A unique crowdfunding campaign is seeking $100,000 to create an online one-stop-shop of services and resources for new businesses.
The online platform will enable and empower Canadian entrepreneurs, organizers say, letting them tap into fellow start-ups and enterprise support organizations, while providing the tools and resources they need to build more successful businesses.
It’s one of the key initiatives from Startup Canada, a new entrepreneur-led organization that wants to boost economic development, job creation and innovation from coast to coast.
“Right now the Canadian support system for start-ups is fragmented,” explained Victoria Lennox, the organization’s Co-Founder. “Startup Canada Connect is will be a one-stop-shop that aggregates and streamlines support tools, programs and services for entrepreneurs, and to enable everyone in the ecosystem to connect, communicate and collaborate to better serve Canadian entrepreneurs and feed a vibrant entrepreneurial network.”
If the crowdfunding campaign reaches its $100,000 goal, Startup Canada plans to launch the new site, called Startup Canada Connect, by May 2013.
Startup Canada launched its campaign at Waterloo’s Accelerator Centre one of several regional and national centres for business development.
Guests and participants included Waterloo Mayor Brenda Halloran, and members of Waterloo’s innovation and enterprise communities, including Tim Ellis, CEO, Accelerator Centre; Doug Cooper, a Managing Director at Communitech; and Josh Wright, Co-Founder, Marmot Labs.
The Connect platform is one of three parts in Startup Canada’s overall Action Plan, financed through sponsorship dollars and the crowdfunding campaign:
Startup Canada Connect: A free, highly social online meeting place that will connect and support Canadian entrepreneurs with the tools and resources needed to build more successful businesses.
Startup Canada Communities: A national entrepreneurial strategy must be founded on vibrant local communities led by existing entrepreneurial champions. Building on the network created during a recent 40-city national tour, Startup Canada will encourage development of strong local networks that will create the conditions for entrepreneurial growth and success locally and nationally.
Startup Canada Campaign: Entrepreneurs across the country have told Startup Canada they need more role models – more access to stories of successful Canadian innovators and entrepreneurs. Startup Canada will lever mainstream media, social media and key national institutions to tell and celebrate the stories of Canadian entrepreneurs, providing authentic case studies to inspire and motivate new generations of start-ups.
Startup Canada sponsors include Microsoft, Gowlings, Ernst & Young, Best Western Hotels, the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program, Export Development Canada, Business Development Canada, RGA, Francis Moran & Associates The VideoBooth Company, Artik, Kick Ass Media, PubliAir, the Ottawa Technology Transfer Network, the Association of University Research Parks Canada, Blab Media, the Canadian Association of Business Incubation, the Evidence Network, Francis Moran & Associates, FreshBooks, Global Advantage Consulting Group, Podio, Backbone Magazine, HootSuite, ITWorld Canada, NextMTL, Paper.li and Techvibes.