Startup Canada’s real work begins now: Chowaniec

Courtney Symons
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After the most extensive consultation of Canadian entrepreneurs in the country’s history, Startup Canada has a plan.

The entrepreneur-driven initiative to foster Canadian innovation culminated on Tuesday with the presentation of Startup Canada Blueprints. The report summarizes the findings from the national tour that engaged 20,000 Canadians with more than 200 events across the country.

Three national initiatives were announced at a press conference hosted at Shopify’s headquarters. A free online portal called Startup Canada Connect will connect entrepreneurs with various resources available to them such as mentors, events, funding and other entrepreneurs. Startup Canada Communities will be a continuation of the network built during the cross-Canada tour. To provide young entrepreneurs with more role models, the Startup Canada Campaign will use mainstream and social media as well as national institutions to provide case studies of made-in-Canada success stories.

Entrepreneurs are the “engine of growth and the backbone of the economy,” said Adam Chowaniec, chair of Startup Canada and prominent Ottawa entrepreneur.

But as successful as the national tour has been, the real work begins now, Mr. Chowaniec said.

Federal Industry Minister Tony Clement, who stopped by Shopify’s ByWard Market offices for the event, said the campaign is something no one else has ever done and is key to Canada’s future success.

“If Canada is going to continue to perform as well as it has … entrepreneurship and innovation must be fundamental drivers of our long-term prosperity,” he said.

Startup Canada’s goal is to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship, according to co-founder Victoria Lennox.

The press conference hosted in Ottawa on Tuesday was one of six happening simultaneously across the country. Other locations included Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Startup Canada recently updated its board of directors and established two advisory boards of entrepreneurs from across the country.

Organizations: Canada Blueprints, Canada Connect, Canada Communities Cross-Canada Canada Campaign Victoria Lennox.The press

Geographic location: Canada, Ottawa, Montreal Toronto Edmonton

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