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Ignite Spotlight on Business by Quin Hauck

It All Started Here

On April 18th, Ignite Calgary brought together an exceptional group of established local leaders and rising trailblazers for a panel discussion on leadership, entrepreneurship, and innovation at the Unity Technologies space in Brookfield Place. The event, named "It All Started Here," featured a panel that included some of Calgary's most successful figures, such as Arlene Dickinson, a judge on CBC's Dragons' Den and Co-Managing Partner of Believeco Partners, and Patrick Lor, Managing Partner of Panache Ventures.

It All Started Here///Ignite Calgary Event

It All Started Here///Ignite Calgary Eventignite calgary
ignite calgaryignite calgaryIt All Started Here///Ignite Calgary Event

(Left: Patrick Lor and right: Arlene Dickinson)

The emcee for the evening was Jason Ribeiro, Global News commentator and President of the newly formed Calgary Surge basketball team, who kept the discussion flowing and brought out the best in each panellist.

One of the highlights of the evening was the personal story shared by Lor. "I immigrated here when I was five years old. Somehow we ended up in Calgary. [I have] not lived outside of southwest Calgary for over fifty years. What kept me here was the successful people before me that I came in contact with saw this goofy kid and said, 'We want to invest in you. I'm going to make a moment in your life that will make a difference.'"

Dickinson also shared a powerful message about finding success. "I grew up poor. I grew up below the poverty line, and I tell this story because it's relevant to those who believe you have to be successful to find success. You don't. What it relies on is yourself. We are ultimately successful because we rely on ourselves to be successful. We don't let others tell us we can't. Success is found at the intersection of purpose and passion. It is not money. Money is an outcome of doing what you love and are passionate about. It's what gives you purpose and gets you up every day."

But the event was not just about established leaders in Calgary. The rising trailblazers on the panel, Jackson McDonough, CEO of Upwardly Careers, and Mitch Jacobsen, CEO of Rviita Inc., also shared their stories and insights on success within the city.

(Left: Mitch Jacobsen and right: Jackson McDonough)

"It all started here. [Calgary] is the city of dreams. There is so much opportunity and potential here, and it is such a blessing to be a part of this entrepreneurial community," said Jacobsen. He went on to share a remarkable anecdote about Rviita energy drinks, revealing how the Calgary Co-Op buyer embraced their product and stocked it in every store, despite a mistake with the barcode.

They discussed the challenges they faced, the lessons they learned, and the strategies they employed to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals in Calgary.

McDonough challenged the audience with a quote from his grandfather, "When I was younger, my grandfather told me when somebody says somebody should do something about that, recognize that you are somebody. I challenge you to recognize that you are somebody."

Overall, "It All Started Here" was an unforgettable event that showcased the resilience and determination of Calgary's most successful leaders and trailblazers. It demonstrated that success in business is not just about talent and hard work but also about vision, determination, a willingness to learn from others, and a willingness to support others within the Calgary community.