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.
Building Relationships Across Borders with Ignacio Ottati – October 29th 2019
Trust – the best things in life are built on it, and the same can be said for the best things in business. For Ignacio Ottati, a former entrepreneur turned Quality Assurance Analyst at Sovereign Insurance, it’s the most important piece of his professional puzzle.
In 2011, he decided to take the leap into entrepreneurship by founding his first company selling surveillance cameras and providing maintenance services. A year later he expanded the company and became part of a consortium to offer more security-related services such as integration with alarm systems, security guard services, and more. Then only another year later, he founded his second company in audio components, based on a request from an existing client.
In 2014, Ignacio relocated to Calgary where he got a job as a Business Analyst with Sovereign Insurance. Two years later, an opportunity presented itself and he became the first Quality Assurance analyst in the organization. Today, Ignacio continues to play an integral role at Sovereign as part of its QA team.
“I was open to meeting new people and new challenges. Even though my experience in business wasn’t the greatest. I succeeded. I just worked smart, not very hard to be honest. I gained all the knowledge that I needed from relationships people that I had met and shadowed – getting as much knowledge from those people as possible..”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, Rivers Corbett sits down with Ignacio Ottati to help entrepreneurs understand the value of building relationships to last, and the kind of fruit trust can bear.
Recently Aired Episodes
Diversifying and Conquering as Entrepreneurs with Isaac Olowolafe – October 22nd 2019
Entrepreneurship comes in many different forms and from many different places – something which Isaac Olowolafe, Founder of Dream Maker Inc. is well aware of.
A well-known entrepreneur, business owner, and philanthropist. Isaac Olowolafe launched Dream Maker Ventures in 2016, a private equity firm launched to provide mentorship and capital to small and medium-sized businesses in all industries, successfully operating in multiple divisions including a brokerage, real estate development, wealth management, property management, education, private equity, and insurance.
“I would make sure entrepreneurship is as diverse and inclusive as possible from a funding point of view. The more diversity you get, the more opinions you’re able to get.”
Isaac is a recipient of numerous awards and letters of recognition, including a Harry Jerome Business Award, an Enterprise Business Award by Planet Africa, an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto, a Business Leadership Award by Leadership and Governance Canada Inc. and more.
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, Rivers Corbett sits down with Isaac to help entrepreneurs understand the value of making diversity a priority in the entrepreneurial landscape in Canada, and how pivoting with the market will keep your business on track.
The Freedom of Finding Your Niche with Peter Oxley – October 15th 2019
Whether it’s computer mice, cybersecurity, or organic mushrooms, every business has its niche – Peter Oxley, Founder of Liftoff Capital can attest to that.
A serial entrepreneur, in addition to Liftoff Capital Peter also has a medical device distribution business and a medical device development business. For some entrepreneurs it can be hard enough to find one niche for their businesses – let alone three – but don’t let that skew your opinion.
“I started working for Pfizer as its sales rep and enjoyed it, but didn’t love it because I was really bent on being an entrepreneur. I spent a lot of time trying to find a niche.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, Rivers Corbett sits down with Peter Oxley to help entrepreneurs understand how to corner their niches in business, and what it takes to sell your services or products from the ground up.
Flexibility: Finding Time for Family as a Founder with Manny Padda – October 8th 2019
Entrepreneurship can be a long, arduous, and grueling journey, but if you ever wanted proof that there’s light at the end of the tunnel – look no further than Manny Padda.
Manny is an Entrepreneur, Educator, Angel Investor, and Philanthropist. He is the founder of New Avenue Capital as well as the Founder and Managing Director of PM Search Partners.
A self-made entrepreneur who built his first multi-million-dollar company at age 26, Manny is dedicated to providing education and mentorship to today’s youth. He is a co-founder of GradusOne, an organization that connects students and graduates with mentors and provides them with resources to help them refine their career path and achieve success.
Manny sits on a number of advisory boards in the education and not-for-profit sectors, and is an active Advisor and Angel Investor in Vancouver’s tech community, having invested in startups including Picatic, MyBestHelper, Change Heroes, ShareShed, Feeding Change, and GKup.
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, Rivers Corbett sits down with Manny Padda to help entrepreneurs understand how to stay in touch with their regular lives on this journey, and to learn to love the two-sided coin of flexibility and uncertainty that comes with the job.
Delivering On Your eCommerce Essentials with Lindley Graham – September 24th 2019
e-Commerce isn’t going anywhere any time soon, and it can help your business deliver the results you need as easily as boxes to your customers’ doors. Lindley Graham has spent five years at Canada Post moulding their e-Commerce Marketing strategies, and is a big supporter of small businesses using all the tools our online world has to offer.
“e-Commerce is such an incredibly fast paced and fast-moving industry in Canada. It’s where business is headed in Canada – it provides so much opportunity for entrepreneurs to grow their business and expand to new markets.”
Lindley is currently the director of Parcels and e-Commerce Marketing at Canada Post, where she leads a team that oversees the programs that provide Canadian e-Commerce merchants with insights and information to help them grow their businesses.
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast Rivers Corbett sits down with Lindley Graham to help entrepreneurs get the most out of the tools they might not even know they have in their e-Commerce toolbox.
Nutritious and Delicious: Fresh Food in the North with Merlyn Recinos- September 24th 2019
Merlyn Recinos has been in the entrepreneur game a while – since the age of eight to be exact, selling fresh fruit and food in front of his house to members of his community. When he was 21 Merlyn moved to Nunavut, and through his and his partner Rhoda Angutimarik’s efforts Arctic Fresh was born.
