More students & entrepreneurs in the Atlantic Region are inspired by our annual Boston Ecosystem Tour.

November 13, 2017 | by: Heather Boyd-Kinnie

On November 1st, 70 Atlantic Canadians, including 14 guests from Memorial University in Newfoundland, made the journey to the bustling hub of Boston, Massachusetts.  An annual endeavor of the Pond-Deshpande Centre (PDC), this year, we expanded the opportunity to others in the region by inviting regional partners Ignite Fredericton and Opportunities NB (ONB) to join the tour.

There were many highlights of our 2017 Boston Tour which provided an opportunity for students and entrepreneurs to learn, explore, be inspired, and make connections.  

The delegation engaged in programming at various centres, from the New England-Canada Business Council (NECBC), to the Institute for Human Centered Design.  It was there that students and entrepreneurs learned about the role of design, and design thinking, in expanding opportunities for all humans, and about the benefit of adopting a “user-centred experience” mindset.

The group also attended the MassChallenge Awards Gala where they joined entrepreneurs, investors, corporate executives, politicians, and philanthropists as the world’s most startup-friendly accelerator named the 2017 MassChallenge winners and awarded $1 million in cash awards. Students were in awe of the range of ideas being presented and remarked on how entrepreneurship can play a role in any industry.

Before making the trip back to Canada, the delegation attended the EforAll (Entrepreneurship for All) Summit on “Inclusive Entrepreneurship” in Waltham, Massachusetts. Attendees were blown away by Yancey Strickler’s keynote. As co-founder of Kickstarter, he shared the story of the venture’s origin which promoted a message of moving away from a toxic monoculture of money optimizing for more money that can plague the industry.

Summit delegates also heard from panelists Desh Deshpande and Gerry Pond (Pond-Deshpande Centre Co-founders) along with His Worship Mike O’Brien, Mayor of Fredericton.  They shared the inspiring story of how Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada is utilizing entrepreneurship to revitalize its local economy.

With an innovative agenda and conference format, attendees were able to engage in conversation through breakout sessions, “unconference sessions“ and roundtable discussions that provided a platform to share best practices, programs and opportunities across the border.

“The Pond-Deshpande Centre was thrilled to have his worship, Mayor Mike O’Brien, and guests from across Atlantic Canada join our Student Ambassadors for our 2017 Boston ecosystem tour. This event provides our young change makers with inspiration and with connections to innovators and entrepreneurs in the New England and Atlantic regions. This experience helps strengthen their entrepreneurial mindset.” said Karina LeBlanc, Executive Director.

Story by Symone Jennings, Student Ambassador Coordinator.

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