Have an awesome idea that’s waiting to come to fruition? Wondering about the resources you have at your disposal? Come to the Indigenous Entrepreneurs: Just Sayin’ Entrepreneur Panel to connect with Indigenous leaders who have built businesses while enriching Indigenous communities and culture. Gain new perspectives and insights from these entrepreneurs and learn how to create a business while supporting your communities and strengthening Indigenous culture.
Opportunities available for new indigenous entrepreneurs
How starting a business helps enable economic self-sufficiency in indigenous communities
Importance of weaving the brand of the business with a personal or cultural story
Build connections to resources and support while you are here at BCIT
5:30pm – Registration, Networking & Appetizers in the Aboriginal Gathering Place
6:00pm – Welcome
6:15pm – Panel Discussion with Entrepreneurs
7:15pm – Closing Remarks & Networking with BCIT & Community Guests
Adrian Duke, Co-Founder @ Immersive Environments & Co-Founder @ Skyturtle Technologies Ltd.
Muscowpetung First Nation
Since his graduation in 2009 from BCIT, Adrian Duke has put his diploma in Marketing Management (Entrepreneurship option) to good use. Duke is the CEO of one successful company that builds waterslides, and a managing partner with another that builds escape rooms. In 2015, Duke was named to the BC Business 30 Under 30 list.
With his latest project, Duke brings together two things he’s passionate about: Indigenous culture and technology. He’s working with the Vancouver Native Housing Society to build an augmented reality app to tell, collect and share Canadian Indigenous stories. It will feature videos, images, audio, and augmented reality—all in hopes of getting people to explore their local history.
Earl Einarson, Co-Founder @ Poppytalk
Ktunaza First Nation
Poppytalk is a creative studio and blog based in Vancouver, B.C. Founders, Jan Halvarson and Earl Einarson combine their communication and media design backgrounds to design product, DIY projects and recipe creations from video hacks to well-edited finds. After eleven plus years online, Poppytalk has a reach of 9+ million.
Their authentic voice has also been featured in articles on Wired, IKEA Family Live (UK), Babble (a Disney-owned company) and Design Sponge. Poppytalk has been featured in print in House and Home Magazine, InStyle Magazine, Canadian Living and Inside Out Magazine out of Australia.
Poppytalk partnered with Target (2014) to create a limited edition collection of “glamping” products “Poppytalk for Target”. Other partners include companies such as Tiffany and Co., Martha Stewart Living, Proctor & Gamble, Roots Canada, Staples and Etsy to name a few.
Louis Janze, Chief Prosthetist @ Fraser Valley Prosthetics
It was inevitable that Louis became a prosthetist. His father was a master mechanic and his mother was a nurse. He inherited their traits to become a true bio-mechanic.
Louis Janze, C.P. (c) graduated with Honours and Awards for Outstanding Achievement from BCIT’s Prosthetic and Orthotic Clinical Program. He obtained a three year residency position at Shaughnessy Hospital’s Prosthetic referral clinic. Exposed to a wide variety of challenging prosthetic cases enabled him to fine tune his clinical and technical skills.
While interning here, Louis realized there was a need for a prosthetic facility in the Fraser Valley, as many of the patients would travel to Vancouver for their appointments. He moved his young family to Abbotsford and opened Fraser Valley Prosthetics in 1994.
Over the years, Louis has lent his expertise to a variety of boards within his profession and is current and up to date with the latest technology and techniques to provide his patients with the best possible outcomes to lead full and active lives.
Cory Douglas, Owner @ Modern Formline Design
To follow passion and creativity while making a living takes a willingness to trust.
Cory started out building homes with his father which led him to the industry of construction. With the support of those who saw potential in him, he found himself at BCIT taking the Architectural Building Engineering Technology program. He could see the value in design and planning and how this could benefit his community.
It wasn’t until graduating and full time employment with a prominent Architectural firm, that he found himself yearning for more culture. He took a complete side step and enrolled in the Native Education College Art program. Here the connection to his roots enlivened him and a brought out the love of storytelling through art.
He developed his skills, honouring tradition in both Haida Formline and Coast Salish form, while merging a contemporary discipline founded by his education. Out of this grew his sole proprietor business Modern Formline Design. He provided architectural design services for single family homes and community development projects with First Nations of the West Coast.
To date he is an Intermediate Architectural Draftsman at a prestigious Firm, manages Modern Formline contracts with local First Nations development projects, and creates art commissions in a mix of mediums from jewellery, graphics, original paintings and tattoos.
Aaron Nelson-Moody (Splash), Coast Salish Artist
Living in Capilano Village on Vancouver’s North Shore British Columbia. He works on commission Coast Salish artwork including engraved or repousse jewelry, and small and larger wood carvings.
While Aaron is his English name, he also carrys a Skwxwú7mesh name, Tawx’sin Yexwulla, which translates as: Splashing Eagle, so most people know him simply as “Splash”.
He has worked with community groups and students in a number of schools in the Squamish and Vancouver areas since 1995. He is currently working at Langara College teaching a Truth and Reconciliation based Aboriginal carving cohort program.
Stephanie Arnaldi, 2nd Year Entrepreneurship Student @ BCIT
Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nation
Stephanie is a second-year student studying Marketing and Entrepreneurship. She’s always known she wanted to start a business but that seemed like a distant thought before beginning at BCIT. Attending the Entrepreneurial Services workshops at the beginning of her first-year motivated Stephanie to explore her entrepreneurial side.
She then took on an executive role with the Young Women in Business Club (YWiB), joined a Mentorship Program through Entrepreneurial Services, started Women Empowerment Workshops, volunteered to apply for grants for a Solar Panel Project with Enactus, and attended a large three-day Business Conference for Entrepreneurs.
Each additional experience taught Stephanie how to maintain balance in chaos. It also allowed her to feel comfortable accepting all her opportunities for second year. She’s currently involved on the Entrepreneurship Academic Team for JDC West, is the Vice President of Innovation for Enactus, in the Vancouver Board of Trade Leaders of Tomorrow Program, is a Mentor for the Aboriginal Services Gathering Place, and is a Facilitator for her Women Empowerment Workshops.
Last year, Stephanie decided to connect with her heritage through Aboriginal Services on campus. She was welcomed with open arms and encouraged to share her story. Stephanie’s family is from Corner Brook, Newfoundland. She is Qalipu Mi’Kmaq First Nations. The word Mi’Kmaq means ‘my kin-friends’ or ‘allies’. She felt strong kinship when first becoming involved with Aboriginal Services and is grateful to be connected with such a beautifully diverse and supportive culture.
The Just Sayin’ – Entrepreneur Panel Series is open to all students and alumni and provides an opportunity to hear the unique and experienced perspectives of entrepreneurs in an open and engaging forum. Each panel event will have a different topic focus and whether students/alumni are interested in being solo entrepreneurs or superstar business leaders in their industries, they will be able to take part in the discussion. Each panel session will consist of 3-4 panelists with varied levels of experience, diverse companies and unique personal and professional experiences. By sharing their successes and challenges, students and alumni will have the opportunity to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. Networking will follow the panel presentations in which the panelists and students/alumni will have the chance to connect with like-minded individuals in a casual setting.
Presented to you by:
As partnership with the BCIT Student Innovation Challenge, students who attend five or more BCITSA Entrepreneurial Services events earn a “Business Basics in Innovation” Certificate of Completion. To learn more about the Student Innovation Challenge, visit: https://www.bcit.ca/innovate/