2. GAME CHANGERS
Focus on Growth-Oriented Enterprises: We need
more companies – big and small – that are in
potentially high growth sectors. We need more
startups and we need them to grow, employ more
people, and participate in out-of-province trade.
Promoting Entrepreneurship: The private sector
needs to be engaged and to lead from the start, with
some government support. Ecosystem development
should be concentrated on the areas of the economy
with the greatest growth potential. “If resources are
limited, programs should try to focus first on ambitious,
growth-oriented entrepreneurs who address large
Finding a Committed Federal Partner
• Goal 4: The Nova Scotia economy will be generating 4,200
new business start-ups per year, a 50% increase over the
current 10 year average.
• Goal 5: Nova Scotia will have increased the total annual
value of exports (international and inter-provincial), currently
in the $14 billion range, by 50% to exceed $20 billion.
• Goal 6: The number of Nova Scotia firms participating in
export trade will have increased by 50% over the current
level of 850
• Goal 13: The five-year average for per capita venture capital
investment, which was $24.80 over the 2007 to 2011 period,
will be equal to or better than the Canadian average
• Strategic Priority on Business Start-ups and Growth
4. LET’S GET STARTED
Today March 2015
• “Early wins”
• Directly address OneNS goals
and game changers
• Coalition led and Tactical
• Target: ICT and Education
• Long term strategy
• Province-wide engagement
• The ‘voice of the
• Target: Broad ecosystem
6. IF NOVA SCOTIA INCREASES ITS SHARE
GDP FROM THE ICT SECTOR TO THE
CANADIAN AVERAGE, IT WILL REPRESENT
A $556 MILLION NET INCREASE.
THAT IS AN ADDITIONAL 2% INCREASE IN
NOVA SCOTIA’S GDP EACH YEAR
7. GAME CHANGER VII
EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Just as Nova Scotia businesses must compete in a global
marketplace, so too must the educational outcomes for our students be
measured against a world standard.
• Further innovations in curricula and teaching methods should be
explored, including the introduction of computer programming skills
as a core competency at the junior high level.
(ONENS REPORT PG. 71)
8. GAME CHANGER III
PRIORITY ON GROWTH ORIENTED ENTERPRISES
[ . . ] come together around a strategy to increase start-ups of new
businesses, and retention and expansion of existing enterprises,
whose business models centre on growth, innovation, research and
development, and external trade.
• Increase equity tax credit to $250,000
• Startup NY model
• Better access to venture capital and other financial instruments
• “sandboxes” to support developing investor-ready ventures, seed
funding, incubator space and classes to support market
development, investor readiness and funding, and managing growth.
(ONENS REPORT PG. 65)
9. GAME CHANGER IX
Nova Scotia needs more entrepreneurs. More young people need to
come out of their education and training programs not just looking for
a job, but with the knowledge, skills and confidence to create jobs for
themselves and others
• Ecosystems need to be built around local conditions, assets and
• The private sector needs to be engaged and to lead from the start.
Government can support.
• Ecosystem development should be concentrated on the areas of the
economy with the greatest growth potential.
(ONENS REPORT PG. 71)
11. THE ENTREPRENEUR
EARLY WINS PLAYBOOK
We must fuel the growth and development of entrepreneurs
at all stages of the lifecycle
12. A movement to grow creativity and the
entrepreneurial spirit in our youth and in our
• Creativity and entrepreneurialism are key to fueling the growth
of Atlantic Canada’s knowledge economy;
• Industry indicates that a significant skills gap persists in our high
school and PSE graduates;
• Recent PISA scores demonstrate a need for Atlantic Canadian
schools and students to ameliorate in STEM strands.
• Enrolment in PSE STEM disciplines by Atlantic Canadians are
stagnating while opportunities related to these fields are
• General consensus that teaching practices need to evolve to
respond but resources, time, political cycles and change fatigue
act as barriers to systematic change.
14. What’s missing?
• Easily accessible seed funding for our best and most innovative
schools and teachers to implement their ideas.
• A portal and collaboration space for industry and communities
to identify, support and participate in projects and initiatives.
• Creative and collaborative spaces to provide new experiences
to teachers and students and demonstrate the power of new
and old technologies.
• A platform to share best practices and celebrate the success of
our schools, teachers and students to identify and scale most
15. What is Brilliant Labs?
o A platform to accelerate the entrepreneurial spirit and movement
to integrate new technologies and teaching practices in our schools
and local communities;
o Powered by a collective impact model and a coalition of industry
and NGO’s which have an interest in growing STEAM (Science,
Technology, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Arts and Mathematics)
in our schools and communities;
o Brilliant Labs, Brilliant Projects, and our Common Engagement
Platform will support students, teachers and schools and enable
new transformative learner centric initiatives by leveraging access
to new technologies across the province and the Atlantic region.
16. Brilliant Projects
Brilliant Labs partners with passionate NGO’s and leverages private-sector partnerships
to deploy a series of rapid response application based grant opportunities at a provincial
level to support innovation and motivate teachers.
