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.
Youthful Innovations in Accessibility with Riya Karumanchi – May 7 2019
Riya Karumanchi took an idea she had from a chance encounter with her friend’s visually-impaired grandmother and turned it into a successful startup business with a promising career ahead. Riya is an avid ML developer and Innovator at The Knowledge Society.
She is the founder and CEO of SmartCane, a company that is building an enhanced version of the common white cane for the visually impaired. She found it shocking that the white cane was never updated to take advantage of new technologies, so she decided to change it. The device leverages technology to increase independence and safety through GPS, object detection & computer vision – gaining over $73,000 in funding and support from some of the world’s top companies like Microsoft, Google, TD, and DMZ. Her hard work and passion in her field have led her to be recognized as an innovative entrepreneur with a portfolio to match – and she is only 15. In this week’s episode, Riya is going to let us in on her unconventional path to unconventional success, and give us a look at what it’s like being a young entrepreneur in today’s growing technological world.
Recently Aired Episodes
Fighting Food Waste with Food Friendly Wrap with Toni Desrosiers – April 30 2019
Nutritionist-turned-entrepreneur Toni Desrosiers founded Abeego with her husband in 2008, creating the very first beeswax food wrap on the market. Abeego is not just about reducing waste with reusable food wraps but reducing food waste by extending the life of your food. In addition to being reusable, the product is all-natural with the goal of eliminating waste entirely. The company has even found ways to repurpose production waste by turning scraps into twist ties and excess material into fire starters – something they call waste-generated resources. After 400 per cent growth in 2017, Abeego’s profits were expected to double again last year, while the Victoria-based company has reached international markets. Toni’s resilience, drive, and passion has not only pushed Abeego forward but has inspired other women entrepreneurs and social innovators across the country. In this week’s podcast, we are discussing with Toni how has scaled what started out as a handcrafted, niche cottage brand to become a leader in the world of food wrap today.
B2B Customer Strategy Solutions with Michael Haynes – April 16 2019
Michael Haynes is a Business to Business Customer Strategy Specialist. He has over 20 years of experience working with companies in Australia, Brazil, and Canada helping them to develop and implement customer-driven strategies and programs. Michael has worked with start-ups and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) across a range of industries including Professional Services, IT and Transportation. Recognizing that there was a lack of resources to help start-ups and SMEs thrive in the Business to Business (B2B) space, Michael published his first book, Listen, Innovate Grow: A Guidebook for Start-Ups and SMEs to Acquire and Grow (B2B) Customers. In this week’s podcast, we talk to Michael about how small businesses can implement B2B strategies into their companies and his book, Listen, Innovate, Grow.
From Business Builder to Broadway Producer with Andy Nulman – April 9 2019
Many people may know Andy, as the Montreal-based co-founder of Just For Laughs, turning it into the prestigious, well-known comedy phenomenon it is today. Taking a break from the comedy scene, Andy founded Airborne Mobile, a pioneering mobile media company which was sold for over $100 million and named North America’s 4th-Fastest Growing Tech Company in 2006. Andy has been a journalist, he has written three books, and he is currently producing a musical that is on its way to scoring a spot on broadway. As a well-known public speaker, he has the opportunities to speak at various universities, conferences and events. His numerous endeavors won him the Startup Canada Lifetime Achievement Award for Quebec in 2016. “Anticipation is as important as immediate gratification and in terms of business, waiting is ultra important.” While Andy has many successful projects under his belt in his four decades of creating and leading major media projects, he is not done yet. Andy is currently the co-founder and CEO of Play The Future, Inc., a forward-thinking digital platform and brand engagement tool that converts the big data points and events of major brands into consumer engagement and entertainment, and is currently diving into his newest adventure, producer of Quebec’s Broadway play Les Belles Soeurs!
Supporting Entrepreneurs in Rural Regions with Mary Doyle – April 2 2019
Mary Doyle is the co-founder and program developer for Rural on Purpose, a social enterprise committed to strengthening rural communities worldwide through entrepreneurship. With over 28 years of experience working in all three sectors (private, nonprofit and government) Mary works to improve economic opportunities for people living in rural areas by piloting high impact programs that prepare them for the future of work. Her most recent project is a rural coworking pilot that builds a freelance-friendly ecosystem in a community in just 10 weeks. As a community builder and volunteer, Mary spends much of her spare time fostering strong entrepreneurial ecosystems. Mary is the founder of Startup Bay of Quinte and is focused on developing a National Youth Entrepreneurship strategy in partnership with Loyalist College. She has been a speaker and panelist at numerous events ranging from the Canadian Accelerator Summit to the United Way to Women in Business conferences – including the 30th Annual Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Conference and Startup Day on the Hill.”We have 19 percent of all freelancers already living in rural communities, they are already here, we just don’t have a way to talk to them and connect to them, they are in our blind spot”. In today’s podcast, we will talk to Mary about what entrepreneurship means to her, the value of running pilot programs and community building.
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.
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.