Scaling an organization requires the right team in place, with the right plan. In the case of Startup Canada’s newest addition to the executive roster, the change promises to boost entrepreneurship across Canada.
Anastasia Valentine is being brought on in a newly formed role of Chief Executive Director at Startup Canada, a position to which she is looking forward to bringing her 20 plus years of experience in innovation, marketing, sales and entrepreneurship to the aid of businesses of all sizes.
Mrs. Valentine will be focusing on building the operational and programmatic capacity within what has become Canada’s entrepreneurship organization, to poise it to scale up its impact for entrepreneurs. Startup Canada is the national rallying brand and voice for Canada’s entrepreneurship community, best known for its viral digital programs, annual Awards for entrepreneurs, the Canadian Export Challenge which supports entrepreneurs to go global, and its network of grassroots Startup Communities.
“My commitment is to ensure entrepreneurs have resources at every stage of their journey, whether it be funding, mentoring, education, or additional business support,” said Mrs. Valentine. “The team has done a phenomenal job at doing that, and we are in a strong position to grow, go bigger, and to help entrepreneurs not just to startup, but to scale up globally.”
Valentine said she has “lived the entrepreneurship journey in a couple of lives,” and explained her proven track record of bringing companies from idea, through scaleup, to exit, will be the biggest asset from her background she’s bringing to the role.
“Being an entrepreneur and having led some amazing startup companies, I bring an understanding of what it takes to succeed at every stage of business growth – I have walked in their shoes.”
She believes this starts with displaying Canada’s entrepreneurial successes to encourage both more Canadian entrepreneurship and funding from both the public and private sector to help entrepreneurs.
“Canadian startups and their leaders need to see themselves in the successes that are a direct result of their hard work and the amazing startup ecosystem. If we can showcase how entrepreneurs contribute to economic growth, employment, and innovation here in Canada, we will encourage entrepreneurship as a viable option for Canadians and encourage successful entrepreneurs to help others who are on the same journey.”
Valentine is convinced of the importance of startup communities in Canada, calling success on a local level the launch pad towards scaling, because “it takes a village. It really does.”
“Having support around you, whether it’s regionally or across the country, is imperative to success. Whether it’s someone to bounce ideas off of, spread the word, collaborative through a challenge to find solutions, or for a high five when you accomplish something, peers in business will help get you there. Being able to count on an organization like Startup Canada to help connect the dots at the community level, nationally, and globally with resources entrepreneurs need, when they need them, enables businesses to scale.”
As a final note, that element of timeliness, that “right now” approach is what Valentine wants to impart to entrepreneurs at all levels across Canada:
“If you are even thinking of an idea for a business, and you haven’t already engaged with Startup Canada, now is the time to do it. Getting in early, getting involved with your local community and leveraging the valuable programs and resources is an excellent opportunity for Canadian businesses today. I’m calling on everyone in the startup ecosystem to get involved with Startup Canada and to help us make a difference for Canadian entrepreneurs.”