Be one of the Upstart Startups!
Take advantage of StartupNL events to start and grow your venture.
StartupNL was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. It is a place for startup founders in Newfoundland & Labrador to connect with one another through the following events and activities:
Regular gatherings by entrepreneurs serve as the foundation for the startup community. The meetups are a way for entrepreneurs, founders and those interested in startups to get together. People get to network and access others with ideas, plans and skills in an informal atmosphere focused on startup creation and opportunities. Meetups include the StartupNL Coffee Club, Student Startups and the Hackers & Founders Assembly. Click Member Login above!
Startup Week & Startup Weekend
Startup Week is a series of events that puts the spotlight on the startup community. The week includes Startup Weekend, a hands-on experience where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs create a startup over 54 hours. As well, we have renowned speakers that share their experiences, investors looking for the next big one and startups looking to attract talent and investment. Add to that workshops, bootcamps and an all around good time for startups, it is the must-attend event for the startup community in Newfoundland & Labrador.
The Startup Speaker Series (often known as ‘Startup Grind’) provides presenters that will inspire, teach and engage members of the community. Speakers, including designers, innovators, artists, as well as experts in technology, startups, financing, and investment, will share insights and provide direction to your startup. We often partner with great groups to spread the word on these awesome speakers.
Arts + Science
Arts + Science brings together groups that may not otherwise have reason be in the same room! The common link though is innovation and creativity. This Province has a vibrant creative sector including artists, musicians, filmmakers, designers and so on while we also have innovative engineers, programmers and entrepreneurs. So we invite people for all walks of life to come out to intersect and interact with one another and create entirely new concepts, services, products and ventures.
Bootcamps are short, learning-based events that focus on specific topics of interest to startups. The StartupNL community can participate in business and technology themed workshops that deal with relevant topics like lean startup, product design, sales, marketing, the startup creation process, business planning and marketing. Come for a few hours and learn something life changing!
Coaching and Mentoring
As part of the community, you will be exposed to a multitude of coaches and mentors that will help refine your idea and give suggestions on how to achieve your goals. For a startup, the ability to access seasoned entrepreneurs from the StartupNL community to act as advisors is one of the most valuable benefits of being a part of StartupNL.
Solutions Forum is a workshop that aims to solve challenging problems faced by industry. A central theme or concept is presented to the community and teams are formed around solving a real-world problem that a local company is experiencing. Here developers, designers and creators share ideas, form teams and build products/services that address
the problem. The results are not only a solution but also a group that has enhanced their own technical and team-working skills.
FabLab Fabrication Day
Many entrepreneurs in the StartupNL community are interested in new fabrication technologies. Fabrication Day will highlight 3D printing techniques, development of prototypes, electronics, development kits, gadgets and the capabilities of these tools. By sharing tools, resources and the knowledge to use them, the capabilities of the community in turning these maker skills into startup projects is greatly enhanced.
A series of startup competitions hones the business skills of startups while generating a sense of excitement and accomplishment in the community.
- Demo Competition – Products and services here are typically presented as a minimum viable product (MVP) and were quickly developed with basic features to assess its fundamental function and use.
- Pitch Competition – StartupNL hosts a series of ‘Pitches & Pitchers’ competitions and provides the most promising ones with the feedback and impetus to take it to the next stage.
- Innovation Challenge – The Cox & Palmer Innovation Challenge from Enactus gives student-led projects valuable feedback from a panel of judges and offers a prize befitting a cash strapped startup … cash!
Programmers and industry experts assemble to work on a project such as building a website, an app, software or other service. Hackathons often address a need or problem in society and groups work towards solving the problem from a variety of angles.
StartupNL has established a variety of relationships that provide valuable resources to startups. Facilitated by a Startup Ambassador, the following activities serve to expose our startup community to those around the world:
- Accelerator Connections – Since 2013, StartupNL has worked with PropelICT to establish a resident accelerator program in the Province. Since then the initial cohort has been selected. StartupNL also has formed links with other leading accelerators including Communitech, NDRC and the C100. We refer interested and qualified startups to these organizations on an ongoing basis.
- Startup Communities – With a growing network of startup hubs across the country and around the world, StartupNL connects Newfoundland and Labrador-based entrepreneurs with startup resources in other locations through a combination of reciprocal arrangements and proving invaluable local intelligence. Moreover, this opens the way for startups from Newfoundland and Labrador to be visible to partners, investors and mentors in these other locations.
- Startup Canada – After the startup community in the province was formed, an Ottawa-based group called Startup Canada came on the scene. StartupNL’s role is to encourage any of their national activities to include this province on the itinerary and to work with startups. StartupNL-St.John’s was one of the first 10 Startup Canada communities in 2013 and we have been on the selection committee for other communities.
- North Atlantic Startup Arc – Characterized by their island environments and the ingenuity of their inhabitants, the startup communities in the North Atlantic Startup Arc seek to come together and encourage the sharing of ideas, engaged dialogue and active cooperation to bring their lessons and innovations to the world. StartupNL is joined by Startup Ireland and Startup Iceland to develop the region as a significant source of startup innovation.
Startup Citizen – This program aids startup formation and launch by advocating for free and accessible project space to accompany support and advice from mentors. Many ventures fail to get past the idea stage for lack of a space to experiment with their ideas in an open environment. StartupNL’s vision is to work with partners to create accessible hubs where pre-startups and those at the early stages can use a project space to conceive, form and begin the inventive process. We work with local landlords and space providers to provide room for events, projects, workshops, meetings and temporary work space. we have worked with Quidi Vidi Brewing, the college of the North Atlantic, Navigate at Grenfell College, Memorial University and Rocket Bakery among others. For interested entrepreneurs, we suggest the following organizations: BeachHead (Holyrood’s Ocean Tech Startup Facility), The Business Suites (office and meeting space), Common Ground (co-working) and Business Portals (short term office rental).
Other Cool Startup Initiatives
StartupNL is constantly creating new events and activities to serve the community and works with willing partners in the entrepreneurial eco-system. Among the other initiatives being developed are:
- Startup Roundtables – Periodic sessions with startups that discuss the state of startup activity and engages them to identify their needs and how to grow the amount of startup activity.
- Startup Retreats – Off-site activities that provides startups with the training, focus and a plan to move to the next level of development.
- Founder Dating – Matching startups with the talent needed to develop the company so the founding team is well-rounded and primed for success.
- Startup Digest – A community catalogue of local startup news and activities.
- Startup Services – Tools provided to StartupNL members that enable them to quickly access needed resources (Google4Entreprenurs, Microsoft BizSpark, Amazon AWS).