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    Thoughts + updates


April 19, 2016

Startups: It’s not a marathon, it’s parkour

Slow and steady wins the race. It’s a phrase often used in business. But to be a startup entrepreneur, I don’t think you need to be built to last a marathon. Instead, I think entrepreneurs should be built to play the game of parkour.

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

Well, that’s assuming you know exactly how the race should be won and what it will take to get to the finish line. And in business, particularly in a new venture, that is often never the case.

Proponents of business plans will tell startup entrepreneurs that proper planning, patience and endurance are the key to surviving the beginning phase of their new venture. It’s the “slow and steady wins the race” kind of thinking that locks a startup entrepreneur into a mindset that they’ll be prepared for the road ahead because they have a solid business plan and road map in place. The answers and solutions are all laid out. Read More

November 23, 2015

Return on Community

Reflecting on the adventure building Startup Edmonton, challenges for our community, and thinking about what’s next.

A few weeks ago during Startup Week, I quietly tendered my resignation as the CEO of Startup Edmonton and Director of Entrepreneurship at Edmonton Economic Development. After eighteen months since our acquisition, I came to realize that it was the right time to leave Startup Edmonton in a place where it could continue to be a platform to grow our community beyond my leadership. Read More

November 12, 2014

Introducing (The New) Vacancy Hall

We’re experimenting with a new pop-up retail and studio space for designers, brands, and entrepreneurs at the Mercer Warehouse.

We’re always cooking something up at the Mercer Warehouse. We like to think of it as a big creative lab where we can work with smart, creative entrepreneurs as they turn their ideas and dreams into reality. A place where we can experiment and just try new concepts out. Read More

July 19, 2013

Go Great or Go Home

The world doesn’t simply need big ideas. Great startup communities empower entrepreneurs with a vision to launch something good and build it into something great over time.

We know the saying, “go big or go home”, right?

I tend to think a lot about big ideas. Big ideas for startups. Big ideas for my city. And the entrepreneur in me wants to make them all happen – right now.

But then I stop to remind myself that there’s a huge difference between big ideas and great vision. Lots of people have big ideas, but not everyone has great vision to strategically transform ideas into action over time. Read More

June 30, 2013

Stay Out Of The Way

The best thing that we can do to support entrepreneurs is to stay out of their way – letting them focus on their companies, their customers, and on building something great. As startups succeed, that’s how we’ll shape our communities.

All across the country, startup communities are emerging. But there’s a debate brewing on just whose job it should be to build these ecosystems.

I’ve been an entrepreneur in the Canadian tech/digital ecosystem for the last ten years. Built a couple of interactive companies, and spent a lot of time helping shape the ecosystem through research projects, advisory committees, awards juries, and industry associations. These experiences have culminated in my most recent venture, Startup Edmonton, a social enterprise aimed at activating startups in our hometown of Edmonton, Alberta. Read More

June 30, 2013

The Power of TEDx

The first ever TEDxSummit in Doha starts a new chapter for the TEDx community, built around new friendships, peer mentoring, and a shared mission to grow a powerful global community that can activate ideas like no other on the planet.

TEDx is exploding.

At the beginning, the “x” in TEDx stood for “independently organized events”. Individuals would apply for a license from TED to organize a TED-like event their own community. Today, with over 3,500 events happening in over 150 companies around the world in less than three years, the TEDx program is gaining major steam, evolving into something new. Read More