COVID-19: Incubation, Mentorship & Startups

 Incubation, Mentorship & startups banner

Date Location Registration fee Value
January 28, 2021 ONLINE $195 - $295 5


Start time 9:00am EST End time 4:30pm EST


The Covid-19 Pandemic has forced entrepreneurship support programs and structures around the world to move their mentoring, training and incubation programs online. But with everyone shifting direction at the same time, this is causing duplication, driving confusion, and creating “noise”.  What have we learned about how best to support entrepreneurship in a socially distanced world? How can we cut through the noise and be more effective? And how can we create new partnerships and collaborations to succeed with online service delivery?

Schedule Forthcoming

8:45 - 9:00am: Log on connection check

9:00 – 10:45 am:  Seagulls, Sheep and Lemmings: The Strange New World of Online Entrepreneurship Support

Brock Dickinson, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, University of Waterloo

  • The move to online support for entrepreneurs
  • Best practices in online mentorship
  • How to stand out from the herd in the online world
  • Mentorship and support after Covid-19

10:45 – 11:00 am: Break

11:00 am – 12:30 pm:  Panel Discussion: Incubation, Mentorship and Startups during Covid-19

  • Jeff Chesebrough, CEO, Innovate Niagara, St. Catharines, ON
  • Adrien Côté, Executive Director, Velocity, Waterloo, ON
  • Anna Ehrhardt, Director of Operations, District 3, Montréal, QC*
  • Pat Whalen, Director, Niagara Global Tourism Institute, Niagara Falls, NY

* invited

12:30 – 1:30 pm: Lunch Break

1:30 pm – 2:45 pm: Nuts and Bolts: Managing Physical Space, Hard Technology and Actual Products with Companies during a Pandemic

Lyndon Ashton, Innovation Centre Manager, Canadian Food & Wine Institute, Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON

  • Virtual world, tangible products
  • Working with consumer products companies during isolation
  • Managing labs, testing spaces and pilot projects

2:45 – 3:00 pm: Break

3:00 – 4:15 pm: Collaboration, Mentoring and Distance

Jeanette Jackson, CEO, Foresight Cleantech Accelerator, Vancouver, BC

  • Managing business support across distance and multiple locations
  • What works online, and what needs a real-world environment
  • Tools and tactics for providing online support services

4:15 – 4:30 pm: Wrap-up Comments and Evaluation


Brock Dickinson

Brock Dickinson headshotBrock is an Assistant Director of the Economic Development Program, and has worked in local economic development for 25 years. He is currently the Entrepreneur in Residence and an Adjunct Professor with the University of Waterloo. He was previously CEO of MDB Insight, Canada’s largest specialist economic development consultancy, where he worked with hundreds of communities across North America. Before this private sector role, Brock headed a number of provincial and municipal economic development agencies in both Ontario and Nova Scotia, and spent six years as a consultant with the United Nations, leading sustainable development projects in 30 countries

Jeff Chesebrough

Jeff Chesebrough photoAs the CEO of Innovate Niagara, Jeff has led the evolution of Innovate Niagara, a one-stop resource for entrepreneurs in high growth sectors that includes a network of business incubators and service providers. Jeff is also a Director on the Meridian Credit Union Board of Directors and served 5 years on the CAA Niagara Board of Directors until 2015. Winner of several business achievement and volunteer recognition awards, Jeff is particularly proud of being named as a Senator with the Jaycee International organization, the highest honour bestowed by JCI, his Brock University Alumni of Distinction Award and in 2016 obtained his Chartered Director (C.Dir.) designation.

Adrien Coté

Adrien Coté photoAdrien is the Executive Director of Velocity a Waterloo-based incubator for early-stage, pre-seed technology startups from the University of Waterloo and around the world. He leads Velocity’s mission, strategy, and coordinates its two programs: Concept and the Velocity Incubator to maximize experience for students and productivity for founders, respectively. Prior to being named Executive Director, Adrien served as the Deeptech and Science Advisor from 2017 to 2019 where he supported companies with his expertise in product development, market positioning and fit, strategic planning, team management, and IP creation and management.

Pat Whalen

Pat Whalen photoPatrick Whalen is Director of the Niagara Global Tourism Institute (NGTI). Pat is a serial entrepreneur who has started over 20 businesses in a variety of industries. Before joining the NGTI, Pat served for 8 years as the COO of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Inc. (BNMC). In addition to managing the BNMC day-to-day operations Pat was the BNMC’s unofficial “entrepreneur–in-residence" working to foster collaboration & job creation on campus and throughout the bi-national region.  provider. FSI grew from a 1-person startup in '85 to a firm with over 200 employees in 5 locations in Canada, Europe, and the USA before being sold to UPS in 2000. It is now part of UPS Supply Chain Solutions.Paul has sat on numerous boards and currently sits on the board of directors of: Canadian American Border Trade Alliance; WNY Public Broadcasting; Council of the Great Lakes Region; and the Richardson Olmsted Campus.

Lyndon Ashton

Lyndon Ashton photoLyndon William Ashton is the Centre Manager for the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre. In this role he is responsible for the strategic direction and leadership of the Centre, overall operations, including outreach to key industry, and the successful development and implementation of food and beverage innovation services. Lyndon joined the Research & Innovation division after a diversified career, beginning in the culinary arts and eventually leading to economic development, management consulting and business planning. Prior to Niagara College, he worked with MDB Insight, one of Canada’s largest specialist economic development consulting firms. He earned his Culinary Red Seal, holds a combined degree in Political Sciences and Labour Studies from Brock University, and is a Certified Economic Developer through the University of Waterloo.

Jeanette Jackson

Jeanette Jackson photoJeanette Jackson is an entrepreneur and business strategist who has served as an Executive-in-Residence at Foresight for four years. Previously she was the founding CEO of cleantech company, Light-Based Technologies, and was also President of The Brag Company, a combination of online and retail product distribution for smart and luxurious travel products. She has also supported several organizations including Futurpreneur as a Business Coach & Mentor and New Ventures BC as a Mentor & Judge.

Registration fees

Early bird $195 + HST
After Jan 21st $295 + HST