The first Entrevestor Dinner was held in Fredericton in May, and we received glowing feedback on the format that features discussions on improving the ecosystem for Atlantic Canadian startups. Now we’ve partnered with Entrepreneurs’ Forum to jointly host the final dinners of the year.
The Entrevestor-Entrepreneurs’ Forum Dinners convene in the late afternoon for two discussions on how we can improve the ecosystem for startups in the region. Each discussion is led by a leader in the startup community, who invites entrepreneurs, funders and support personnel to join in with their opinions on how to improve the environment for startups.
“We believe the entire community benefits when its members get together to discuss common problems and initiatives,” said Kathleen Rayworth, Executive Director of Entrepreneur’s Forum. “We hope that entrepreneurs and others in the startup community will join us to try to plot a course to a stronger ecosystem.”
The Sept. 11 dinner will take place at the Common Room at Gushue Hall at Memorial University of Newfoundland, starting at 4 pm. We will hold two one-hour discussions before adjourning for dinner:
-- Mark Kennedy, the Founder and CEO of Celtx, the St. John’s-based maker of pre-production software for the film industry, will moderate a discussion on the new venture-angel fund that the Newfoundland and Labrador government is working on. The government has outlined a model that would combine investments from both wealthy individuals and government to fund startups. This discussion will provide an opportunity for members of the community to say how they’d like the fund to be structured.
-- Emad Rizkalla, CEO of Bluedrop Performance Learning, the St. John’s-based training software company, will lead a talk on how to encourage corporations to invest in and support startups. Atlantic Canadian startups get more funding from strategic partners than many of us would expect, but we’ll look into how to increase the number. The discussion will also look at other ways that corporations can help young companies.
The dinner in Halifax will be held Sept. 25 at the Niche Lounge on Barrington Street, starting also at 4 pm. The two discussions will be:
-- Rob Barbara, Partner at Build Ventures, will host as discussion on regional investment tax credits. Various governments are discussing whether to offer investment tax credits to people who are not residents of their province to encourage investment in startups. We’ll look at whether such credits should be offered to non-residents, and whether the recipients could even live outside the region.
-- Stephen Duff, CEO of Innovacorp, will lead a talk on mentorship. This a continuation of a discussion that Calvin Milbury, CEO of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, led in Fredericton. Since then, Launch36 has received federal funding and launched a new, more regional mandate. And the Mentra, a new mentoring group based in Moncton, has begun to organize a regional mentoring network.