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Genesis Centre hires two entrepreneurs-in-residence

Campus and Community

By Jeff Green

The Genesis Centre, Memorial’s award-winning business incubator, has hired two entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIRs).

Permjot Valia and Trevor Adey began three-month contracts Oct. 10. This marks the first time the centre has brought EIRs into Newfoundland and Labrador to provide additional support and advice to portfolio companies.

Wealth of experience

Mr. Valia, originally from London, England, but now living in Halifax, N.S., is no stranger to the Genesis Centre. He last visited the centre in May, sharing his knowledge with companies during a fireside chat.

Permjot Valia
Permjot Valia
Photo: Submitted

Mr. Valia brings a wealth of experience to the centre, from helping start the Entrepreneur of the Year award in England in 2004 to investing in over 30 companies across three continents.

Mr. Valia currently focuses much of his time on the organization of the highly acclaimed MentorCamp, where high-potential startups meet with world-class mentors in multi-day workshops in cities around the world.

“It feels great to be back,” said Mr. Valia. “I have invested in a company from Newfoundland and Labrador and have a history going back almost 10 years with St. John’s. I have always wanted to work with Michelle Simms and now that she is CEO, I’m excited to have that opportunity.

“The companies I have met from the province have real potential and I hope they will benefit from the mentoring I can provide and the connections to the very best advisors in the world I can provide.”

‘Turn great ideas into great companies’

Memorial alumnus Trevor Adey, originally from St. John’s, N.L., also brings an extensive range of experiences with him to the Genesis Centre as an entrepreneur-in-residence.

An expert in revenue growth, Mr. Adey has had a varied background in business development and entrepreneurship, starting with a six-year stint as vice-president of Stratos Global, which was later acquired by Inmarsat. Mr. Adey went on to found mobile messaging and advertising company, Consilient.


Later he served as a vice president of partnering at telecommunications giant Ericsson, based in San Francisco, Calif., and Dallas, Texas. Just coming off a stint as an in-market consultant with the Canadian Technology Accelerator, and also serving as a chartered member of the C100 in San Francisco, Mr. Adey makes a perfect addition to the support structure of the Genesis Centre.

“The future of the province and the country is dependent on our ability to turn great ideas into great companies.” — Trevor Adey

“I am excited to work with the companies in the Genesis program,” said Mr. Adey. “The future of the province and the country is dependent on our ability to turn great ideas into great companies.”

Both EIRs will provide Genesis Centre portfolio companies with insights into the worlds of angel investing, startups, mentorship, telecommunications, and revenue generation. The centre is excited to welcome the two experts to St. John’s and to the Memorial University community, and is positive they will provide excellent support and advice to the current portfolio of high-potential startups.

The Genesis Centre is Memorial University’s award-winning business incubator for technology-based ventures. Since launching nearly two decades ago in 1997, the Genesis Centre has assisted more than 150 start-ups raise more than $90 million in private investments. More about the Genesis Centre is available online.

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