The Boiling Point Podcast

Introducing Susan Holt -

Susan Holt is a champion for entrepreneurs in New Brunswick. Originally from Fredericton, Susan moved away for a while and then returned to New Brunswick about five years ago. She is the president and CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council. The council is a private organization which includes 26 of New Brunswick’s most “economically significant companies.” The council has a goal to foster entrepreneurialism, and to make New Brunswick a great place to live and run a business.

The New Brunswick Business Council offers a number of tangible services to business leaders in the province. One such program is the Early Adopters Team, in which members of the council become guinea pigs for new products and services developed by local entrepreneurs. This allows for a customer base for new businesses and the ability to test their products in “safe waters.”

The council also offers a Council Passport Service which aids companies who are looking to expand to markets far-and-wide. This service offers entrepreneurs advice from experienced professionals and opens a Rolodex for companies to find success much faster.

The council also offers the Meals with Moguls program, which networks up-and-coming entrepreneurs and established pros in order for the community to motivate one another and to learn from each other’s experience.

 

In this episode

Greg and Dave discuss with Susan regarding the importance of continuous risk taking by entrepreneurs and supporting both success and failure in business. Susan encourages successful companies in a comfort zone to continue to expand and take risks. They discuss how it is important for entrepreneurs to be bold and that success comes from being ambitious and passionate. Susan explains that big business leaders in New Brunswick don’t fit into a specific mold except that, in general, they know how to build teams for success and are optimists.

Susan highlights the importance for entrepreneurs to pass on the success of other business leaders in the region. Propelling good news stories of other businesses helps the whole community. Promoting others success also encourages others to promote your company and your successes.   We learn that optimism is an important ingredient to an entrepreneur and that ability to be optimistic and the wiliness to take risks are much easier when you have community support.

 

Links & Contact

@SusanHolt

Direct download: BP0003Holt.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 1:21pm EDT

Introducing David Alston -

David Alston is a New Brunswick IT hero.  He has been working in the start-up and tech space for a long time.  David started at NBTel back in 1989 and has since risen to take a number of high-level positions including chief marketing officer at Radian6, and is currently the chief innovation officer at Introhive.  David also gives back to the business community as a speaker, an advisor to four start-up companies, and is on the board of directors for ScribbleLive

However, David’s altruism doesn’t end at the business community; he also gives back to the community at large.  David began thinking that he made it to where he is today by being inspired by computing while in school.  This was the early days of computers, but his experiences helped to focus his career in tech.  David wants kids to get inspired and get ready for the jobs of the future, so he has become an advocate for teaching computer coding to kids in schools across New Brunswick.  He notes that 106,000 coding jobs in Canada will go unfilled in 2016, and it is a subject that goes largely untaught in public schools in Canada.

Programs in Estonia and Finland, where students are exposed to coding and robotics at very young age, inspired David.  In Finland, the teaching dynamic is very different than most of North America.  They use a strategy called flip classroom, in which students work on problems together and teach themselves in many ways.  Their homework is more focused on learning concepts and preparation and class time is used for implementation.  Teachers in this system act more like coaches, helping students to set goals and facilitating success. 

David says the ability to code turns students into leaders.  They learn how to be creative, problem solve, and learn that failure is just another step toward success.

 

In this episode

Greg and Dave dive into the importance of teaching coding to kids and speak about their upcoming documentary project, Code Kids.  Dave gets the new nickname, “Cutlets”, to differentiate the Davids.  We learn the importance of teaching code to kids before grade five, and the need to “break the stigma” and get girls interested in coding.   “Cutlets” is inspired by the idea of educators as coaches.  Entrepreneurs and leaders making their communities a better place inspire Greg.

 

Links & Contact

@DavidAlston

Code.org

Ladies Learning Code

Science East

 

Direct download: BP0002DAlston.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 1:17pm EDT

 

Greg and Dave discuss with Kevin the importance of goal setting and sticking to the path to that goal. Kevin also discusses the difference between running an acquired company versus a start-up. Dave notices the differences between entrepreneurs. Some take very calculated risks, others are more action orientated, and some need to plan, plan, plan. Greg sees the link between entrepreneurs and artists; both like to start with a blank canvas to make a thing of beauty and both seek adventure and encounter risk.

The guys also discuss the importance of listening to your gut feelings and being willing to make mistakes. Finally, there is a discussion of how Atlantic Canada is a great incubator for entrepreneurial success. The region supports its’ own and has a history of being hardworking and resilient. There is sense of community in the Atlantic region unlike what you would find in larger cities. 

Direct download: BP0001Belyea.mp3
Category:entrepreneurship -- posted at: 1:09pm EDT

1