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Posted by: In: Government, News 10 May 2016 Comments: 0

IMG_1414We’ll be posting a review of our Day on the Hill, but first wanted to share this exciting news! Both Alex Nutgall MP for Springwater – Oro-Medonte and John Brassard, MP for Barrie—Innisfil, after hearing our challenge and request to be a part of the this government’s “innovation Agenda,” wanted to do something. John said, “Chad, send me your stump speech and I’ll share it with Parliament!”

Tune in to parlvu or cpac Wednesday, May 11 around 11:40am
We will get the mp4 as well

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Here’s the speech.  Much of this is from Startup Canada HQ

 

Prime Minister Trudeau charged his leadership to “develop an Innovation Agenda that includes: expanding effective support for incubators, accelerators… These investments will target key growth sectors where Canada has the ability to attract investment or grow export-oriented companies.

Navdeep Bains, our Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development stated he is interested in the “question of how a government can cultivate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship.”

Last week our Hill was, once again, taken over by Startup Canada, the most recognized, energized and active entrepreneurship organization in Canada with a network of more than 150,000 entrepreneurs, 400 enterprise support partners, 300 volunteers and over 25 Startup Communities from coast to coast and will reach 100 Communities by 2017.

They were here to help lay the foundation for the Startup Nation we all are building in Canada and ensure that entrepreneurs inform and are at the centre of Canada’s Innovation Agenda.

StartUp Canada, with its vision of an Innovation Nation, has in place the only nation-wide network to support, nurture and educate entrepreneurs as they launch and build their companies.

StartUp Canada would merit a seat at the table when the Advisory Committee for the Innovation Agenda is established.

Startup Communities, like ours in Barrie, Ontario are the connective tissue bringing together the entire entrepreneurship community; ensuring the healthy functioning and optimization of an economic & social ecosystem supporting every entrepreneur.

Startup Canada said they are encouraged that innovation and entrepreneurship is on the agenda, but want to stress we need to be at the table to help write the next chapter of innovation.

We also feel the “Innovation Agenda” include the entire startup eco-system and ensure that it doesn’t become too narrowly focussed.

The agenda proposes pouring investment into a handful of “clusters”. This is too narrow a focus and limits the investment opportunity to only later stage enterprises and R&D/tech sectors and ignores the early stage startups and service-based companies which are the foundation of our economic engine in Canada and “nurseries of innovation”. There is little, if any, funding for these communities and companies that are post-R&D, despite their sector focus.

They recommend to continue to fund innovation, but throughout the entire ecosystem, potentially seeking support going to, not just six to eight clusters, but rather to over 100 community-based, entrepreneur-led centres of innovation, such as coworking spaces and other community led centres. Most of these spaces, like The Creative Space, a coworking community in our riding, are volunteer operated, privately funded and community supported, and are buzzing with new ideas and growing companies each year!

Simply put, we need to invest in the “sowers, seeds and soil” and not just the “fruit” and fancy stores. The fertile ground and care found in these community spaces are producing great returns, revitalizing our downtowns and creating hubs of innovation. Instead of just focusing on high-growth startups and segregating them from service-based companies, why not combine them and the programs within a community of care? This will save the Government millions, see a greater return and a more sustainable startup culture in all our communities across Canada.

We need to foster innovation and entrepreneurship, empowering our local organizations who are creating impact across the country, whether there’s an incubator/accelerator or a university present or not.

Innovation must be tied to community building, not cluster creating. Instead of creating centres of privilege, let’s celebrate and strengthen all communities and create a true nation of innovation from coast to coast to coast!