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Business Advice

Welcome to Tecconnect's webpage, we are Southern Alberta's HUB for Innovation & Technology!

If this is your first time visiting and you are looking for advice, support, or guidance for your business or business idea - you're in luck... 

Our Entrepreneur Program is completely FREE and can get you access to expert advice through our business advisory services.  We always recommend the use of innovation and technology to compete in today's business landscape and find efficiencies. 

Whether you've been operating for years and are looking to make a change, or you're considering how to get an idea off the ground, the Tecconnect referral network and education offerings will also strengthen your approach to doing business a better way!

 

Start here by requesting an appointment for an intake application via our Entrepreneur Program Manager:

Email - education@chooselethbridge.ca and we'll be in touch shortly!

 


Frequently Asked:

What is a Tecconnect Business Advisor?

A Tecconnect Business Advisor provides direction and sometimes instruction around specific business challenges.  They help entrepreneurs to make informed business decisions but do not direct what those decisions should be. Tecconnect, through government funding, pays these consultants an hourly rate to provide this free service to entrepreneurs.

Services can include:

One-time or multiple sessions that assist entrepreneurs by providing advice on streamlining or improving business model; addressing a specific business challenge; navigating options and opportunities, connecting with resources and assisting with planning and goal setting.  

Services not included:

Tecconnect Business Advisors will not do the work for you or provide a product for you.  For example, a Business Advisor will not write your business or marketing plan. They will advise you of what those documents are, how they are used and how to create one.  They may also help you determine how to find the right service provider that can provide that service.  But their paid services as a Tecconnect Business Advisor do not expand beyond advisory services.  

 

How is a Business Advisor different from a Mentor?

An advisor, as defined as “one who gives advice” whether it be a business advisor or other type of a specific expertise in a particular area of practice, their job is literally to give you advice on what you should do. Usually, an advisor is engaged through a targeted phone call, an email with a set of questions, or semi-regular update meetings.

A mentor provides more broad support usually through years of experience and wisdom and is not typically associated with the company, but rather, focused on the business owner’s personal growth and development over a longer period of time through a relationship building process. Perhaps the most important distinction between a mentor and an advisor is that a mentor is not someone who is paid and does not financially benefit from your success.

Who would you like to meet?

