When I first started with MEIC and OCAD University as the lead researcher on a major provincial mobile study in the spring of 2008, I had no idea where it would go. We had pretty clear objectives regarding the duration and outcomes of the study, and I expected the project to conclude after about a year. Little did we know how deep and utterly insanely transformational the impact of smartphones would be in North America, and especially in Canada. The landscape today is a very different, very exciting beast. I’m thrilled that we have been able to grow MEIC from a small consortium of committed stakeholders to a non-profit, member organization devoted to the growth of startups and the commercialization of the awesome mobile research that happens in Canada.
We’ve been able to listen to businesses, to academics, to students, to other non-profits and to government about their challenges and needs and we’ve been able to create programs that we’re hoping will serve our members in the years to come. Looking back, we’ve made an indelible mark on the Ontario mobile startup community: multiple events, including two years of Mobile Innovation Week, 22 applied research collaborations linking startups, corporations and students, international missions representing Canadian companies and a whole slew of other partnerships. There have been a number of amazing people who have nurtured this along the way (OCAD President Sara Diamond, my amazing Board of Directors, the OMDC, the Toronto startup scene and countless partners and contributors. <3). It's been a hell of a ride.
But, over the past six months, I've noticed a desire for something different and a little bit of professional envy with the amazing companies we've been working with. As an enabling force and facilitator, I am less likely to find myself with my sleeves rolled up designing products, hashing out strategy and delivering new and amazing things to the market. I have always been a maker and a builder, and I could feel that aspect missing in my work.
And so I am stoked to announce that I am moving to Transcontinental Media as their Mobile Strategist, starting next week. I’ll be developing products and services and figuring out how TCM can leverage mobile as a major channel, working with fantastic brands and some amazing talent (as well as the great folks from recently acquired Vortex Mobile and Lipso). Apps, mobile web, tablets and e-readers, oh my! I’ll be based in Toronto with time in Montreal and NY, so ping me for lunch if you think there’s something we can work on together.
As well, I’m very happy to remain involved with MEIC, and have been invited to sit on the Board of Directors for 2011. And while we’ve hired an Interim Director for the next few months, we are definitely looking for someone awesome to lead MEIC going forward. Know someone? Let me know!!!
2011 is going to be an AWESOME year.