Leveraging social platforms and partnerships with like-minded organizations, Arctic Fresh has been able to supply fresh, affordable, delicious, and nutritious food to thirteen isolated Northern communities.
Merlyn also works to build capacity in his community for entrepreneurs, and mentors an average of 500 hours per year helping people start businesses, gain employment, do personal taxes, and many, many more things in the community of Igloolik.
In this week’s episode of the #StartupPodcast Rivers Corbett sits down with Merlyn Recinos to help entrepreneurs understand the viability of social entrepreneurship, and how to build more than a business.
Fireside Conference X Startup Podcast with 14 Entrepreneurs – September 17th 2019
During the fall of 2018, Rivers Corbett attended the Fireside Conference. Here are the stories of 14 leading Canadian entrepreneurs.
- Fraser Nagy, Transparent Kitchen | Podcast Timestamp: 00:3:14
- Galen Udell, Bark n Yapp | Podcast Timestamp: 00:13:09
- Ilya Brotzky, VanH ack | Podcast Timestamp: 00:25:58
- Albert Amar, Swift Count, | Podcast Timestamp: 00:36:10
- Ben Seaman, Riverwood Acoustics | Podcast Timestamp: 00:45:41
- Damien L. Duchamp, Ed.D, Hospitalented | Podcast Timestamp: 00:55:25
- Dew Henson, Seam Technic | Podcast Timestamp: 1:10:02
- Jeff Hayzlett, The C- Suite Network | Podcast Timestamp: 1:23:06
- Jess Joss, York Angels | Podcast Timestamp: 1:34:05
- Justin Hartzman, Needls | Podcast Timestamp: 1:44:03
- Brent Kobayashi, Kobayashi and Zeit Guys | Podcast Timestamp: 1:55:00
- Peter Katz, Musician | Podcast Timestamp: 2:13:05
- Sydney Duarte, Traveling Gypsy | Podcast Timestamp: 2:30:35
- Blake Fleischacker, My Life Online | Podcast Timestamp: 2:42:19
Virtual Assistants for Businesses Everywhere with Bobbie Jo Racette – September 10th 2019
After witnessing the paint-points of being a freelancer first hand, Bobbie Racette was inspired to create a digital platform that supports freelancers to find meaningful work, and for clients to find virtual assistants for shorter contracts that work for them.
“After talking to entrepreneurs, they would tell me it would take 2-4 hours to go through each application for a virtual assistant. That’s where the idea came from – how can I make the experience good for the freelancer & the client.”
Bobbie is a Cree Metis woman entrepreneur and the Founder and CEO of The Virtual Gurus, a Calgary-based startup company that connects their clients with trained, skilled Virtual Assistants.
She has created a platform that makes Canadian based Freelance Workers and Virtual Assistants accessible to businesses of any size. In addition to that- to add credibility to the workers she provides to businesses across North America, the Virtual Gurus Academy was recently launched allowing freelancers to diversify their skill set, making them more marketable to Virtual Gurus clients, but also more hireable across industry sectors.
In this week’s show, host Rivers Corbett talks to Bobbie about her journey in building a freelancer’s oasis and how she manages 17,000 virtual team members.
Open Innovation is the New Black with Aurelie Wen – September 3rd 2019
Passionate about open innovation and employer branding, Aurelie Wen is the Managing Director of North America at Agorize. In 2017, Aurelie moved from Paris to Montreal and founded the North American office of Agorize, a platform that connects students, programmers, startups and entrepreneurs with companies worldwide.
“Large communities and potential clients are interested in the value of our community, first, but also in the platform itself. From all the platforms that exist in the country, there is no such platform that can manage a hackathon online as well as our platform.”
Specializing in innovation, recruitment and communication, Aurelie and her team have helped more than 60,000 students and innovators launch their startup and find jobs at companies which include TD National Bank of Canada, Desjardins, Aviva, Radio-Canada, L’Oreal, PepsiCo and more.
In this week’s show, Rivers talks to Aurelie about the future of work, recruitment in startups, and lessons in starting and scaling up.
Canada, The Place for Entrepreneurs with Victoria Lennox – August 27th 2019
“We were able to match Canada’s entrepreneur spirit and volunteer culture together, and I think that is what makes Canada so strong.”
Victoria Lennox is the Co-Founder, President and former CEO of Startup Canada, the national rallying community supporting and giving a voice to Canada’s 3.5 million entrepreneurs. She is an innovation policy and program architect, ecosystem diplomat, and an angel investor passionate about fostering equality, hope, peace, and prosperity through entrepreneurship.
As one of Canada’s leading proponents of entrepreneurship and innovation, Victoria works alongside government, industry, and entrepreneurs to construct the nation’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and to ensure that the right policies, programs, and enabling frameworks and infrastructure are in place to compete and thrive in the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
As the co-founder for the US-based Startup Nations and as the founder of a UK-based charity supporting young entrepreneurs, Victoria supports the development of enterprise and social innovation organizations in more than 20 countries; provides advisory support to international organizations in the areas of entrepreneurship networks, education and policy development; and supports colleges and universities in enhancing their entrepreneurial activities.
In this week’s #StartupPodcast, Rivers sits down with Victoria to talk about her journey as a serial entrepreneur in the UK and Canada, how she’s grown a thriving non-profit, and what’s next for Canadian entrepreneurship.