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Strong and supportive

Genesis Centre seeks best ideas and gives leg up to startups

Research |

By Jeff Green

As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Genesis Centre is giving local startups a chance to make it big while introducing a new innovative program to support entrepreneurs.

The centre, Memorial’s award-winning business incubator, is hosting a Pitch and Pitch event on Friday, Nov. 18, at The Fifth Ticket in St. John’s.

Pitching and picking

The event, which sold out several days ago, will bring together members of the provincial business community, investors, representatives from various levels of governments, alumni and those looking to for advice on starting their own business.

“Up and coming companies will play a pivotal role in creating jobs in the future.” — Angelo Casanas

The innovative minds behind 10 young companies will pitch their business ideas to an audience who will help pick the overall winners. The event is part of the centre’s Evolution Program, which is geared toward early startups and companies who want to apply to the Genesis Centre.

Strong entrepreneurial community

Angelo Casanas, manager, Startup Development & Partnerships, Genesis Centre
Angelo Casanas
Photo: Submitted

The popularity of the event is a clear indication of a strong, supportive entrepreneurial community in Newfoundland and Labrador, says Angelo Casanas, manager, startup development and partnerships, Genesis Centre.

“There has been a greater interest in entrepreneurship in the last year and it seems that, in particular, the City of St. John’s is going through a startup renaissance,” he said.

“The groundswell of support has arisen because of the community’s keen interest in Newfoundland and Labrador’s ingenuity, as well as a strong belief that these up and coming companies will play a pivotal role in creating jobs in the future.”

Big year for Genesis

Next year marks the 20th anniversary of the Genesis Centre, which recently hired two entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs) to provide additional support and advice to portfolio companies.

Since 1997 the Genesis Centre has helped more than 150 startups raise more than $90 million in private investments.

New Year, new programming

The centre is also excited to announce a partnership with Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District, the largest innovation hub in the country, to bring its unique programming to Newfoundland and Labrador in the New Year.

“Public and private innovators can learn from each other.” — Dana Parsons

MaRS on the Rock (MOTR) will span 14 weeks and include in-person workshops focused on business model design, financing and entrepreneurial leadership, and will be geared toward aspiring business leaders, educators, corporations, post-secondary students and government agencies.

Dana Parsons, venture lead, Genesis Centre, says the new program will highlight the benefits of innovation within government and the workplace. She expects a strong interest in the program.

Dana Parsons, Dana Parsons, venture lead, Genesis Centre
Dana Parsons, Dana Parsons, venture lead, Genesis Centre
Photo: Submitted

“Startup companies who are accepted to MOTR will be immersed with some of the most influential private and public sector leaders while shaping their business strategy,” said Ms. Parsons.

“Newfoundland and Labrador has access to some of the strongest startup support programs within both the federal and provincial governments. Participating in MOTR, side-by-side, public and private innovators can learn from each other and ensure an overall product market fit.”

More about the Genesis Centre and its programming is available online.

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