Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel Meets with Government to Prioritize High-Growth Business

Startup Canada | September 18, 2015

Screen Shot 2015 09 21 at 11.38.02 AM - Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel Meets with Government to Prioritize High-Growth Business

Richard Remillard, NCFA Board Member, at the Startup Canada Ecosystem Panel on September 18 in Ottawa.

OTTAWA, ON, September 18, 2015 | This week, the leading national non-governmental organizations that service the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in Canada met with representatives from 14 Government of Canada departments to discuss gaps and inefficiencies in support, and opportunities to elevate success for entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses in Canada.

“As Canada is slipping in global innovation and entrepreneurship rankings, there is an urgent need to focus on businesses scalability,” said Laura O’Blenis, Chair of the Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel. “This means multi-year commitments from a federal government that works collaboratively with those that facilitate and represent key parts of the ecosystem on the ground. Together, by accelerating entrepreneur access to support, capital, tax incentives, procurement, global opportunities, and customers we can build an innovation-based economy.”

“There will be a learning curve for new Members of Parliament entering the House of Commons after the October 19 election on matters of entrepreneurship,” said Hélène Joncas, a board director at Startup Canada. “We need to ensure a healthy transition to prevent stagnation in innovation and business growth. Meeting with these government representatives is an important step in this process.”

The Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel identified a number of priorities in areas of entrepreneurship, capital, infrastructure and education. These included filling skills gaps that enable entrepreneurs to reach new stages of growth, adding capacity to the market to take on more risk, and raising awareness of current government programs for entrepreneurs. The need for a national entrepreneur strategy was also discussed.

“The government needs to play a larger role in cultivating gazelles and unicorns – companies with valuations of $10-20 million and $1 billion or higher – in Canada,” said Joncas. “The organizations represented by the Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel are working together, not in competition, to create the optimal environment for small business growth. With the government as a willing partner, we can accelerate entrepreneur connectivity to initiatives that will boost business growth.”


The Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel’s collective constituency represents the majority of Canada’s GDP; with Startup Canada, the Canadian Association of University Research Parks, U-15, Women’s Enterprise Organizations of Canada, Mitacs, National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, CANARIE and Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters as its most active members.

Press Contact:

Kathryn Forrest

Communications and Marketing Manager, Startup Canada

613-627-0787 x106

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada. Through online platforms, grassroots Startup Communities and cross-sector initiatives, Startup Canada is advancing entrepreneurial momentum and a culture of entrepreneurship, as the voice of Canadian entrepreneurs. Learn more at

About the Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel

The Startup Canada Ecosystem Expert Panel is composed of the leading national organizations advancing entrepreneurship, innovation and investment in Canada. This Expert Panel aims to advance Canada’s prosperity and competitiveness and further improve Canada’s position on the global entrepreneurship playing field by bringing together the key national, non-governmental organizations servicing the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, initiating undertakings, and carrying out government relations and policy activities.



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