On the Startup Canada Podcast, we speak with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to give a glimpse into the future of business, and share insights on everything from social innovation to the future of work, investing, and why we need to think bigger to take our businesses global.
Driving Change and the Stories That Happened Before It with Sarah Fodey and Han Nguyen
Sarah Fodey is a Managing Partner at SandBay Entertainment, one of Canada’s foremost production houses dedicated to diverse, inclusive, and intersectional cinematic storytelling. In Sarah Fodey’s 25-year career as a film and television executive producer, writer, and director, she has developed and delivered multiple feature films and a variety of scripted and documentary series. Sarah’s passion for both historical documentaries and the telling of Canada’s queer stories has influenced her most recent work such as The Fruit Machine, a feature documentary on Canada’s decades-long purge of LGBT civil servants and military personnel, and Sex, Sin & 69, a film that unpacks Canada’s partial decriminalization of homosexuality in 1969.
Han Nguyen entered the motion picture industry in 2002 and has since garnered vital industry experience in every screen-based medium. From feature films and shorts, to scripted series and documentaries, Han has delivered content to CBC, TVO, YTV, TFO, APTN, Amazon Studios, and Lifetime. Han executive produced Noël en boîte, a Telefilm Canada feature, as well as two seasons of Qanurli for APTN, an interprovincial-territorial co-production between SandBay Entertainment and Qanukiaq Studios. Along with Sarah, she also produced the critically acclaimed documentary, The Fruit Machine, and was nominated for a 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Documentary Program. Han recently wrapped post-production on her directorial debut documentary “The Colour of Music” set to premiere on CBC this summer.
“Beyond desire, we feel a responsibility to tell these stories. We have the privilege of holding the microphone.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, Sarah & Han dive into intersectional storytelling and the importance of contributing to the Queer Archive through their films. This episode is in partnership with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce in celebration of Pride Month.
Bump’n Barriers to Accessibility with Andrew Gurza
Andrew Gurza is an award-winning Disability Awareness Consultant and the Chief Disability Officer and Co-founder of Bump’n, a sex toy company for and by disabled people. Andrew uses they/he pronouns and identifies proudly as disabled. Their work has been featured on BBC, CBC, Daily Xtra, Gay Times UK, Huffington Post, The Advocate, Everyday Feminism, Mashable, Out.com, and several anthologies. He was the subject of an award-winning National Film Board of Canada Documentary “Picture This”. Andrew has guested on a number of podcasts including Dan Savage’s Savage Love and Cameron Esposito’s Queery. He has spoken worldwide about sex, disability and what it means to be a Queer Cripple.
“Put your idea out there into the world. Even if it doesn’t go huge, if you have fun, just do it.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, we dive into following your passions, building accessible spaces, and fostering a community around your brand. This episode is in partnership with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce in celebration of Pride Month.
Why Tech Needs More Representation with Naoufel Testaouni
Beginning his career in the non-profit sector as General Manager for AIESEC (PRON: eye-sek) in Morocco, Naoufel provided young people with leadership development and cross-cultural global internships. He later transferred to the AIESEC United States in New York City and managed the expansion to Bahrain, Qatar, and the UAE through a US government grant of over $1 million. He then took on the interim COO's role and managed a team of 10 people with a budget of $4 million.
Naoufel joined Microsoft Middle East and Africa as Regional Program Coordinator, managing the Microsoft Software Donation Program for internet safety and security. He also managed relationships with crucial Microsoft partners in the region, like the World Bank and the United States Agency for International Development. After two years at Microsoft, Naoufel moved to Montreal to join tech startups. He started at TandemLaunch Technologies, where he built relationships with university tech transfer offices around the world. At his last company, Naoufel was Head of Business Development at Local Logic.
Today, Naoufel is the Co-Founder and CEO of QueerTech, an organization that aims to Queer The Tech Ecosystem by breaking down barriers, creating spaces, and connecting communities to support and empower LGBTQ2S+ people to thrive.
“You want to start your diversity strategy on day one.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, Naoufel Testaouni tells the story of QueerTech, why he started it and where their programming is at today. Paige, Rick and Naoufel also discuss why representation is so needed in the tech industry. This episode is in partnership with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce in celebration of Pride Month
Inclusion as an Instrument for Wellness with AK MacKellar
AK MacKellar is an entrepreneur, speaker and the founder of Free To Move, the body inclusive movement platform for the LGBTQ+ community. As a queer, non-binary and chronically ill person, they've felt like an outsider in most fitness spaces. AK aims to build a new type of fitness industry - one that is welcoming to beginners and marginalized people, that focuses on helping people feel good in their body, strong in their daily life and take care of their mental and physical health.
“The world needs you, not only to provide for queer folks but the world. As queer individuals, we often want to provide for our community, there is alot of opportunity.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, AK encourages you to follow your curiosity and shares how entrepreneurship allowed them to choose what to do and how to do it. This episode is in partnership with Canada’s LGBT+ Chamber of Commerce in celebration of Pride Month.
Brewing For Change, Fairness and Good with Mickey McLeod
Born and raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Mickey McLeod has had an entrepreneurial bent since he was young. After leaving high school, Mickey worked as a tree planter for a couple of seasons before he realized that he had what it took to become a tree-planting contractor. He figured out how to get a successful bid, hired a crew and went to work – doing that on and off for the next 10 years. He then started his own sawmill business on Salt Spring Island in the mid-1980s and ran that until he started his next venture: Salt Spring Coffee.
Mickey founded Salt Spring Coffee with his wife Robbyn Scott in 1996. Growing up among the 1960s counterculture movement on Texada Island had exposed Mickey to the ideas of sustainability, organic farming and taking care of the environment – values which he brought to Salt Spring Coffee.
The company was one of the first to bring organic, fair-trade coffee to B.C. and, through initiatives like its zero-waste program and B Corp certification, continues to strive to have a positive impact on people and the planet.
“Be curious, do your research and if it feels right, go for it!”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, Mickey McLeod takes us along his entrepreneurial journey and how he took the bold leap into the world and business of coffee with Salt Spring Coffee.
Removing Barriers and Investing in Accessibility with Maayan Ziv
From a young age, Maayan challenged norms and worked within her community to increase awareness of disability issues and improve accessibility. Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan is a passionate and relentless advocate for creating a more accessible world. In 2015 Maayan launched AccessNow out of the need to solve her problem. What began as a response to her frustration when trying to navigate inaccessible places, AccessNow soon grew to become a mission-oriented social start-up.
Within just a couple of years, AccessNow has vocalized a movement for inclusion, inviting people of all abilities to contribute to the platform. As the Founder and CEO of AccessNow, Maayan has created a powerful shift in thinking about the importance of accessibility in our world, from accessible technologies to infrastructure, public policy, media, and communications. She is a recognized industry expert in accessibility and inclusion; received the 2020 Governor General’s Innovation Award and the prestigious Novartis Innovation Prize, and is among Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 recipients for 2021.
“Accessibility is only touching people when they need to know about it or when it affects them personally.”
In this week’s episode of the #StartupCanadaPodcast, sponsored by Mastercard and Scotiabank, Maayan Ziv shares why AccessNow is needed to look at our world through a more inclusive lens, taking her first steps into entrepreneurship and the importance of investing in accessibility.
Love your content! Respect from a fellow Canadian:)
I’m completely blown away by Rick’s podcast! The knowledge you gain and the phenomenal guests he brings on his show makes this podcast a must listen! 10/10
Love the show’s purpose!
Rick has a great interview style and the conversations flow well. The show interviews great guests that allow you to learn practical, relevant and easy to implement tips and strategies in your business. Well done!