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Welcome to Startup Canada Communities!

Startup Canada Communities is the flagship program of Startup Canada to support the connectivity, promotion and maturation of grassroots, entrepreneur-led communities across Canada.  Through the provision of frameworks; technology; branding; impact measurement and reporting tools; national working group sessions; access to world leading advisors; national promotions; and, meaningful connections with financiers and policy makers, Startup Canada Communities is developing the grassroots infrastructure to strengthen Canada’s entrepreneurship ecosystem and culture one community at a time.

Startup Canada Communities gives entrepreneurs the resources they need to build welcoming and supportive entrepreneurial communities across Canada, and it brings them together into a national network of hyperconnected and vibrant grassroots startup communities where entrepreneurs can start and scale their ventures.


At the local level, each member community acts as a point-on-entry for entrepreneurs in their local ecosystem, providing a connection to other startup founders, and easy access to mentors, space, funding, and support to start and grow their businesses. Communities do this through online resources as well as grassroots events that welcome, engage, and encourage all entrepreneurs. Each community’s leaders also proactively engage with local stakeholders in government and industry, as well as with investors, to form a partnership with a common goal of supporting the creation and growth of new companies locally.


Startup Canada works with each member community to help build these components of a healthy ecosystem, while also giving them access to a national network of peers, advisors, experts, and opportunities. Startup Communities is laying the foundation of a Pan-Canadian infrastructure to accelerate the creation of startup communities everywhere that advance the success of Canadian entrepreneurs.

Startup Canada Communities 101

Led by Entrepreneurs
Startup Canada's Communities are led by local entrepreneurs in each community that come together from across sectors and industries with the long-term commitment to advance entrepreneur success in their community.
Community Enterprise Partnerships (CEP)
Entrepreneur leaders in each community secure a lead Institutional Partner with whom to co-chair regular CEP meetings. CEPs are made up of local enterprise support stakeholders in each community - investor groups, incubators, accelerators, co-working spaces, support organisations, chambers, colleges, universities, associations, etc. - that are mandated to support the diverse range of entrepreneurs in the community. The goal of the CEP is to enhance awareness, communication and collaboration to better support local entrepreneurs and optimize available resources. By working together, startup community stakeholders can increase awareness and engagement of entrepreneurs in their programs to deliver great impact.
Community-Wide Events
Startup Community leaders and stakeholders ensure that there are core events that bring together the entire entrepreneur community, so that entrepreneurs can connect in-person with each other and with those who can help them to take their ventures to the next level. Events like Startup Weekend, Startup Drinks and Demo Camp and campaigns like Global Entrepreneurship Week are typical of a Startup Community. The focus is to provide regular opportunities for entrepreneurs to connect, learn-by-doing, and promote their ventures to the wider community.
National Exposure & Connectivity
Local community leaders tap into the national network of communities across Canada and receive support and exposure through Startup Canada. Community leaders connect across Canada through monthly online meet ups; receive websites, branding, guidelines, case studies and measurement tools; and, are advised by a world-class team of expert advisors to support them in advancing their own communities on the ground by leveraging best practice, precedence and critical mass.
Everyone is Welcome
Startup Communities are not just for tech entrepreneurs. They are open to entrepreneurs of all types and at all stages of their entrepreneurial journey. Whether you are a med-tech, social or creative entrepreneur, support entrepreneurs or are simply curious about entrepreneurship, get involved, connect with others and help to build your startup community.
Measuring our Impact
Building a startup nation one community at a time is a process. We will begin to measure our impact in terms of (1) speeding the access of entrepreneurs to the support that they need; (2) starting and growing more successful startup communities in terms of infrastructure, level of activity; and. (3) ecosystem maturation overtime. Our overall objective is to start and grow more successful Canadian companies.

