Building a Community of Startup Companies
Startup Canada combines the communal feel of a Rotary Club with the sophistication and progressive thinking of a startup. The organization conducted a coast-to-coast tour of Canada in which they asked 20,000+ entrepreneurs what would make their working lives easier.
A large majority of entrepreneurs said that the support and wisdom of fellow entrepreneurs were invaluable. However, they highlighted that there was no centralized place where entrepreneurs could meet. As a result, Startup Canada launched operations in 15 pilot communities, joining with 300+ partners across the nation.
The entrepreneurs building the next generation of Canadian tech companies needed a place to come together. This is where the idea for Startup Canada's communities came from. With these communities, entrepreneurs have access to individuals who have launched the most successful startup companies across the nation. At the same time, new startup owners can contribute insights and advice about the forces reshaping the startup landscape.
Startup Canada Leverages Canadian Entrepreneurs
Startup Canada is funded by entrepreneurs including Dani Reiss (Canada Goose), Heather Reisman (Indigo Books), and W. Brett Wilson (RiskyBusinessTV). So far, the movement has garnered interest from businesses and entrepreneurs in all stages of development. These organizations have varying experience levels, in addition to significant coverage from outlets like the Globe and Mail.
The decision to seek funding from specific patrons, as opposed to a crowdfunding strategy, allows many advantages. The organization is able to focus on its goals and to incorporate the knowledge of entrepreneurs with proven track records. The patrons bring to Startup Canada a wide range of backgrounds. These range from entertainment to utilities, ensuring that the organization focuses on the needs of businesses instead of being industry-specific.
Startup Canada has engaged with nearly 250 000 individuals since its inception. The organization now boasts 750 partners supporting 50 communities of startup companies. The communities help create content for Canadian startups in the form of events, podcasts, shows, and weekly Twitter chats. The thriving community of startup companies contributes and engages in many ways, encouraging others to join.
How Canadian Startup Companies Can Get Involved
New entrepreneurs are encouraged to take advantage of the program by visiting www.startupcommunities.ca. From there, you can either locate the nearest pilot community or volunteer to start your own. Anyone who has attempted to start a business will understand the value of advice and commiseration from an experienced mentor.
New entrepreneurs who have little or no experience in this area will benefit tremendously from the stewardship of a mentor. For their part, mentors enjoy connecting with the enthusiasm and drive of younger entrepreneurs, making the experience mutually beneficial.
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