Mitacs to join Startup Canada Task Force

Ottawa, ON – Startup Canada announced today it will expand the Startup Canada Task Force from six to 11 member organizations in 2015 to better sync government and entrepreneurs.

The Startup Canada Task Force provides a platform for key national organizations advancing entrepreneurship to engage with government to advance mutually beneficial initiatives, programs and policies.

The organizations set to join in 2015 are:

“As the voice of entrepreneurs for federal policy development, the addition of these organizations will ensure the Task Force has the necessary information to drive the right policy and change the conversation on behalf of entrepreneurs,” said Task Force Chair Laura O’Blenis. 

“The new members of the Task Force will add energy and expertise to the existing policy conversation, and fuel their implementation for the benefit of entrepreneurs and their startup businesses,” said Startup Canada CEO and Task Force member Victoria Lennox.

Since being founded in 2013, the Startup Canada Task Force has hosted more than 10 Ministers and established two memorandums of understanding with federal departments to facilitate information sharing and engagement in committees related to financial literacy for entrepreneurs.

The six new member organizations will work together with founding members including the Association of University Research Parks, Startup Canada, Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association, the National Angel Capital Organization, and the Canadian Association of Business Incubation.

The announcement was made at Startup Canada Day on the Hill, an influential event that facilitates collaboration between entrepreneurs and policy makers.

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is a grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement founded in May 2012 that has become the most recognized, energized and active entrepreneurship organization in Canada. Startup Canada’s programs have mentored more than 20,000 Canadians, grown to represent more than 80,000 entrepreneurs, and increased entrepreneurial momentum, wealth and jobs in Canada while promoting Canada’s diversified economy and high quality of life.

Startup Canada is recognized globally as the benchmark for fuelling grassroots entrepreneurship. It has educated the leaders of peer organizations in the United Kingdom, Malaysia, South Korea, South America and the United States.


“Partnerships through leadership task forces are key to advancing our mission and mandate,” said CATAAlliance CEO, John Reid. “We are fully aligned with Startup Canada in a desire to advance Canada’s ranking as a competitive innovation nation through entrepreneurial success. We also share an interest in supplying new enterprises with resources and conditions to catalyze their success.”

“Startup Canada is the nation’s foremost entrepreneur network and the heart of innovation in Canada,” said Jeff Brownlee, VP of Public Affairs and Business Development at Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). “The newly-created task force is instrumental in fostering entrepreneurial innovation at the grassroots level — something that is critical to the future of Canada’s next-generation manufacturing sector.”

“For the past 15 years, we have focused on building research connections that support innovators and entrepreneurs in Canada,” said Mitacs Interim CEO and Scientific Director Rob Annan. “Our program alumni embrace this spirit—starting companies after graduation at a higher rate than their peers. Joining the Startup Canada Task Force enables us to share ideas, broaden program opportunities, and advance the policy work that helps emerging companies grow and positions Canada for a prosperous future.”

“The work that Startup Canada is undertaking nationally to connect, celebrate and elevate Canadian entrepreneurs is both impactful and necessary to broaden the aggregate value proposition that Canadian small businesses and entrepreneurs offer global markets,” said Craig Asano, Executive Director of the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA). “NCFA Canada is a firm supporter of innovation, technology, economic growth, entrepreneurship and collaboration, and is keen to participate on the task force to improve crowdfunding financial literacy across the country.”

“TiE Canada is delighted to join the Startup Canada Task Force and we are looking forward to working together to build a stronger entrepreneurial community in Canada,” said Bharat Rudra, President of TiE Ottawa.

“Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada (WEOC) is a national association of agencies that support women entrepreneurs,” said Laurel Douglas, Secretary/Treasurer of Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada. “Women own over 35 per cent of the small businesses in Canada, and there is great economic potential to be gained from helping them grow their business.  WEOC is delighted to be part of the Startup Canada Task Force and to partner with other enterprise support organizations to ensure that small businesses in all sectors get the help they need to drive the Canadian economy.”