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Image from the Startup Canada Awards in Toronto on June 12, 2014. (Sean Stanleigh/The Globe and Mail)
Image from the Startup Canada Awards in Toronto on June 12, 2014. (Sean Stanleigh/The Globe and Mail)

Small Business Briefing

Is the era of the seniorpreneur upon us? Add to ...

The Google machine can be a wonderful thing. More on that in a moment.

At the 2014 Startup Canada Awards in Toronto on Thursday night, the Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to Gerry Pond, a pillar of the entrepreneurial community on the East Coast. During his acceptance speech, 70-year-old Pond said he hoped next year’s ceremony would include a winner in a “seniorpreneur” category.

He talked about his love of working with people who are a lot younger than he is, but he also thinks it’s time for a golden age of retirees to take up entrepreneurship. One of the great things about living in Canada, he pointed out, was that most citizens receive Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits as of age 65 “without any paperwork.” Why not put that money to good use?

Back to Google. We’ve written about entrepreneurs who get in the game at a later stage in life, but in searching the term “seniorpreneur” I came across a few references to people doing some interesting work in the space. Edmonton’s Joe Wasylyk launched The Seniorpreneur Project and he has written a book called Encore! Encore! Senior Entrepreneurship Works is “designed to change the negative paradigm of aging.” U.S.-based Encore.org is highlighting the pursuit of meaninful careers in the “second half of life.”

It’s worth noting that after Pond concluded his speech, a Startup Canada representative said the organization had put out a call for nominations for a “Third-Age Entrepreneur Award.” Total nominations received by the cut-off date? Zero.

Maybe with a stronger promotional push from the likes of Pond, they’ll have better luck next year.

Incubator births global partnerships

Toronto-based business accelerator INcubes now has an International Exchange Program with 13 hubs around the world, including Britain, Australia, Hong Kong, South America and the United States. The announcement is particularly timely, given recent pushes from all levels of government, entrepreneurial support organizations and major lenders to get more Canadian companies to expand abroad to increase their competitiveness. Business owners who “graduate” from the INcubes program will be able to visit global partner locations, work from their spaces, and get relevant referrals to help them access local markets.

Check your watch. It’s business-related

A story this week in Wired discussed the recent foray by Salesforce into the wearable-tech market. The big-name software company has just released Salesforce Wear, an open-source software development kit designed specifically to help create enterprise applications.

The infamous-for-its-massive-Kickstarter-campaign Pebble watch, the Samsung Gear and, of course, Google Glass have mostly been discussed in terms of their relevance to the consumer market. But Salesforce is banking on the fact that these types of devices will be just as useful to businesses.  One to watch, so to speak.

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