Startup Canada Kicks Off National Entrepreneurship Tour in Halifax, NS
Halifax, NS (Monday, March 19, 2012)– A one-of-a-kind entrepreneurial movement is launching today in Halifax, NS as Startup Canada kicks off a six-month National Tour to ignite, inspire and celebrate entrepreneurship across the country. The tour, which begins with a week of events across Nova Scotia, is bringing together start-ups and enterprise support organizations across all sectors, regions and demographics to exchange ideas and collectively draft an action plan to address key challenges facing Canadian entrepreneurs.
“Our goal is to connect entrepreneurs everywhere in a coast-to-coast dialogue, find answers to the questions posed, raise awareness and celebrate achievement. We want to encourage people to think bigger so we can raise the bar on what individuals aspire to achieve,” said Adam Chowaniec, Chairman of the Startup Canada Governing Board. “There is an opportunity here for Canada to lead the charge on a global scale as economies everywhere are shifting and increasingly being driven by individuals’ self-reliance and self-employment.”
The National Tour will run from March to September, 2012 and aims to engage 25,000 Canadians and 250 partner organizations across the country through 30 public Town Halls and more than 100 Fringe Events. Provincial steering committees will help showcase local entrepreneurs on a national media platform and coordinate additional awareness campaigns. The movement is also being fuelled online through Startup Canada’s interactive website, live web-streamed broadcasts of the tour, and active social media networks.
Rustum Southwell, CEO of Black Business Initiative and Chair of Startup Canada’s Nova Scotia Provincial Steering Committee, is hosting today’s kick-off ceremony at the Innovacorp Enterprise Centre with remarks from Chowaniec, Thomas Hayes, President and CEO of GrowthWorks Atlantic, and a host of local entrepreneurs and enterprise support organizations.
“What I find most exciting is Startup Canada’s grassroots, entrepreneur-led approach to this campaign,” said Hayes. “The efforts by its founders and volunteers are a testament to the passion, dedication and enthusiasm behind entrepreneurship, and Growthworks is keen to support this initiative for the benefit of entrepreneurs everywhere.”
In addition to being championed by patrons such as Brett Wilson (Host of RiskyBusinessTV, former Dragon & serial entrepreneur), Heather Reisman (Founder, Indigo Books & Music), and Dani Reiss (Founder, Canada Goose), Startup Canada has also received support from a number of ambassadors and sponsors.
“We are very happy to support Startup Canada,” said David Pamenter, Partner and Leader of the Technology Group at Gowling Lafleur Henderson. “We believe startups make a large contribution to the innovation economy and that is key to Canada’s growth and prosperity.”
Other sponsors include Microsoft, Artik, Kick Ass Media, PubliAir, the Association of University Research Parks Canada, the Canadian Association of Business Incubation, the Evidence Network, Francis Moran & Associates, FreshBooks, MSBi Valorisation, NextMTL, the Ottawa Technology Transfer Network, Podio, Backbone Magazine, Hootsuite, ITWorld Canada, Paper.li, Sprouter, and Techvibes.
Today’s kick-off ceremony will be followed by Startup Canada’s inaugural Town Hall facilitated by Andrea Mandel-Campbell, author, journalist, former Business News Network anchor, and a Startup Canada Board member. Tomorrow, the Startup Canada crew will travel to Truro, NS for three events, including another Town Hall. A full schedule of the week’s events and complete national tour is posted on the Startup Canada website – www.startupcan.ca/tour.
About Startup Canada
Startup Canada is Canada’s first entrepreneur-led, national movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship. Startup Canada is harnessing the collective energies of Canadian entrepreneurs and enterprise support communities from coast to coast with the goals of providing the entrepreneurship community with a strong voice, promoting a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, and creating a unified brand that Canadians can rally around.
Startup Canada is launching this effort with the country’s first national entrepreneurship tour and campaign. The tour will run from March to September, engaging 25,000 Canadians and 250 partner organizations across the country. Entrepreneurs will participate in more than 30 Town Halls and 100 Fringe Events and connect through a social media groundswell campaign. This unique effort will not only identify key challenges facing Canadian entrepreneurs, but will bring them together in a way they never have been before. It’s the beginning of a critical conversation and the first step in a new way of thinking. Join the movement and connect with Startup Canada; visit www.startupcan.ca