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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Indigenous Business as a Tool for Change with Kate Taylor – April 10, 2018

Founded as a non-profit organization in 2013, Aki Energy has successfully installed over $6 million in renewable energy systems in the First Nations communities in Manitoba, leading to over a quarter of a million dollars in annual bill reductions. The company has also greatly contributed to the community by providing local tradesmen with new skill sets and employment opportunities.“I got into this work because I know we are all treaty people in Canada and I think it is our responsibility as Canadians to heal this relationship.”Kate Taylor is the Director of Projects and a co-founder at Aki Energy, Aki Energy was the recipient of the Social Innovation Award at the 2016 Startup Canada Awards for its renewable energy development in Indigenous communities in Manitoba. By combining green energy practices with the restructuring of energy systems, Aki Energy is leading the way for social innovation in Canada. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Kate about how Aki Energy developed renewable energy systems for Indigenous communities and how their success can be replicated by other social enterprises.

Recently Aired Episodes


The Path to Grow and Exit a Business with Bruce Croxon – April 3, 2018

What does it take to build a wildly successful Canadian technology company? For Bruce Croxon, it took over a decade of entrepreneurial endurance. “It’s never all pleasure, it was a 15 year overnight success story.”  Bruce Croxon is one the most sought-out mentors and investors among aspiring entrepreneurs in Canada, as he regularly shares the wisdoms from having founded Lavalife, an early tech startup that was sold for 180 million dollars in 2004, and having interacted with numerous business cases on CBC’s Dragons’ Den as the featured Dragon.  Bruce Croxon currently co-hosts the Disruptors on BNN and CTV, and, as the Managing Partner, helms Round13 Capital, where he invests millions of dollars in the next wave of Canadian tech growth-stage companies. In 2017, Bruce and Round13 Capital raised 95 million dollars funds for Canadian growth-stage startups. In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Bruce about why it is precisely our time to shine in Canadian tech industry.

My Platform is my Podium with Siera Bearchell – March 27, 2018

You don’t become a multi-pageant winner and successful business owner without learning a few life lessons. For Siera Bearchell, one of her biggest realizations was the importance of overcoming the fear of risk. “What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? You’re going to learn from it, it’s going to be an experience, and you move on. Sometimes you have something to lose, but far more you have something to gain.” Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Siera’s a multi-pageant winner as she was crowned Miss Universe Canada 2016 in Toronto and Miss Supranational 2015 as she represented Canada in Poland. When she isn’t gracing pageant runways, Siera’s entrepreneurial side shines through as she works to grow her company, Watered Down Apparel. With an ingrained passion for Indigenous culture, Siera’s been recognized by the Native Women’s Association of Canada when she won the 2014 Helen Bassett Student Award for her work.  In his week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Siera about how she’s working to exemplify the power of self love and how she’s thriving in entrepreneurship, law, and global pageants.

Stories from the Heart with Komal Minhas – March 20, 2018

One of the deepest connections humans can make is sharing stories close to their heart. Komal Minhas, Producer of Dream, Girl, has shared the real, complicated and empowering stories of women and girls across the globe.  “Stories are at the heart of everything … it’s the authenticity and vulnerability that you are willing to put forward in that moment.”  Komal is an award winning Indo-Canadian film producer, entrepreneur and investor, whose passion for women and girls rights led her to produce and distribute Dream, Girl. Dream, Girl is an inspiring film that tells the stories of women entrepreneurs and was premiered at the White House as part of the United State of Women Summit in 2016.  In this week’s #StartupPodcast, our host Rivers Corbett talks to Komal will share how she channeled her calling into her own entrepreneurial success story and how her passion for human rights has inspired and educated women around the world.   In this week’s #StartupPodcast, our host Rivers Corbett talks to Komal about her passion for human rights for women around the world.

Championing Companies to Market with Michelle Caers – March 13, 2018

Michelle’s hands-on experience spans 20 years as she’s led over six startup teams and continues to champion companies to get their products to market. When she isn’t traveling the Globe or working with her team, Michelle mentors with The Next36 and is an Entrepreneur in Residence at the Ryerson DMZ in Toronto.  “I believe that the best way to solve problems is to have different perspectives on the problem and this comes from having different life experiences. The best team is a diverse team, no only in their backgrounds, but in their skill set”.  Michelle is a serial entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of Toronto-based DesignedUX. DesignedUX is a design and strategy firm that provides companies at a variety of stages, from startups to Fortune 500’s with the tools and products to make their customer’s experience second to none. Michelle has built a global customer base from the ground up at DesignedUX, working with clients from Beverly Hills to New York to London and Delhi along with some of the hottest startups in Toronto.  In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Michelle about her journey as a Founder and CEO and how she’s mentoring entrepreneurs to take their startups to the next level.

