In this series of features, you’ll learn about our donors’ diverse views, paths, and lived experiences: VFC Alumni, ecosystem partners, startup leaders, and other influencers in the Canadian startup community.
In March 2021, VFC launched our first-ever annual Removing Barriers into Entrepreneurship Campaign. 100% of the generosity of our donors supports scholarships for young people with financial barriers to participating in the VFC Fellowship Program, a 15-month entrepreneurial skills training program that equips young Candanias with the skills, network, and experience they need to build successful career paths.
Learn more about the campaign here.
Hey Val! Where are you now?
Hey! I have just started a doctorate in Digital Transformation and Innovation at the University of Ottawa. After working for the Atlantic Lottery Corporation for two years in Halifax as the CX Lead and Innovation Associate. I’ve chosen to pursue this path because of Venture for Canada. Through the Fellowship program, I found my passion in innovation and entrepreneurship. I graduated with my MBA at Cape Breton University in Sydney, Nova Scotia, where I played Varsity Basketball when I applied to VFC. As an interventional student from Italy, I was seeking an opportunity that I was passionate about. I look forward to spearheading innovation and research about customer changes and behaviours that we’ll see in the future.
Wow! We can’t wait to see how you influence Digital Transformation. We are hyperaware of the changes we face related to the future of work changes due to automation. Why do you support other folks interested in entrepreneurship?
The focus of my Master’s degree was in community economic development, which directed me towards social entrepreneurship. I saw first hand and through the economy how everyone can make a difference with just a little support. I believe entrepreneurship is the future of our economy and society, especially for us millennials and younger generations. Coming from Italy, everything is a small business that you can see people sustain a dignified quality of life. I find that here in Canada, we are starting to see more startups innovating industires here in Canada. We are heading in the right direction to create more opportunities and away from the big-box monopoly mentality. When I found VFC, I thought, I love this and believe in this because I realized I had grown up around entrepreneurs no matter how small the business. I’d love to see the global entrepreneurship mindset, coming altogether and shifting economies not only locally but globally. Individuals pave this road, so supporting people who are starting their careers is vital to me.
We are so happy you found VFC, and as the co-valedictorian on the 2018 Cohort, we know your fellow Fellows are too. Vale, when we say a more inclusive, innovative, and entrepreneurial Canada, what do you envision?
I love seeing that there are more little startups and little stores starting. Instead of only focusing on bigger corporations, I would love for the younger generation to understand how important it is to shop locally. During a Venture Analysis course, I had an assignment where I needed to start a Venture. My professor shared how to create a startup business plan. I mentioned that there wasn’t anything missing here in Canada, but I was thinking too big and not about innovation. I was living in Sydney, NS, and at the time, there wasn’t much there. I missed so many things back home like Bodegas, and the idea couldn’t be as simple as an import business to as big as how to support non-urban cities in Canada to access luxury products at costs. I envision a Canada where we value quality and job creation over corporate-led capitalism.