Mario Toneguzzi’s guest on Business Insider: Arlene Dickinson, a well-known Canadian investor and entrepreneur, launches Canada’s most extensive business growth ecosystem focused on consumer-packaged-goods (CPG): Venturepark.
Venturepark will house Dickinson’s network of companies with a focus on supporting brands in the food and health CPG space. Famous for her marketing and investing expertise, Dickinson’s new ecosystem offers capital, marketing, programming, innovation, commercialization and media amplification to the companies it serves. The new network includes Venture Play, Venturepark Labs, Venturepark Voice, District Ventures Capital and District Ventures Plus. Venturepark will serve clients across North America from its headquarters in Calgary, Alberta and offices in Toronto, Ontario.
The launch of Venturepark comes following more than a year of strategic shifts, high-profile hires, corporate acquisitions, as well as numerous investments through Dickinson’s venture capital fund – District Ventures Capital.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Dickinson and her team had identified a shift in Canadian consumer behaviours. Canadians were becoming increasingly educated about the foods they consumed while seeking healthier lifestyles. Dickinson saw an opportunity for Canadian companies, within the food and health CPG space, to better meet the new and emerging needs of Canadians as well as exporting to serve increasing global consumer demand. Venturepark will continue to support current clients as they grow and innovate, while simultaneously helping emerging CPG brands grow locally, expand globally, and adapt to the changing economic climate.
“We believe that food and beverage, health and wellness and agriculture entrepreneurship will become key economic drivers for our nation moving forward. This is why we have strategically shifted our current business units, acquired others and are developing new ones, to embrace and respond directly to this trend,” said Arlene Dickinson, CEO of Venturepark. “It is no secret that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a focus on health and self – as well as a desire and demand for homegrown industry and products. At Venturepark, we provide a support system in which CPG businesses of all sizes can not only successfully navigate this new business terrain but be better equipped with the resources to thrive in it.”
The launch of Venturepark and the strategic sectoral shift in Dickinson’s companies reflects her 30-year commitment to supporting both Canadian entrepreneurs and the Canadian economy while recognizing and adapting to market trends. For over 13 seasons, Dickinson has publicly invested in Canadian companies through CBC’s hit tv show, Dragons’ Den.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works as a freelance writer and editor as well as a consultant in communications and media relations/training.
He is VP of Content & Strategy for MegaPixx Media, which owns and operates YYC Business, and owner of Mario Toneguzzi Communications Inc.
Mario is a regular contributor to various national and local publications including Retail Insider, RENX, Globe and Mail, The Star, National Post, Real Estate Magazine, Troy Media, YYC Business, Grocery Business Magazine and many others. He’s also a host for Calgary and Edmonton on Canada’s Podcast network. And he’s a regular contributor of content for companies and organizations to populate their websites.
Frequent commentator on television and radio on business news, issues and trends.
Named in 2021 as one of the Top 10 Business Journalists in the World by PR News – the only Canadian to make the list.
Part of the Herald’s National Newspaper Award winning newsroom for coverage of the June 2013 floods in Calgary.
If you would like to be interviewed by Mario for Five Questions or Business Insider, he can be reached at email@example.com
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