WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Global Entrepreneurship Network is excited to announce the opening of Startup Huddle in Niagara, Canada, to help local entrepreneurs hone their pitch skills and discover solutions to the challenges they face. The first Huddle event in Niagara will be held this fall.
Startup Huddle is a program designed to educate, engage and connect entrepreneurs. As an experiential learning opportunity, the Startup Huddle format is consistent in each location: on a given morning, one or two early-stage startup founders give a six-minute presentation of their companies to a diverse audience of peers, mentors, educators and advisers. Each presentation is followed by a 20-minute question and answer session and feedback via an audience survey.
“We are fortunate to be part of the thriving entrepreneurial community in Niagara and to work with innovative entrepreneurs within that community that are at various stages of development,” said Alexis Kleiman with iHub Niagara and Caroline Macdonald with Spark Niagara. “Which is why we’re so excited to introduce a program that can help these entrepreneurs engage in meaningful discussion with fellow entrepreneurs about how they can discover solutions to the unique challenges they face as entrepreneurs.”
The culture surrounding Startup Huddle is that of a supportive, neutral space, welcoming entrepreneurs to be open and honest about their businesses and the challenges they face. Each event is organized by local entrepreneurs and community builders who volunteer their time to secure a venue, vet and select presenters and publicize the event.
As opposed to a traditional “pitch” environment, Startup Huddle was not created to be critical of entrepreneurs, but rather for the presenters to learn from shared experiences and find ways to support one another as a community.
“We’re excited to expand our GEN programing by launching Startup Huddle in Niagara in partnership with Spark Niagara,” said Tanya Woods, acting managing director of GEN Canada. “Startup Huddle will allow us to directly support local entrepreneurs while plugging local ecosystem builders into our national and international network of partners and programs. We look forward to continuing this work as we expand GEN Canada throughout the country.”
Startup Huddle is an educational experience for both the audience and the presenters. Presenters are given resources and support to prepare for their presentation and surveyed after their presentation to see what they’ve learned.
“Through the administering of this program we hope to facilitate meaningful connections and provide a ‘safe space’ for entrepreneurs to have open, honest conversations about their entrepreneurial journeys,” said Kleiman and Macdonald. “We also hope that entrepreneurs that attend Startup Huddle Niagara will leave feeling inspired and feel supported by the community knowing that they have a support system in Niagara that wants to see their business flourish.”