Wendy Muise
Business Advisor
Wendy Muise, MBA(c), CITP(c), is the Head Of Strategy of Ground Floor Labs. Wendy has always been an entrepreneur and loves the ability to spend time helping others with their businesses. With a background in tech and innovation start-ups, Wendy has been apart of a team that took a product from an idea to IPO and a $121 million market valuation. Spending the last ten years focusing on strategic practices in entrepreneurship, Wendy has worked in communities during disaster recovery supporting existing and new entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. Wendy believes the best way to learn is through a supportive environment and will give you guidance and the tools you need to help with your next steps. As someone who has been working to support rural communities across the country, Wendy takes the time to ensure you’re plan matches your resources to ensure you achieve the goals set out. Wendy has worked in the entrepreneurship, innovation, and economic development spaces across Canada. Most notably working with entrepreneurs in Wood Buffalo during the Wildfire Economic Recovery and winning an Impact Award in Nova Scotia, in recognition of her efforts to create change and innovative economic impact in the community where she grew up.
Linnden King
Business Advisor
Born and raised outside of Edmonton, Linnden came to southern AB in 2005 to pursue her education at the University of Lethbridge. After several years in the south, two children, and a career in management with Canada’s leading fitness company, Lethbridge captured her heart with it’s small-town feel, tight knit community, and opportunity for growth. Linnden is now the Owner of Urban Cowgirl & Company Inc., a Canadian brand that specializes in apparel manufacturing. Linnden founded the company in 2016 after a desire to provide quality, small batch, handcrafted pieces that gave women the confidence to look and feel their very best. Urban Cowgirl & Co. retails their label direct-to-consumer through their online shop (www.urban-cowgirl.com), as well as stocking over 100 retail stores and independent boutiques throughout Canada and the US. Linnden is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs with their time-management, business growth, e-commerce and email marketing strategies, transitioning from brick & mortar to the world online, and pivoting in the face of adversity. She also loves to help entrepreneurs obtain the skills and confidence to crush it on social media! She now resides on an acreage outside of Magrath, AB, just close enough to the city, and short drive to the mountains where she and her family can easily adventure. Linnden’s passions include riding her horses, and a love for travel!
Kate Miller, CPHR
Business Advisor Avail CPA
Kate Miller is Avail CPA’s Human Resources Consultant who helps businesses with solutions to their employee-related pain points. Through focusing on HR best practices, compliance with HR laws & standards, and developing effective teams, employers see higher job satisfaction, effective teams, and higher productivity. Kate holds the Chartered Professional in Human Resources (CPHR) designation and is a member of CPHR Alberta. She is a proud alumnus of the University of Lethbridge majoring in Human Resources and Labour Relations with a minor in Corporate Social Responsibility and Co-op Designation. Through best practices Avail CPA Human Resources Consulting is an investment in your business to increase employee productivity, prevent costly mistakes, and recruit the right people. Three main methods to ease employer’s pain points are: 1. Recruiting: getting the right people in your business 2. Risk mitigation: ensuring compliance with laws and legislation through documentation, policies, and procedures. 3. Culture: utilize HR best practices to create a productive and rewarding workplace When not consulting, Kate can be found creating Titanic replicas out of Duplo with her 5-year-old son, playing Anna to her daughter’s Elsa, or writing funny wine reviews with her husband.
Chris Rabl
Business Advisor
Chris Rabl is the lead front-end developer at Autovance, a division of Quorum Information Systems. For the past six years, Chris has been involved in building Autovance's full suite of automotive retail applications, used in hundreds of dealerships across Canada. These include Autovance Desk, their flagship payment quoting and F&I menu tool as well as MyDeal, an online retail solution for car dealers built for the 21st century. Chris' greatest strength is in designing tools that make it easy for people to accomplish their goals: from rapidly prototyping applications and workflows to iterating on and polishing the user experience, he strongly believes that people deserve better, more humane software systems. Another one of Chris' passions is building and coaching high-performing teams. Software development is a team sport, and in order to solve tough problems and develop sustainable, well-architected systems, teams need the support and guidance of great coaches. Throughout his career, Chris has sought to give developers the tools they need to make good decisions and work together as a team. Since 2019, Chris has been the chair of the CIT Industry Advisory Committee at Lethbridge College. He is committed to developing Lethbridge's IT ecosystem using home-grown talent and believes that we have what it takes to build a thriving, tech-driven, entrepreneurial hub right here in Southern Alberta. Finally, when he's not slinging code or power-walking through the coulees, Chris is an avid curler and loves to get out on the ice whenever he can!
Adetoye Oyebola, BSc., MSc., PRINCE2
Business Advisor
Adetoye Oyebola (Ade) is a seasoned entrepreneur and professional. Adetoye is the co-founder of Genesis Exotic Market in Lethbridge. He is currently an Operations Manager at FedEx Lethbridge. He is also a Seasonal Instructor at both University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College.

Prior to his migration to Canada in 2015, Adetoye was the founder and CEO of Royal Priesthood Services. The company was one of the largest minority-owned cleaning companies in Denmark at the time. During his time in Denmark, he was involved in many innovative research projects funded by the European Union. Ade co-wrote dozens of successful funding proposals. He was also responsible for recruiting business and research partners across the EU countries. He oversaw the implementation and dissemination of project results.

Born in Nigeria, Ade moved to Denmark in 1995. He holds a MSc in Economics and Business Administration with a specialization in Management of Innovation and Business Development from Copenhagen Business School. He also holds a BSc in International Business from the same institution. He has PRINCE2 Project Management Certification. Adetoye speaks, reads, and writes English, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian languages fluently. He lives with his family in Lethbridge, Alberta. Adetoye believes that innovation without market value is just an invention.
Catharine Newton-Wowryk, BA., MA., PMP, Scrum Master, PROSCI, CSM
Business Advisor
Catharine Newton-Wowryk is a multi-talented project and program leader with over 15 years’ experience delivering timely project results, steering process change, and providing impactful industry intelligence that directly influence business opportunities and strategic growth initiatives.

Catharine’s experience is as varied as it is deep - from supporting young companies with getting their business ideas off the ground, to understanding and advising on the ever-changing energy market for a billion-dollar pipeline company, to working for the United Nations in Geneva and assisting countries develop their telecommunication systems. Currently, Catharine owns a consulting firm focused on partnering with small to medium-sized companies where she brings her vast knowledge of improvement strategies, smooth change management, and responsive department design.

Catharine is passionate about connecting with and assisting entrepreneurs in order to bring their visions to life! She has a background in starting small businesses and expanding on existing lines of business which leverages her skills in setting up business strategies, writing impactful business plans and conducting market research.

