Investing in Innovation — What You Need to Bring to the Table

Successful entrepreneurs are by their very nature innovators — it’s very nearly a pre-requisite. But, before determining if their business is going to attract customers and attention, every entrepreneur has to answer a key question: Is their business innovative enough to attract funding?

To answer this question, in BusinessCast episode #126 — Investing in Innovation — Robert and I sat down with David Ceolin who spends his time evaluating, and investing in, entrepreneurs and their innovative business ideas.  David shares with us his criteria for innovation and the processes that entrepreneurs should follow — prior to seeking funding.

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Starting and Growing Your Business: Success Now and in the Future

All successful entrepreneurs are forward-looking. So much so that even when entrepreneurs are in the very early stages of starting their business, they are typically actively searching for future ways to improve it, grow it and expand it.

One of the greatest examples of successfully applying this approach is the disciplined and innovative mind behind Verity – Canada’s premiere Women’s networking club.  The club’s founder Mary Aitken began Verity as a stand-alone business where women could meet, network, relax and have fun.

But, Mary, who is a very successful entrepreneur, thoughtfully researched the targeted market and soon found the need to expand Verity to include a world-leading restaurant (George), an enviable spa (Sweetgrass) and most recently, a luxurious hotel (The Ivey).

For BusinessCast #125 — Starting and Growing Your Business, Mary sits down with Robert and me and shares her compelling and exciting story. She also highlights some key lessons relevant for all entrepreneurs. Whether you are starting, honing or expanding your business, Mary provides some practical tips as well as inspires you to keep looking forward — and thereby ensure your success.

Guy Kawasaki — Serial Entrepreneur

Energy. Passion. Commitment. Entrepreneurs bring a never-ending amount of these qualities to their businesses — regardless of the industry, the size of the company or the age of the business. But, here’s what’s truly astonishing: while you might expect the day-to-day challenges and pitfalls of leading a business to erode these qualities in fact, the opposite happens.

Dipping into a deep pool of determination and enthusiasm is particularly true in the case of serial entrepreneurs — that special breed of entrepreneur that is hard-wired to continually innovate, challenge themselves as well as challenge conventional ways of doing business . That’s why in BusinessCast podcast #120 Robert and I sat down with one of the World’s best known and most successful serial entrepreneurs: Guy Kawasaki.

Guy is known the World over for launching successful businesses, funding successful business ventures and authoring practical and insightful books to boost entrepreneurs’ success. While Guy’s latest book, Reality Check: The Irreverent Guide to Outsmarting, Outmanaging and Outmarketing Your Competition may seem like it’s trying to be all things to all business owners/leaders, it certainly is filled with advice and tools that make it a valuable reference book for entrepreneurs.

Listen to BusinessCast podcast #120 and get a glimpse into the mind of a serial entrepreneur with an enviable track record — as Guy shares some of his approaches and secrets.

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Success by Association

Over the last several months, Robert and I have been identifying those things that are common to Canada’s most successful entrepreneurs. So, we’ve been spending time where entrepreneurs ‘hang out’ to gather key business insights, exchange ideas with influencers and secure resources. And, it turns out, not surprisingly, that successful entrepreneurs ‘hang out’ with specific business groups.

So, in BusinessCast episode #114, Success by Association, we focused on one of Canada’s most well-known groups — The Toronto Board of Trade(B.O.T.) — that shares our passion for ensuring entrepreneurs’ success.

We sat down with Carol Wilding, President and CEO, to uncover the value that groups like the B.O.T. bring to their entrepreneur members. Carol also shared some great success stories and highlighted how the B.O.T. continues to evolve so that they are always relevant for entrepreneurs.

If you are evaluating what combination of online/offline professional groups will help you succeed, listen to BusinessCast episode #114, Success by Association.

Also check out the following BusinessCast podcast episodes, where Robert and I gather stories from the leaders of some of the most popular Canadian entrepreneur-focused business groups:

Episode #111 – Canadian Association of Women Executives and Entrepreneurs

Episode #104 – LinkedIn Groups

Episode #94 - Canadian Franchise Association

Episode #85 – Canadian Federation of Independent Business

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Get Money for Your Business…Now

Last week, we were very excited to announce that we had sat down with Jacoline B. Lowen — author of one of the most entrepreneur-relevant resources that Robert and I have read this year: The much anticipated and reviewed, “Money Magnet: How to Attract Investors to Your Business“.

Now, you can hear for yourself some of Jacoline’s insights and practical tips for how/when you can find sources of funding to grow your business. Listen to BusinessCast Podcast #74 – Money Magnet.

Also, make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business – books for free!**

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