Over the next couple weeks Techvibes will be highlighting a handful of the CONNECT speakers. Last week we profiled Steve Wandler of Metabridge and Ben Sparrow of Saltworks Technologies. Today we talk to Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Light-Based Technologies.
Jeanette will be participating in the Partnerships stream of the Lightning Lessons at CONNECT and will share her experience in finding the right partnerships for your startup.
Techvibes conducted an email interview with Jeanette and here are her responses.
1) Who are you and what does your company do?
Light-Based Technologies (LBT) is a technology company providing optimized controls for the best quality of light and user experience to the general LED lighting (or solid-state lighting) market. We do this through innovations in control and power technologies distributed in the form of application specific integrated circuits and custom firmware. Intellectual property is also a key value for LBT.
2) Why are you participating as a speaker in CONNECT?
CONNECT engaged me to participate as a speaker to share my experience as a young entrepreneur with others interested in starting their own ventures. I accepted the opportunity because I strongly believe that sharing personal business experiences with one another can be a great impact to all variables of the business regardless of the industry (sales, financing, human resources, etc).
3) What was the biggest challenge you faced as an entrepreneur?
The biggest challenge I faced as an entrepreneur (to date) is balancing strong points of view with the patience it takes to achieve certain milestones in a global focused company. Things always take time (often much longer than you may first anticipate), but continuing to push ahead while still allowing your networks to work through their systems / procedures is required to be successful.
4) What’s the best piece of advice you can offer to a startup in today’s economic climate?
The best piece of advice I could give is to stick with it, regardless. If you have passion for your business and commit to making it successful, you are 99% of the way there. You are your own worst enemy to fail regardless of the state of the economy you are operating in. With every challenge, there is an opportunity.
5) How do you feel about BC's startup ecosystem? What needs work/improvement?
Generally, the biggest challenge for a start up in Vancouver is that to have credibility as a business you need to have a strong mentor / contact person who knows the community to make the right introductions and be perceived as a credible investment opportunity. There are many great doors via WUTIF and angel networks. As an entrepreneur, you have to get out there and get people to listen. Take advantage of the groups that are there to help and listen to people who have done it before.
If you're interested in hearing more of Jeanette's story, be sure to select the Partnerships session when registering for CONNECT online. Early-bird tickets are available now and a steal at $40.