Canada’s youngest entrepreneurs now have access to a new helping hand as they seek to transform the country, thanks to Ryan Holmes.
On Monday the founder of Vancouver-based social media platform developer Hootsuite Media Inc. announced the creation of a new philanthropic venture, League of Innovators (LOI), aimed at helping Canadians between the ages of 15 and 25 launch startups.
In a statement, Holmes said he was inspired to found the venture by Canada’s poor ranking on the Global Innovation Index, where it currently sits at number 15.
“We should be one of the most innovative economies in the world and by investing in young entrepreneurs, I believe we can make a long-term impact locally and globally,” Holmes said in an Oct. 23 statement. “I was a young entrepreneur myself, and I’m now in the fortunate position to help accelerate and support young innovators and disruptors by leveling the playing field and helping them to overcome unique challenges such as credibility, access to funds, and networks.”
To start, the LOI’s website includes a series of free online “sessions” with advice for young Canadians interested in becoming entrepreneurs, such as “Bringing Ideas from Concept to Action” and “Dissecting the Details of Entrepreneurship.”
In the future, the organization plans to offer a series of free courses as well, such as a “prototyping and entrepreneurship” course being developed in collaboration with Microsoft Canada which will run in Vancouver, and a “social entrepreneurship” course which will run at the headquarters of Toronto’s We Global Learning Centre, both scheduled for November.
According to LOI, future programs will be aimed at providing young entrepreneurs with support at every stage of building a business, including discovery, education, mentorship, and acceleration.
In addition to Hootsuite and Microsoft Canada, other founding partners of LOI include Shaw Communications, Royal Bank of Canada, advisory firm Ernst & Young, and human resources software developer SAP.