Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation…A call for a better world

IMG_2846As we entered in the lobby of the foundation, we felt the humility of the atmosphere. The foundation stems an instantaneously positive and good feeling of impacting communities. “It’s all about people” said Patrick McMahon, our guide. The aim is to create a sustainable system that supports all communities across the world.

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Koru outlines to GEM & SFU students career development issues during Seattle Industry Tour

IMG_2807On Thursday February 11, 2016,  we had the pleasure of visiting the headquarters of Koru, a startup which aims at reducing  unemployement of college graduates. The company’s offices are located in Boston, Seattle, and San Francisco. In the United States, a lot of graduates currently encounter problems with finding a job. They often do not fit the required standards of corporations, 53% of them are un-employed or under-employed.

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Mitchell Cuevas, Techstars, talks to GEM & SFU students about entrepreneurship during Seattle Industry Tour

Techstars coverOn Thursday February 11th 2016, we went to Techstars Seattle and met Mitchell Cuevas who is Sr. Marketing Director for Techstars globally. Techstars is a global ecosystem that empowers entrepreneurs to bring new technologies to market wherever they choose to develop their business. The company is mainly known for being one of the best mentorship-driven startup accelerator. Indeed, from 2006 to 2015, this accelerator helped 526 companies to raise over 1.3 billion dollars. To spread its influence all around the world, Techstars acquired UpGlobal (Startup Weekend, Startup Digest, Startup Next, Startup Week) last summer.

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Tom Britton, Elastic Path, talks to GEM & SFU students during Vancouver Industry Tour

    IMG_5775First day of the Vancouver Industry Tour was concluded by a visit at Elastic Path. We were lucky to have Tom Britton, Senior Director Product Development, as our guest speaker. Mr Britton gave us great talk about challenges in product development, innovation, and customized approach to customers.

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Sylvain Celaire, Modo, describes how Modo represents the best of Vancouver

modo3We step into their office space and to be honest it was smaller than expected. Then Sylvain Celaire, Modo’s Business Development Manager, says “Yes we have approximately 15,000 members right now so things are going pretty good”.

So, you mean to tell me that this group of 25ish individuals are responsible for one of the largest car-sharing companies in Canada?

Sylvain responds, “Well we operate as a cooperative which brings us great flexibility when it comes to making decisions because our customers and shareholders are the same group. This freedom allows us to really exercise our entrepreneurial spirit and drive”

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Jorge Marques, BC Hydro, talks to GEM & SFU students about sustainability during Vancouver Industry Tour

BC HydroToday we had the pleasure of listening to Jorge Marques, Manager of DSM Strategies at BC Hydro, speak about sustainability and innovation. With over 20 years of experience in the energy and sustainability industry, Jorge has many ideas of how process can help invoke sustainability into every day transactions. While traditional DSM (demand side measure) programs work towards energy savings, Jorge is working toward a goal of total market transformation. He not only wants companies and citizens to use less energy, but wants them to do so in a smart and efficient way. “Treat the market as a system and apply leverage to transform market activities,” Jorge explained to us.

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Geocaching, let the adventure begin…. during Vancouver Industry Tour

IMG_2674As you walk in Geocaching offices, you discover that working here is all about games and innovation: foosball & ping pong tables, an amazing kitchen but also stand up desks, some people playing Fifa and others analyzing data on their computers!

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