Startupville is ....

A podcast featuring interviews with startup founders and tech community leaders discussing what it is like to build a startup – and a startup ecosystem – in a small city.

Startupville is brought to you by Innovation Place and Martin Charlton Communications.

Stay in touch with the friendly folks of Startupville.


About Our New Season

This season is currently on hold as we bring you special episodes related to how tech leaders are facing the COVID-19 crisis head on.

We’re back interviewing exciting tech founders and leaders from small Canadian regions!

The Saskatchewan tech ecosystem is on a tear, and we interviewed seven founders from the other half of the Saskatoon-Regina tech corridor, as Regina starts to build momentum.

Also featuring interviews with a social network solving social network problems in Kelowna, a customer experience expert in Winnipeg and a nuclear tech leader in Saskatoon!


Driving More Sales with Regan Hinchcliffe of sMedia

Episode 37

Driving More Sales

with Regan Hinchcliffe of sMedia

"That community is building where people are learning, and have access to that education. [When we were starting the company] We had no idea we were a tech company, we had no idea we could raise capital, we had no idea that we had no idea."

– Regan Hinchcliffe

In this episode, Dan talks with Regan Hinchcliffe, Co-founder of sMedia, one of Canada’s fastest growing startups disrupting the auto dealer industry.

Data is king in automotive sales. But when Regan and his co-founders were working to help car dealerships with their digital advertising, they found that most dealers were being drawn to bad data in the form of vanity metrics that made their ad agencies look great. Unfortunately, vanity metrics don’t result in real customers walking through the door.

Leveraging the power of AI, sMedia has been able to find a stronger link between online behaviour and real customers, and now over 650 car dealerships everywhere are selling more cars because of it. Dan chats with Regan about their path toward discovering product market fit, building and scaling a diverse remote team, and thinking forward to how they can continue to disrupt the auto industry.

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Where Will Your Krugo? with Kirk Morrison of Krugo

Episode 36

Where Will Your Krugo?

with Kirk Morrison of Krugo

"We’ve had great success building a gritty, determined team, at a cost that someone from Vancouver, Toronto or San Francisco might look at with astonishment."

– Kirk Morrison

Dan talks with Kirk Morrison, Co-founder & CEO of Krugo, a travel app built in Regina that helps you discover concerts, sports, and shows wherever you’re travelling next.

The travel-tech space is a crowded one, with juggernauts like Expedia, Trivago, and Booking.com, with enough new entrants to fill a Boeing 747. So we talk with Kirk about how Krugo has been differentiating themselves amongst the crowd with a more brand-focused approach than most prairie tech startups.

Krugo has leveraged a lot to their advantage by starting and growing their team in the medium-sized city of Regina. But playing in the consumer travel space can have its challenges when you’re outside of major hubs, so Dan and Kirk dive deep into how Krugo is tackling major partnerships and setting up to make big waves from a landlocked province.

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Capital Migration with Sean O’Connor of Conexus Venture Capital

Episode 35

Capital Migration

with Sean O’Connor of Conexus Venture Capital

"When you are building [products], you can get that first 80% of a product done relatively easy. It’s that last 20% that’s so hard."

– Sean O’Connor

Dan talks with Sean O’Connor, Fund Manager for the Conexus Venture Capital Fund about moving from the major tech hub of Vancouver to prairie Canada to run a brand new fund that invests in their booming tech ecosystem.

Conexus Credit Union is just that, a local credit union. In 2019, they did what no other credit union in North America had ever done before and started a venture capital fund to invest in early-stage tech startups. As the tech ecosystem had started booming in Saskatchewan, more capital had started to migrate to the region from Silicon Valley and other major hubs like Toronto. However, Conexus noticed a gap in access to early-stage capital for startups.

So they tapped Sean O’Connor, from the Vancouver fintech startup darling Grow Technologies. Sean, like a lot of capital these days, migrated to the prairies to blaze new trails in what’s becoming one of Canada’s hottest startup markets.

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Startupville is presented by

Innovation Place
Martin Charlton Communications