FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON (Wednesday, May 2, 2012)– Canada’s entrepreneurs will get a federal nod of support tonight as Member of Parliament from Ottawa West-Nepean and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird joins other Members of Parliament, industry leaders and entrepreneurs from across the country for the official launch of Startup Canada taking place at the University of Ottawa.
Already one month into its six-month National Tour, Startup Canada team members are travelling coast to coast to celebrate entrepreneurship, identify key challenges facing Canadian seed-, early- and growth-stage businesses, and inspire new community-led solutions.
“Our government strongly supports the innovation and ambitious entrepreneurship of the Canadian people. We have continually promoted businesses and entrepreneurs as an important part of the Canadian economy,” said Baird. “We look forward to working with this group going forward to help put Canadian entrepreneurs on the world stage.”
“Startup Canada welcomes the federal government’s support as we aim to identify actionable proposals and priorities for advancing entrepreneurship in Canada,” said Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder of Startup Canada. “The support and enthusiasm we’ve received from our partners, sponsors, volunteers, and event participants has been very inspiring and demonstrates the need for a collective national strategy.”
According to Statistics Canada, 2.7 million Canadians were self-employed in 2010. Startup Canada’s National Tour and resulting action plan aims to better connect, inspire and grow that community.
“Startup Canada is empowering entrepreneurs to take risks, create change, and ignite a national community,” says Adam Chowaniec, Startup Canada Founding Chairman. “This will not only diversify Canada’s workforce, but also attract new investment across multiple sectors, and inspire the next generation of Canadian startups.”
"We are delighted that Startup Canada has chosen Ottawa for its national launch. Entrepreneurship is a key element in the years of success for Ottawa’s knowledge-based industry. Collaboration and partnerships are two guiding principles for Invest Ottawa and for entrepreneurs," said Bruce Lazenby, CEO of Invest Ottawa, the city's economic development agency. "Startup Canada is a great way to remind us all of the importance of entrepreneurship."
Tonight’s event, hosted at the University of Ottawa, will feature telecommunications icon, serial entrepreneur and angel investor Sir Terry Matthews, as well as a discussion panel with some of the country’s top startup founders. Among those will be entrepreneurial success stories Scott Annan, Founder and CEO of StartupPlays; Harley Finkelstein, Chief Platform Officer of Shopify; and Sarah Prevette, Founder and CEO of Sprouter. Each will share the secrets to their success, discuss the key challenges facing Canadian entrepreneurs today and share their views on how to start up Canada.
"Having Startup Canada identify the ubiquitous challenges being faced by entrepreneurs across the country will help provide a much needed, unified voice," said Prevette.
Following tonight’s launch event, Startup Canada’s National Tour travels to Charlottetown, PEI for a Town Hall on May 7 and a week’s worth of other events around the province. From there, the Tour will move to Ontario and New Brunswick before heading west to the prairies.
To date, Startup Canada has received support from a number of ambassadors and industry sponsors such as Microsoft, Gowlings and Ernst & Young. Other sponsors include Kick Ass Media, Artik, PubliAir and VideoBooth, the Association of University Research Parks Canada, the Canadian Association of Business Incubation, Francis Moran & Associates, FreshBooks, MSBi Valorisation, NextMTL, the Ottawa Technology Transfer Network, Podio, Backbone Magazine, HootSuite, ITWorld Canada, Paper.li, Sprouter, and Techvibes.
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For additional information or to schedule interviews, contact:
Victoria Lennox, Co-Founder, Startup Canada
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 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.
Join the movement and connect with Startup Canada: