Volta launches program to help Atlantic Canada founders navigate COVID-19 recovery


Atlantic Canada innovation hub Volta is opening applications for a new six-week program led by various industry experts to guide entrepreneurs through the changing business landscape following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program, called Recovery, will launch in mid-June and is expected to take startup founders through key areas of focus, to navigate the gradual re-opening of our region, and understand best practices following this pandemic. Focus areas include runway management, financial planning, funding sources, sales, marketing in the age of uncertainty, and human resources.

“We want to help entrepreneurs create well-rounded strategies to… position themselves for success following this pandemic.”

“Startups and small businesses in Atlantic Canada are the heart of our economy, playing a significant role in creating jobs and making our communities more vibrant,” said Martha Casey, COO and interim CEO of Volta. “COVID-19 has created unprecedented challenges for companies of all sizes, and with this new program, we want to help entrepreneurs create well-rounded strategies to effectively position themselves for success following this pandemic.”

Startups based in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island are eligible for this program. Sessions will take place virtually on Tuesday mornings, with expert-led office hours available to participants in the days that follow.

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Business is slowly returning to normal in the Atlantic Canada region as COVID-19 restrictions began easing in recent days, but a recent survey from Halifax-based early-stage venture capital firm Concrete Ventures found that many startups are still taking a hit.

About half of Canadian East Coast startups surveyed said they are feeling the financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. The same report found 16 percent of respondents reported laying off staff, and a further 17 percent of Atlantic Canada startups indicated their business is not eligible for any government relief programs.

Volta was founded in 2010, and primarily focuses on incubation and corporate innovation as well as supporting regional startups with programming and workspace. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Volta closed its co-working space and meeting rooms on March 16.

The new program comes about two months after Jesse Rodgers departed his role as CEO of the Halifax-based incubator.

The Recovery program is being offered at no cost to participants, but spaces are limited. Those interested in participating must apply before the end of June 5. Successful applicants will be contacted by June 8, and the program will begin on June 16.

Image source via Tony Webster via Flickr.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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