, Startup Montreal & RJCCQ hosted in Montreal, Founder Institute Vancouver, Startup Calgary and Startup Toronto.

Each bootcamp featured an inspiring keynote from an entrepreneur, workshops with facts on why entrepreneurs should go global, what needs to be considered; an interactive supply chain mapping session; and a mentor mashup with entrepreneurs and experts to help entrepreneurs in a smaller group setting.


Highlights:

  • Almost 300 entrepreneurs engaged.
  • 40 mentors connected to entrepreneurs.
  • 6 bootcamps in 6 communities.
  • Paul Gaspar, Director of Small Business and Gordon

Startup Canada awards

We were delighted to be joined by our Startup  Communities across Canada for the 2016 Startup Canada Awards. The Startup Canada Awards celebrate and distinguish outstanding achievement in advancing Canadian entrepreneurship.  

The Startup Canada Awards journey began in May 2016 when applications opened. Regional ceremonies tooks place from September to October and the journey culminated in Toronto on November 29 for the Grand Finale with over 250 guests and almost 1000 viewers online.

The objectives of the awards are to:

  • Celebrate those working to advance entrepreneurship in Canada;
  • Increase awareness of the importance of strengthening Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and culture; and,
  • Incentivize efforts and elevate the ambitions of the Canadian entrepreneurial community.

Highlights

  • 350+ nominations from across Canada.
  • 15 national and regional sponsors.
  • 16 national winners | Startup Fredericton won national award
  • 55 regional winners | Chad Ballantyne, Startup Barrie won Ontario Region award
  • 5 regional ceremonies
  • 800+ attendees for 5 regional ceremonies across Canada.
  • 250+ attendees and 870 viewers online for the Grand Finale in Toronto.
  • 128+ M impressions, 9,482 tweets from 2,064 on twitter.
  • 20+ news stories from news outlets across Canada including CBC, Ottawa Business Journal & Betakit.

Startup Canada partners with private sector to invest in high-impact grassroots initiatives that support entrepreneurs.  Startup Communities leveraged various grants provided through the Startup Canada Investment Funds to support events and programs in their community.

In 2016, our communities received over $13,000 through the Investment Fund Program to support more than 12 initiatives. Together, Startup Communities have supported hundreds of entrepreneurs through these initiatives.

 

  • 11 new Startup Communities.  Network now includes 30 Startup Communities supporting entrepreneurs in over 60 cities and towns.
  • 100% Startup Community participation at Day on the Hill – 25 leaders attended.
  • Startup Community leaders represented Canadian entrepreneurs – demonstrating their thought leaders at 55 MP Meetings, policy hearings and roundtables with government, private sector and the Canadian Startup Community.
  • Dr. Sean Wise was announced as the Startup Community Fellow.
  • Partnerships for growth: Startup Canada established partnership with Regroupement des Jeunes Chambres de Commerce du Quebec (RJCCQ) and is now working with Opportunities New Brunswick to kick start startup communities in Quebec and New Brunswick, respectively.

  Brad Feld, MD at Foundry Group, co-founder of TechStars, VC and Author

Brad is one of the managing directors at Foundry Group, a VC firm that invests in early stage software / Internet companies throughout the US. He is also the co-founder of TechStars, a mentor-driven accelerator, author of several books and blogs, and a marathon runner.

“This grassroots model for entrepreneurial development is truly transformative and will position Canada as a beacon for entrepreneurs worldwide. Startup Canada’s national network of communities will ensure that entrepreneurs of today and the generations to follow will have the necessary tools, communities and culture to succeed.” – Brad Feld

 

 Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship Week & Senior Fellow at the Kauffman Foundation

Jonathan Ortmans has dedicated his professional career to stimulating informed dialogue and deliberation around the issues that matter most–at local, national and global levels. Most recently, he has focused on developing a global engagement project called Global Entrepreneurship Week on behalf of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

“The world should be watching this project closely because Startup Canada is on to something that could revolutionize the way entrepreneurship is ignited and advanced in communities around the world.” – Jonathan Ortmans

 

Ken Bautista, Founder of Startup Edmonton

Ken Bautista is the Co-Founder/CEO of Startup Edmonton, a campus, co-workspace, and accelerator working to activate startups in Edmonton, Canada. Ken has been a creative entrepreneur in the tech space for over 10 years, founding and growing two award-winning interactive companies, Hotrocket and Rocketfuel Games, and community initiatives like TEDxEdmonton and artsScene Edmonton.

“Here in Alberta, our communities are among the most bustling economies in the country. Now, we can ride the wave, or use this wealth and good fortune to invest in a new generation of high-growth businesses who’ll diversify our economic growth and create jobs. Startup Canada, as an entrepreneur-led, and entrepreneur-driven initiative is all about investing in home grown entrepreneurs who’ll keep pushing the bar as the world shifts to a knowledge-based economy where the renewable resource is creativity and” – Ken Bautista

 

 Bjoern Hermann, Founder of Startup Compass and Author Startup Genome

Bjoern was born in Germany, and has become a recognized entrepreneur and expert on data products, data driven decision making, education, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational development. He founded and led 5 for and non profit ventures in Germany, Bangladesh & the US.

We are currently accepting applications to join the Startup Communities program. If you are interested in starting an official Startup Canada Community in your city,  register your interest for more information by emailing [email protected]

 

We will invite you to one of  our  information sessions to explain the program, structure and requirements, and to inform you how to apply to join the next wave of Startup Canada Communities.

Startup Canada is a grassroots, non-profit movement run by volunteers passionate about making Canada a more entrepreneurial country. We rely on the generous support of our sponsors to support our initiatives, events, and awareness campaigns across the country. Help to fuel this grassroots movement by sponsoring Startup Canada or one of our Communities today.