We are District Ventures.
Canada's first accelerator
for packaged goods companies
headed for the next level.
EVENTS
District Ventures is much more than a workspace. It’s a hive buzzing with events and networking opportunities.
Support Team
For CEO Arlene Dickinson and the District Ventures team, entrepreneurship is not a day job, it's a lifestyle. Driving success for entrepreneurs and early stage businesses is what keeps us up at night, and we're here to support you any way we can.
Arlene is one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs. After eight seasons on the hit CBC show Dragons’ Den, and two best-selling books, Arlene has now set her focus on ...
As Arlene’s Chief of Staff, Justin walks the hallways of Venture Communications and District Ventures. He’s a former policy advisor for two federal finance ministers ...
Entrepreneurship is not a day job, and neither is managing a facility full of entrepreneurs. Mike looks after all things District Ventures. After working in federal politics ...
Brandon advises on investing, operating and business development at District Ventures. As General Manager of Steve Nash Enterprises LLC, Brandon led the ...
Alex is the social media whiz and friend / confidant / helper to our entrepreneurs. She comes to us from Mount Royal University. Her passion for the ...
Mentors

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Annie Beauchemin

Director of Consumer Health, Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd.

Annie has 24+ years of experience working with Johnson & Johnson, Baxter Corporation and now as Director, Consumer Healthcare at Boehringer Ingelheim Ltd. She has business leadership experience in prescription and OTC drugs, Natural Health Products, as well as medical devices in Canada and internationally. Annie has also been actively involved for the last four years on the board of Consumer Health Products Canada. 

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Kieren Beltrame

Co-Founder, Klood

Kieren has 20 years experience in product development at tech companies, including Skype, Microsoft and Rockwell. He's also got a consulting background and has started three businesses, of which he has had a successful exit from two. (The third is his current venture, Klood). 

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Usman Tahir Jutt

Owner, McDonalds / President, Chirp Foods

In 2013, Usman became McDonald’s youngest operator. Now he owns and operates two McDonald’s locations in Strathmore. He’s passionate about connecting the McDonald’s brand with entrepreneurism and mentors companies in his free-time. 

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Jennifer Carlson

Founder, Baby Gourmet

Jennifer is the founder of Baby Gourmet, the organic baby food company that went from the farmer’s market to capturing 25% market share. Baby Gourmet is now Canada’s leading organic baby food brand. Jennifer knows how to grow a product from the ground up and is here to help you grow yours.   

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Daisy Samamiego

Director of Ontario Retail Sales, Maple Leaf Foods

Daisy is the Director for Ontario Retail Fields Sales at Maple Leaf Foods Inc. Having worked for Maple Leaf foods for over 17 years in sales focused roles, Daisy knows how to approach food retailers successfully.

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Melissa Gunning

Founder, Wean Green

Melissa channeled her love for healthy living and happy babies into Wean Green. Her glass container products are BPA-free and made of recyclable material. In just over one year, Melissa had Wean Green carried in 200 stores world-wide. Today, her products are known internationally for quality and sustainability.  

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Bill McKenzie

President, Wild Rose Brewery

Bill has an impressive background in the Canadian beer industry. He’s held senior management roles at Molson-Coors, Diageo Canada and was the President of Big Rock Brewery. He’s now the CEO of Wild Rose Brewery Ltd, the official beer supplier of District Ventures Accelerator. He has the knowledge and industry experience to take your business to the next level. 

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Peter Fenwick

Healthcare Executive / Managing Director, Fenwick & Associates

As a health executive, Peter’s worked inside GE Healthcare, Infonaut, and most recently Alberta Health Services. Peter is a disruptor and drives innovation across Alberta’s health system. He has experienced the challenges and ceased the opportunities companies face as start-ups in this sector. He is on a team preparing to launch what will be Canada's largest federated heath co-operative. 

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Rob Horricks

President & CEO, Blush Lane Organics

Rob has over 20 of years produce experience and committed to promoting and developing organic food production. His first business, Organic Express, operated for 7 years before being sold to Small Potatoes Urban Delivery. He is now the President and CEO of Blush Lane Organic Produce, which supports local and organic produce, dairy, meat and prepared foods. 

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Paul Van Remortel

President, Ottawa Logistics Fulfillment

Paul is the President of Ottawa Logistics, the experts on warehousing, order fulfillment and distribution throughout Canada and the U.S. With approximately 50,000 orders processed on a monthly basis, Paul’s firm has solidified a reputation as one of North America’s premier logistics companies. He has over 30 years of experience in fulfillment services.  

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Boyd Stevens

President & CEO, Cyba Stevens Management Group & Prism Distributions Inc.

With over 30 years in the CPG industry, Boyd Stevens knows how to build an effective distribution channel and helps companies maximize growth through their operations. Having worked with iconic brands like Muscle Milk, RedBull, Jack Link’s Jerky and Purex, Boyd has successfully marketed products through grocery, drug, mass and convenience channels in Canada. With extensive knowledge of the retail landscape, Boyd is here to help our members position themselves for business success.

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Terri Truscello

Senior Vice President - Client Services, Mosaic

Terri is the Senior Vice President, Client Services – Consumer Elections at Mosaic. She is responsible for the strategy and execution of consumer electronics based programs including events, sales, merchandising and information management at retail. Prior to joining Mosaic, Terri was the VP of Products and Services at CIM, one of Canada’s 50 best private companies leading CPG, Beverage, Retail and Information Technology program strategy and execution.

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Darby Sieben

Vice President - Strategy & Partnerships, Yellow Pages Canada

Darby was critical in transforming one of Canada’s largest media companies from transitional print to a digital powerhouse by focusing on product innovation and strategic business development. Darby has also led the business side of strategic M&A activity for Yellow Pages over the past decade, leaning on his own experience as an entrepreneur and start-up advisor/investor. He has extensive experience in management and executive roles in both private and publically traded companies.

Sponsors & Partners
At District Ventures, you’ll have on site partners with expertise in finance, distribution, marketing, accounting and more. Talk about bench strength:
Title Sponsor
Founding Sponsors
Supported By
Members
Meet our current members. Entrepreneurs and game changers who are just as motivated as you are.
Here are some other companies who are in our space, and dedicated to helping entrepreneurs like you succeed.
The Fund
District Ventures LP is Arlene Dickinson’s venture capital fund. We’re always looking to invest in innovative CPG companies, especially if you’re building a unique business in the food & beverage or health & wellness sectors. If you’re a driven entrepreneur with demonstrated success in either of these sectors, we’d love to hear from you.