Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them.
And then there’s Yvonne Pilon.
Yvonne Pilon is the President and CEO of WEtech Alliance. At the age of 24, she founded her first tech venture, AD2IT. By the age of 29, she became the youngest woman to lead a Regional Innovation Centre.
Yvonne has over a decade of experience in the tech sector with a core focus on building thriving startup communities. In 2019, she was recognized as a Top Social Media Influencer in Canadian Tech.
Yvonne is host of the #TechInTheCity podcast and currently serves as a member of the Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) Board of Directors, the Advisory Board for the Canadian Digital Media Network and the Advisory Board for FIRST Robotics Windsor-Essex.
If you want to learn more about our fearless leader and her many, many different warpaths, read on…
Q: Describe yourself in five words.
A: Geek. Creative. Genuine. Curious. Workaholic.
Q: Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer?
Q: Who’s your favourite Harry Potter character?
A: Oh, that’s a tough one. Probably, Hermione.
Q: You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
A: I’d be an eraser crayon, so I could erase the box. Because I like to think outside of the box.
Q: What would the title of your autobiography be called?
A: “More Than Meets the Y”
Q: What’s your favorite ’90s jam?
A: “Ironic” Alanis Morissette.
Q: If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?
A: A sloth. Because then I’d be forced to slow down!
Q: What was the last gift you gave someone?
A: I got my other half the Sony WH-1000XM4 wireless noise canceling headphones. He’s studying for his neurology board certification exam and knew they’d make a great “study buddy”.
Q: What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
A: I ate all kinds of weird “things” in South Africa. Crocodile. Ostrich. Kudu.
Q: What were you like in high school?
A: I was a jock! I played pretty much every sport. I went to a very small high school so friendship circles overlapped. I was popular but I was a very average scholar. I’d be surprised if many of my teachers even remember be.
Q: What Looney Tunes character do you most identify with?
A: Bugs Bunny.
Q: Scale of 1 to 10 how cool are you?
A: I’m definitely an 8.
A young Yvonne (right) displaying her level 8 coolness.
Q: Favourite superhero?
A: Wonder Woman. She’s effortless, fearless. She’s a serious rock star.
Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: I dreamt of being a marine biologist. I always wanted to swim, train and research Killer Whales (Orcas).
Q: When I dance, I look like…?
A: Hands down, Elaine Benes.
Q: What do you work toward in your free time?
A: Learning and experiencing new things. Earning myself a “real” birdie on the greens. Visiting new places around the world.
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?
A: I use to love going to Grand Bend Motorplex’s Windsor Weekend. In fact, I took my, at the time 2003 Hyundai Tiburon, down the 1/4 mile dragstrip! It wasn’t a 10 second car but it was definitely a fun experience.
Q: Who would play you in a movie?
A: Zooey Deschanel, Reese Witherspoon or Sarah Jessica Parker.
Q: Worst haircut you’ve ever had?
A: I had a bowl cut for a good portion of my younger life. A full-blown boy’s haircut. I could never understand why my younger sister got the cute pigtails and I got the bowl.
Q: What is your best feature?
A: My sense of humour.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: I paid off my four-year university degree on my own through waitressing at Lilly Kazzilly’s. I worked my butt off and sacrificed my social life but I left with a diploma and no debt.
Q: You’re on death row. What’s your last meal?
A: A Coke and a Windsor-style cheese pizza.
Q: What is one thing people don’t know about your role at WEtech Alliance?
A: One thing? I feel like there’s a million things. Most people only see the highlight reels of my job on social media but don’t see the many, many, many, many hours of behind the scenes moments. My role as CEO is essentially a Jill of all trades. We have a small team so I’ve become a master at learning. Because when you’re able to build a broad skill set, we’re able to grow —even when resources are tight.
Q: What would you say to a startup just joining WEtech?
A: We exist to help you. Founders first.
Michael Seguin was born with a pen in his hands and too many words floating around his skull. Since then, he’s worked tirelessly to get them out. Unfortunately, more keep taking their place. After university, he began dabbling in marketing and journalism. At the age of 26, he became the first in-house writer at Windsor Life Magazine, an esteemed local publication. As the newest member of the WEtech Alliance team, Michael is dedicated to lending a voice to the tech sector around Windsor and Chatham-Kent