A STRAT­EGY FOR SUC­CESS

P.E.I. tech en­tre­pre­neur Jamie Hill hon­oured to be named en­tre­pre­neur of the year

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRENCE MCEACHERN terrence.mceachern@the­guardian.pe.ca Twit­ter.com/ter­ry_mcn

P.E.I. en­tre­pre­neur Jamie Hill says start­ing a tech com­pany is like start­ing any other kind of busi­ness — “you bet­ter be all in.”

“You bet­ter eat, sleep and drink it. And, the first thing you think about in the morn­ing is get your feet run­ning be­fore you get out of bed be­cause it’s very com­pet­i­tive,” said Hill, 58, who has been named the En­tre­pre­neur of the Year by the Greater Char­lot­te­town Area Cham­ber of Com­merce.

Hill will be hon­oured tonight at the cham­ber’s 2017 Pres­i­dent’s Ex­cel­lence Awards at the Delta Prince Ed­ward in Char­lot­te­town.

“And, if you want to be suc­cess­ful, you have to have a niche and you have to re­ally strate­gize about the ex­e­cu­tion to be suc­cess­ful,” he said on Tues­day.

“It’s tougher now than it used to be. There are a thou­sand com­pa­nies out there, all with good ideas. So, you’d bet­ter be will­ing to put ev­ery­thing you have into it.”

Hill said he didn’t ex­pect to get the call from the cham­ber that he was the en­tre­pre­neur of the year.

“I’m hon­oured and a lit­tle bit hum­bled,” he said.

Hill, born and raised in Char­lot­te­town, grad­u­ated from Hol­land Col­lege’s com­puter pro­gram­mer/an­a­lyst pro­gram in 1984. He has been in­volved with start­ing and serv­ing as pres­i­dent for sev­eral tech com­pa­nies from 1985 to 2017, in­clud­ing On­line Sup­port (OLS), P.E.I. Net, Cy­cor Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Gen­tic­ity (chair­man of the board and in­vestor).

His most re­cent ven­ture was iWave In­for­ma­tion Sys­tems, where he was an in­vestor and CEO.

Hill left iWave in 2017 when the com­pany was ac­quired by Cal­i­for­nia-based pri­vate eq­uity in­vest­ment firm Sver­ica Cap­i­tal Man­age­ment LLC. He now spends his time in­vest­ing in both start-up tech com­pa­nies and real es­tate.

Look­ing back at his ca­reer, Hill said a high­light was be­ing in­volved with soft­ware de­vel­op­ment for the 1991 Canada Win­ter Games in Char­lot­te­town.

Be­sides be­ing “all in,” Hill said an­other key to a suc­cess­ful busi­ness is hav­ing a good idea and ex­e­cut­ing it.

“There is a thou­sand good ideas out there, and very few are well ex­e­cuted,” he said.

“Dur­ing my time in soft­ware de­vel­op­ment and my other com­pa­nies, I was able to at­tract some very tal­ented peo­ple that made life very easy for me and were very help­ful and use­ful in mak­ing sure that we ex­e­cuted — good per­son­nel that have the same vi­sion that you do.”

Hill is also in­volved with dif­fer­ent char­ity or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Spe­cial Olympics P.E.I. and the Chil­dren’s Wish Foun­da­tion.

Re­cently, he and his wife, Tracy, do­nated $100,000 to Hol­land Col­lege to es­tab­lish an an­nual $5,000 en­trance bur­sary for sin­gle mothers en­rolled full­time.

“I al­ways found that sin­gle moms would come to work with a dif­fer­ent look in their eye. They were very ea­ger and want­ing to get to it be­cause they spent money, got ed­u­cated and we gave them a job and they were go­ing to work hard. So, we (wanted) to give back to them,” he said.

TERRENCE MCEACHERN

Jamie Hill has been named the Greater Char­lot­te­town Area Cham­ber of Com­merce’s en­tre­pre­neur of the year.

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