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Pulse - September 2015

The Pulse on Entrepreneurship

Failure is success in progress

Many are in search of the dollars that surround the proverbial entrepreneurial career, however, there is quite a lot of valuable sense that must first be mastered before there's enough dough to roll in. What is entrepreneurship ... really? Who should get involved? Is it all, or nothing at all?  Are there lessons in entrepreneurship from which we can all learn?  These are some of the questions we'll tackle from a decidedly K - 20 point of view in this months' segment The Pulse on Entrepreneurship.


For more information, please contact participants through their organizations.

Ryan Bowling
Ryan Burwell

MaRS logo

Entrepreneurial Thinking logo


Ryan Burwell - Instructional Designer and Facilitator, Future Leaders - is an educator by training and entrepreneur by disposition. After spending a decade designing and delivering interdisciplinary curriculum for a number of private high schools, he took the plunge into Toronto’s thriving start-up community. He currently works at MaRS Discovery District as the lead curriculum designer and facilitator for its Entrepreneurial Thinking initiative. In this role, he helps educators apply strategies from the world of entrepreneurship to design experiences relating to creative communication, problem solving, and self-direction. When he’s not at MaRS, Ryan can be found at the Centre for Social Innovation where he works as the Education Lead for Twenty One Toys – a start-up that designs toys and workshops that show innovators of all ages the connection between play, empathy, and creativity.


Entrepreneurial thinking is a mindset and learning style propelled by the desire to solve problems and create. It is common to all innovators, whether they are the founder of a company, a freelancer, an artist or an individual who effects positive change from within someone else’s organization.

There are many tools and techniques associated with entrepreneurial thinking that can be easily integrated into the lessons and activities that K-12 teachers are already using in the classroom. You will find them in the Entrepreneurial Thinking Toolkit for Educators.

Scott Welch
H. E. Scott Welch

Edsby logo


Scott  Welch - Co-founder and VP Sales - has a co-op degree in math from the University of Waterloo, which he graduated from in 1986. He worked at Nortel as a co-op student in 1984, when he became the only co-op student ever transferred from Canada to the Nortel lab in Silicon Valley. He joined full-time in 1986, becoming part of the team building Meridian Mail. Along with two partners, he left Nortel in 1989 to start SoftArc Inc. Serving as CEO until 1999, Scott provided product management and business leadership as SoftArc grew from 3 to over 100 employees and became Centrinity. Scott played a key role in Investor Relations and was instrumental in completing two successful secondary public offerings, including a $25 million self-syndicated offering. After the acquisition of Centrinity by Open Text, Scott continued his role as Chief Evangelist for FirstClass. Scott has extensive experience in the public eye, having appeared at over 500 user groups, trade shows, investor conferences and industry symposiums. With the same founding team from FirstClass, Scott started Edsby. At Edsby, Scott serves as a connection between customers and the engineering and design groups, which he believes is crucial for the long-term success of any software company.

Edsby is a modern, cloud-based learning management system (LMS) for K-12 school districts that uses latest web and mobile technologies to connect teachers, students and parents in exciting new ways. It incorporates social learning, assessment & reporting, approvals, workflows, group collaboration, course planning, parent communication, analytics and more.


Sarah Prevette
Sarah Prevette

FDS logo


Sarah Prevette - Founder, Future Design School -  has a long history of entrepreneurialism. She was the founder of well-known online properties Sprouter and BetaKit (acquired) and the co-founder of BrandProject LP - an investment firm that invests in and works with early-stage startups. (more details) Sarah recently launched Future Design School (FDS) to empower youth to pursue big ideas and build meaningful innovation. FDS has entrepreneurial programming and materials available for both educators and students. Learn more at: FutureDesignSchool.com

Future Design School (FDS) inspires kids to see things differently. Our innovation programming fosters creativity, encourages the pursuit of curiosity and empowers youth everywhere to reshape the world around them. FDS teaches entrepreneurialism as a core philosophy and creativity as a necessary skill set. Learn more at: FutureDesignSchool.com






Joseph Wilson
Joseph Wilson



Joseph Wilson - Director of Business Development - at Spongelab Interactive where he integrate STEM games and simulations into schools. Previously, he founded the Education Technology cluster at Toronto-based incubator MaRS Discovery District, which works with over 200 edtech startups. He taught high school level physics, science and credit recovery for 5 years, and was nominated for the Premier’s Award for Teaching Excellence in 2009. He won the T. Eta Award of Excellence in 2002 for his work teaching with University of Toronto’s Science Outreach He has worked in exhibit and curriculum design for the Ontario Science Centre, The Royal Ontario Museum and the American Museum of Natural History. He has written on topics of science, innovation and education for NOW Magazine, the Globe & Mail, the Toronto Star, Yonge Street Media, EdSurge, Huffington Post, Spacing Magazine, Canadian Education Association and has contributed to two science textbooks (Nelson & ASP). 

Spongelab Interactive (link: Spongelab.com) is a learning technology company that creates high-quality science games and simulations for K-12 teachers.  Games, lessons and other digital resources can be deployed through Spongelab’s STITCH platform to organize content, classes and lessons. STITCH plugs seamlessly into existing Learning Management Systems like Google Apps or Desire2Learn