Ryan Amin

At a Life Science Ventures Summit hosted by the Kauffman Foundation, Huffington Post writer Jennifer Hill led a discussion focused on the players in entrepreneurship. The presentation opened with experienced entrepreneurs giving their thoughts on the idea of team building. (00:00-01:19)

“I would say it is probably a big challenge for any entrepreneur to assemble a good team, and essentially I would say the biggest and most important assets of any company are the people,” said Sofie Qiao of LINQ Pharmaceuticals.

“Every person has certain strengths and weaknesses, and I think you have to understand yourself and understand what you need,” said Nicholas Franano of Novita Therapeutics. “So if you’re an optimistic person, you need a pessimistic person; if you’re good in science, you need someone on the team who’s good in finance … you need all the pieces in place.”

“When you are putting together a business where the primary asset is the creativity and the intelligence of the people who are part of the business, I feel in some ways you’re putting together a number of artists,” said Claudia Hirawat of PTC Therapeutics. “So you do have strong personalities, strong intuition, strong desires, and sure enough those were people that we had to replace because they never did get comfortable with the idea that we had to work as a team.

“When you are dealing with Apple, or IBM or Microsoft, one bad person doesn’t have a huge effect on the overall culture,” said Geoffrey Clapp of Rock Health. “When you have five people sitting in a tiny room, one person is 20 percent.”

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John Pickard is the Executive Director of the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at Georgian College.
Mr. Pickard is a Marketing strategist with experience in the consumer goods, publishing and telecom industries. Mr. Pickard honed his skills with global marketers Bristol-Myers and Warner-Lambert. John became Vice President of Telemedia Publishing, then Canada’s largest publisher, in 1990. Pickard entered the entrepreneurial ranks when he joined a start-up in the prepaid card market….. which was ultimately sold to AT&T. Mr. Pickard is well connected to the investment community and has been involved in securing investment for a variety of early stage companies. John has an extensive list of contacts in the Entrepreneurship space having spent the 6 years prior to joining Georgian College mentoring with Mars Discovery District, Bioenterprise Corp., and Innovation Guelph.