Startup Canada Tour Kicks off in Halifax

l to r: Tanya Shaw, Andrew Doyle, Rustum Southwell, Adam Chowaniec, and Thomas Hayes

Startup Canada, an organization dedicated to helping and promoting entrepreneurship across Canada, officially kicked off their national tour in Halifax on Monday. Over the next six months, the tour will stop for 30 town hall events across Canada.

To give you a scale as to exactly how large the tour will be, there are 100 fringe events planned in coordination with the town hall stops, 180 people make up 12 steering committees to plan and execute the events, and there are over 250 volunteers helping to make it a reality.

In a similar vein to StartUp Britain and Startup America, Startup Canada focuses on grassroots entrepreneurship. The tour sponsors and partners, of which there are 300, are both national and local.

Startup CanadaThe Startup Canada town hall meetings are community-led, with groups discussing challenges with entrepreneurship, such as investment, workspace, and culture. The meetings will deal with region-specific problems, so that communities can discuss issues pertinent to them.  The Halifax kick-off included special guest presentations from local entrepreneurs (more here), with the theme of culture change repeated throughout the majority of the presentations.

"Canada has a very risk-averse culture, and if we’re going to change it, we have to change it from the grassroots up.  Being an entrepreneur is a learning process. If you jump in with both feet and have your feet blown off, that’s probably a good thing—it means you’ve learned a hell of a lot, but culturally we’re averse to failure,” says Dr. Adam Chowaniec, Chairman of the Startup Canada Governing Board, “I see the role of Startup Canada as trying to link people with a common set of needs and views together, to see if we can help them grow their businesses faster and more successfully.”

Victoria Lennox, co-founder of Startup Canada, explains the need for such a tour:

I think something like this is needed to foster an entrepreneurial culture, something that brings everyone together on a national level, but also at a grass roots level.  We need a national entrepreneurial leadership strategy.  We have all of these different organizations, here in this room, all working in different silos, and I think Startup Canada can be a gentle platform for these organizations, to collaborate, convene, and develop a collective vision for the future.  At the end of the day, this is about action.  We are entrepreneurs, we are not looking to waste our time.  What we want to get out of these town hall meetings are ideas that we can action upon.

For more information, visit the Startup Canada website, or follow them on twitter at @Startup_Canada and #XCountryNS.

Startup Canada
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Startup Canada is a non-profit network that launched in May 2012 to bring together and give a voice to the Canadian entrepreneurship community and to promote a vibrant entrepreneurial culture. more

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Stephen Christensen

Stephen Christensen

Stephen is the Atlantic Canadian contributor for; reporting Canadian technology news, with a focus on the Maritime provinces.  Having a deep-rooted interest in science and technology for much of his life, he is most interested in mobile technology and social media.  Having been published in various scientific journals, he is completing his Graduate Studies at Dalhousie University... more

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