Frontier Entrepreneurship Podcast

Welcome to the Frontier Entrepreneurship Podcast

Thank you for joining us at the Frontier Entrepreneurship Podcast—brought to you by NCFDC, with the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada.

We take you to the frontiers of creativity and innovation with entrepreneurs who are building the industries of the future. All voices featured in this special podcast series are those of Founders of start-up companies seed funded by NCFDC through initiatives like N1M and thriveFORWARD. Get to know their world, in conversation with Braden Kemp and Tracy Morningstar.

The Executive Producer of the Frontier Entrepreneurship Podcast is Robert Washburn. The production team at NCFDC includes Victoria Pichler and John Hayden.

The theme music “Distance” was written and performed by Australian-Canadian composer, Michelle Osis.

The image of a mountainous frontier is a photo by Redd F on Unsplash.

Host Tracy Morningstar
Tracy Morningstar was born and raised in Mississauga #8 First Nation, at the mouth of the Mississauga River on the North Shore of Lake Huron (Blind River, Ontario). After a 1994 Land Claim trust was created, Tracy entered her name and was successfully elected as a Trustee for the Mississaugi Trust (June 2006-2012).

Prior to joining the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) as Manager of Entrepreneurship, Tracy was the Administration Coordinator for New Gold during the construction phase of the Rainy River mine. After the construction phase of the mine, Tracy was responsible for a number of duties related to contract administration and large contract procurement practices. Prior to that, she worked as a Chef and Administrator for two food service companies in Northwestern Ontario. Tracy also enjoys pitching for the “Red Gut Babes” in the Rainy River District Women’s fastball league. She looks forward to watching the Toronto Blue Jays and Raptors games in the city.

Tracy is a member of the Collaborative Panel advising NCFDC on the thriveFORWARD Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF) initiative and innovation funding for start-ups and SMEs across Southern Ontario.

Host Braden Kemp
With more than a decade of experience in Canada’s technology commercialization industry, Braden Kemp has held senior roles in both the public and private sectors. As an entrepreneur, Braden founded and currently operates a manufacturing and e-commerce company along with a consulting practice. Braden is a leader with growth companies and the organizations that support them—most recently as Director of Operations at National Prostaff Inc. and previously as Director of Client Services at Spark Centre, Durham and Northumberland’s Regional Innovation Centre.

Braden has been an advisor to a variety of technology companies in food and agricultural technology, military technology and training, engineering and design, influencer marketing, e-commerce, wearables and more. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Economics from the University of Guelph and is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University’s DMZ accelerator. Braden currently serves as Strategic Advisor for entrepreneurs participating in NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD initiative.

Executive Producer Bio
Robert Washburn is a journalist with 40 years of experience in newspapers, magazines, and radio and currently the host of Consider This Northumberland, a current affairs radio show on Northumberland 89.7 FM. Washburn instructs in the Journalism program at Loyalist College, where he teaches the uses of new and emerging technologies and journalism. He also teaches social media marketing, digital marketing strategy in the Business program and delivers a technology in society course in the General Arts and Science program. He is the first post-secondary educator in Canada to teach in Second Life, has trained journalists across Canada in data-assisted reporting and Internet research skills and served for four years on the board of directors for the Canadian Association of Journalists, with one year as Chairman. In 2007, Robert Washburn received the Educational Technology Committee award for Innovative Teaching With Technology, and the Canadian New Media Award for Educator of the Year. He holds a Master’s degree on the future of online journalism from the York-Toronto Metropolitan University joint program in Communications and Culture.
A Reflection on the Concept of ‘Frontier Entrepreneurship'

Italian sociologist Franco Cassano once wrote, “the most restless frontiers are those that are not recognized.” This could be said of technology as much as of geography. Technological development is an endeavour of exploration and in its most extreme form, an often difficult and perilous journey to the new: to the novel and non-obvious (as notoriously required by the patent office), but in any event, to recognition.

This is not simply a matter of discovery (invention) but of development (the creation of value)–or, in the present political economy, to the commercialization of knowledge. In a dialectical mode, it is not surprising that Cassano describes frontiers equally as places of division and of opposition. Bringing a new technology product to market implies extreme confrontation: between startup and incumbent, between new and depreciating capital, between established methods and radical change, between owners and workers, between regulators, jurisdictions, markets and competitors, and between stakeholders, customers, founders, shareholders and communities at large. As terrain, these are hardly peaceful and quiescent landscapes. One could say that the charged and open frontier is where inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs are (again, following Cassano) “roaming restlessly…” continuously “watched” (Cassano’s action word) by corporations, governments, institutions and states.

