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, award-winning entrepreneur host Rivers Corbett speaks 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. Join Rivers Corbett 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

A New Vision for the Future with Suzanne Grant – March 26 2019

Suzanne Grant has accomplished a lot through her 18 years of entrepreneurial experience, but she wanted her next chapter to be about something bigger. As CEO and Co-Founder of a company that is trying to restore partial eyesight to the visually impaired, she now has no doubt that her work matters. “I wanted to be in the middle of something that made a difference, was worth my time, and I wanted something challenging that could take me individually in my own development to the next level.” Suzanne’s company iBionics is using sensory bionics, neurological technology, and clinical expertise to push boundaries in the medical world. She is using her knowledge, determination and mantra of “The Art of Possible” to guide her through this chapter – and she is nowhere near finished. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Suzanne about her journey as an entrepreneur, finding a project that makes a difference, and how she got to be known as the person who makes things happen.

Recently Aired Episodes


Cultivating Thriving Black Entrepreneurship Communities with Kerlande Mibel – March 19 2019

Kerlande Mibel is the recipient of the Entrepreneur Support Award at the 2018 Startup Canada Awards for her organization and the Founder of the International Black Economic Forum in Montreal. The forum acts as an action think tank designed to accelerate wealth creation and promote economic and entrepreneurial development in black communities while fighting inequities in those spheres. Through major conferences, professional mentorship and training to support black entrepreneurs, the forum sets out to captivate and engage entrepreneurs while building the black business community.
Kerlande is a long-time expert in economic development with a past serving as a political advisor to the Cabinet of Montreal’s Mayor. She has been an extremely sought-after advisor, sitting on the board of directors for organizations like Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada and the International Cooperation and Study Center. In this week’s podcast, we are going to talk about specific struggles faced in the black business community and how Kerlande is approaching them with new and innovative methods.

Breaking Into the Beauty Industry with Jennifer Harper – March 12 2019

Jennifer Harper’s Niagara-based makeup company, Cheekbone Beauty, donates 10 percent of all profits to the First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada. The startup that she began in 2016 now ships products across Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Throughout the development of Cheekbone Beauty, Jennifer overcame personal struggles such as overcoming alcoholism, surviving her brother’s suicide, and reconciling her identity which shines an even brighter light on all that she has achieved. In addition to Cheekbone’s mission, Jennifer strives to educate as many Canadians as possible about the Residential School System and the effects it has had on her family and friends through decades of trauma. In this week’s episode, we learn about the importance of using Cheekbone beauty as a platform to enhance and empower the lives of Indigenous Youth, taking the company global and Jennifer’s plans for the future.

Celebrating Women Entrepreneurs With The Honourable Mary Ng – March 8th 2019

The Honourable Mary Ng, is Canada’s Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. Throughout her 20 years of public service, Minister Ng has been a passionate community leader and advocate with a proven track record of results in the areas of education, women’s leadership, job creation, and entrepreneurship. In this episode, Minister Ng, joins host Rivers Corbett to celebrate International Women’s Day and to discuss the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, which is a comprehensive, whole-of government plan to support women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses through improved access to financing, talent, networks, and expertise. The Minister also explores the 2018 budget and the one hundred and five million dollars allocated to regionally tailored, nationally coordinated programs for women entrepreneurs and the organizations that support them.

Leadership, Empowerment and Impact with Theresa Laurico – March 5 2019

Every year, Theresa Laurico puts on one of the largest entrepreneurship conferences in the country as part of her mission to light up Canada’s young professionals. The SociaLIGHT conference brings together entrepreneurs, influencers. Global leaders and everyone in between to jumpstart a movement that creates a positive impact on communities and the world. “When you think of a flourishing future for the world, one of the things that I think a lot of entrepreneurs miss is that you yourself must also flourish.” Theresa’s many achievements were not reached without facing beyond her fair share of obstacles along the way – including a near-death experience two years ago. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Theresa about what SociaLIGHT means to her, her journey as a social impact entrepreneur and why she chooses to think of her accident as a miracle.