Catharine is a lifelong learner. She has a Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Economics, Masters Degrees in International Relations and Human Resources Management, Project Management certification, and is Scrum Master, PROSCI and Customer Success Management certified.
Jason Bacon, B.Mgmt (Finance)
Business Advisor
Jason's first entrepreneur experience was in the fifth grade when he and a friend collected tadpoles from the hills around Peace River and took them to school to sell to classmates. Then the principal found out and shut it down, giving him his first experience with regulation. After moving to Lethbridge Alberta he worked for a time before attending the university and obtaining a Bachelor of Management with a major in Finance. Since then his professional career in the finance industry has been focused in the support of entrepreneurs. From lending and risk management to advising and educating.

Jason worked for Community Futures Lethbridge Region where he ran the Chinook Entrepreneur Challenge. This business planning competition trained more than 100 entrepreneurs in its last year and provided more than $80,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. As an entrepreneur strategist with ATB Financial he was responsible for helping to start the entrepreneur centre in Lethbridge and advised more than 400 entrepreneurs in his last year. In his former role he worked as the Senior Manager of Entrepreneur Education for ATB Financial. During that time, he led a team of passionate individuals in creating and delivering many of ATB's entrepreneur advice and education offerings. This included the ATB X Business Growth Accelerator, which boasted a 98.1 net promoter score.

From there he started his own business, Sunstone Strategic, which guides entrepreneurs to focus and financial freedom. This is done through business planning, consultation and engaging with the entrepreneur community. He brings his nearly decade of experience in the finance and entrepreneur support industries all for the purpose of helping business owners. In addition to this, Jason has recently written and will soon be releasing an eBook entitled "Entrepreneur-ish: Inspirations and lessons in entrepreneurship from Vikings, pirates, and samurai.
Joshua Day Chief
Business Advisor
Currently, Joshua is the CEO of AdvancedAg Inc. (AAG), a family/First Nations' owned business focused on producing beneficial blends of bacteria for soil and water health. The AAG biotechnology was developed in 2001 by completing research projects with the National Research Council and landing contracts to naturally clean up lakes and municipal stormwater ponds.

Joshua began marketing this innovative line of bioproducts from an educational standpoint and backing it up with third party research. The client list for AAG doubled in the first year of his full-time involvement. A new opportunity had also developed - the chance to research and market a bacteria-based product for agriculture. Although he did not come from a farming background, he thought this was a perfect way to diversify the company and take it to another level.

In 2017, Joshua worked with his team to sell enough bacteria to apply to roughly 1000 acres of dryland crops. They also added one new location to produce the bacteria. The farmers all noted increased plant health and yield for their farms, and they were able to cut back on harmful chemicals and synthetic fertilizers. Joshua and his growing team invested as much as they possibly could into research to accommodate major expansion. They worked on developing a new technology and software to culture and grow their “bugs.” In 2021, AdvancedAg Inc. has 35 "brew" facilities across Canada and will treat close to 400,000 acres of crops, while maintaining a strong, growing client base for water restoration.

Whether it is on the ball diamond, the ice arena, or volleyball court, Joshua is very passionate. The same is true in business. He enjoys the challenge of new opportunities and always engages a team approach to achieve maximum impact. His leadership skills are natural, and people are quick to see his vision.
Wani Alali
Business Advisor
Wani Alali is an acquisition entrepreneur, Investor, and growth advisor. With educational background in economics, public policy and applied and computational mathematics, Wani has over 10 years’ experience across different sectors including central banking, oil and gas, ecommerce, non- profit field research & assessments and finance. He is the founder of Alpha Plexus (a lower middle- market business acquisition and alternative financing company) and co-founder of Lottanna (a commodity focused trading company).

As an acquisition entrepreneur, Wani understands the challenges of managing small and medium sized businesses, whether it be product development, capital raising, structuring an exitable business, creating value-based offers and scaling businesses. Wani regularly provides business growth advisory services to a portfolio of companies owned by himself and his partners in the services, manufacturing, technology, and distribution sectors. As a Tecconnect Business Advisor, Wani is interested in helping business owners build a profitable and high-impact business that can without them through leveraged sales, bankable profits, scalable impact and transferable value strategies.

In the near future, he intends to explore opportunities where he can incorporate design and mathematical algorithms into modern technologies. Wani currently sits on the board of BIPOC Foundation – a foundation that supports entrepreneurs with education and funding to transform ideas into business innovations.