The THRIVE Podcast for Women Entrepreneurs is all about supporting YOU to start and build a thriving business. On THRIVE, we connect you with leading experts, entrepreneurs, and organizations that provide capital, mentorship, training, tools and other support to help you to make your vision reality, faster.

The THRIVE podcast is a production of Startup Canada, Canada’s entrepreneurship organization, supporting Canada’s entrepreneurs to succeed. This podcast is presented in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada and Scotiabank.

Upcoming Episode

Latest Episode

Finding Your Funding, Effectively with Sydney Wong – October 24th 2019

It’s a hard truth, but the fact that the majority of startups fail is a real problem – and it’s one Sydney Wong, Founder and Chief Hustler at VenturX, is addressing with a real solution.

Sydney went to Silicon Valley in 2015 with a one-way ticket with no job, no VISA, and no apartment. After meeting, learning and absorbing everything she could from the “startup battlefield with few winners”, she returned to Canada with a mission for her company – what would it take to produce more winners?

“When entrepreneurs ask ‘can you help me with funding?’ I always ask them first, are you sure you need it? Are you sure this is the path you want to go to? If the answer is even slightly no, investors will see right through that. The next thing I ask them is how do you know this is the right time? Timing is one of the most important things when it comes to any company.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Sydney Wong discuss finding the funding that fits your startup best.

Recently Aired Episodes


People, Planet, Profit: Local Liquid Gold with Aja Horsley – October 17th 2019

It’s true you won’t attract much with vinegar, but when you make locally sourced, sustainable food production the guiding principle of your raw honey business, you’ll certainly attract more than flies. Aja Horsley is the Founder and Queen Bee of Drizzle Honey, and is focused on changing how the world uses honey.

“If you do what you’re passionate about and you do it the right way, even when nobody’s watching you, you’re going to attract people to that. You’re going to be able to align yourself with consumers and people that think the same way as you, and bring your passion into the world.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Aja discuss making a product sweeter than most, with everyone’s interests at heart.

Time to Take Back Your Tech with Liva Graudina – October 10th 2019

Is technology annoying? Painful? Terrifying? According to Liva Graudina, Senior Coordinator of IT at Sovereign Insurance, tech should be fun and nothing but!

Having grown up in the era of chat rooms, Liva was no stranger to learning shortcuts quickly and sharing them with others. She takes that passion to work, and even back home with her as she’s known as Tech Support in her family.

“You don’t want to do all the hard work. Your tech is there for you – it doesn’t have you, you have it.”

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Liva discuss her sharing her passion for streamlining others’ lives with tech.

Design Thinking: Intelligent Innovations for your Business with Nilufer Erdebil – October 3rd 2019

Nilufer Erdebil has worn many hats – saleswoman, software designer, innovation expert. But as the CEO of Spring2 Innovation, she knows what’s under the hat is the most important thing.

Spring2 Innovation uses the principles of Design Thinking, a process for creative problem solving that encourages organizations to focus on the people they are creating goods or services for, to bring insight, expand operations, and re-tool approaches companies take to dealing with problems all too human in nature.

“Sometimes we think about pulling back and analyzing what the problem really is. Design Thinking is pulling back a little more and understanding who the people involved in the problem are, and trying to solve the problem.”

The strides Nilufer has made with Spring2 Innovation have landed her on the TED X Ottawa stage, gave her the 2014 Ottawa Business Journal Top 40 Under 40 Award, and a 2016 recipient of the WCT Leadership Award from Women in Communications and Technology.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Nilufer discuss her drive to make innovation spring eternal.

Canadian Cannabis: Disruption in the West Coast with Mandy Potter – September 26th 2019

Mandy Potter is the CEO of Vancouver-based Jane, a woman-founded cannabis technology company with an impressive three-million dollar run rate in month five.
Mandy was previously the founder of Cleanify, an on-demand home services marketplace which raised five million in funding and was sold last year. Built with a mandate of equity and advancing gender parity, Mandy’s team at Cleanify was 50 per cent women and 50 per cent people of colour and at Jane it is 75 percent female run with 75 percent of people of colour.

As the director, speaker, and judge for the Vancouver Chapter of Lesbians Who Tech, as well as a panel guest for Women Who Code Vancouver, Mandy’s dedication to connecting the entrepreneur community along with members of marginalized groups is more than evident.

On this week’s THRIVE Podcast, Komal Minhas and Mandy discuss her experiences as a young entrepreneur and what’s budding in the BC cannabis industry.

Real Estate Innovations: Buying & Selling with Tech with Laura Fortey – September 19th 2019

The word failure comes with a special set of nuances that are unique to the entrepreneurship community. When starting up, you need to overcome so many challenges that sometimes, failure is the result. For Laura Fortey and many entrepreneurs like her, failure has been a normal part of the process, and some even say a necessary one.

