Last week, Cape Breton University (CBU) welcomed Permjot Valia as its first Entrepreneur in Residence. Working within the Island Sandbox, Valia will provide mentorship and organize training programs and events on various aspects of entrepreneurship. Valia brings with him an international business portfolio, with success in the areas of business development and start-up companies. Of note, his global connections, mentoring experience gained over 10 years across three continents and his investment in more than 30 companies around the world make him a most fitting choice for the position. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Open University.
“We are extremely pleased to have Permjot Valia join the Island Sandbox. His experience in business development and connections to the international start-up community will be of great value to our students and the start-up community on Cape Breton Island. I am not surprised that his arrival in Cape Breton is already creating lots of excitement. Just last week, he was a presenter during Global Entrepreneurship Week and it was clear that his knowledge and insights are going to make an impact,” says Dr. Dale Keefe, Vice President, Academic and Provost.
Although new to the Entrepreneur in Residence role, Valia already has connections to the start-up community on Cape Breton Island. With plans to deepen those, he wants to help connect entrepreneurs from the region to people from around the world who are able to really help them advance their companies. He notes that one of the few disadvantages in coming from a small place is that a person may not have access to the right people. It is his hope that he will be able to eliminate this by helping people to make the right contacts.
When speaking about the start-up community on Cape Breton Island, Valia says, “It’s in a healthy state, and very much in its infancy. But we know great things are possible through the examples set by people like Gavin Uhma. So, it is about building scale and introducing deep pockets of expertise into the region.”
In addition to his own experience, Valia also has ambitious plans to bring world-class events and talent to the region, which will have a huge impact on the start-up community and presents a great opportunity to CBU students.
“If you’re from Cape Breton Island, simply reach out to me and I will help you,” he says.