Thank you for listening to the Leaders, Innovators and Big Ideas podcast, supported by Rainforest Alberta. The podcast that highlights those people who are contributing to and/or supporting the innovation ecosystem in Alberta.
Another episode from Edmonton hosted by Christopher Drobot. Christopher Drobot is a passionate cheerleader for the potential of the Edmonton region. Although not directly an entrepreneur himself, his extensive experience in business operations and now mortgage lending help focus his excitement on the ideas that can see the city grow. He is involved in the push to bring a world-class aquarium to the city, is completing an MBA, and – together with his wife – homeschools his two children. The parallels between entrepreneurialism and homeschooling have been many, and he sees an overarching lesson in both: you have to create the world you wish to see.
Jay Downton is a local entrepreneur and community advocate, whose own personal philosophies line up well with Rainforest AB’s ethos. Describing himself as simply a “Passionate Edmontonian”, Jay maintains a humble approach. However that belies his true impact in our community as he is the President of Oodle Noodle, Co-founder at the Nation Network (Oilersnation, et al), and Co-Owner of The Little Brick Cafe and the River Valley Company. While his experience has been one of “failing forward” at times, he has been a serial entrepreneur for years, and is a believer of the importance of community in building business.
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Jay walks us through his early beginnings from business opportunities (and failures) in his college days to share with us how he followed his passions to reach the community through his work. While he has companies across digital marketing, the restaurant industry, and construction and development, all of them are centered on the idea of bringing people together – with Edmonton as the focal point. Jay’s motivations are based on community-building, and he gets excited by people finding connections with each other. “We’re missionaries” he says, “to slowly turn the world into Edmonton fans.”
"All roads lead to Edmonton. We are doing what we can to make Edmonton a Global 10"
"I’m a believer in building a business that you’re passionate about – if you don’t have that passion, you’ll have nothing to keep fueling you through the tough days."
"Building those networks and communities is how we win together...you might have seven ideas, but they might not all work, and they might come together and work around that one winning idea to make Edmonton a better place for winning ideas to grow."
This Episode Sponsored By: Community Now! Magazine
Episode Audio Editing: Kate Day - KD Sound Design
Episode Music: Tony Del Degan
Creator & Producer: Al Del Degan