How can you have a positive impact on the world? First find the inspiration.
For quite a while now I’ve been wondering how we’re going to make an impact on a much larger scale. How can we grow beyond Whistler and take Gibbons to the next level? How can we affect change in a positive way?
A few weeks ago I found my answer. It was staring at me in the midst of some of the brightest and sharpest business minds in Canada, in a place brimming with potential and endless possibilities.
I was in a downtown Toronto boardroom as part of a new initiative called ScaleUP Ventures, a venture capital fund I invested in this summer. This isn’t just any venture capital fund. This is a place where early-stage tech entrepreneurs can get guidance and expertise and money to help them scale up faster and get to the market sooner.
Think of it as Canada’s answer to the infamous “The PayPal Mafia,” the catchy term which has come to represent the group of early techies that spawned multi-million-dollar household-name companies like YouTube, LinkedIn and Tesla Motors. They began as PayPal founders and employees and created a vast ecosystem of intellectual capital and financial support, leading the way for more and more multi-million companies and changing the world in the process.
What if we create this kind of culture in Canada? A culture of fostering talent, a culture of paving the way for great innovation, a culture of support and help and guidance, and, the all-important access to capital. What kind of difference could we make if we light the path for small start-ups with strong growth potential?
I’m just one of the private investors at the ScaleUP Ventures table, which has a goal of raising $75 million from the private sector and making the most of a commitment of up to $25 million from the Province of Ontario.
The thing that has struck me most about this initiative is how inspiring it is to be a part of a movement with people who are committed to making Canada better; people who are giving their time and vast knowledge to make our country more sustainable and more competitive; people who want to make a mark through their leadership and by example.
And there was my answer: If you want to make a difference, if you want to scale up and get bolder and go beyond, then you have to find the inspiration first.
I’m a big believer that when you surround yourself with awesome people, you’re inspired to bigger and better things. Goals that once seemed impossible, suddenly seem attainable. Dreams that were once inconceivable, suddenly seem within the realm of possibility.
ScaleUP Ventures sees the opportunities to change the world and isn’t afraid to seize them — inspiring invention, rewarding boldness and ingenuity.
And it certainly makes you think that maybe having a positive impact on the world isn’t just a pipedream after all.
Feature Image: Tourism Whistler/Justa Jeskova