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Get ready to push your growth and change the future.

Who we are

Venturepark Labs is a non-profit supporting early-stage entrepreneurs in the food & wellness categories. It was initially founded in 2015 as District Ventures Accelerator and District Ventures Kitchen by Canadian business icon Arlene Dickinson. In May 2021, this initiative became Venturepark Labs—a proud community within Venturepark—Canada’s only business growth ecosystem.

Being part of the Park allows us to channel the experience and expertise of all Park communities to push our entrepreneurs’ potential even further, and make our world even better.

We believe great businesses can change the world. We have a single-minded, passionate goal:

Push Impact. 

Push Growth. 

Push Happiness.        


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Arlene Dickenson, founder of VenturePark Labs


Founder of Venturepark

Arlene Dickinson is the founder of Venturepark business growth ecosystem.

She is a three-time best-selling author and accomplished public speaker. Dickinson is widely recognized for her role as a Dragon/Venture Capitalist for over 12 seasons on the multi-award-winning television series, Dragons Den.


Ms. 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. She is a Marketing Hall of Legends inductee and a proud recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award. 

Dickinson has served for many years as an Honourary Captain in the Royal Canadian Navy.

She sits on several public and private boards and is actively involved in supporting the community and country.

Board of Directors

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Craig Hanna - Mentor in Venturepark Labs' Accelerator Program


Craig’s 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 was previously recognized as a Canadian Dealmaker of the Year by Lexpert, Deloitte, The Globe and Mail, and Thomson Reuters. 

Craig’s a passionate supporter of the Canadian food industry and entrepreneurs developing businesses in the sector. He currently serves on the advisory board of Nature’s Touch Frozen Foods, one of North America’s largest frozen fruit suppliers. Craig’s been a mentor with the Accelerator Program since shortly after its inception and is involved with many food-related businesses as founder, advisor, and investor.

Meet the Team

What we do


Helping aspiring food entrepreneurs develop their innovative ideas for tasty new products.

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Giving big ideas room to grow with our commercial production facility in Toronto, Ontario.

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Providing mentorship, industry connections, and access to capital through our national Accelerator Program to help scale food & wellness products.   

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Our Sponsors

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BMO logo
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Tree of Life logo
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