A Leadership Speaker Series by Symplicity Designs

The Westin Nova Scotian November 22, 2018 7:45 – 9:30 AM

While you may lead a successful organization, there is always room to attract more customers, reduce waste and increase margins. Join us for breakfast and a candid conversation with those who have successfully dealt with the uncertainties of building an organization.

Businesses die of indigestion, not starvation

This invite-only Leadership Speaker Series is designed for business owners and executives who are facing the continuous challenge of growing their organizations. If Atlantic Canada is going to thrive, this region will need more leaders to scale their businesses. Too many leaders have started down this journey only to be stymied by the glass ceiling of scale. Well-intentioned policy makers continue to focus their efforts on the start-up community instead of companies with actual customers, good revenue, and scaling potential. This group of businesses is often only a few steps away but lack the knowledge and skill to navigate the considerable challenges of scale. This panel discussion with Founder and CEO of Kinduct, Travis McDonough, Angel Investor and CEO of T. Hickey Enterprises, Tom Hickey and Co-Founder and CEO of Symplicity Designs, Matt Symes will provide you with insights into how to scale a business.

Tom Hickey
CEO, T. Hickey Enterprises
Matt Symes
Co-Founder, Symplicity
Travis McDonough
Founder and CEO, Kinduct

About our Speakers

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Tom Hickey is a native of Glace Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. He earned his degree in civil engineering and has been involved as an entrepreneur and business owner for over 20 years. He has started 19 companies, all of which have been successful ventures. He began angel investing in 1999, and has invested in more than 30 startups. A main focus for his business ventures has been international projects in the oil and gas and construction industries. In addition to his industry experience and professional training, Tom has been recognized through several notable awards, including Top 40 Under 40, BDC Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Eastern Canada’s Top 50 CEOs for three years. Along with Tom’s business ventures, he has been very involved in several charities including the Canadian Diabetes Association and coaching his two daughters in competitive hockey in Nova Scotia.

  “The thinking that got you here won’t get you there. Scaling an organization is extremely difficult work. Most fail.”

Matt Symes is one of the founders of Symplicity Designs. Over the last 10 years, Matt has helped more than 350 organizations improve, innovate, and grow. Internally at Symplicity, he is responsible for that same growth journey. Not only can he speak from having helped others grow their own business, but he can speak candidly about the trials and tribulations of growing Symplicity Designs along the way. Matt completed his BA/BEd from the University of New Brunswick and his MA at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is currently on leave from his PhD studies as he works to grow Symplicity Designs. He is thrilled to be able to work with clients to shift the organizational paradigm – business can serve a client, be better for the world, and inspirational for the people who go to work everyday. Getting to that point with every business is what gets him out of bed every morning. Matt works tirelessly to help you make sense of the messy middle and grow your organization. 

Dr. Travis McDonough is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Kinduct Technologies Inc., a Canadian software-as-a-service (SaaS) company that specializes in human performance technology. The company also works with large fitness organizations and national sporting bodies. Travis’ vision of using technology to make decisions about human optimization has had an impact not only in the world of professional sports but also in clinical health applications. Travis is working to help people all over the world make data-driven decisions about their health, training and physical performance. It is this vision that has inspired the now 60+ person team at Kinduct to grow and achieve some landmark feats. These include awards such as Ingenious Award (2015), CBC Innovative Company of the Year (2015), Best Places to Work Award (2015, 2016) and Kinduct’s participation in the LA Dodgers Accelerator (2015).

Panel Moderator

Miriam Zitner is leading the three-year master plan to develop and advance Halifax’s Innovation District, working in collaboration with the private sector, our universities and the community college, Nova Scotia’s MIT REAP team and Halifax’s start-up and innovation centres.

Miriam has 20 years experience working with Fortune 100 technology companies and start-ups, primarily out of Toronto and Vancouver, focused on photonics, biometrics and energy. Companies such as IBM (B2B), Intel (B2C and B2B, channel sales), Microsoft (B2C, some B2B), and MSN.CA. She has also worked with academic institutions and associations and understands the operating framework of collaborating with many constituents that share a desired outcome.

Miriam’s ability to understand and translate complex ideas into easily understood ideas, alongside her experience working with Canadian subsidiaries of American companies, as well as start-ups in various stages of maturation, lends itself well to the Partnership’s goal of attracting large, established businesses to the region as well as fostering the growth of Halifax companies.

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