Frontier Entrepreneurship is naturally an exhilarating ‘place’ to be (this is what gives entrepreneurship its heroic and expeditionary valence). But the frontier is also a dangerous place: full of risk, barriers and mountains to climb… of cycles, technics, troughs of disillusionment, valleys of death and even force majeure. Through all of this, Frontier Entrepreneurs are “watched” from places of safety and security with a curious mixture of doubt, resentment and admiration. The discovery and disruption they generate (at least until such time as the frontier is once again subsumed and a new frontier is created) will be characterized by vigorous opposition to the way things are and presage the way things may be in the future.

So then, what pushes an individual from the safe confines of the known world of business administration to the outer reaches of innovation and entrepreneurship? What drives them forward?

The etymology of the word “frontier” comes from the Latin, the feminine noun, frons, frontis, the forehead or brow. The root implies the fore of anything, the ‘forefront’, the ‘van’ (perhaps the ‘vanguard’, or the ‘avant-garde’). This includes the borderlands, the marches of a country, as in the old French, la frontière. While the nineteenth century American myth of the frontier and of frontierism is treated critically by historians today, one may nevertheless concede that a certain natural and positive human instinct appears to exist (trans-historically?) to “take that extra step” in pursuit of adventure, to search for and experience challenges posed by the unknown. In short, this hypothesis forms the basis of our conceptualization of ‘Frontier Entrepreneurship.’ A hypothesis (not an assumption) because no sharply defined terms are required. Our hope, with the Frontier Entrepreneurship podcast, is not only to explore extreme and innovative technologies and ventures at the very cutting edge, but also to encounter and better understand the Frontier Entrepreneurs themselves: to hear their stories and reflect on their experiences.

Cassano, Thinking the Frontier (2012)

Mood, Notes on the History of the Word Frontier (1948),

Entrepreneurship News



Due to increasingly high demand for funding, continuous intake for the thriveFORWARD Start-up Stream call for proposals will close in two weeks. La demande accrue d’aide financière nous contraint de clôturer la période de réception en continu de propositions pour le volet des entreprises en démarrage du programme Un avenir PROSPÈRE! Celle-ci prendra donc fin dans deux semaines.

NCFDC is Seeking 3 Talented Youth for Summer Internships at Venture13

NCFDC is Seeking 3 Talented Youth for Summer Internships at Venture13

With the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, NCFDC’s Summer Internships are back with three new positions posted for youth interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. CSJ is designed to help young Canadians successfully transition into the labour market.

thriveFORWARD Delivers 5X Leverage from Private Sector Innovators

thriveFORWARD Delivers 5X Leverage from Private Sector Innovators

Venture13 –With Government of Canada support through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD project has unlocked investment to mobilize innovation-driven job creation and growth across southern Ontario.



thriveFORWARD SME Stream is currently fully subscribed and will no longer be accepting applications as of Friday, November 25, 2022 12:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST).

NCFDC launches thriveFORWARD

NCFDC launches thriveFORWARD

NCFDC has announced the launch of our newest industrial sustainability and innovation initiative: thriveFORWARD. The initiative will propel investment in innovation capital across southern Ontario and assist organizations in future-proofing their businesses, building resiliency, creating jobs and preparing for long-term growth by transitioning to a green economy.

Podcast Contact – Victoria Pichler

Victoria Pichler, NCFDC Marketing Communications Lead is available to answer any questions you may have.

Victoria Pitchler
Victoria Pichler
Marketing Communications Lead
Email Victoria
Contact Victoria Pichler
Victoria Pichler graduated from the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, and holds various digital sales and marketing certifications (Google, Hubspot, CRM Group). She is a recipient of multiple awards including the Rick Norlock Citizenship Award and the Silver Achievement Award (Duke of Edinburgh Program, Youth and Philanthropy Initiative Winner). Her interests include Marketing Strategy and Management and Product Development.

Victoria Pichler
Marketing Communications Lead