FREDERICTON – The East Coast Unicorn Speaker Series, organized by Pond-Deshpande and the Wallace McCain Institute, will kick off on November 10 with an online conversation featuring two key players from local tech giants, Q1 Labs and Radian6, that sold for more than $1-billion combined in 2011.
Gerry Pond, a co-founder of Q1 Labs and leader in the ICT sector, and Marcel LeBrun, former CEO of Radian6 were among the entrepreneurs and innovators featured in Gordon Pitts’ latest book, Unicorn in the Woods: How East Coast Geeks and Dreamers Are Changing the Game.
The speaker series, which will consist of three online sessions on Tuesdays throughout November, will be a great opporunity to learn about innovation and entrepeurship in the region, says Karina Leblanc, executive director of the Pond-Deshpande Centre.
“Gordon Pitts’ book is a great jumping off point to talk about some of the magical ingredients we have here in New Brunswick that are unique that make us a fertile ground for innovation and for young or early-stage change makers to come and turn their ideas into impact,” said Leblanc.
“I really hope that people are excited and feel positive about the opportunities for those who really want to build things or test ideas. I hope they think New Brunswick is the place to do it.”
The series will feature Leblanc in conversation with the guests followed by an open dialogue with the audience.
“We will open the dialogue up as quickly as we can to involve the participants,” said Nancy Mathis, Executive Director of the Wallace McCain Institute. “We don’t want this to be a one-way dialogue. We want this to be a conversation series so we can engage people from the region and beyond.”
The series will also feature two tech entrepreneurs in the midst of growing successful businesses in the region, Dave Shipley, CEO of Beauceron Security, and Bethany Deshpande, the CEO of SomaDetect.
“We’re going to look at the stories through the lens of who were the players that connected the main characters in the book,” said Mathis. “You can have wonderful ideas and wonderful technology, but there is something unique about Atlantic Canada.”
“We’re big enough and small enough at the same time,” she said. “We’re big enough to generate amazing ideas, but we’re small enough to be connected to one another, to bring resources together, to help that idea come to life.”
The series is open to anyone and is free to attend. Guests can register online for all or select sessions.
“Participating means you get to be a part of the conversation,” said Leblanc. “Participating means you get to meet players who can help you grow your idea, share your idea, invest in your idea so we’re a small population and the closer you can get to the people who can help you realize your dreams, the more likely you’re going to be successful and I think that’s one of our strengths.”
Find Liam Floyd’s full Huddle story HERE.