Volta, Canada’s East Coast Innovation Hub, brought regional, national and global leaders and innovators together today to help set Atlantic Canada’s innovation agenda at the second annual Innovate Atlantic Conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Industry leaders spoke about the critical role innovation has to play in the region’s future prosperity, focusing on the need to attract and retain youth and newcomers, engage traditional industries, and cultivate inclusive innovation so that both rural and urban communities will benefit from the opportunities innovation-driven economies create.
“Bringing together our community of thought leaders, experts and innovators to discuss and explore Atlantic Canada’s potential for growth and development is important to help build a broader understanding of what we are capable of achieving. We can see the massive scale of the opportunity in front of us, it’s time to act,” said Jesse Rodgers, Volta CEO. “Ultimately, it comes down to individuals and organizations adopting innovative mindsets, fostering community collaboration, putting a greater emphasis on placemaking, and creating exciting employment opportunities that will attract and retain youth and newcomers.”
Innovative Atlantic speakers included the Honourable Kevin G. Lynch, Vice Chair at BMO Financial Group, Eva Lau, Co-Founder at Two Small Fish Ventures, Tash Jefferies, Founder at Diversa.com, Bernd Christmas, CEO at Gitpo Storms Corporation, Kris Braun, VP of Engineering at Bonfire Interactive, and many more.
Tash Jefferies, also an entrepreneur-in-residence with 500Startups.com, a globally-renowned accelerator for tech companies, spoke about the competitive advantage business leaders from Atlantic Canada have, particularly when they are trying to scale globally.
“We are raised with such openness, authenticity and ability to problem solve, that is unlike anything I’ve seen from coast to coast to coast within Canada, and across many countries in the world,” said Jefferies. “With so much momentum in Atlantic Canada, I want to be able to bring global investors here, and help our entrepreneurs gain the funding they need to thrive and build cutting-edge technologies.”
Following a panel on supporting startups in our future economy, Allen Nizi, Partnerships Lead at Microsoft for Startups announced a new partnership with Volta. The Microsoft for Startups-Volta partnership will provide Resident Companies access to technology, experts, events and resources that the organization has to offer.
Chere Chapman, Board Chair, and Alexandra McCann, Executive Director for ONSIDE – the Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship – also announced the launch of the non-profit during the conference.
Volta will be distributing the innovation agenda in the coming weeks at voltaeffect.com.