Owners of new businesses and entrepreneurs thinking about taking the plunge will have an opportunity to learn from experts next month when the Startup Canada national tour makes a stop in Windsor.
The two-day event May 22-23 will include a seminar, networking session, a town hall meeting, a luncheon with Saul Colt, head of magic at FreshBooks, and an entrepreneur show and-tell session at the business accelerator on Ouellette Avenue.
“This tour is not stopping at every city in Ontario so this is a chance for local entrepreneurs to take the opportunity to meet with top local and national entrepreneurs,” said Yvonne Pilon of the WETech Alliance, which is co-ordinating the event.
Established this year by Ottawa’s Victoria Lennox, the first Canadian to win the Queen’s Award for enterprise promotion, Startup Canada is a nonprofit organization designed to promote an entrepreneurial culture across Canada.
The tour began last month in Nova Scotia and will continue until November, when the organization will be formally launched when it releases an action plan and white paper outlining what it has heard from entrepreneurs across the country during its town hall sessions.
“It was born out of a need to celebrate and encourage entrepreneurship, to make sure entrepreneurs know about the resources and support that is available and launch local actions which can foster growth of small startups in communities across the country,” said Lennox.
“At a recent town hall in Sydney, Nova Scotia, one group said it was having trouble finding office space to use.
“Another entrepreneur attending the meeting offered up some free space in one of his buildings and the problem was solved,” said Lennox. “Without that meeting, that might not have happened.
“It’s that type of grassroots actions we’re trying to promote,” said Lennox, a former entrepreneur in residence at the London Metropolitan Business School and former president of Oxford Entrepreneurs in England.
Lennox said the plans for the organization were first discussed 10 months ago and the WEtech Alliance, through Pilon’s involvement, “became one of our loudest champions so bringing the tour to Windsor was a natural fit.”
The event begins May 22 at 8 a.m. with a keynote speech by National Post columnist Rick Spence at the University of Windsor’s Odette School of Business, followed by a networking lunch at Caesars Windsor’s Vu Bar with Colt and finally with a town hall meeting at Walkerville Brewery, beginning at 6 p.m.
The second day will focus on an entrepreneur show-and-tell at the accelerator from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There are various sites to visit for more information, including windsortownhall. eventbrite.com, lunchwithaguru.eventbrite.com, windsorkickoff.eventbrite.com and showandtell2012.eventbrite. com.
For general information, contact Pilon at 519-997-2857 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.