“The best advice that I would give to entrepreneurs is: don’t be afraid to fail. If it doesn’t work out, awesome, try the next thing.”

Laura Fortey, the Co-Founder and CMO for REITIUM Blockchain Technologies, which is a real estate equity crowdfunding marketplace and compliance engine. REITIUM utilizes blockchain technology & smart contracts to allow anyone to invest into income producing properties for as little as one hundred dollars, enabling ‘Real Estate for Everyone.’

As a real estate entrepreneur, Laura has bought, managed, renovated and sold her own investment properties, as well as invested in REITs and MICs. As the daughter of a realtor, Laura grew up with entrepreneurial parents who also owned a successful property management company. In May 2019, Laura and her team took home the Startup Canada Innovation Award for the British Columbia region.

In this week’s episode of the #THRIVEPodcast, host Komal Minhas sits down with Laura to talk about how she’s using the latest tech to build her company and her startup story in Western Canada.

Preserving Traditional Inuit Knowledge through Entrepreneurship with Bernice Clarke – September 12th 2019

Bernice Kootoo Clarkee is the Founder and President of Uasao Soap (Wah-so Soap), an Inuit owned company dedicated to preserving traditional Inuit knowledge by incorporating it in a new and modern way. When she first started up in Nunavut, she had to overcome not only the challenges of starting up in a remote community, but those who had their doubts about her success.

“I had a feeling. I went with a gut instinct. I went against people who didn’t believe it would pick up. I ignored it, I forged through, and I saw it through, and then I said I told you so.”

Guided by Inuit values and a commitment to revitalizing Inuit culture, all of Uasau’s products feature natural ingredients like bowhead whale oil, seal oil, and tundra. Fellow Intuit reach out to Bernice to share their knowledge of healing methods that have a long history in Intuit culture spanning hundreds of years.

In May, Bernice took home the 2019 Startup Canada’s Entrepreneur’s Choice award for the North Region, and in 2016, she was awarded with the Top Aboriginal business of the year award from the Yukon First Nation Chamber of Commerce. She has raised four beautiful children in her home community surrounded by friends and family.

In this week’s episode of the #THRIVEPodcast, host Komal Minhas and Bernice explore the realities of starting up in the Arctic, and how gut feelings, intuition, and grit are the real recipe for success.

Investing with Purpose with Bonnie Foley-Wong – September 5th 2019

Entrepreneurship is often a vessel for passion – it’s where those who have an undying urge to change the world go to make an impact, and Bonnie Foley-Wong is no different.

“After my experience in investment banking and seeing vast amounts of capital flowing, I rediscovered my roots and thought, there has to be a more purposeful way of using this money.”

Bonnie is the Founder and CEO of Pique Ventures, a Vancouver-based impact investment and management company. She helps people make impact investments confidently and in an integrated way. She is an accomplished financier and investor with 20 years experience of mobilizing capital for entrepreneurial businesses. Over the course of her career, she has financed over $1 billion dollars of alternative investments in Europe and North America.

Before relocating to Vancouver, Bonnie worked in the UK with social entrepreneurs and impact investors such as Big Issue Invest and Resonance from 2009 to 2011.

Bonnie is the author of Integrated Investing: Impact Investing with Head, Heart, Body, and Soul, a guide for making compassionate investment decisions to help create a better world. She is a 3-time Quora Top Writer and has been published in Business Insider, Next Billion, Inc., Forbes, Vancouver Observer, and Huffington Post.

On this week’s episode of the THRIVE Podcast, host Komal Minhas and Bonnie Foley-Wong dive into impact investing, purpose, and prioritizing diversity every step of the way.

Supporting End Users Through Design with Caterina Rizzi – August 29th 2019

Caterina prides herself on her ability to read trends, innovate products and translate visions into viable strategies. Caterina is a passionate believer in human centered design and has built her career by investing her energy into lofty goals and left field ideas to create game changing brands and experiences.

“This person has a name, and a hair colour, I try to envision as much as possible who this person is”.

In this week’s #ThrivePodcast, Komal talks to Caterina about crafting unique experiences through design, building Breather, as well as her newest venture, Hotline, a knowledge sharing platform for women entrepreneurs.

Nourishing Communities through Food and Love with Antoinette GreenOliph – August 22nd 2019

Lover of food and creation from a young age, Antoinette has brought her passion for cooking traditional Trinidadian and Tobagonian foods to Canada’s North. Influenced by her mother and grandmother’s love for cooking, Antoinette opened her first restaurant in Manitoba in 2002. For the past eleven years, Antoinette is now the owner and Executive Chef of Antoinette’s, a Whitehorse favourite. “My legacy is to help young women, particularly women of colour. I want them to look at me and say, if she can do this, I can do this too”. In this week’s #ThrivePodcast, Komal and Antoinette discuss adversity, strength and courage and how Antoinette has created one of Whitehorse’s favourite and famous spots.



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