Living here, you can feel it.
When I first left Acadia University in 2001, I went to work for a small Halifax company that was creating e-learning content with specific focus around accounting, risk assessment and other content critical to professionals doing their thing. It was great for me – as it taught me how to ‘lone-wolf’ a project and get things done quickly and correctly so that I could finish it and move on to the next exciting thing that a freshy from uni hungers for.
I customized an e-learning open source project to fit the needs of the organization and allowed them to host their content for large firms. We accomplished a lot with a little.
When I left that company to work for a “big consultancy” in the United States, I learned a whole different way of working. I was a small part of a much bigger picture on teams of 50 or more people. After returning to work in Nova Scotia in 2012, I joined The Barrington Consulting Group and participated in really innovative government projects for the province. It was a bit surprising that people (even in government!) were far more interested and focused on making change happen that what I experienced in Texas, DC and Philly. Sure, there is still some “not my circus, not my monkeys” attitude in some people, but you really understand that people here want to change the world for the better.
I have spent a little bit of time in Volta Innovation Hub and you can also feel it when you are in that space. There is excitement. There is that sense that you can do a lot with a little. Our universities, our immigrants, our near-retirement neighbors provide so much energy, ideas and acceptance to “the new” that it’s become contagious.
You don’t need 50 person teams to make something big happen.
Even outside the tech startup community, you can feel it in the farmers markets, the rural communities, the conversations you have with your family members at the dinner table.
The Atlantic Canadian culture has made our region an exceptional place to try something new, to share what we have and boost the success of our community. The people are here. The opportunity is everywhere. That is what is great about starting a business in Atlantic Canada.