St. Stephen Entrepreneurs Join the Growing Startup Canada Community

Starting a business can be difficult. Building a community of people who understand, will listen, and support an entrepreneur through the ups and downs is an essential part of a business's success. Startup St. Stephen was created for that purpose, and was announced as one of Startup Canada's Official Communities at the regional Startup Canada Awards in Fredericton on September 7. The official launch party will be held October 10th, 2017, at Kelly's on King.

Startup St. Stephen is part of the larger Startup Canada entrepreneur community. It is a movement led by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, no matter their location, age, or business category. It's a fluid network of business people, organizations that support businesses, and those who are not yet business people, but would like to be.

Startup St. Stephen will provide a platform for our local startups to find resources, access programs and most of all realize that there are other people in their community having the same needs and wants as them. The network includes existing organizations that support businesses, such as the Chamber of Commerce, CBDC, and Future St. Stephen.

Through this network, Startup St. Stephen will be able to provide information and host events that fill gaps in the community that entrepreneurs need. The group will also be connected to the larger Startup Canada network of communities, which will help with idea sharing and promotion of our local community.

“There is a perception around the word “startup' that isn't accurate,” says one of the founding entrepreneurs of Startup St. Stephen, Abby Pond. “Many people associate the term with tech companies in big cities or in Silicon Valley. A startup is a stage of a business's life cycle, not a type of business or product.”

The Startup community approach is to host events and workshops that foster communication and learning among its members in innovative ways. Startup St. Stephen hosted two casual meetups at local businesses in September to discuss the application with local entrepreneurs and get their feedback on the types of events and services that would help them, and that they would be interested in attending.

One of these was the ability to simply network and chat informally with other entrepreneurs and professionals on a regular basis. Startup St. Stephen hosts a monthly Brewing Ideas evening at different businesses to provide entrepreneurs with this opportunity. Other events in the works for 2018 include a Startup Weekend, Failure Confession nights, and helping with existing programs such as the Business Boot Camp, local Chamber of Commerce and the middle school Entrepreneur program. Local entrepreneurs also have the opportunity to participate in monthly national calls and attend the annual Startup Day on the Hill in Ottawa.

“What I like about Startup St. Stephen is the informal approach. It is about meeting people and starting a discussion versus sitting around a table checking the boxes at a monthly meeting,” said Jason  Rideout, one of the local entrepreneurs that helped launch Startup St. Stephen.

The Startup movement and mentality fits nicely with the growth St. Stephen has seen in recent years, and also creates more appeal for the town's targeted immigration marketing efforts. St. Stephen joins Saint John, Sussex, Moncton, Sackville, Miramichi, and the Chaleur region as Canada's newest Startup communities.

Startup St. Stephen will be hosting its official launch party on October 10th, from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at Kelly's on King. Anyone who would like to learn more about Startup St. Stephen is welcome to attend. For more information, follow Startup St. Stephen on Facebook at www.facebook.com/startupStStephen. For questions regarding Startup St. Stephen, please contact Abby Pond at abby@queensofcupslingerie.ca.