As an aspiring entrepreneur, one gets to read many inspirational quotes. One that stands out is “Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.” –Tony Hsieh, Zappos CEO.
Inspiring indeed. However, this is an excellent example of things being easier said than done. What does Tony mean by chasing the vision? Not only do I have a vision, but I also have a vision board. What I need to know is how do I go about turning my dreams into reality?
All of these questions seem to haunt future entrepreneurs. Often enough, the idea is brilliant and even a potential success. However, an idea is merely knowledge. It needs to have well-defined outlines, a rock-solid action plan, expert guidance and unified direction, sufficient financial resources and finally, well-defined goals.
What is Startup Canada?
Startup Canada is a platform and a community giving a voice to entrepreneurs of all kinds that is functional in all sectors. Startup Canada is an organization mentoring 200,000 Canadians nationally and globally. They represent over 80,000 entrepreneurs, 400 enterprise support partners, 300 volunteers and 20 Startup Communities. What if there is a group of entrepreneurs working together to build a space for entrepreneurs. They wish to give a voice to the Canadian startup community. However, this effort is not limited only to Canada, as they have made their mark globally too. Globally, Startup Canada is recognized as the best practice in powering grassroots entrepreneurship. They have educated leaders in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, South Korea, South America and the United States.
Who are the founders?
Victoria Lennox and Cyprian Szalankiewicz are the founders of Startup Canada. Victoria Lennox is the President Emeritus of UK-based Charity NACUE, a social entrepreneur, commentator, program architect and policy advisor. Cyprian Szalankiewicz is a technology entrepreneur in the field of motion control robotics in the film and television industry. He is also a social entrepreneur and a member of the founding team of NACUE, a charity that supports young entrepreneurs in the UK.
How it all started?
Startup Canada officially began operating in May 2012 with a cross Canada tour to crowd-source its mission and to activate entrepreneurship from coast to coast. In their six-month tour, Startup Canada ran 200 events in 40 communities by partnering with 300 organizations to bring together more than 20,000 Canadians. This resulted in the largest consortium of entrepreneurs in Canadian history. There has been no looking back since then.
How has Startup Canada empowered people?
According to its website, Startup Canada has brought over 3,000 entrepreneurs together so they can build opportunities. They have provided a platform to voice priorities and propose solutions to fellow founders, community leaders, support organizations and policymakers. They’ve also:
- Identified experts, willing donors and leaders to build a strong platform of guidance and inspiration for future entrepreneurs to look up to.
- Connected over 2,200 business owners with financial knowledge through the Startup Finance Program.
- Acted as the host of the LatAm Startup Conference to get Canadian entrepreneurs connected with international markets in Latin America. They were then connected to Tel Aviv, Israel and the United States.
- Became a trusted communication and program delivery partner for government and private sector organizations such as Public Works and Government Services Canada, Industry Canada and Intuit Canada.
Events and Seminars- Startup Canada’s mentoring tools
Everyone has a lot to say to future entrepreneurs. Good advice early on can be the difference between success and failure. However, identifying good advice can be difficult especially when one is already overwhelmed with the preparation of a dream plan. Dave McClure famously quoted: “A ‘startup is a company that is confused about three things: (1.) What its product is. (2.) Who its customers are. (3.) How to make money.”Fortunately, Startup Canada is a social organization that helps startup owners and entrepreneurs globally find answers to these three questions.
Events organized by Startup Canada
Startup Canadahelps thousands of entrepreneurs through meetings, social events and private interviews. Since the beginning, meet and greets, networking and events have been quite regular and popular among new entrepreneurs. When Startup Canada kicked-off officially in 2012, the first milestone was a nationwide tour to initiate entrepreneurship from coast to coast. Along with weekly online programs and learning webinars, there are several live special events across Canada on a monthly and weekly basis that are organized.
How do meetings and social events help entrepreneurs?
For new entrepreneurs, every second of human interaction is an opportunity to spread awareness about their product or service. These meetings make the exchange of knowledge easier for covering a wide range of topics. They also facilitate networking and provide recognition to new entrepreneurs, their work, new products and services and help in building a favorable environment for the growth of entrepreneurship. Participants and delegates get to rub shoulders with fellow entrepreneurs, clients, customers, potential partners, and investors. This proves to be a major game-changer for many.
How is Startup Canada empowering new entrepreneurs?
Startup Canada works with a lot of leaders from various industries, influencers, trendsetters, social reformers and business legends. One can only imagine the exposure that can be obtained with a global engagement of 1,27,000 people, 500 partners, and 25 communities as of 2017. Events organized by Startup Canada are not limited to just meetings, conferences and seminars, but also include interactive events, competitions and celebrations. Recent events include discourses, award ceremonies and competitions on topics ranging from data security, AI, customer service and e-commerce to women entrepreneurs, finding the right business advice and scaling up your startup. Upcoming events include seminars on Social Entrepreneurship, borrowing tips to fund your startup, growing into the new year and strategies for the new year. You can check out their website for details and bookings.
Starting a business is hard so all help that can be availed is needed. Startup Canada is a blessing for Canadians involved in all types of businesses. Who knows, maybe the next Startup Canada meeting in your town hall could change your life.
As such, Startup Canada provides a valuable service to Canadian entrepreneurs. Their powerful connections allow worldwide cooperation between entrepreneurs and building a global economy.