Published in the May 21, 2013 issue of The Edmonton Sun.
Linda’s social media column can be found every Tuesday in the Edmonton Sun.
Startup Canada Communities & Startup Edmonton
It seems like it’s never been a better time to be an entrepreneur in Edmonton or anywhere in this country.
The city’s startup community is rapidly expanding and our entrepreneurs – techies, business leaders, artists and idea-makers – have never had as many resources and support available to them.
That’s largely in part to Startup Edmonton, an organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs through programming, meet-ups and workspace.
There’s so much entrepreneurial success in our city that it’s being used as a benchmark to help launch entrepreneurial hubs in other communities.
This month, Startup Canada Communities officially launched as an online network to help entrepreneurs from across the country find success.
The website www.startupcommunities.ca is meant to act as a single doorway to a network of mentors, space, funding and support.
Victoria Lennox with Startup Canada tells me Startup Edmonton is being used as a model to help the nation’s entrepreneurs.
“The rest of Canada is looking at what’s happening in Edmonton as just absolutely phenomenal and all the communities want to emulate what’s happening in Edmonton,” Lennox said.
“I think out of all of the grassroots startup communities in Canada, aside from the major centres, it’s the one that we can look it, to really become inspired as to what might be possible in a smaller community.”
Through the online network, and using social media, some of the brightest and creative minds of our time are able to connect and pass their wisdom onto others, no matter where they live and work.
“For us, it’s all about social media, it’s all about the Internet,” Lennox said.
“Social media and the Internet and the platforms and channels available to us, that’s what’s enabling all of us this to happen.”
Ken Bautista, with Startup Edmonton, is also one of Startup Canada Communities’ advisors.
Bautista is mentoring other startup leaders, and says opportunities presented by the web and social media make it an exciting time to be an entrepreneur.
“Before, people thought they have to go and leave to another place where they can get connected. Now we live in a time where if we’re willing to travel, you have access to Internet and you can jump on a phone, you can really be based out of anywhere, build a company anywhere and use those tools to be able to connect to the right people,” Bautista says.
The end goal for Startup Canada Communities is to fast-track growth of startups, putting the country on the map as an entrepreneurial nation.
If they’re using Edmonton as an example of how to do that, I’ve no doubt they’ll reach that goal quickly.
“It’s very likely that we’ll be sending a delegation from across Canada to Edmonton to see in real life what’s going on,” Lennox said.
“It’s really inspiring, the space, the programming, the ecosystem, that Ken and his team have been developing.”
Some Tweets of the Week
@Pensky39: Does anyone else have 4 different road constructions happening on their direct route home from work? #yourkidding #yeg
@amjhenry: I really love working a <10 min walk from EVERYTHING. #yeg #yegdt @SarahG_BOOM: Thank you #yegrivervalley for the birds, butterflies, sunshine, and amazing run! #yeg #beautiful #perfectday @Mad_Me: Being away makes you appreciate the clockwork of nature. Lovin’ the return of #yeg river valley greenery. Click here to read the column on the Edmonton Sun website!