Meet our Advisors

  • Ken Bautista, Founder of Startup Edmonton
    Ken Bautista is the Co-Founder/CEO of Startup Edmonton, a campus, co-workspace, and accelerator working to activate startups in Edmonton, Canada. Ken has been a creative entrepreneur in the tech space for over 10 years, founding and growing two award-winning interactive companies, Hotrocket and Rocketfuel Games, and community initiatives like TEDxEdmonton and artsScene Edmonton. Ken has been featured in a number of publications including the New York Times, and was recognized in Avenue Magazine’s “Top 40 Under 40”, earned a Horizon Alumni Award from the University of Alberta, and was named one of “Alberta’s 50 Most Influential People” by Alberta Venture Magazine in 2011.
  • Jonathan Ortmans, President of Global Entrepreneurship Week
    Jonathan Ortmans has dedicated his professional career to stimulating informed dialogue and deliberation around the issues that matter most–at local, national and global levels. Most recently, he has focused on developing a global engagement project called Global Entrepreneurship Week on behalf of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. In doing so, he has helped assemble an informal coalition of more than 25,000 organizations dedicated to stimulating entrepreneurial activity. The November 2010 campaign engaged over 10 million people in 40,000 concurrent activities. Ortmans brings a wealth of experience to the field, serving as a senior fellow at the Kauffman Foundation where he advises the Foundation on its global footprint and its interface with policymakers through the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship, a public policy initiative to focus attention on the importance of entrepreneurship to the economy and society. Ortmans also serves as an interface between new research and initiatives to advance entrepreneurship at the Foundation and the questions and concerns that arise from policymakers in the nation’s capital. He blogs regularly for the Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship as well as Global Entrepreneurship Week. You can also follow him on Twitter or connect with him via LinkedIn or Facebook.
  • Brad Feld, MD at Foundry Group, co-founder of TechStars, VC and Author
    Brad is one of the managing directors at Foundry Group, a VC firm that invests in early stage software / Internet companies throughout the US. He is also the co-founder of TechStars, a mentor-driven accelerator, author of several books and blogs, and a marathon runner. Brad has been an early stage investor and entrepreneur since 1987. Prior to co-founding Foundry Group, he co-founded Mobius Venture Capital and, prior to that, founded Intensity Ventures, a company that helped launch and operate software companies. Brad is also a co-founder of TechStars. In addition to his investing efforts, Brad has been active with several non-profit organizations and currently is chair of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, co-chair of Startup Colorado, and on the board of Startup Weekend. Brad is a nationally recognized speaker on the topics of venture capital investing and entrepreneurship and writes the widely read blogs Feld ThoughtsStartup Revolution, and Ask the VC.
  • Bjoern Hermann, Founder of Startup Compass and Author Startup Genome
    Bjoern was born in Germany, and has become a recognized entrepreneur and expert on data products, data driven decision making, education, innovation, entrepreneurship and organizational development. He founded and led 5 for and non profit ventures in Germany, Bangladesh & the US. In his free time he is an advisor to multiple companies, a mentor for the Thiel Fellowship, Startup Bootcamp and Spark Labs. Most recently he & his team set out to decrease the massive failure rate of businesses by transforming the business world from gut driven to data driven. The first product "Startup Compass" now serves tens of thousands of software businesses around the world. Its success has been covered in WSJ, PBS, ARD, Techcrunch, Wired and Forbes. The young company has been backed by prominent investors including Steve Blank, Allen Morgan, Roger Krakoff, Daniel Recanati, Gianluca Dettori, Erik Jansen and Stefan Glaenzer. Since its inception Compass has released a series of well-regarded reports: The Startup Genome Report (1) the startup lifecycle, (2) success & failure of startups and (3) startup ecosystems.

Our Partners

  • BizInc
  • Wavefront
  • UnLondon
  • Springboard Atlantic
  • Quebec International
  • Greater Fredericton Knowledge Park
  • Invest Ottawa
  • Emerging Leaders
  • David Johnston Research Park
  • Accelerator Centre
  • YouiLabs

Meet the Team

  • Victoria Lennox
  • Robert Decher
  • Cyprian Szalankiewicz