Ottawa, Canada (PressExposure) May 02, 2013 -- Startup Canada, a national entrepreneur-led non-profit movement, today unveils its flagship venture, Startup Canada Communities, a new approach to supporting entrepreneurs - from the bottom-up.
Startup Canada Communities provides entrepreneurs with access to mentors, workspace, and funding to start and grow their businesses and to connect with other startup founders. Local networked websites and grassroots entrepreneur-led events and activities are designed to unite the local startup community.
From access to co-working space in St. John's and coding workshops for women entrepreneurs in London, to entrepreneur networking events in Prince George and startup pitch events in Ottawa - entrepreneurs across Canada will be able to plug into their local startup community easier than ever before and use the new Startup Communities website to find events, other startup founders and support in their local community.
The all-star Advisor Team supporting the project includes:
Brad Feld (Boulder, Colo.-based entrepreneur, venture capitalist and co-founder of TechStars)
Bjoern Herrmann (founder of Startup Genome))
Jonathan Ortmans (president of Global Entrepreneurship Week), and Ken Bautista (founder of Startup Edmonton).
These advisors are helping refine and increase the impact of the startup community model. "This grassroots model for entrepreneurial development is truly transformative and will position Canada as a beacon for entrepreneurs worldwide," Mr. Feld says.
The project will initially pilot in 15 communities across Canada in 2013 to develop and refine the model. The first 15 pilot communities are St. John's, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, York Region, London, Kingston, Winnipeg, Calgary, Lethbridge, Smithers, Prince George, and Langford. These communities were chosen for their varied levels of startup sector maturity and to build a coast-to-coast network diverse in community size, demographics, and industry sectors.
The individual Startup Communities will stay in touch with each other and learn from each other through their connection with Startup Canada. Their first-year experiences and success will form the basis of a second wave of Startup Communities across Canada in 2014.
"The world should be watching this project closely because Startup Canada is on to something that could revolutionize the way entrepreneurship is ignited and advanced in communities around the world," Mr. Ortmans says.
Startup Canada Communities is a response to the call-to-action from the more than 20,000 entrepreneurs who made their voices heard during the Startup Canada National Tour last year, calling for stronger, more connected and more active local startup communities to accelerate entrepreneurial success.
"Healthy and vibrant entrepreneurial communities at a local level are the heart of inspiring, supporting and accelerating the growth of startups," says Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada. "We are uniting and harnessing the momentum of the Startup Canada movement to form the foundations of a pan-Canadian network to inspire, support, and provide constant encouragement to entrepreneurs."
For more details on the network and the participating communities, visit http://www.startupcommunities.ca.