Officially launched by the Cape Breton Partnership in November 2014, Mentor Connect is an exciting program serving the entrepreneurial community in the Cape Breton – Mulgrave region.

The program was built based on the belief that a business venture is far more likely to thrive when an entrepreneur can draw on the advice and guidance of a group of mentors with proven skill and experience.


Venture must be a company based in Cape Breton – Mulgrave


Staff/committee info

The Mentor Connect operations committee is comprised of a group of key individuals from across Cape Breton Island, who share a common passion for growing and strengthening our entrepreneurial community.

Together, they provide oversight, advice, and support for the successful operation of Mentor Connect. The program has one full-time staff member dedicated to the daily operations of the services.


Claire Chabassol, Program Administrator


Bob Pelley, Innovacorp

Darlene Sponagle, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Keith MacDonald, Cape Breton Partnership

Steven Lilley, Protocase Inc

Robert McCharles, McCharles Environmental Services Ltd

John Aylward, Venture Solutions Inc

Damian MacInnis, Strait Area Chamber of Commerce

Glenn Turner, Nova Scotia Community College


  • “Being a part of the Mentor Connect program has been an incredible experience. The knowledge and experience we’ve been able to glean from our mentors has proven invaluable to us in helping to get our business established.”

    – Artisync
  • “Having people to bounce ideas off, discuss challenges, and celebrate wins with helps keep us motivated to achieve our business goals. Without our mentors, we would not be where we are today.”

    – Pizza-Go
  • “Being a mentor in the Mentor Connect program is a personally rewarding experience. I enjoy listening to passionate individuals talk about their ideas, while supporting the development of our next generation of local entrepreneurs.”


    – Robert McCharles, McCharles Environmental Services Ltd.
  • “It is a privilege to be part of the Mentor Connect Program. As a mentor, I have been inspired by the next generation of Cape Breton’s entrepreneurs and by their passion and commitment to bringing their innovative and creative ideas to life.”

    – Carol Beaton, CARNAT Consulting and Research
  • “I’ve been working with my own start ups and others for over 10 years. The early stages are always exciting because the possibilities seem limitless. Mentoring at this stage is vital, because it’s often a balancing act between ensuring that the enthusiasm of the founders remains high, while tempering it with a realistic understanding of the challenges they will face.”

    – Joe Menchefski, Innoverus Management and Consulting Inc.
  • “My experience with Mentor Connect has been very personally rewarding. It’s a great feeling to be able to translate my own experiences into valuable advice that directly impacts young entrepreneurs enabling them to more quickly and efficiently build their businesses and develop new products.”

    – Darren Gallop, Marcato Digital Solutions
  • “Working with local Cape Breton companies, helping these creative entrepreneurs get to the next critical stage of their business development, is extremely rewarding. Mentor Connect is a positive force for ventures and mentors alike.”

    – Tracey Boutilier, Vibe Creative Group