The IO Entrepreneur Peer Groups

Starting a company is hard. Growing a business and taking it to the next level is even harder. When you’re an entrepreneur, the weight of responsibilities can be overwhelming. Having support and insight of those that understand is invaluable.

Introducing the IO Entrepreneur Peer Groups

Starting 2019

About the Program

The IO Entrepreneur Peer Groups combine group sessions with coaching to help business owners tackle their challenges and accelerate their personal and professional growth.


Exclusive access

Exclusive access to a group of fellow entrepreneurs who are committed to helping each other succeed.

Safe environment

Safe environment.
Commitments to confidentiality.
Non-competing business owners.

Group and one-on-one sessions

Group and one-on-one sessions with a dedicated business coach with proven entrepreneurial experiences.

What you get…

  • To be part of a group of 10 to 15 business owners in similar growth stages and non-competitive fields;
  • Ten (per year) 3-hour group sessions with a business advisor;
  • Dedicated one-on-one time with a business advisor;
  • Ample opportunity to address business challenges, explore best practises, generate ideas and test assumptions in a safe environment.


  • $250 per month (minimum commitment of 6 months with 90 days notice required)

Our group leaders

Karla Briones
Business Advisor

Karla Briones is a Mexican-Canadian serial entrepreneur with retail, food and beverage, and e-commerce businesses. 

In her consulting role, Karla coaches new immigrants on how to become successful entrepreneurs in their adopted country. Karla provides business advisory to immigrant entrepreneurs and female entrepreneurs who are building main street businesses from ideation through growth stage.   

Karla hosts Immpreneur Canada, a podcast that interviews successful entrepreneurs about their journeys of building successful businesses as immigrants.  

She is the recipient of 2018 City of Ottawa Immigrant Entrepreneur Award, given to an immigrant who has made an impact in local economy and entrepreneurship ecosystem. 

She is also a business mentor for Futurpreneur Canada and for several local community groups.

Mark Sutcliffe
Business Advisor

Mark has been a leading figure in Ottawa’s business community for more than 25 years. A serial entrepreneur, he has been involved in several successful business launches. He co-founded the Ottawa Business Journal in 1995 and remains the co-owner and CEO of its parent company Great River Media. Mark is a partner in Sutcliffe+Whalen, a strategic business consulting firm that helps small and medium enterprises achieve their growth objectives. He is also a shareholder in Sportstats, a global sports timing company. Mark has been an outspoken advocate and activist for economic development in Ottawa and Canada. For more than a decade, he wrote a weekly column about local business for the Ottawa Citizen. He was the chair of the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of Invest Ottawa and Algonquin College. Mark has created many of Ottawa’s major business events, including Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 awards and the BOBs, the annual Best Ottawa Business Awards. Mark is also a frequent MC, moderator and panellist at business events and economic development functions.