Startups are often so heads-down on product development and customer acquisition, they don’t have time to spare a thought about politics. But as startups become a major source of employment for Canada’s growing tech sector, governments are thinking about them; from the federal government announcing an ambitious innovation agenda to scrapping the decision to tax stock options due to entrepreneurial outcry, it’s important that startups clearly, and uniformly, express what’s needed to build billion-dollar businesses in Canada.
On May 5, Startup Canada is bringing 1,500 entrepreneurs, investors, and politicians together for Startup Canada Day on the Hill. Throughout the jam-packed day, the events will help entrepreneurs gain insight into building their businesses — and will also help politicians learn what Canadian startups need to compete on a global scale.
Here are seven reasons why we think you should be there:
1. Members of Parliament want you to shape Canada’s innovation agenda
When the federal government revealed its budget, Navdeep Bains, the innovation, science, and economic development minister, said that the government would continue working with startups post-budget to outline the best way to support startups.
At Startup Canada Day on the Hill, startup founders and small business owners will get the chance to lay the foundation of Canada’s innovation agenda through policy hackathons, growth talks, policy hearings, and panel discussions. Members of Parliament will be on hand to hear your entrepreneurial approach to policy including Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance; Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism; and the Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women.
2. Startup heavyweights will share their thoughts on Canada’s next generation of startups
Canada’s top entrepreneurs will be onsite to share their big-picture vision for Canada’s future. Among Startup Canada Day on the Hill’s keynote speakers are Tony Lacavera, founder of WIND Mobile and Globalive; Allen Lau, co-founder and CEO of WattPad; Waneek Horn-Miller, who received a gold medal at the 1999 Pan American Games and acts as a Manitobah Mukluks ambassador; and Robert Deluce, founder and CEO of Porter Airlines.
3. Global companies will be there to tell you how to build your startup
Top companies and disruptors like Uber, Facebook, Shopify, Intuit Quickbooks, UPS Canada, PayPal, and Microsoft Canada will be at Startup Canada Day on the Hill. You’ll hear from them on-stage and have an opportunity to chat with them one-on-one during the Startup Soiree.
4. Get mentorship from Canada’s top entrepreneurs
At Startup Canada Day on the Hill, hourly sessions with mentors will be available to attendees in the Shaw Centre’s Parliamentary Lounge. Receive mentorship on everything startup-related, from business modelling to marketing and sales to startup finance.
5. Low-key networking at the Startup Soiree and Marketplace
Featuring announcements, prizes, networking, startup exhibitors, food stations, and bars, Startup Canada Day on the Hill’s Startup Soiree and Marketplace is the opportunity to network with Canada’s Members of Parliament, ministers, and Canada’s entrepreneurship community.
6. Connect with Canada’s startup communities after the day is over
Every Startup Canada community from across the country will there—from Startup Nanaimo to Startup Winnipeg to Startup Charlottetown. Entrepreneurs can learn how to get involved with their local startup community, and connect with like-minded individuals they can turn to for advice even after the Day on the Hill is over.
7. Learn how to pitch to media
For startups looking to step up their media outreach game, reporters from all over Canada will be there. Team BetaKit will be there as a media partner to cover the day’s announcements and events, along with the National Post, CPAC, iPolitics, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, and the Ottawa Business Journal.
For tickets, check out the Startup Canada Day on the Hill page here. BetaKit readers get a discount by using the promo code STARTUPDAY25.