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Cultivating Startups

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Ep 22: Hot DesQ: Helping Startups Grow in Queensland, Australia with Murray Love and Paul Martyn - Cultivating Startups

Hot DesQ is a program run by the government of Queensland in Australia through its Advance Queensland initiative to bring startups from around the world to Queensland and get them engaged with the local startup community. Through the program, startups receive $50,000-$100,000 in funding plus space at a coworking site in Queensland of their choice for six months. In return, startups agree to participate in local startup activities and build connections with companies in Queensland, while...

Duration: 00:43:07

Ep 21: The Montreal Startup Ecosystem with Isaac Souweine of Real Ventures - Cultivating Startups

Montreal is home to one of Canada's largest and most dynamic startup ecosystems, and in just a few years, Isaac Souweine has gone from being a newcomer to the city (and to Canada) to being at the centre of the startup community as EIR with Real Ventures. We talk to Isaac about how he came to Montreal, how he initially got plugged into the ecosystem, working in Montreal without being fluent in French, and working with Real Ventures to help build the Montreal ecosystem, including his work as...

Duration: 00:46:11

Ep 20: The Founding of the Velocity Incubator with Sean Van Koughnett - Cultivating Startups

Velocity is one of Canada's most successful university-based startup incubators and an integral part of the Waterloo startup ecosystem. Its success helped the Ontario government see university incubators and accelerators in a whole new way, leading to the creation of a multimillion-dollar program across the province to fund "campus-linked accelerators." It had an unlikely beginning 10 years ago. On this week's show, Sean Van Koughnett talks about how the idea for Velocity came about, how...

Duration: 00:39:37

Ep 19: Surveying Australia’s Startup Ecosystem with Monica Wulff of Startup Muster - Cultivating Startups

Since 2014, Australia has received a detailed, annual profile of its startup ecosystem thanks to Startup Muster. And the startup community has been eager to participate, with thousands of responses last year from founders, potential founders and startup supporters. This week, Startup Muster cofounder and CEO Monica Wulff talks about what motivated her to create the survey, how Google became an early supporter, her annual roadtrips across the country to build interest and awareness, the...

Duration: 00:37:10

Ep 18: The Challenge of Startup Ecosystem Metrics with Jesse Rodgers of Volta Labs - Cultivating Startups

One of the challenges facing startup support organizations of all kinds is how do we know that we're doing a good job? Which programs are most effective? Which initiatives are worth continuing and which need to be changed or dropped? Even if we feel confident in our own activities, how would we convince someone else (including funders)? Jesse Rodgers, CEO of Volta Labs in Halifax, has written a lot about startup ecosystem metrics and has years of experience in dealing with these critical...

Duration: 00:47:15

Ep 17: The Evolution of Ottawa’s Startup Community with Ian Graham of TheCodeFactory - Cultivating Startups

Ottawa has been one of Canada's largest tech centres for decades and has the highest concentration of tech talent in the country. It hasn't always been a smooth ride—the city was riding high on the telecom boom of the late 1990s and took a big hit when the glory days came to an end, but it evolved and rebuilt and now has an impressive collection of startups and young companies, led by Shopify—now valued at over $10 billion after its IPO in 2015. Ian Graham has been part of Ottawa'st tech...

Duration: 00:36:32

Ep 16: Launch Academy and the Vancouver Startup Ecosystem with Hussein Hallak - Cultivating Startups

Vancouver is one of Canada's biggest tech hubs and Launch Academy has played a key role in the startup ecosystem over the last five years, providing incubation services and training to about 100 startups a year—and hosting events for the community at its 12,000 square-foot space in the Gastown area of the city. This week, we talk to general manager Hussein Hallak about the programs at Launch Academy and their big vision for Vancouver's startup community—already ranked #1 in the country by...

Duration: 00:53:58

Ep 15: Accelerating Insurance and Agritech in Des Moines with Mike Colwell of Square One DSM - Cultivating Startups

Mike Colwell has been mentoring startup founders for over a decade in his role with Square One DSM in Des Moines, Iowa. He's also on the board of directors of two accelerators in the city: one focused on startups in the insurance sector and the other focused on agritech. And, on top of that, he's the cofounder of an active angel group and hosts a monthly event interviewing startup founders from the Des Moines area. On this week's show, Mike talks about how these initiatives came about, how...

Duration: 00:52:22

Ep 14: Incubating Startups in Prince Edward Island with Doug Keefe of Startup Zone - Cultivating Startups

It's Canada's smallest province, but that hasn't stopped Prince Edward Island from launching several initiatives to support startups. One of the newest is Startup Zone, an incubator in downtown Charlottetown, which launched last year. It's already worked with over 30 startups and has started to see companies graduating and moving out and into larger spaces. Doug Keefe became the interim CEO of Startup Zone in April and on this week's show he talks about how Startup Zone started, building a...

Duration: 00:34:44

Ep 13: Launching Saskatchewan’s First Tech Incubator with Jordan Dutchak of Co.Labs - Cultivating Startups

It wasn't that long ago that you couldn't run a hackathon in Saskatoon without raising eyebrows about what you were planning to hack into. Now a startup community is emerging in the city and the province has provided $250,000 to the first tech incubator in Saskatchewan—Co.Labs—which will officially launch in September. We talk to Jordan Dutchak, the executive director, who has spent more than two years helping to make Co.Labs a reality. He talks about how Co.Labs came about, how it's...

