WEtech Team Looks Back on 2014 and Forward to 2015

We asked the WEtech Team to share their favorite 2014 moment as well as what they’re looking forward to in 2015. Here’s what they had to say.

Michelle Teno-Wachter, Member Services and Administration

Looking back on 2014: Reflecting on the growth WEtech initiated in 2014 for entrepreneurs and SMEs, I’m extremely  happy to be a member of the WEtech team.  The positive comments from our clients  who have developed their businesses through the assistance of our WEteam makes us feel mighty and proud!
Looking ahead at 2015: In 2015, as WEtech engages an expanded team of experts, we look forward to growing our membership and client base and sharing their success stories in 2015!

Deborah Livneh – Entrepreneur-In-Residence

Looking back on 2014: My favorite memory is the launch of the Windsor-Detroit Health Corridor project and laying the foundation for a prosperous med-tech sector here.  WEtech has partnered with the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation to promote the region as ‘THE’ place to perform clinical evidence generation for medical innovation.  A corridor that has one foot in Canada and one in the US has the potential to facilitate faster adoption of innovation for the health care system.  The long term vision is to advance clinical research, increase development of innovative medical technologies, attract high value trade and investments, and create desirable new careers that will attract young people into our region.
Looking forward for 2015: I am most excited that several of WEtech’s Startup Client companies are preparing to launch their product to market. Serving as their Advisor and Mentor, it is most rewarding for me to see them start generating revenues and become successful!

Miranda Underwood, PR and Communications Intern

Looking back on 2014: My favorite memory was the Windsor-Essex Tech Show. It was a great experience and I felt very privileged to stand among so much incredible local talent. I had a great day meeting members and community partners as well as Fab Dolan from Google Canada! Thank you to everyone who partook in that event for making it such a success.
Looking ahead to 2015: I am most excited for an increased role with the WEteam. I am looking forward to being on the WEtech Lane every Tuesday and growing my understanding of the membership and client base. I cannot wait to dive in and get more involved with the organization and its members/clients. Bring on the New Year!

Ashlyn Bird, Client Portfolio Manager

Looking back on 2014: Joining the WEteam and meeting all our wonderful clients!
Looking ahead to 2015: Achieving some major milestones with our clients and announcing some upcoming client success stories!

Irek Kusmierczyk, Director of Robotics and Youth Programs

Looking back on 2014: My favorite memory is the inaugural Windsor Essex Great Lakes Robotics Regional that not only brought together 40 teams and 1500 high school students from across North America, but it also brought together so many of WEtech’s current and future stakeholders such as the University of Windsor, St. Clair College, companies such as Valiant, Centerline, Reko International, Chrysler, Unconquered Sun, NARMCO, Brave Controls etc. There were over 30 local companies across a broad cross-section of industry that came together to support FIRST Robotics – a program that empowers our young people to build our future and our regional economy. There were 12 local teams participating from Windsor Essex representing City and County as well as Public, Catholic, French and Private schools. There were some really memorably moments within the tournament that created wonderful stories-within-the-story – such as the fact that the 30-member delegation from our Sister City in China–Changchun–which is considered China’s Motor City – took in the robotics tournament and were blown away.  We also provided a venue for a local up-and-coming teenaged rock band to perform called Red Legacy – a band that already tours across North America and is receiving recognition as it makes its way up the charts.  Also, not too many people know that a young leader-dog in-training was brought into the loud and crazy venue inside the St. Denis Centre to complete part of its training.
Looking ahead to 2015: I am most excited about the cross-border Hacking Health Windsor Detroit – conference that is taking place in May 2015 – because it fulfills WEtech’s mission to serve as a bridge between the industry sectors such as the IT and Health Sectors as well as between Windsor and Detroit.  The partnerships we are already bringing to the table are fantastic.

Yvonne Pilon, President 

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Looking back on 2014: Where do I begin! The last year has been filled with so many great memories and organization and member/client milestones. At the end of 2014, we stand strong with close to 800 members and 100 clients. I am so proud of what the WEtech Team has been able to accomplish in just 365 days. Over the last year, we have seen members/clients expand (location and staffing), clients featured in top publications such as Forbes, collaborations strengthened, new ventures started, an upsurge in young entrepreneurial interest, and the WEtech brand grow stronger. One of my favorite memories of 2014 came in the form of a 140 character tweet from Fab Dolan of Google Canada. It’s not everyday you can “WOW” Google!
Looking ahead to 2015: The WEtech Team is already in full planning mode for a number of signature events for the 2015 calendar year including the second annual Windsor-Essex  FIRST Great Lakes Regional Robotic Tournament (April), Hacking Health (May), and the Windsor-Essex Tech Show in (November). What excites me most about the New Year is the opportunity to build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in our region with the newly established Genesis Entrepreneurship Centre at St. Clair College along with EPIC Innovation at the University of Windsor.

Karim Amellal, Advisor

Looking back on 2014: Mentoring young entrepreneurs
Looking ahead at 2015: Supporting my Clients to further help them grow their businesses

 Dan Brown, YKNOT Windsor-Essex Coordinator 

Looking back on 2014: My favorite memory is #VoteNowVoteThen: The Mayoral Candidates Debate for the Social Media Generation! This election year was huge in Windsor’s history, and the way we brought hundreds of young people together in a pub with 10 out of 12 mayoral candidates was exciting and provocative. It just goes to show that people are more likely to be civically engaged if there’s an opportunity that they can relate to. We voted on the candidates several times throughout the night and left with a pledge to vote on election day. Special thanks to Missy Sauro & Jon Liedtke who were a blast to work with.
Looking ahead to 2015: I am most excited for: Top Secret Summit Event! Windsor has been missing a large-scale community forum that brings together talent, tech, business, and creativity. Too early for details, but consider this a teaser. I’m excited to see what we’ll whip up this spring between YKNOT, WEtech, WFCU Centre, Blab & P42 Systems.