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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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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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Mary’s the bestselling author of Kitchen Party: Effortless Recipes for Every Occasion, the host of Mary Makes It Easy and the 4x CSA Award-winning Mary’s Kitchen Crush (2020/2021), as well as the Season 3 winner of MasterChef Canada and a cooking expert on CTV’s Your Morning, The Social, and The Marilyn Denis Show in Canada.


After earning degrees in history, English, and information studies, Mary detoured into a career in insurance for five years before being convinced by her family to audition for MasterChef Canada and ultimately stealing the show! She’s since launched her cooking career full time and has never looked back.

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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Offering food entrepreneurs in our kitchen and across Canada the tools necessary to refine their product before accelerating growth.

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