By Phyllis Mak, RIC Centre’s Communications Intern
The constant changes, transitions and development in the business world is a landscape that budding entrepreneurs might need some guidance navigating. Mallory McKewen, Founder and CEO of BridesMade, is currently working with one of RIC Centre’s Entrepreneurs-In-Residence (EIR), Paul Barter, to improve her business.
“Paul has been an invaluable mentor for our company,” says Mallory. “His ability to help us look at a big picture strategy, coupled with insights about the sharing economy as co-author of The Uber of Everything, has helped us to hone in on our go-to market strategy and future scale plan. The resources Paul and the RIC Centre have provided enabled us to expand our network and develop and execute on our growth plan efficiently and successfully.”
As an EIR, Paul meets with dozens of clients and helps them scale up, commercialize, and become a success in the market while surveying all the possibilities through a business and technological lens.
Mark Oleniuk, Managing Partner of Element Project Services, reveals that Paul has been a great sounding board and advisor for them during the early stages for their company. “He has been instrumental in setting us up for success, and always challenges us to look at our business from all angles,” says Mark. “We look forward to our continued relationship and guidance from Paul as we move through the various stages of our company growth.”
For Daniel Ruscingo, Co-Founder of ClinicSense, Paul has been an incredible mentor for the company. “He has helped us with several aspects of our business— from navigating government grants, customer acquisition and sales, to exploring channel partnerships,” explains Daniel. “Additionally, with Paul’s advice we have increased our social media reach by 100%!”
Through his work, Paul noticed the problems and challenges surrounding the information technology component of entrepreneurial startups. When trying to reach out to an audience through platforms such as social media, it is important not to confuse the target market with one’s ideals. Paul puts it quite plainly: “I am not my Target Market.” The idea is to look towards the market, and cater to them. Paul also encourages his clients to converse with customers right away for a diverse range of opinions.
“The most exciting things aren’t just technologies themselves,” explains Paul. “For all the problems in the world, you can use solutions that are ICT enabled.”
As a management consultant, venture investor and MBA strategy professor, Paul draws his enthusiasm and knowledge from a diverse background and brings them to his interactions with his clients. When entrepreneurs come to Paul with ideas, he helps them identify the possibility of success.
“Companies with great ideas get their product commercialized,” says Paul. “It’s important to create value, but it is also important to capture that value.” With that philosophy, Paul and his mentees figure out how to effectively use their time to reach their goals.
For Paul, the most rewarding part of being an EIR is the idea that everybody wants to be happy. “Individually and as a society, we create value and create great jobs for us and for our kids, and we live in a world that’s clean and safe,” says Paul. “Helping people solve problems that need to be solved is a wonderful thing.”
You can find out more about what Paul does here. Looking to get advice and mentorship for your business? See how the RIC Centre can help by registering as a client today and 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 our upcoming events and workshops.