Seed to Sale Cannabis Solutions with John Prentice – February 26 2019

John Prentice started out his company at his dining room table with nothing but his personal savings to back him. 4 years later he has completely shaken up both the tech and the cannabis industries with his seed-to-sale software, Ample Organics.
“In the cannabis industry you’re surrounded by disco balls of opportunity flashing all around you and you can only do a little bit. Pick your opportunities well, stick to them, and don’t give up on them too soon.”
Ample Organics serves the majority of Canada’s licensed cannabis producers by making compliance, transparency, and traceability easier. It is not only a very useful service for people within the industry but a great example of a company on the forefront of innovation in the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem.
In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to John about why he chose to build a platform in the cannabis industry, and what the future of marijuana in Canada means for his company.

Small Batch Gelato, Big Batch Culture with James Boettcher – February 19 2019

Meet James Boettcher, a serial entrepreneur who is showing his customers that they CAN buy happiness – and it comes in an aesthetically-pleasing jar. James is the CEO, Custodian of Culture, and Chief Idea Officer of one of the fastest-growing private companies in Canada, Fiasco Gelato, the winner of the 2018 Startup Canada Prairies High-Growth Entrepreneurship Award. With $1,800 in his pocket, James bought a failing gelato shop mid-recession in Calgary – a city that has eight months of winter every year. James’ vision for doing business differently, honesty in craft, and creative innovation has charted a course for Fiasco’s business model and led to its national success. In today’s episode, we talk about building corporate cultures that allow team members to thrive and how James took the fate of his company into his own hands from such humble beginnings.

Steering Women Entrepreneurs to Success with Aisha Addo – February 12 2019

Aisha Addo’s idea to build a ride-sharing service for women and by women, came out of an uncomfortable ride in a cab that left her feeling unsafe. The startup not only provides girls and women in the GTA an alternative mode of transportation from Uber, taxis, or public transportation but opens up employment opportunities for women in an industry that is over 85 percent male. Aisha’s commitment to protecting women while at the same time empowering them has given her the opportunity to jumpstart a successful entrepreneurial career. Aisha’s dedication to female empowerment is shown through her past work, including the creation of the Power to Girls Foundation, a non-profit that offers mentors and role models to young girls. The Toronto-based organization ended up going global when she started the Ghana Project in her home country, providing underprivileged girls with education on leadership skills and economic freedom. All of Aisha’s hard work has not gone unnoticed, being the recipient of the Young Black and Gifted Award for Community Service, while being named a Black Diversity Group Role Model, One of 100 Black Women to Watch in Canada and being among the 150 Black Women making history in Toronto. In this week’s episode, we are going to discuss Aisha’s commitment to women empowerment in an entrepreneurial role, and what challenges she has faced in her many endeavors.

Sharpening Your Soft Skills in a Changing World with Kelly Boutiller Sonia DiMaulio Brian Haugen – February 5 2019

Kelly is an adult learning specialist at CEDEC, Quebec and Canada’s leading and driving force for community economic development and employability. Kelly has a proven track record of building strong working relationships and is currently aiming to improve workplace readiness for First Nations and minority English speaking communities. Sonia is the founder of Harvest Performance, an organization that fosters a connection to help others thrive. By using positive communication and education strategies, Sonia’s mission is to impact people, places and communities. Brian has over 20 years of experience and education as a Red Seal Heavy Duty Equipment Technician in the public and private sectors and has worked as an instructor in the School of Transportation Trades at Vancouver Community College. Here today with deep and diverse backgrounds, experience and expertise, Kelly, Sonia and Brian recognize that technology and online platforms are continuously changing the ways we interact with clients and employees, our ability to listen, collaborate and even problem solve, But, together, this trio shares the common goal of embracing change and they do that with one simple solution – implementing soft skills. In this week’s episode, we refine the definition of soft skills and what they look like in a business context and how valuable they are in today’s changing world.

Waking Up the Construction Industry with Erin Stephenson – January 29 2019

Erin is the Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer at the Kitchener-based company, which some people refer to as the Airbnb of construction equipment. After over a decade of working as an advisor and strategic partner to business leaders in both technology and construction, Erin is at the forefront of the intersection of these two industries and has become a spearhead in the disruption of the heavy equipment market. At DOZR, Erin is responsible for leading the execution of the organization’s business strategy and marketing efforts. She oversees global marketing with a focus on the organization’s growth strategy and reinforcing DOZR’s position as the largest digital marketplace for heavy equipment. In this week’s episode, we are discussing Erin’s advocacy for women in the technology and construction arenas, and exploring how a sharing economy is opening doors for these industries to change.