Do you have a business idea, but don’t know where to start? Would you like to get the lay-of-the-land when it comes to understanding the many support resources available for entrepreneurs? Whether you’re nervous about preparing a business plan or just need another perspective, run it by our entrepreneur in residence for some valuable feedback.

John Pickard was the founding Executive Director of the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre at Georgian College and served in that role from 2014 to 2019. John honed his skills in marketing and sales with global marketers Bristol-Myers and Warner- Lambert. Following that he became Vice President of Telemedia Publishing, then Canada’s largest consumer magazine publisher. 

He entered the entrepreneurial ranks when he joined a start-up in the prepaid card market, which was ultimately sold to AT&T. This led to the acquisition of Orlando-based New Horizons, a cell phone company that John and his partners took public and eventually exited. 

John spent the 6 years prior to joining Georgian College mentoring entrepreneurs with Mars Discovery District, Bioenterprise Corporation, and Innovation Guelph. He has been a Board member with the Greater Barrie Chamber of Commerce, Georgian Angel Network, and the Sandbox Centre. 

He is currently pursuing a new entrepreneurial venture, helping men to get to a healthy weight for life.

Is your business in need of a strategy session? Specializing in operations or manufacturing? Are you scaling for growth and need a sounding board that will help move you in the right direction? From scaling businesses to getting IPO ready and building operational strategies to raise capital, our entrepreneur in residence specializes in operations and manufacturing and is ready to support your business growth today. 

Tom Ambeau is a senior executive with diverse experience across multiple sectors in growing businesses to point of sale to major multinational corporations. He balances the entrepreneurial with the pragmatic throughout all phases of growth.

As a skilled fundraiser, Tom is able to raise capital in both the public and private sectors. He has consistently been recognized and awarded for business and entrepreneurial achievements
throughout his career. 

Tom currently operates his own Management Consulting firm focused on; business strategy, bottom line growth, capital resource development for non-profits, public market listings, operations and communications.

The purpose of the ENTREPRENEURS IN RESIDENCE (EIR) PROGRAM is to provide a limited touch mentorship based FREE service to qualified Sandbox Centre Members & Guests.

In this capacity, the Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIR’s) will devote volunteer hours as mutually agreed (per month) to touch mentoring of qualified Sandbox Centre members & guests.  Touch mentoring is defined as intermittently providing advice, training, review of work, and networking connections.  Mentoring does not include doing work for Members & Guests.  

The EIR PROGRAM is meant to act as a tool to provide insight into considerations, challenges and opportunities Members & Guests may be facing, to help guide them on their journey to success.  Members & Guests understand the information and/or advice received from the EIR’s in the context of the EIR PROGRAM can not be used to hold liable the EIR or Sandbox Centre in any way. It is at the sole discretion of the Members & Guests, how they choose to, or not to, employ the information and/or advice received from the EIR’s.  Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

Rest assured you will be sharing in confidence! Proprietary information and the nature of your conversations will be protected. Part of the EIR’s role is to provide insight while maintaining the confidentiality of such information. Sandbox Centre will only use transactional data (who you met with / when / duration / services rendered / connections made etc.) for limited program reporting purposes.  Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

A conflict of interest includes, but is not limited to, any circumstances where a EIR has outside commitments, financial interests or relationships, including those with any Related Persons (i) that could or could be seen to exercise an improper influence over the objective, unbiased and impartial exercise of the EIR’s independent judgement; or (ii) could or could be seen to compromise, impair or be incompatible with the effective carrying out of the Sandbox Centre duties. Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff.

In fulfillment of a EIR’s duties, he or she must remain at “Arms Length” with guests.  “Arms Length” is defined as a relationship between two or more parties where the parties are not Related Persons. Related Persons do not deal with each other at Arms Length.

An EIR is obligated to disclose any conflict of interest of which he or she becomes aware, whether or not it involves him or her.  Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff

Programming under the Experts in Residence Banners specifically the PLANNING STARTUP & EXPANSION as well as the BUSINESS STRATEGY pillars is a 1 on 1 session available on a first come first serve basis. Have your questions for the EIR ready to maximize your time. Registration can be completed through the calendar links.

A waiting list will be implemented based on demand for the EIR’s time. Please raise any questions you may have with Sandbox Centre staff