Saint Mary’s Univer­sity Sobey School of Busi­ness

If you can’t find your com­mu­nity, cre­ate one

The Coast - Career Minded - - NEWS -

Mike Cyr’s en­tre­pre­neur­ial cu­rios­ity sparked in his high school years. He would search the in­ter­net look­ing for mar­ket trends, in­ves­ti­gat­ing what con­sumers might want and need, and then test the lead­ing ideas. He be­gan buy­ing and sell­ing smart­phones, and with this suc­cess, he never stopped search­ing for the next busi­ness op­por­tu­nity.

Cyr’s first se­ri­ous busi­ness ven­ture took off in his se­nior year of high school. He de­vel­oped a work­ing re­la­tion­ship with a sail maker based out of Phuket, Thai­land, that op­er­ated the largest pur­pose-built sail loft in the world, pro­duc­ing over 2 mil­lion sails world­wide. The in­dus­try over­all was com­pet­i­tive, and Cyr didn’t make a lot of money. How­ever, he man­aged to run a prof­itable first busi­ness.

“I was learn­ing the ropes of lo­gis­tics, cus­tomer ser­vice, mar­ket­ing, busi­ness de­vel­op­ment and ev­ery­thing that goes into run­ning a busi­ness,” says Cyr. This ini­tial ex­pe­ri­ence in­stilled in him the con­fi­dence to move for­ward in his ca­reer, and even­tu­ally grad­u­ate with a ma­jor in mar­ket­ing from the Saint Mary’s Univer­sity Sobey School of Busi­ness.

At the Sobey School, there was an en­tire pool of bright minds for Cyr to en­gage with. On cam­pus he was con­standly meet­ing key in­di­vid­u­als to part­ner with in the lo­cal busi­ness scene. “The re­sources avail­able to me were in­valu­able and it taught me so much,” says Cyr. He spent the ma­jor­ity of his univer­sity ca­reer de­vel­op­ing busi­nesses and grow­ing his net­work, and even­tu­ally part­nered on a startup ven­ture: a mo­bile app for the event in­dus­try.

The en­tire SMU ex­pe­ri­ence had Cyr on a busi­ness high, but once it was over Cyr felt a com­plete dis­con­nect from his en­tre­pre­neur­ial self. Grad­u­a­tion would mean not be­ing around the Sobey School of Busi­ness every day, and in the world be­yond the cam­pus there was no place within the com­mu­nity for him­self and other en­trepreneurs to con­nect on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. This is when Cyr de­vel­oped the Nova Sco­tia Startup Com­mu­nity. “It’s an on­line fo­rum on Face­book for Nova Sco­tia star­tups and en­trepreneurs to net­work, share, and seek valuable feed­back and in­for­ma­tion about up­com­ing events and re­leases,” says Cyr. With the cur­rent em­pha­sis on en­trepreneur­ship in Nova Sco­tia, the com­mu­nity is at over 1,100 mem­bers and still con­tin­u­ing to grow.

Cyr is con­stantly build­ing the en­tre­pre­neur­ial ecosys­tem in the prov­ince. He in­vests his time in guid­ing fu­ture en­tre­pre­neur­ial stu­dents who are look­ing to start their own busi­nesses, and he helps bring them to fruition. “Never turn down the op­por­tu­nity to try some­thing new,” he ad­vises stu­dents. “You will never fail, but you will surely learn some­thing valuable.”

Cyr is cur­rently a part­ner at OneRedCat Me­dia, a dig­i­tal agency de­vel­op­ing web­sites, brand­ing and so­cial strate­gies for small and medium-sized busi­nesses. He is al­ways look­ing for new busi­nesses that may be good in­vest­ment prospects, and is a rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the role that the Sobey School aims to play in the busi­ness com­mu­nity: con­tribut­ing con­nec­tions, in­spir­ing creative dis­rup­tions and mak­ing an im­pact with pur­pose.

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