FIND A LOCATION

  • NORTH FORGE SMARTPARK

    WINNIPEG

    CEO: Joelle Foster

    441 – 100 Innovation Drive
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3T 6G2• P: 204-262-6400

  • North Forge | East

    PINAWA

    President: Shane Li

    24 Aberdeen Avenue
    Pinawa, Manitoba R0E 1L0 • P: 204-753-5170

  • Fabrication Lab

    WINNIPEG

    Vice-President: Marney Stapley

    125 Adelaide Street
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3A 0W4 • P: 204-799-2033

  • North Forge | North

    THE PAS

    University College of the North
    436-7th Street East, The Pas, Manitoba R9A 1M7
    (204) 623-0311

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Providing Legal Foundation for Manitoba Startups

This is it! You’ve got that market-altering idea and you’re ready to introduce it to the world. Your tech is light years ahead of the curve, your business plan is rock solid, everything is backed by comprehensive market research and capital is secured. Your lifelong dream of starting your own business and building your personal success story from the ground up is almost real.

There’s only one problem and you may not even realize it for years to come. Nobody asked that critical question… “did anyone check with legal?”

Silvia de Sousa is a lawyer with Thompson Dorfman Sweatman specializing in business law, with an emphasis on intellectual property, life sciences and technology. De Sousa says this type of scenario is a common one, as startups sometimes miss the need to protect themselves from a legal standpoint or often don’t have the resources to do so.

“When it comes to intellectual property it’s absolutely critical to start the process on sound legal footing,” said de Sousa. “It can be really unfortunate but even the greatest ideas and the most talented people can get derailed if a solid legal foundation isn’t established at the outset.”

The desire to see Manitoba entrepreneurs succeed is precisely what led Thompson Dorfman Sweatman to get actively involved in Manitoba’s startup community, including a valuable partnership with North Forge Technology Exchange.

“Working with North Forge has been a great partnership for us as they’re able to link us directly with startups in need of legal counsel,” said de Sousa. “We offer a variety of presentations, workshops and even a startup legal clinic to help guide entrepreneurs through the early stages of their companies and help them avoid some of the legal pitfalls that can have major consequences for them down the road.”

Keith LaBossiere, Thompson Dorfman Sweatman’s CEO and Managing Partner, speaks with a great sense of pride when discussing the dedication his firm and his associates demonstrate towards ensuring a healthy entrepreneurial environment here in Manitoba.

“Our lawyers have always shown a real commitment to being part of the fabric of our community,” said LaBossiere. “We believe it really sets us apart and we hear that from our team, from prospective students and lateral hires time and time again.”

Beyond the altruistic side of offering legal consultations to local startups, LaBossiere also emphasizes how valuable the work can be for all parties involved.

“There really is nothing more exciting than being involved in the building of a company from the ground up,” said LaBossiere. “It can be an incredible learning experience on both sides of the table and always proves to be just as rewarding for our team as it does for the companies we help.”

Next up for Thompson Dorfman Sweatman will be providing legal guidance for the recently announced successful applicants of the Manitoba Open Innovation Challenge, all from their new state-of-the-art office space in True North Square. The challenge is designed to generate solutions to Manitoba’s low rankings in child literacy and numeracy and de Sousa is excited to have her firm be part of such an important initiative.

“It doesn’t matter if you’re looking to generate millions of dollars in revenue or programs to tackle social issues, the need for legal advice is just as important,” said de Sousa. “You always want to make sure you’re covered when it comes to intellectual property as it really comes down to protecting your most valuable asset.”

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Supporters

North Forge Technology Exchange partners with PCL Construction Inc.

PCL Construction Inc.

From small renovations to complex billion dollar projects; from modular construction, to advanced digital technologies, to cutting-edge sustainability, PCL has you covered.

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North Forge has partnered with 6P Marketing

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6P Marketing is your collaborative marketing agency, working with you to achieve your goals.

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Bell MTS

Bell MTS is part of Canada’s largest telecommunications company, providing Manitobans with Mobile phone, TV, high speed Internet, and Home phone service.

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Thompson Dorfman Sweatman

At Thompson Dorfman Sweatman LLP (TDS), we are devoted to serving our valued clients. Our collegial workplace fosters greater teamwork, responsiveness and communication, providing better results for clients. TDS is Manitoba’s largest independent law firm.

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Bit Space Development Ltd. is an interactive digital media studio that specializes in creating innovative learning experiences for the classroom and workplace. We work with educators and industry professionals from around the world to develop effective solutions for education and training using cutting edge digital media technologies.

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Princess Auto

For more than 85 years, Princess Auto has been supplying trade professionals, home mechanics or people who simply love building things with the tools and equipment they need to figure it out – whatever that “it” may be. With a unique assortment of tools, equipment and products, ranging from hydraulics to welding, Princess Auto complements the home improvement sector rather than competing with it.

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Bockstael

For over 100 years the Bockstael name has been synonymous with construction in Manitoba. From the humble beginnings of a Belgian carpenter, to the fourth generation of family ownership, building is in our blood. We pride ourselves on world-class innovation and a client-first approach to doing business. This is our commitment to serving the province we choose to call home for the next 100 years — and beyond.

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Stu Clark Centre for Entreprenuership

The Stu Clark Centre for Entrepreneurship (SCCE) is here to support entrepreneurial activities across the entire University of Manitoba campus. In addition to supporting students at the I.H. Asper School of Business we also support students from ALL faculties across the University of Manitoba – Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campus including: Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Food Sciences, Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine, Faculty of Education and more!

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SEED - Altona

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North Forge East

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Government of Canada

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University of Manitoba

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Manitoba Government

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