A Mad Scientist succeeding in a Mad, Mad WorldFeaturing
Connie Stacey, Owner, Growing Greener Innovations | Mairead Lavery, President & CEO, Export Development Canada | Dan Sorotschynski, Brand Marketing Executive | Sid Paquette, Head, Venture Capital and Innovation, RBC
Connie Stacey calls herself a Mad Scientist and for a good reason. She is an inventor with a brain, burning to solve some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this episode, we look at her Grengine, a solar-powered generator that addresses energy poverty.
One-seventh of the world lives without power, and cooks and heats with biomass fuels, which are horrible for their health and the planet. This episode is a powerful and telling tale of the challenges entrepreneurs face when marketing and selling their Canadian technology across the world, combined with Connie’s charm and self-deprecating humour.
To help Connie with her global quest, we have Mairead Lavery, Export Development Canada’s passionate CEO. Also, Dan Sorotschynski, one of Canada’s leading global marketers, shares his experiences on how to go global. Sid Paquette, who leads the RBC Technology and Innovation group offer his thoughts on how to think and be big.
Presented by, RBC.
A walk in the neighbourhood sparks an idea (00:46)
Connie takes her twin boys for a stroll around the neighbourhood. Spotting an old and noising diesel generator she beings to wonder if there is a better solution. After chatting to friends about using batteries instead, there is still a problem – how does one recharge it? Connie’s has an idea. What if you could swap batteries like Lego blocks…her journey to create Grengine begins
From dreams to reality (04:13)
Connie sees the challenge of power supply on a global scale, she wants to solve every poverty globally. Connie has dreamt big, but can she make her dreams a reality? With the support of her wife, she goes all in to create a battery system that doesn’t need electricians or technicians. Underpinned by a triple bottom line, people plant, profit, she perseveres and builds Grengine. After winning a US Defense competition, her dreams become reality.
Growing up (10:21)
With support from Export Development Canada (EDC) and Alberta Innovates, Connie’s business grows up and out but with growth, comes complexity. Connie wants to own 100% of her business but needs advice on how she can finance her growth without giving her business away. Going global and positioning her brand amongst many competitors is key for her continued success. Luckily, help is on the way.
Advice to match Connies ambitions (13:48)
Sid Paquette, Head, Venture Capital and Innovation, RBC – in order to grow and go global, Connie may have to reconsider her stance on 100% ownership. Her ambitions require specialized talent, and the level of talent acquired by offering equity. Dan Sorotschynski, Brand Marketing Executive, suggested Connie establish a clearer value proposition and continue to sustain the people component that is behind her brand. Mairead Lavery, President & CEO, Export Development Canada, reminds Connie not to forget her ambition and to surround her self with advisors to assist her as she grows.
Here’s to Connie (28:19)
I would love Connie to follow in the footstep of other great Canadian companies, like Blackberry and Nortel and Bombardier and conquer the world. It is not an easy path you have chosen, but it yours. You have turned your dreams into reality and with your passion and the mind of a mad scientist, I eagerly look forward to following your journey as a passionate Canadian entrepreneur. Here’s to Connie.
Links and References
Connie Stacey, Owner, Growing Greener Innovations
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/connie-stacey-a95973a1/
Website – https://grengine.com
Dan Sorotschynski, Brand Marketing Executive
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/dsorotschynski/
Sid Paquette, Head, Venture Capital and Innovation, RBC
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/sidpaquette/
RBC Business page – https://www.rbcroyalbank.com/business/index.html
RBC Financial Relief page – https://www.rbc.com/covid-19/business.html
Canada United – https://www.gocanadaunited.ca/
RBC Small Business Navigator – www.rbc.com/smallbusinessnavigator
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