Federal Government Backed Volunteer-Led Effort Promotes Canadian Start-Ups

The Startup Canada National Tour at its finale in Vancouver. The tour took Startup Canada to 40 Canadian cities where it consulted with over 20,000 people over six months (Cyprian Szalankiewicz)

Startup Canada, an entrepreneur-led government-backed non-profit organization, announced its action plan for increasing entrepreneurship in the country on Tuesday. The organization unveiled blueprints of a national network to support and connect entrepreneurial communities and a media campaign to create a strong entrepreneurial culture in Canada.

The action plan is the product of the Start-Up Canada National Tour which took the organization across the country from May to September 2012 and solicited input from over 20,000 entrepreneurs in 40 cities on how to create a national entrepreneur brand and foster Canada’s start-ups.

The action plan calls for three initiatives:

  • Startup Canada Connect: a social network to connect entrepreneurs
  • Startup Canada Communities: the creation of local entrepreneur communities, beginning with a pilot in 10 cities, which will organize local events, provide contacts to mentors, and support entrepreneurs as they develop their businesses
  • Startup Canada Campaign: a national media campaign to tell the stories of entrepreneurs in order to raise awareness of the role they play in Canada’s economy and promote them as role models in the country

Startup Canada is looking to launch the initiatives, including the Startup Canada Connect online social network, by May 2013, and is seeking to finance them through corporate sponsorships and crowd-funding.

Its current sponsors, which supported the Startup Canada National Tour, include Gowlings, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Artik Promotions, PubliAir, and KA Media.

The organization launched its crowd-funding campaign on Tuesday through the Indiegogo platform: http://www.indiegogo.com/startupcanada and is looking to raise $100,000 in 34 days.

The action plan has been promoted by several federal officials, including Minister of State Small Business and Tourism Maxime Bernier, who spoke at an organization event in Montreal, and Industry Minister Tony Clement who was a speaker at an event in Ottawa, in Tuesday’s kick-off for the Startup Canada blue-print.


  • This is pure nonsense. These people are all “paid” advocates. Every one of them pulls down a large salary. Of course they are all ready to spread the lie that you can start your business on a shoestring, with your own money, bleeding your family dry while doing it. Every single “new business” incentive is reserved for established businesses with large bank accounts and “major league shakers” who are willing to rally their workers to vote for the party in favor. I will never invest one penny of my money in my business ideas. If they are good, and I do attempt to make them foolproof (as in no fools allowed)… OTHERS will do the investing. Not me. Me investing, in my own business? Stupidity. However, that is how the rest of the works evaluates a “business”. Exactly how stupid was the owner? That stupid? Well.. count me it!!

  • Speaking with Knowledge

    I wish to respond to Speaking Frankly and anyone else that may want to be the bearers of misinformation. I have been on the ground volunteering in the background for this organization since the onset. The CEO and Co-Founder, Victoria Lennox (check out victorialennox.com to see the work that this amazing young woman has done within Canada and Internationally) worked for 1 year upon returning to Canada and used the savings to fund this venture. Wanting to make an impact to support the entrepreneurial community here in Canada as she had done abroad. Victoria has not received one dime from this venture and currently does not receive any salary which is the case with all volunteers including myself. She has worked tiredlessly since May 2010 on this project and perserved against all government-funded organizations that plotted to stop the movement. No level of government, municipal, provincial or federal has contributed 1 cent to the efforts of the campaign and yet seem to get the attention for promoting it. All funding to cover travel, marketing and communication has solely been the contributors as listed on StartUp Canada websites and most fo the media statements. If you believe this is ‘pure nonsense’, I suggest you take the time to research before making such judgements. What is ‘pure nonsense’ is the number of organizations receiving millions of tax-payer dollars and big salaries to do what this young woman has done on her a shoe-string budge and working from her bachelor apartment. Read before you comment and think before you spread negative comments. No wonder we cannot attract strong leaders in this country with our passive-agressive and negative attitudes abounding. I hope that you are amongst the minority of individuals who find fault in everything around them. I on the underhand want to side with the positive who hope for a better future for Canada and am willling to follow strong leaders to that end.

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