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FoodGrads Podcast

Jan 10, 2024

On today’s episode we are talking about entrepenurship, Canada’s food landscape and how Venture Parks is helping to support small start-ups. 

Mike McNeil is vice president of operations at Venturepark Labs. 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.

Mike began his career as an advisor to Canada's Minister of Finance, the Honourable Jim Flaherty, but soon discovered a passion for entrepreneurship. As the first hire at Venturepark Labs, Mike established the accelerator program as one of Canada's leading programs for entrepreneurs. To date, the program has supported over 130 entrepreneurs and contributed over $1B in economic output. In 2023, Mike was named one of the Best Executives in Canada by The Globe and Mail.

In 2023, the Globe and Mail recognized Mike as one of the Best Executives in Canada.


This episode of the podcast is supported by CareersNow! CareersNow! is Food and Beverage Ontario’s multi-year workforce development initiative that is connecting students and job seekers with employers in Ontario’s food and beverage processing industry for exciting career opportunities. Check out for more information on exciting jobs, career information, industry mentors and training opportunities for professional development.


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Find Mike Online

Mike McNeil

Show Notes