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An Interview With Danny Robinson, CEO, British Columbia Innovation Council (Part 5)

Posted on Friday, Feb 11th 2011

By guest authors Irina Patterson and Candice Arnold

Irina: What do you do day to day?

Danny: There’s no consistency at all. Right now we’re putting together the strategy of how we’re going to execute over the next year. So, there’s lots of consulting with the community and organizations and the board and everybody I work with to decide what that looks like.

Once that’s laid out, I’ll be able to announce that all and get that all figured out. We have huge initiatives to catapult Vancouver and British Columbia as a whole to be the best place in the world to start and grow a company. That’s our goal. That’s the reason I came here. I’m here for only two years because this is a position that we rotate through the entrepreneurial community.

People who are trying to give back to the community take on this role for a couple of years. It’s my turn to do this, and I’m really honored and excited to do it. I want to, when I’m here, make sure that we get BCIC pointed squarely at a target that will place us at the top of the list. We’re pretty aggressive about that, of course.

Irina: What are your daily challenges?

Danny: The challenge is mostly just getting everybody in the community agreeing with what we need to do. We have 2.5 million people in Vancouver alone. The challenge there is because there are so many people, there are lots of organizations, there are lots of people trying to help. Everybody’s got the same intentions and the same desire and everything else to help entrepreneurs. If we could all agree how to do that and put some structure into that, I think that we would get a lot further a lot quicker.

Irina: On which points do you disagree?

Danny: At the moment, to be frank, there just hasn’t been a lot of disagreement, but there just hasn’t been 100% agreement, yet. Everybody wants to help and everybody is. That’s the common ground. I just keep coming back to that, saying, “We’re all here for the same thing. Let’s just agree to work together to make it better.” Everybody’s pretty much on the same page with that.

Irina: What would be your metrics for success?

Danny: We boil it down to conversions. We want a lot of people at the top of the funnel, and we want as many as possible at the end. So, what percentage go in at the top that end up succeeding at the other side? And then we can do the math to determine the value to invest in that ecosystem, you know, what the value really is.

I can already tell you, there’s huge value there. There’s huge value in even going bigger and better with that, even more money, more energy, more resources – financial and mentoring. Otherwise, for startups in the area, there’s a huge shortage. We want to measure that, make sure we understand the numbers, and then just improve it.

Irina: What is your proposed strategy for getting more entrepreneurs at the beginning of the funnel?

Danny: We are still working that out.

Irina: Thank you, Danny. Great insights.

This segment is part 5 in the series : An Interview With Danny Robinson, CEO, British Columbia Innovation Council
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