Startup Canada is ready to release their findings today following a cross-country tour in which they engaged over 20,000 Canadians.
The entrepreneur-lead initiative will unveil its national strategy at six news conferences across Canada this afternoon, including in Montreal at historic Notman House.
The conferences will specifically discuss the key findings of the tour and, “outline Startup Canada’s key projects for 2013 that will enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity through entrepreneurship.”
Noah Redler said that their plan will focus on three areas: building and supporting communities, strengthening and empowering entrepreneurs and providing more support through a central website that will improve access to valuable business resources.
“We believe that when you empower entrepreneurs and small businesses, that’s where the community economic development, the growth and the confidence in national and community economies comes in,” said the Quebec Committee Chair for Startup Canada. “That’s what’s part of making entrepreneurship important and that’s how these things are going to be driven forward.”
Throughout the tour the overwhelming response that Startup Canada received was that entrepreneurs are looking for more access to reliable information through mentors, advisors and public support organizations.
Part of the national strategy is the notion that collaboration breeds greater results.
“We want to be able to create more opportunities while supporting the ones that already exist,” said Redler. “Beyond that entrepreneurs are really just looking for a community to feel that they’re more a part of something instead of someone who’s trying to do something on their own.”
While on tour earlier this fall, co-founder Victoria Lennox took to the Toronto Star to blog about Startup Canada’s experiences.
In her article she issued a plea to the Canadian enterprise ecosystem to “put down its swords,” and act together in a cohesive effort to help entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs continue to be largely unaware of the resources around them, she wrote. Meanwhile the support landscape is highly fragmented in terms of region, sector, industry and generation.
“Organizations need to come together, align, distinguish their mandates and coordinate their offerings to add greater value to entrepreneurs in their communities,” wrote Lennox.
Now it appears that the initiative is finally ready to help those communities.
To start, they’re creating a transparent online resource for people to learn about the tour’s findings. Here they will be posting their national strategy, main findings and key recommendations as well as laying out in detail the plan for next year.
Speaking from Montreal, Redler said that his city is doing what it needs to in order to build a stronger community. But collaboration between industries to better drive solutions is still a missing piece of the puzzle.
Christian Painchaud of My Customizer agrees. His business recently graduated from startup accelerator FounderFuel’s third cohort of startups.
My Customizer’s software implements the ‘mass-customization model’, which can be adapted in several other industries. Painchaud thinks that cross-industry discussion and the sharing of information needs to be more prevalent for cities like Montreal to excel.
“Everything now is so connected that we have to leverage this to address problems in other industries,” said the CEO. “The solution comes from the people in the community.”
Several keynote speakers will address the crowd at the Montreal conference, including Maxime Bernier, the Minister of State for Small Business and Tourism in Prime Minster Stephen Harper’s cabinet.
Other speakers include Andy Nulman, President of Just for Laughs, Tara Hunt, founder of Buyosphere, Charles Desjardins, VP of Absolunet and Christian Bélair, General Director of the Regroupement des Jeunes Chambres de Commerce.