Startup Canada has unveiled the beta website for its new campaign to profile 1000 Canadian entrepreneurs. 1000 Startups is an easy-to-search website built by Startup Canada’s volunteer team to cast a spotlight on Canadian entrepreneurs. In addition to sharing stories and advice, this new platform leverages Startup Canada’s network of more than 55,000 followers and its bustling social media channels to amplify the news and announcements of participating startups.
In the words of Startup Canada co-founder Cyprian Szlankiewicz, “Startup Canada’s communications team will become their communications team.”
Featured startups will also gain access to an exclusive peer mentorship network and over the course of the 1000 Startups campaign they will gain access to support, opportunities and deals from Startup Canada’s partners and sponsors. To participate, startup founders can apply on the 1000 startups site. The project will accept 20-25 new startups each week until it reaches 1000.
“As the community of entrepreneurs grows, we will track entrepreneurs’ experiences and get their ongoing feedback on how Startup Canada can further support their growth and success,” said Allison Smith, Calgary-based 1000 Startups Project Lead and a Startup Canada Volunteer. “We want to celebrate these startups’ entrepreneurial journeys and continue to deliver innovative ways to help more Canadian entrepreneurs succeed.” The full 1000 Startups site is set to launch in Autumn 2013 after the beta phase runs its course.
1000 Startups is the latest feature of the Startup Canada Campaign, a suite of programs rolling out in direct response to the call to action of more than 20,000 entrepreneurs consulted during Startup Canada’s national tour last year.
“As a nation, we need to celebrate and support our entrepreneurs, because their success benefits us all,” said Victoria Lennox, CEO of Startup Canada. “1000 Startups will showcase the diversity of Canada’s entrepreneurs, helping to broaden our understanding of what it means to be an entrepreneur, show entrepreneurs across Canada that they are not alone, and create a national community of startups sharing, learning and paying it forward together.”
While the beta site goes live today, new features and designs will be integrated throughout the summer based on feedback from the participants and Startup Canada’s wider network. “This website was built by Startup Canada’s volunteer team of entrepreneurs from across Canada and is truly an example of entrepreneurs working together to help each other grow,” said Smith.
Lincoln McCardle, founder of London, Ontario-based fashion product twittens and one of the first 25 startups to be profiled on 1000Startups.ca, said he applied for the program to expand awareness of his product. “It has been my experience that most people who see twittens want them so it’s simply about letting stores know that we are out there,” he said.
Alex Glassey, founder of StratPad in Victoria, BC, is also among the first crop of startups being showcased.
“We applied because are looking for relationships with partners who can help us with customer acquisition,” said Glassey. “We’d also love to hear from entrepreneurs, accelerators and coaches who want to host or facilitate our strategic business planning workshops in their communities.”
Canadians can follow the 1000 Startups campaign on Twitter using #1000Startups and can learn more about the findings of the Startup Canada National Tour online.