Arts and Design
17. Brilliant Labs
o The Brilliant Lab is a Makerspace.
o These technology enhanced workshops will be equipped with everything
from basic woodworking and fabrication tools, arts and crafts supplies,
textiles, electronics and robotics, to 3D printers and audio / visual
o They could be open to other schools, organizations and the community
at-large during evenings, weekends and holidays;
o They would be staffed as much as possible by community volunteers,
teachers and student mentors.
18. Common Engagement Platform
o Celebrates students and teachers across our educational system.
o Engages teachers, students, communities and the private sector through
o Motivates teachers by sharing best practices, providing resources, and
an opportunity to collaborate.
20. UIT Cape Breton
Gavin Uhma and the Shannon School of Business at Cape Breton
University have launched UIT, a startup immersion pilot program that
is a first in the world of technology and business education.
UIT teaches students the methods behind the world’s most
21. UIT Cape Breton
The open source curriculum is designed by proven
entrepreneurs and technology professionals from around the
The 11-month program, will teach students technology and business
skills leading up to the launch of their own product.
Graduates of the program might start a company, join an existing
company, or pursue a Bachelor of Business Administration.
22. UIT Cape Breton
13 students (6 females and 7 males) have been enrolled in the first
Students range from ages 19 to 39 with varying levels of experience
in business and technology.
All students were awarded free tuition (a private sector donation).
25. The Volta Story
• Volta Effect - the difference of potential observable
between two dissimilar metals when placed in
contact with one metal becoming positive and the
other negative —called also contact potential.
• Volta is a startup house where community comes
together to create an environment where
Entrepreneurship is celebrated and taking over
the world is expected.
26. Who is part of Volta?
14Resident (in-house) Companies
74Network Member Companies
28Mentors in the Mentor Network
27. Now let’s talk impact
• $15.8 Million Dollars in equity financing raised by Volta
companies to date.
• Volta companies and Alumni employ 82 Full time
employees earning an average salary of $68,000.
• 1 exit (Compilr acquired by US based Lynda.com
for reported $20 Million)
• 112 educational events delivered on business and
technology related topics.
28. Things move fast at Volta
All that was accomplished in just 1year with limited resources.
Companies are allowed to stay at Volta as tenants until
they hit one of the following milestones:
• 500,000 in revenue
• 1 Year at Volta
• 6 Employees
We want them to succeed (or fail) fast!
29. Soaring Employment in the ICT sector
According to the Atlantic Canadian publication that covers
early stage technology startups - entrevestor.com, employment
numbers in startups are soaring:
“The 162 startups responding to our Survey, employed a total
of 1,453 in December 2013, up from 1,019 from a year earlier.”
Average salary in the sector is $68,000 as opposed to the
$48,000 that is provincial average.
People rarely loose their jobs in ICT.
30. Current Situation
• Volta’s existing lease is month-to-month
• Building operating costs are rising quickly and are
• Our current building is slated for demolition in the
• Short time horizon makes investment and growth
31. Volta 2.0 Vision
30,000sq. ft of space to house new startup companies establish a hardware lab
services and support to the general community.
Office space for investment ready companies to help nurture companies throughout
be renovated cost effectively, relatively quickly (approx. 6 months) with low Requires private and public sector support
36. PRESS RELEASE OR NEWS
CONFERENCE WITHIN 10 DAYS
• Support Volta Labs, a private sector led accelerator for ICT startups, and
call upon the private sector and all levels of government (municipal,
provincial and federal) to support and sponsor Volta’s current operations
and its planned expansion to a permanent home (potentially at the HRM
library) and to become a foundational pillar of the ICT startup ecosystem
in Nova Scotia and a catalyst for us have a world-class startup ecosystem
• Endorse the role of K-12 education, universities and accelerators as key
ingredients in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation and
building a resilient startup ecosystem
• Support, and call upon the public and private sector to support and
sponsor programs such as Brilliant Labs and UIT as a private sector led
driver of innovation and entrepreneurship amongst K-12 students and
37. LONG TERM PLANNING
• Startups and Entrepreneurship Working Group will
report back in March on how entrepreneurs can
work collectively to lead a vigorous startup and
• Support the creation of a “New Entrepreneur
Manifesto”, to be developed and led by the oneNS
committee on Startups and Entrepreneurship.
38. ICT Makes Sense
•The top 10 jobs with the largest projected salary gains
are all related to software development
Source: Robert Half
39. ICT Makes Sense
Sources: National Sources: the College Board, Bureau of Labor Statistics Science Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statistics,
President Bill Clinton: “At a time when people are saying ‘I want a good job - I got out of college and I
couldnt find one,’ every single year in America there is a standing demand for 120,000 people who are training
in computer science.
Mark Zuckerberg: “There just aren't enough people who are trained and have these skills today.”
Bill Gates: Learning to write programs stretches your mind, and helps you think better, creates a way of
thinking about things that I think is helpful in all domains.”
Steve Jobs: “I think everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches
you how to think.”