iBIONICS | 2016 Recipient of the Startup Canada Innovation Award
“Trust yourself. You can do more than you will ever imagine.”
Suzanne Grant, Co-Founder and CEO of iBIONICS, envisions a service that can profoundly change the lives of hundreds of thousands of people who have lost their sight.
Suzanne served as an engineering officer in the Canadian Forces and despite being fast tracked to become a General, her curiosity and a sense of adventure inspired her to go back to school for entrepreneurship.
In the same spirit she moved abroad with her young family and bootstrapped a wildly successful strategic communications agency and publishing house in Qatar.
Suzanne has countless career successes, two highlights are rallying Canadians to send 18,000 kgs of relief supplies to Rwandan Orphans following the 1994 genocide and architecting ‘Spirit of Empowerment’, a historic event that served as a catalyst for young Arab women to engage socio -economic, political life in their countries.
Startup News had the opportunity to sit down with Suzanne Grant.
SN: What inspired you to become an entrepreneur?
SG: Status quo is a rather dull thing and when I see there’s a better way to do something, I want to see that happen. I am creative and enjoy building things and pulling people together onto a mission. Nothing is more rewarding than a group of people working toward a common goal.
SN: What is the biggest lesson you have learned to date?
SG: Trust yourself. You can do more than you will ever imagine.
SN: What advice do you have to those starting up today?
SG: The most valuable advice I can think of is to actively work on aligning goals with your team, your customers and your supporters.
SN: What is the one thing we need to do as a nation, today, to position Canada as a global innovation and entrepreneurial leader?
SG: Embrace things that are global and ambitious and complicated. If you are afraid of something – don’t drown an entrepreneur’s passion with your own self doubt. Let’s keep pulling our entrepreneurs up…we are headed in the right direction. Take more chances on our own entrepreneurs.
SN: What is your vision for the next 150 years?
SG: The world of work will be very different and other nations will be even more accessible. We will need to actively work to have more connected communities and avoid isolation. My dream would be that we could find a way to get the power away from the EGOs that start conflict, and I want to see everyone with full tummies, a sense of belonging and find respect.
SN: What is your message to the world?
SG: Everything is possible. Technology moves at the speed of light, adoption moves at human speed. Think Human.
SN: How have you benefited from being a recipient of the Startup Canada Awards?
SG: It’s validation. It brings a level of credibility and you can grab people’s attention that way. I think it was well received by our public funders as an early accomplishment.