To read the popular press, you’d think the future of our young people is pretty bleak…layoffs, part-time jobs, off-shore competition. Horrible!
But there’s another aspect that doesn’t make the front pages:
Last night I had the privilege of attending the final presentations for a course at the Dalhousie University Faculty of Management called Starting Lean. Peter Moreira of Entravestor.com has described it better than I can, so please read his article.
Mary Kilfoil and Ed Leach took a group of diverse students, including engineers, programmers, business students, arts students, PhDs…and in less than 3 months had them go through the entire process from idea to, in some case, commercialization, along the way doing real-world evaluation with true potential customers and stakeholders (ahem…market research was instrumental).
Not everyone ended up traveling the road on which they started, there were a number of significant pivots along the way, revamping, re-tooling, and generally navigating the messy process many entrepreneurs go through along the way. But that all part of the learning, a big part of the learning!
In addition to some amazing product/service/ventures, these real-world entrepreneurs blossomed right before their colleagues’ eyes. Students who were petrified to stand in front of 2 people on September 6th, presented in front of an almost packed auditorium in the Faculty’s Rowe Building. And they presented professional pitches, complete with live displays, skateboarders and amazing video.
All I can say is, if these are the people who are going to be funding my public healthcare system in the years to come through their tax dollars…I’m going to do everything I can to keep them here and have them develop their dreams in Nova Scotia. Even if this particular dream doesn’t make it through the brutal process that is real life business development, their next one, or the one after that will be a success.
There’s no quitting when you’ve been schooled by Doctors Kilfoil and Leach!