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article imageConnection Silicon Valley launches innovation series for VPs

By Jack Derricourt     Aug 23, 2018 in Business
Silicon Valley is world-renowned for producing some of the best startups and scaleups on the planet. And now, Connection Silicon Valley is helping to bring some of this innovative expertise to Canada.
The Valley is widely regarded as an innovation capital thanks to it being an ecosystem fuelled by talent and underpinned by networks of leaders who have done it before.
While Canadians often fly south to immerse themselves and soak up knowledge, Connection Silicon Valley spotted an opportunity to bring learning north of the 49th parallel and is doing so with a new, exclusive membership service beginning this fall.
Connection Silicon Valley’s Innovation VP Series is a Canadian-only membership service for VPs and directors of Canadian companies. Members get to participate in:
-Quarterly innovation dinners with Silicon Valley’s brightest minds
-Two full-day workshops of curated innovation topics
-Quarterly webinars focusing on emerging trends
“Corporates often get busy with their current business strategy,” Joanne Fedeyko, CEO of Connection Silicon Valley, told DX Journal. “While often that strategy does involve being innovative, executives can really benefit from having more tools and inputs available to them from people who have done it before, or are facing the same challenges.”
Salon-style innovation dinners
The core of Connection Silicon Valley’s Innovation VP Series are the intimate, salon-style dinners. They feature guest speakers from the Valley who will share learnings from the trenches. Fedeyko says the format provides VPs and directors with real-world advice, practical input and recommendations from peers who face similar challenges.
“Collaboration in a real-world and tailored event allows senior leaders to accelerate innovation projects and overcomes obstacles,” Fedeyko said. “Conferences and online articles are important inputs, but leaders have to get out and meet people, and curating the right experience with the right people is what we’ve done with this event series.”
What sets the Connection Silicon Valley VP Innovation Series apart from other networking events is the emphasis on repeated exposure to ideas and people that make Silicon Valley a unique, innovative environment for businesses.
Fedeyko says many Canadian corporates struggle to find time to make trips to the Valley, so bringing the Valley to Canada in an exclusive, tight-knit setting of VPs and directors leads to a more valuable experience for attendees.
“Incorporating Silicon Valley ideas and the networking it inspires is critical to the innovation of Canadian businesses,” she said.
Inaugural Innovation VP Series
The first event happens on November 26th and will feature a talk from Julian Loren, a serial entrepreneur who most recently led Global Strategy and Partner Solutions at GE. Loren is now CEO of Smart Systems, a consulting company focused on smart solutions.
For Loren, the pressure to adapt and innovate as a business leader has never been more apparent.
“We're entering an era where the nature of competition is fundamentally changing,” he said. “The disparity between the winner's rich purse and the loser's meager scraps will be bigger than it's been in generations.”
Loren believes the gap between winners and losers is widening as a result of technology and business models that provide new levels of intelligence and adaptability.
“I'm excited to partner with Connection Silicon Valley and share some of my learnings from the past 30 years as a smart-system pioneer, serial entrepreneur, and ecosystem builder,” he said.
Fedeyko has hosted and designed salon-style network events for several years, and she says attendees appreciate the intimate setting, ability to grow their network, and learn from people who have vastly different experiences and are willing to share their successes and failures.
“Innovation doesn’t happen overnight,” she says. “Bringing in more people who have global perspectives, and people who have led innovation projects at large multinational organizations provides practical lessons that Canadian corporates have asked for.”
Any director- or VP-level business leader interested in joining the Innovation Series can apply through the Connection Silicon Valley website. Later this fall, Connection Silicon Valley is also launching an Executive Series designed for the corporate C-suite.
More about Joanne Fedeyko, Connection Silicon Valley, Innovation, corporates, Canada
 
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