Smithers on Startup Canada lineup

The federal government has launched a new program to help first-time entrepreneurs get the help they need for starting a business.

The federal government has launched a new program, Startup Canada Communities, designed to help first-time entrepreneurs get the help they need to navigate the ins and outs of starting a business.

Smithers is one of only 15 communities across the country taking part in the pilot project.

The program provides entrepreneurs with access to mentors and support, as well as information on funding opportunities, as well as opportunities to interact with other individuals in the business community.

“For Smithers, the biggest win is having everything brought together into one place so that locals know exactly where to go and will have everything they need for their startup project or enterprise,” Tony Mondia, Startup Smithers volunteer said in a press release.

“Not only that, they now have  easy access to hundreds of other entrepreneurs across Canada for sharing ideas, getting advice, maybe even finding a co-founder to start up another venture.”

The first communities selected to participate were chosen based on several factors, such as the maturity of the start up sector in the community, community demographics, the size of the community and location, so as to build a network that spans the community.

Thus far 15 local established entrepreneurs have signed on to act as mentors.

Mike Sawyer, owner of Net Zero Structures Ltd, said he was only too happy to step up as a mentor.

“I find it [Startup Smithers] a very exciting concept,” Sawyer said.

“I didn’t have a mentor when I started, that’s why I signed up as a mentor.

Sawyer, a recent transplant from Calgary, was amazed at the potential in Smithers with respect to entrepreneurship.

“I see a lot of people who for one reason or another don’t have the entrepreneurial skills, but have an idea and don’t know how to move it forward.

Sawyer said he sees the potential for synergisms among start up businesses and the potential to share ideas.

“If you don’t have a mentor your chances of failure are much higher,” Sawyer said.

Being part of the Startup Canada project is good news for Smithers, Economic Development Officer with the Bulkley Valley Economic Development Office, Alan Stroet said.

“Being one of 15 pilot startup communities  with Startup Canada will allow for local entrepreneurs to tap into a national network of like-minded individuals,” Stroet said.

For information visit, or


Just Posted

Prince Rupert Gas Transmission project searches for partners

TransCanada is renewing permits for its natural gas pipeline project to North Coast.

Coastal GasLink stops work to investigate archaeological find

OGC archaeologists are en route to the Houston-area site where Unist’ot’en report finding stone tools

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

Lego League provincial champions

Smithers’ Marley and Amelie are B.C. Lego League champions, and are fundraising to compete in Texas.

TSKLH Nation sues Province over Brucejack mine revenue sharing

The Tsetsaut/Skii km Lax Ha seeks to assert rights and title in the area around Pretivm gold mine.

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read