Alumni Entrepreneurs Share Adventures with Undergrads in Start up Course Part 3

Wayne Chang

Hello again! I am Wayne Chang bringing you part 3 of the BET 300 – Foundations of Venture Creation at the Conrad Business Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre speaker blog series.

The third alumnus I would like to feature who has spoken in our BET 300 class to students about their entrepreneurship experience is Jeff Payne, Applied Health Science 2006, Recreation and Business.

Jeff is the Manager, Global Partnerships, at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.

Jeff  hosted Conrad students for a first-ever Entrepreneur and Intrapreneur Speaker Series at the Air Canada Centre.  Jeff shared his adventures playing varsity soccer while an undergrad at Waterloo and how he launched his career by acting on the opportunity to work with the new Toronto FC soccer club after graduation.  His roles and duties expanded in a few short years, and he now manages Global Partnerships for all of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.  Jeff shared interesting perspectives on the importance of branding both for companies and individuals, the roles of emotional rapport and building relationships, authenticity, and strategic partnerships.

Jeff PayneJeff’s role at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment allows him to create unique ways for brands to leverage the power of sports teams and become a valuable addition to the fan experience.

Q&A with Jeff Payne

What would you like to share with aspiring entrepreneurs at UWaterloo?

Intrapreneurship: Inspire change and innovation within an organization, from the bottom up.

Integration: Leveraging the power of established brands and relationships to succeed as a challenger brand.

Authenticity: Recognizing your unique position and taking action to support it.

What was memorable from your days at UWaterloo that impacted your later entrepreneurial or business perspectives?

Leadership: I learned this from my days playing on the varsity soccer team.  Looking back, it helped me determine my style, approach, and develop my personal brand.

Relationships: What you remember, retain, and invest in are people; not the work. Realistically, nobody expects you to have a skill set that is worth much when you graduate – your assets are your friends, your willingness to be an effective teammate, and your ability to think differently.

What are you working on or developing/playing with these days?

Growing a mature business organically: Engaging people that we would not traditionally think of for a partnership.

Being data-driven:  While it is still not the be-all and end-all, you need to build a foundation with analytics on which to build.

Stay tuned for more posts about these outstanding alumni!

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