Being an Entrepreneurial Powerhouse with Devon Brooks – March 6, 2018

Not every 21 year old can start a blow-dry bar empire, let alone create a new market category in an age-old industry. For Devon Brooks, it came down recognizing a problem and providing a solution through simplification.   “We didn’t realize it at the time, but we had really defined a new market sector. For us, it was really about identifying the need.”   Devon accomplished international success as the Founder of Blo Blow Dry Bar. With over 90 locations in 4 countries, Devon grew her innovative hair styling empire through strategic partnerships with brands like Mattel and Gwyneth Paltrow. Devon is also the Co-Founder and CEO of sphereishere.com, a world class coaching company you can sign up for today. On top of being an entrepreneurial powerhouse, she is a socially conscious activist who is passionate about giving a voice to those who have experienced trauma. In early 2017, Devon built baberally.org as a digital information platform for women to share their experiences and gain resources on sexual trauma.   In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Devon about identifying market gaps and how she’s using business as a medium for positivity and change.

Transformations Through Technology with Eric Mercer – February 27, 2018

With passion for consumer and digital marketing, technological innovation and communications, Eric Mercer is classically trained in consumer marketing at Procter & Gamble Company and has worked with global organizations such as Red Bull, WalMart and Estee Lauder. Eric has accumulated a great depth of consumer and marketing knowledge, bringing an informed vision on what consumers look like and should look like in the future.   “You spend a lot of time making sure your product is positioned properly within a store so a consumer will see it. But now, if somebody uses their voice home assistant to shop, there is no aisle … so that’s a big challenge going forward”.   Eric Mercer is the Director of Content at DX3, Canada’s leading technology, digital marketing and retail event that brings together more than 40 speakers and 4,000 attendees each year. The conference is an immersive and educational experience that is centered around changing the world of digital marketing and retail.  In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Eric about the way technology is changing retail and the way we do business and the way we shop as well as the events that have shaped and transformed his career.

The Purpose Generation with Keith Ippel – February 20, 2018

A visionary from Vancouver, Keith Ippel recognizes the new age of the Canadian business landscape.  “The notion of a non-profit is a byproduct of a bygone era. When people did capitalism with no moral compass. And that era is gone. Especially with millennials as a purpose generation, and we see it manifested in Whole Foods, Tesla, Volvo… We’re in this place now where making the world a better place is just going to be the norm.”  Keith Ippel is a serial entrepreneur most notable as the Co-Founder and CEO of Spring Activator, a Vancouver-based accelerator and incubator. Keith is an entrepreneur driven by purpose who has raised over 20 million dollars in angel and VC funding. When he isn’t changing the lives of entrepreneurs at Spring, Keith advises at Hootsuite, Brightkit, and Momentum, just to name a few.   In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Keith about his strategy to raise nearly $2 million in funding and important lessons he’s learned during his 15 years in business.

Rewarding Micro Actions with Giovanna Mingarelli – February 13, 2018

On a mission to encourage social good by rewarding micro actions, Giovanna Mingarelli is the back-bone behind MC2, an Ottawa-based tech startup offering Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) chatbots for social action. “MC2 is founded on the idea that we can apply data specifically to civic engagement and government and drive home making civic engagement more fun, participatory and also more accountable.” Giovanna is the CEO and Co-Founder of MC2. A sought after public speaker and thought leader in the areas of entrepreneurialism, civic engagement, business and socio-political events internationally, Giovanna’s a globally recognized public figure with publications in the Huffington Post, Globe and Mail, and citations in the Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Having worked extensively in the field of political and digital communications, Giovanna served in the office of a former Prime Minister of Canada and was named one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women by the WXN.  In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Giovanna about how governments can engage with technologies to build greater engagement, trust, and accountability.

Business and Bonfires with Dan Levine and Steven Pulver – February 6, 2018

As leaves begin to change, entrepreneurs from across Canada head to the friendly town of Bancroft (between Toronto and Ottawa) to join their like-minded counterparts at the Fireside Conference. With sparks of knowledge shared in adirondack chairs and intriguing content for every entrepreneur, lawyer-friends Steven Pulver and Daniel Levine designed the Fireside Conference to welcome the tech-obsessed and startup connoisseurs to kick back and relax.  “This disconnection from technology brings people together.”  In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Steven Pulver and Daniel Levine about what started the spark that would fuel the creation of the much-loved annual Fireside Conference.



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