Geoff Simonett: Challenging And Taking Opportunities In Business November 9, 2016 RICCentre By Phyllis Mak, RIC Centre’s Communications Intern Recognizing a good opportunity when it arises and challenging yourself to act on it is a fundamental part of succeeding in the business industry. Miklos Tomka, General Manager of Ubiquilux and an incubator graduate at the RIC Centre, worked with Entrepreneur-In-Residence (EIR) Geoff Simonett. He was impressed by Geoff’s determination to understand their technology, his critical perspective, and his strategic mindset. “During our tenure at the RIC Centre, we had regular meetings and Geoff provided us with guidance in many different ways. He gave feedback and new perspectives to various company documents, and he leveraged his broad network of connections to introduce us to other advisors, potential partners or investors,” says Miklos. “We truly enjoyed and benefited from his guidance. That is why we hope we can continue using him as an advisor as we grow.” Prior to being an EIR, Geoff was a member of RIC Centre’s Investment Review Panel, where volunteer advisors offer investment-focused feedback and guidance to high potential RIC clients. “He communicated very clearly if various aspects of our ‘story’ were not clear or did not make the best possible impression, and recommended how to describe the value we bring in a more compelling manner,” adds Miklos. Shiva Bhardwaj, CEO of Pitstop, says that Geoff is an open minded individual who really takes a first principle approach to dissecting challenges. “He has helped us strategically position our company for investment purposes and has a solid network that he makes introductions to,” reveals Shiva. The goal is always to see a new business succeed and help them fill in the gaps, particularly when they’re in an early stage and might not have the same experience or resources larger enterprises possess. John Ulanowski, COO of NextGrid Inc., explains how Geoff advised and guided NextGrid to future accomplishments. “With Geoff’s experience in starting, operating, and successfully exiting several companies, we had an individual that was capable of helping us create and execute strategic plans as well as steering us in the right direction,” says John. “Thanks to Geoff’s vast networking connections, we were able to meet with a number of potential investors that were interested in helping us through possible ventures or affiliations. On behalf of NextGrid, I would like to thank Geoff for his input and guidance in helping our company progress and grow.” Since becoming an EIR in February 2015, Geoff has worked with early stage companies prominently in the tech and cleantech industry. He loves the different problems and innovative thinking the process brings. “Companies here gain a lot of value from the team, and nobody gets lost in the shuffle,” Geoff explains. “It’s a small group of high quality people that are fun to work with and get results.” The opportunity to learn is an experience that benefits both EIRs and the entrepreneurs. Geoff believes that working with others is a great way to gain experience, especially in industries he’s not familiar with. “To see them get to the next stage, whether it’s raising capital or finding customers or signing partnerships or hiring a great employee— all of those things are important at different stages of the company,” says Geoff. “If you like what you’re doing and like the people you’re working with, it’s fun. The immense requirement of effort doesn’t seem like a big deal.” Looking to get some advice and mentorship for your business? Register as an RIC Client today to get in touch with one of our Entrepreneurs-in-Residence! Don’t forget to visit the RIC Centre Events Calendar to find out more about upcoming events and workshops.