How MBET helped me
While attending the Mechatronics Engineering program at the University of Waterloo, myself and three others took an interest in building robots - for school, for fun, and pretty much any other reason we could think of. This interest gradually evolved into a business; at the time, the four of us worked on building robots to clear mines in war-torn countries. It didn’t take long, however, to realize that it was a high risk and costly venture, so we found ourselves at a crossroad.
It was at that time that I entered the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program at the Conrad Centre. Through my education at MBET, and my experience of being a robotics researcher in academia, I was able to re-evaluate our core competence, and the market, to determine that academia needed robotic platforms that were affordable, out-of-the-box ready, reliable and robust. Once our team made the shift from mine clearance to robotic solutions for academia, we received our first order and Clearpath Robotics was officially established. Today, the Company is a leader in unmanned vehicle robotics for research and development. In essence, we design and manufacture mobile robotic platforms that can drive themselves and be used for mining, military, academic, and industrial research applications. (Check out Husky and Kingfisher to see what some of our robots look like).
It was MBET classes like Strategy (601), Accounting (605), Entrepreneurial Finance (603), and New Technology-based Venture Creation (604) that gave me exposure to perspectives I hadn’t fully explored. There is a lot involved to starting a business, some things can be taught and some things simply need to be experienced - all in all, MBET gave me the foundation to grow from.
How MBET continues to help me
MBET is in its 10th year of success and each year, it seems that graduates are more qualified and more willing to face and conquer the challenges of a technology-based startup. I’ve learned through trial and error that people are the most valuable thing a business can have; if you have great people, then those people will bring greatness to the business. The Conrad Centre has an (uncanny) ability to attract people who have ‘hustle’ - people who take initiative, who think creatively and who make results happen. Knowing this certainly helps us recruit strong candidates for positions at Clearpath Robotics.
Our Company is very proud to be the top employer of MBET graduates. To date, we’ve taken on alumnus from classes 7.0, 8.0, and 9.0 (and of course there’s me, from 6.0). Clearpath’s MBET employees currently work in areas of sales, marketing, business development and new product commercialization. All of the positions require a strong entrepreneurial spirit because, as the Company expands, we continue to develop new markets and discover new areas of focus for our business and its solutions. I should note that the MBET degree isn’t a free pass into Clearpath’s recruitment; the Company has a very in depth hiring process to ensure candidates are the right fit for our corporate culture and the position.
I look forward to seeing the energy and ideas that the MBET recruits bring to the new school year and will be sure to follow their successes!