Levven Electronics president James Keirstead spoke at yesterday’s PWC Vision to Reality Awards in Edmonton. This award program seeks to recognize Canada’s most forward-thinking and innovative organizations.
Rainforest Innovation Culture
“To become a hub of innovation, we need a culture that encourages natural collisions between entrepreneurs, funders, subject experts, and service providers. When we break out of our typical circles, we give ourselves the opportunity to spark something new.
“We call that the ‘rainforest’ – a flourishing ecosystem with many species, combining in new and interesting ways. Often creating something we’ve never seen before.
“Levven Electronics came from a non-related industry, but is now a full-bore tech concern. We decided to enter the home automation market with simple power-control modules. We introduced our first GoConex power control products in 2013. Back then, we would have told you we were a device manufacturer. We’ve since invested heavily in our development team. Now we’re building out a complete software platform to connect devices, open up home automation to possibilities that never existed before, and make it available and affordable to everyone in their home and commercial building.
“In short, we started as a vertical integration play, morphed into a device manufacturer and morphed again into a platform company that’s poised to disrupt an entire industry. But we weren’t in a vacuum here. We were rubbing shoulders – getting advice and input from innumerable coaches, contemporaries, and even competitors.”
Making Your Own Innovation Leap
“Many think innovation comes in rare leaps like the light bulb, radio, or iPod. People say, ‘I can’t come up with something that revolutionary, so why even try.’ That’s all wrong. Anyone can innovate. Innovation is a series of little steps that lead to game-changing ideas. It’s not a rare single epiphany. It’s a process.
“If we’re going to disrupt our businesses, our community, our industries, and the world, we need to swing for the fence and invest in hiring and retaining the world class talent developing right here in our community.
- Get involved in your community by attending networking events and innovation ecosystem summits.
- Look to scale and grow outside of your province and country. We can compete globally.
- Take more risk. Invest more in technology, start new projects, and hire development people.
If you do so, your business and our community will flourish.”
James Keirstead is an Edmonton-based “serial entrepreneur” and the president of Levven Electronics. For his contribution in pioneering GoConex wire-free power control technology, James was a 2017 Manning Innovation Award co-winner.