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Startup Canada Unveils Its Action Plan
Source: itbusiness.ca
Source Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Focus: ICT for MDGs, Internet Governance
Country: Canada
Created: Dec 03, 2012

After its 36-city tour the organization drafts a plan to put startups themselves in the driver's seat, not government handouts.

Startup Canada followed up its whirlwind tour across Canada on Tuesday by unveiling a three-part plan to build a more supportive, cohesive infrastructure to help the country's entrepreneurs.

And it's a plan that puts startups themselves front and centre - not the government funding programs or non-profit initiatives that have traditionally been resources for startup support.

“Ultimately the best people to lead startup communities are people who've got those bruises from building something,” said Daniel Bida, who spoke during a Startup Canada event held in Toronto on Tuesday to unveil parts of the national action plan.

Bida said a rare exception is Toronto's Centre For Social Innovation, a non-profit which takes an entrepreneurial approach that's “very focused on being a self-sustained entity relying on revenue and growth.”

“If you get more of the bureaucratic or non-profit (approach) they might focus more on just establishing a system and repeating, repeating, repeating,” added Bida, executive director of Toronto startup ZooShare Biogas Co-operative Inc.

That's not to say government has no place in the startup ecosystem. In fact, Startup Canada's action plan might actually increase accountability and efficiency at government funded startup programs, said Debbie Weinstein, a member of Startup Canada's management board and a partner at Ottawa law firm LaBarge Weinstein.

“I don't think (governments) need to spend more money. They need to be better organized,” Weinstein said, noting Canada's Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SRED) tax credit is a good resource for tech startups. “Government will be forced to be better organized because organizations like (Startup Canada) will keep them on their toes.”

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