Robert Quibell is a techie at heart.
Coming in a close second, though, is marketing. So when the opportunity to become the new executive director at the Innovation Central Society came up, he jumped at the opportunity.
“There’s huge innovation (in Prince George),” he said. “It felt like home.”
Armed with an MBA from UNBC and his own successful start-up business, Vortex Social Marketing, the former College of New Caledonia and City of Prince George employee will now focus his efforts on helping innovative businesses get off the ground.
If you have have an idea or a prototype and want to bring it to market, that’s where the Innovation Central Society can help.
Quibell says they will look at the idea and first help determine whether it has business potential.
“Then we either find them money or brain power,” he said. “Or both.”
Quibell says there is a tremendous amount of companies in Prince George already doing innovative things and that innovation can involve all kinds of business … from a social marketing start-up like Quibell’s to innovation in the forestry and mining sector.
Sometimes those innovative ideas just need a helping hand.
Quibell says he wants to focus on three key items at Innovation Central Society.
The first is to develop an “inventor’s circle,” which is finding and evaluating new inventions or ideas and providing the assistance to get those business ventures off the ground … big or small.
The second is an “investor’s group,” which involves creating essentially a pool of investors who are looking to invest in the area. He will then be able to pass some good ideas onto these investors and the rest is up to the parties involved.
The third focus will be a venture acceleration program, which is based on a customer development model and a lean start-up framework. The goal of the program is to drive economic development and job creation by accelerating the commercialization of technology. There is a small fee for the venture acceleration program, however all other services provided by the Innovation Central Society are free.
“I’m interested in moving things forward,” Quibell.
The Innovation Central Society is funded by the B.C. Innovation Council, the National Research Council and other agencies. It is governed by a local board of directors.