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District Ventures Forms Board to Support Accelerator and Kitchen Program

This week, District Ventures officially announced the formation of a new board tasked with guiding the District Ventures Accelerator and District Ventures Kitchen programming through the next phase of development.

Each board member brings unique industry experience, and a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship to the organization.

Arlene Dickinson

CEO, District Ventures

Arlene Dickinson is the CEO of District Ventures, an ecosystem focused on helping companies in the CPG space grow through capital, marketing, programming and commercialization. She is a three-time best-selling author, podcaster, accomplished public speaker and is widely recognized for her role as a Dragon/Venture Capitalist for 12 seasons on the multi-award-winning television series, Dragons’ Den. Dickinson’s leadership has been recognized many times, including Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Hall of Fame, the Pinnacle Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence, as well as PROFIT and Chatelaine’s Top 100 Women Business Owners.

Mary Berg

Best-selling Cookbook Author, Host of Mary’s Kitchen Crush and Season 3 Winner of CTV’s MasterChef Canada

Mary Berg is the host of CTV’s Mary’s Kitchen Crush (produced by Proper Television, a Boat Rocker Media Company), author of best-selling cookbook Kitchen Party: Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion and the Season 3 winner of CTV’s MasterChef Canada. A self-taught home cook, Mary’s signature style of reimagining culinary classics while maintaining the original heart of the dish has helped make a passion of cooking for those she loves into her full-time dream job.

Craig Hanna

Founder and Managing Director of Clearview Advisory

Craig Hanna is the Founder and Managing Director of Clearview Advisory – Canada’s first advisory firm providing transaction advisory and consulting exclusively in the food, beverage, and consumer sectors. He is a trusted advisor to business leaders and investors in the sector and was previously recognized as a “Canadian Dealmaker of the Year” by Lexpert, Deloitte, The Globe and Mail and Thomson Reuters. He has been a mentor with the District Ventures Accelerator program since shortly after its inception and involved with multiple CPG businesses as an advisor, Board member, and investor.


The newly formed board will oversee programming for District Ventures Accelerator, a five-month, intensive mentorship and learning experience designed to support entrepreneurs with business advice and growth strategy; and District Ventures Kitchen, a shared-use, 20,000 square foot facility of food safe production, complete with manufacturing equipment including commercial bakery production spaces, hot and cold fill lines, and a full suite of packaging equipment.

The board will provide strategic recommendations and support to the non-profit programs at District Ventures on an ongoing basis, in addition to a variety of soon-to-be-announced partnerships and virtual events launching in February 2021.

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