Duration: 00:44:45

Ep 12: Updates, Surveys and What’s So Bad About Being Acquired? - Cultivating Startups

No guest this week, so we update some previous shows with the latest from Tim Ellis, Jesse Rodgers and Charles Plant. Funding news from Edmonton and Saskatoon. We also take a quick look at a few different surveys, including one on accelerators released over the weekend at Startupfest, and the big annual Startup Muster survey in Australia. And why do so many Canadian columnists treat a startup being acquired as some kind of act of national disloyalty? And why do we insist on saying our...

Duration: 00:27:38

Ep 11: Building the Edmonton Startup Community with Tiffany Linke-Boyko of Startup Edmonton - Cultivating Startups

Edmonton's startup community has come a long way in just a few years, and Startup Edmonton recently celebrated its fifth anniversary as a startup hub in the city's downtown. We talk to CEO Tiffany Linke-Boyko about the evolution of Startup Edmonton, starting as a grassroots initiative with two founders in 2009, to its place today as a core piece of the city's economic development strategies. It was a big week for Edmonton, as the city—and the rest of Canada—cheered the creation of a new...

Duration: 00:46:06

Ep 10: Supporting Startups in Small Urban Areas with John Hayden of the Northumberland CFDC - Cultivating Startups

Northumberland County—east of Toronto in Southern Ontario—isn't a place where you'd expect to find a $100,000 startup competition that attracts some of the top new tech companies in the province. It's a largely rural area with no university campus and its largest population centre has fewer than 20,000 residents. But the N100 competition is now in its fifth year and Northumberland is also introducing an angel coinvestment fund and the Town of Cobourg is converting one of its unused...

Duration: 00:46:58

Ep 09: Incubating Startups at the Arctic Circle with Jens Lundström of the Arctic Business Incubator - Cultivating Startups

Arctic Business Incubator isn't an exaggeration—they're incubating new technology businesses at the Arctic Circle in Sweden, and have been for the last 12 years. It's affiliated with the Luleå University of Technology and runs accelerator and incubator programs in four locations, with startups covering a broad range of sectors from gaming to space to cleantech and many more. We talk to managing director Jens Lundström on this week's podcast. And I take a look at a new report out of British...

Duration: 00:46:43

Ep 08: Wellington, New Zealand Startup Ecosystem with Stefan Korn of Creative HQ - Cultivating Startups

It's not the biggest country, but New Zealand has developed thriving startup ecosystems while facing heightened versions of many of the same challenges we see in Canada, including a small domestic market, and an underdeveloped venture capital sector. Creative HQ in Wellington is one of the leading lights of the New Zealand startup ecosystem, and we talk to CEO Stefan Korn about what's working well and what gaps still need to be addressed. I take a look at two different reports on venture...

Duration: 00:50:51

Ep 07: Lessons Learned Running the Velocity Incubator with Mike Kirkup - Cultivating Startups

For over four years, Mike Kirkup was the director of Velocity—the startup incubator at the University of Waterloo. It's been a huge addition to the Waterloo startup community since opening in 2008. He stepped down just over a year ago to become CTO at Encircle—a Velocity graduate—and on this week's show looks back at lessons learned from Velocity's growth (and how a huge space for Velocity Garage quickly became too small). I also take a quick look at some new data on Canada's venture...

Duration: 00:58:21

Ep 06: Growing role of angel investors with Yuri Navarro of NACO - Cultivating Startups

The Canadian federal government has released a discussion paper asking for feedback on parts of its in-development Venture Capital Catalyst Initiative, we take a look at what's in the paper and also discuss a new academic paper from Stanford that claims that all U.S. unicorns are overvalued. And we talk to Yuri Navarro, the CEO of the National Angel Capital Organization. They've just released their seventh annual report on angel investing activity in Canada, based on a survey of angel...

Duration: 00:48:32

Ep 05: Superclusters and Scale-ups with Steve Bailey of the Lazaridis Institute - Cultivating Startups

On this week’s podcast: The Canadian government has come out with some of the details of its $950 million Innovation Superclusters program. Five superclusters are going to be selected and provided with well over $100 million apiece in federal funding, and startups are required to be included. We look at some of the details of the program that are particularly relevant to startup ecosystems. We then talk to Steve Bailey of the Lazaridis Institute at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo....

Duration: 00:41:10

Ep 04: Assessing the World’s Top Startup Ecosystems with JF Gauthier of Startup Genome - Cultivating Startups

On this week’s podcast: For the last five years, Startup Genome has been assessing and ranking startup ecosystems around the world for its Global Startup Ecosystem reports. They recently published their third report, and this week we talk to their CEO, JF Gauthier, about the factors they assess and the metrics they use in determining the rankings. JF also talks about the startup ecosystem lifecycle model Startup Genome has developed to determine where a region is in its development and...

Duration: 00:55:09

Ep 03: Bringing Waterloo Expertise to Cambridge and the World with Tim Ellis of Grand Innovations - Cultivating Startups

Can the expertise and lessons learned in one startup ecosystem be used to benefit ecosystems in different cities and countries? That's what Tim Ellis has spent much of the last few years doing. Tim is the former CEO of the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo and a long-time member of the Waterloo startup community. He has been taking expertise developed in Waterloo and sharing it with startup ecosystems internationally—including in Australia, where the University of Wollongong was so grateful...

Duration: 00:56:17

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