Startup Canada, a national movement designed to sow the seeds of entrepreneurship, has kicked off its tour across the country in Nova Scotia.
The tour opened with its first town hall in Halifax yesterday, facilitated by business journalist Andrea Mandel-Campbell, now a Startup Canada Board member. One of the main themes discussed was how entrepreneurs in more traditional industries could engage in some of the same style of collaboration that more tech-focused businesses are now used to online.
“They want to bring the social back to entrepreneurship and get entrepreneurs meeting each other more,” says Victoria Lennox, a co-founder of Startup Canada. “There’s a lot of support for entrepreneurs out there, but it needs to come together in some sort of logical way.”
The town hall was hosted at Innovacorp, an incubator that assists early stage Nova Scotia-based companies with commercializing new technologies in clean tech, life sciences, and ICT. In a nod to the location, the town hall’s discussion took on the theme of the spaces and places of entrepreneur culture.
“It’s about bringing it into the mainstream, and bringing it online for access in rural places across Canada,” Lennox says.
Each community hosting a town hall is able to determine what the topic of discussion will be, Lennox says. For example, Sydney, N.S. will be focusing on the tourism and culinary industries in the area. The town hall format is flexible and can change as the Startup Canada campaign tours from city to city, Lennox says.
The charitable foundation aims to group together the existing resources for entrepreneurs in Canada under one big umbrella. It involves two phases – the first completing the cross-country tour, and the second creating a report on the experience and following up to create programs and resources.
Today, the tour is in Truro, N.S. for three events including another town hall held at AgriTech Park. The tour will cross the country and wrap up in Vancouver Sept. 21.