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ACOA President Francis McGuire Eyes More Talent For Region’s Startups

Francis McGuire (Image: Submitted)

This is the first of a two-part series on our interview with ACOA President Francis McGuire.

To Francis McGuire, the growth of Atlantic Canada’s startup community is above all a youth retention strategy, and he wants to accelerate the training of young people to support more high-growth companies.

In a wide-ranging interview this month, the President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency outlined his vision of the startup community and ACOA’s role in supporting it. He said the support organizations in Atlantic Canada need to continue doing what they’re doing to fund startups because the region has proven adept at financing early-stage companies.

But he returned repeatedly to the subject of human resources and to ensuring that successful startups can find the talent they need to grow.

“I’ve always thought that Atlantic Canada for early-stage financing is the best place in the world,” said McGuire, who assumed the senior role at ACOA two years ago. “If you can’t raise that first half-million here, then you have a really bad idea.”

What’s absolutely critical in the growth of new companies is ensuring they can find talented employees, he said, not just in technical areas like computer programing but also in business development.

Read the rest at Entrevestor.