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Atlantic Women's Business Series: Women in Science & Technology Leading the Way in Entrepreneurship

  • 04 Nov 2020
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM (AST)
  • Zoom Video Conference Platform
  • 10


The Atlantic Canadian Women in Growth (ACWGP) is a Pan-Atlantic project. Please note that the registration for this event is being shared between all project provinces, including NLOWE (NL), Centre for Women in Business (NS), PEI Business Women's Association (PEI), and Women in Business NB (NB).

Featuring Special Guests:

Deirdre Ayre

In 2006 Deirdre spearheaded the establishment of Other Ocean’s original videogame development studio on Prince Edward Island. In 2007 she oversaw the establishment of Other Ocean’s Quality Assurance and Community Management Company Sculpin QA on PEI, followed by the establishment of Other Ocean’s 2nd development studio in St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. In 2013 Other Ocean’s PEI development studio was acquired by videogame corporate giant Electronic Arts. In 2016 Deirdre re-established Other Ocean’s production presence on PEI by expanding Sculpin to include development of Original IP. In 2017 Other Ocean was nominated for an Emmy Award for their development work on the globally successful Rick and Morty franchise.

Deirdre is a past Chair of the Canadian Interactive Alliance/L’ Interactive Canadienne. She is a founder and Chair of VideogamesPEI. She is a member of the board of the Entertainment Software Association of Canada. She is also a member of the Board of Innovation PEI and the Economic Steering Committee for the City of St. John’s.  In 2018 Deirdre received the Diversity Award from the Association of New Canadians for her commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Gabrielle Masone

Gabrielle Masone is the founder and CEO of Coloursmith. Her responsibilities within the company involve, among others, business development and new project exploration. A graduate of the Faculty of Chemistry at Dalhousie University and Chemical Engineering Technology at Seneca College. Long-time advocate of vision care with Prevent Blindness America and the Canadian National Institute of the Blind. Gabrielle also acted as president of a Low-Vision Scholarship Organization funding Atlantic Canadian University Students. Inventor and exhibitor of chemistry innovation at the national level. Ambitious and young, but already an experienced scientist, she has won a number of awards and honours for her work in vision care and innovation and spoken passionately on behalf of North American Vision Care standards.

Cathy Simpson

Cathy Simpson is an Atlantic Canadian IT leader who has dedicated her career to building the region's tech capacity. She is currently the CEO of TechImpact and Founder of UP+GO. Prior to joining TechImpact, a private sector led industry group focused on growing the tech sector in Atlantic Canada, she was the Vice President, People and Culture with T4G Limited, one of the largest privately held IT firms in the region with clients throughout North America.

Cathy is a leader in the movement to use technology and innovation to drive economic growth, create thriving communities and engage citizens. She champions this evolution as Board Chair of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit corporation that invests in new growth-oriented companies and applied research activities. Her current work is an extension of her role as one of the co-founders of PropelICT, Atlantic Canada’s original tech accelerator, and she continues to mentor and advise start-up entrepreneurs and students in the region. 

In 2015, she decided to follow her own advice and created her own company focused on delivering leadership and self-discovery programs for high school girls and introducing them to STEM, entrepreneurship, and leadership. The focus is building employability skills and ensuring girls see new educational and career possibilities through experiential learning. 

She began her career at NBTel and Innovatia where she helped launch Canada’s first IPTV service and other innovative consumer products. Cathy is a graduate of F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia University and lives with her family in Rothesay, NB.

Crystal Trevors

Crystal Trevors is the owner of Stepscan Technologies, a biotechnology company located in PEI.

The company was kickstarted with the award of a $1.4 M Atlantic Innovation Fund (AIF) Award which was leveraged with other sources of funding to build a pressure sensitive floor tile system and software that tracks and analyzes how people walk.  

The Stepscan mobility assessment technology is recognized by both the USFDA and Health Canada as a Class I medical device and Stepscan Technologies is a licenced medical device manufacturing company. Stepscan technology is currently being used in hospitals and clinics internationally in applications ranging from pre-surgery planning and post-operative assessment of Cerebral Palsy children, stroke rehabilitation, concussion screening and fitting of prosthetic limbs. The company’s most recent application is an accidental fall assessment tool for identifying high risk fallers in senior care facilities. 

Crystal has a diverse background in science and business accumulated in over 25 years working in both the private and public sectors.  She started her career as a research assistant and biologist in the fields of immunology and molecular biology in the aquaculture and agriculture industries. 

Crystal transitioned from research to management in the public service working as an Operations Analyst for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency National Operations and as the Senior Consultant with the local accounting and management consulting firm MacPherson Roche Smith & Associates.

As the CEO of Stepscan Technologies, Crystal has attracted the investment funds to bring this concept technology through into commercialization.  

Crystal has a B.Sc. degree from the University of New Brunswick; a M.Sc. from the Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI; and an MBA from the University of Guelph.  Crystal is passionate about the future promise that entrepreneurship holds for the growth of the Atlantic Canadian provinces in the upcoming years.  She is a member of the Order of the Wallace McCain Institute; an Atlantic Canadian based entrepreneurship society and currently sits on the Board of Biathlon PEI.

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