Mentorship is an important part of the Junction program. The founders in this fall’s Junction cohort received invaluable mentorship from a top-notch team of Community Advisors — a group of Calgary entrepreneurs and innovators who have the knowledge and experience to help them grow. We want to take a moment to highlight and thank Jennifer FitzGerald!
Jennifer got started in tech straight out of university through a job working for a tech startup that was part technology, part publishing company.
“It was my first exposure to people who were living and breathing the cutting edge of technology and it really imprinted me. I fell in love with working with people who loved technology and could see beyond the horizon, beyond what I could see.”
Jennifer found her role early on as the “glue person,” who integrates and helps ground people in their ideas — a skill she’s held on to throughout her career. Since then, she’s worked in communications for the government and as an entrepreneur.
While her first try at entrepreneurship came with lots of lessons, the second try led to what is now FitzGerald Associates, a consulting company that helps scaleups grow. Through her work, she’s constantly exposed to the forward thinking attitude she fell in love with at her first job.
“I love working with people who are breaking new ground, who are the mavericks, who aren’t afraid to break the status quo in order to develop something that is going to be better. My ideal, most fun client is not afraid to take some risks, think differently, and they’re not afraid to start something that’s never been started before.”
While starting her business, she naturally got connected with Platform and saw the opportunity to mentor founders through the Junction program as an extension of what she already loves doing.
“The [Junction] program is a lot of work, but if the founders can find a way to do the work, I can tell they’re going to get a lot out of it. I love that there’s a venue for people who are trying to start something new but they’re lost – a place they can go to get guidance, because Calgary needs that.”
As a born and raised Calgarian, Jennifer sees how Calgary’s entrepreneurial spirit has, and will continue to set it apart.
“Calgary has always been an entrepreneurial city, with a can-do attitude. I spent five years living outside of Calgary and I came back because of that can-do attitude. If you are an innovator or like spending time with innovators, this is the place to be.”
Jennifer’s advice for founders: “Be really humble when approaching new information and learn from as many sources as you possibly can, learn as much as you can with as much curiosity as you can muster every single day.”Back