Startup Canada entrepreneur program now in the Yukon

Startup Canada, a national grassroots entrepreneurial association, will set up a base in Whitehorse, the organization's first hub north of 60.

Organizers praise co-operation in Yukon business community

Business people brainstorm during the 'EveryEntrepreneur' Conference at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre on Saturday.

More than 100 people gathered at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse this past weekend to talk about the challenges and rewards of being an entrepreneur in the North.

The conference was organized by Startup Canada. The national association has 100,000 members who come together to build companies, provide mentorship and invest in each others' projects.

"Certainly the support and infrastructure that's available in a Toronto or Vancouver is completely different than what's available in Whitehorse," said Victoria Lennox, co-founder and CEO of Startup Canada.

"But in Whitehorse, there's a sense of community, there's a sense of wanting to create a better place to live and there's a sense of relationships. You can't beat that."

Lennox hopes to eventually bring Startup Canada to Yellowknife and Iqaluit, but said Whitehorse was a logical place to begin.

"We need to start with grassroots engagement and it wasn't us that said we want to start up in Whitehorse. It was the community here saying 'Wouldn't it be cool if we were known as the startup, entrepreneurial, innovation hub of the North?'"

Whitehorse members of Startup Canada will be able to take advantage of Yukonstruct, a facility that allows people to create physical products, and (Co)Space, a building that will provide shared office and meeting space.  

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