Look back on the Mentor Meetup sessions from StrikeUP 2021

Mentor Meetup 1


Ownership of IP: Founders’ Most Valuable Asset

Creating your intellectual property strategy.

Presented by Rise, Small Business Centre & Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation

Women-owned businesses are less likely to protect their Intellectual Property. Why is that? Hear from Myra Tawfik, award-winning IP researcher, professor and lawyer, as she discusses the importance of protecting your company’s greatest asset and dives into the world of trademarks, copyright, trade secrets and patents. During the first 20 minutes of this session, Professor Tawfik will provide insights and strategies to protecting your Intellectual Property. She will also invite a women-owned business to share her experiences in doing so, which will be followed by a fireside chat and Q&A from the audience.

Audiences will:

  • Learn what different kinds of IP exist within your business
  • Understand how to protect your IP
  • Ask questions to an award-winning IP lawyer, researcher and professor

Mentor Meetup 2




Building & Maintaining an Engaged Workforce

Creating a culture of highly interested and engaged people.

Presented by Innovation Guelph


Employee retention starts with the recruiting process, beginning with the application, screening the applicants, right down to selecting interviewees and pre-boarding. The benefits of employee retention include increased performance and productivity, better employee morale, improved work quality, a higher level of employee satisfaction, an improved employee journey and an increase in ROI. What steps are you taking to hire the right talent? Is your organizational culture focused on your values? Learn how to actively engage new insights to ensure that your best assets “your people” stay and thrive. Key takeaways: simple tactics that will allow you to create a culture of highly invested, engaged and interested employees.


Audiences will learn: 

  • An employee-first culture
  • Opportunities to grow and develop
  • A sense of purpose in their work

Mentor Meetup 3


Strategic Sales Planning

Creating manageable, sustainable and long-term growth.

Presented by Northumberland Business Development Assistance Corporation


Join Ruth van Vierzen, the Founder of REVsquared Business Growth Agency who specializes in outsourced, fractional sales management for SME sales teams. With 20+ years in experience, Ruth drives results with proven techniques and tools that empower your staff and maximize your sales team performance.


Connect with Ruth and learn some practical tips and hands-on exercises for generating leads, managing sales and leveraging online sales tools across:

  • Strategic Sales Management
  • Growing your Revenue
  • Sales Coaching and Training

Mentor Meetup 4




Ditch the Pitch - Networking for Mental Wellbeing

When you’re your business… but a human too!

Presented by Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network (WOSEN)


Traditional approaches to entrepreneurship tell us to embody our business - after all, you are your brand (or so we’ve been told)! But, what does it mean when lines start to blur, and the distinction between who you are and what you do begins to fade. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely, mentally and emotionally taxing experience, especially when the “hustle” becomes more important than the “human”. The purpose of this session is to meaningfully connect beyond business. Let’s decolonize our “brands” and consider our whole selves as humans with full lives AND women with businesses.


Audiences will learn:

  • Ditch the Pitch - find new ways to talk about your organization that better align with who you are
  • Mental Rental - share your humanness, not just your business, for meaningful connections that enhance mental wellbeing
  • We’re not Walking Widgets - Shift your mindset and decommodify yourself as a business owner

Mentor Meetup 5




Exporting to the Asia Pacific Region

A conversation on where to start.

Presented by Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada


This session presents a general overview on international exporting, reviews resources and government supports to help guide your export plan, and broadly explores market opportunities in Asia. You will also hear about the ways that the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada has helped Canadian women entrepreneurs break into Asian markets and the role trade missions have in building international partnerships.


Audiences will learn:

  • Resources for SME Exporters
  • Market Intelligence Tools
  • Business/Cultural Practices in East Asia

Mentor Meetup 6


Writing Successful Funding Proposals

Presented by Northumberland Business Development Assistance Corporation


2020 was a year that no one could have predicted.  As a global community we have faced some of the biggest challenges of our lifetimes, challenges that have made us rethink our businesses and how to remain operational in a time of crisis. The Government of Canada, Provinces and Municipalities were quick to jump to action in response. As a result many different funds have become available to support your business. If this is something you have no prior experience of it can be daunting knowing where to begin. We hope you leave this session feeling more confident and ready to navigate through the process of writing successful funding applications.


Audiences will:

  • Gain a general understanding of the basics of funding application writing
  • Learn where to look for funding opportunities
  • Hear from a panel of funders

Mentor Meetup 7


Radical Generosity with SheEO

Ask for what you need and give what you would like to offer!

Presented by SheEO


Join us for a SheEO Ask/Give session. Connect with fellow women-identifying and non-binary entrepreneurs, share your business, and get support in the challenges you are facing.


Here's How it Works:

  • Tell us about your business or project;
  • Share an Ask - What do you need the most help with right now? Be as specific as possible; and,
  • Offer a Give - What support would you like to offer? Whether in response to an Ask, or a general offer to the guests in the breakout.

At SheEO, Ask/Give is based on our core value of #RadicalGenerosity. Part of our credo reads, “We have all that we need in this network to reach our potential. If you need something, ask. If you have something to give, please offer it.”  We believe we are one step removed from anything you may need - all you need to do is ask. If you don’t have an Ask or a Give, don’t worry! You are still welcome to join. A lot of entrepreneurs join to listen and then think of an Ask/Give during the session.


Audiences will:

  • Learn how to make a specific Ask
  • Meet other entrepreneurs in the community
  • Get the support you need to grow your business

Mentor Meetup 8




How to Create a Social Impact

How to make a social impact with your business.

Presented by Prescott-Russell Community Futures Development Corporation


There is a cost to hiring people with a disability, be it a mental or physical disability. But, there is more of a reward than a cost. We will explain the benefits of having a diverse staff workforce and how to find the funding to hire them.


Audiences will learn about:

  • An employee-first culture
  • Opportunities to grow and develop with other businesses
  • Developing a sense of purpose in their work
  • How the family sees a difference in their adult child's life