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The Day The CBC Called

The Day The CBC Called

Life can be funny...

Now, I'm not saying I believe in fate, or maybe I do, I suppose that's for another time but for now I'd like to tell you about a string of coincidences that lead up to the day the CBC called. A day I won't soon forget, 

I was approaching retirement when my son Daryl asked if I would assist with bringing Havlar to market.  Having extra time on my hands and looking for an project or two to keep busy, I agreed because this venture sounded like something I could get my head around and have some fun with at the same time. Little did I realize that my role as the acting Managing Director would launch me back into a full-time employment in what would otherwise be my retirement years, but I was good with that.

So it goes something like this, 

Coincidence #1:  I enrolled in the pilot Seniorpreneur program at the new Community Innovation Lab (iLab) to beef up my networking skills, connect with like-minded people and to see what resources were available for startups these days (especially funding).  The iLab is a not-for-profit organization based in Durham Region, Ontario and they provide training and mentoring resources, a co-working space and basically represent a central access point for entrepreneurs of all ages to collaborate and innovate. It was there that I met Pramilla Ramdahani the Founder, CEO

Coincidence #2: I took on a near full-time consulting gig to help pay for some of Havlar’s start-up bills.  From the beginning we were determined to “boot strap” our venture and so everyone needed to pull their weight to pitch in both sweat equity and funding, including me.  Not wanting to draw from my retirement nest-egg this became the best option and my client just happened to be located in the CBC building downtown Toronto. 

Coincidence #3:  We were ramping up our pre-crowdfunding activities and were busy working with a video production company named West and Social. I agreed to pay for the video production provided my sons managed the script and were in front of the camera.  West and Social just happened to have all of the Havlar prototypes on site and were completing final production edits. Their studio is located just a few blocks from the CBC building.  

And then the phone rings, it’s a journalist from the CBC News and it strings together something like this…..

  • Jacqueline Hansen (Journalist CBC News) has been given an assignment to investigate seniors working later into their retirement years
  • Jacqueline reaches out to Pramilla at the iLab to discuss the Seniorpreneur program
  • Pramilla provides Jacqueline with my name and contact info
  • Jacqueline researches Havlar online and then conducts a telephone interview with me
  • I inform Jacqueline that the HavlarGo prototypes are at the West and Social production studio a few blocks away from her CBC office
  • We arrange for an on-site shoot and interview at West and Social the next day
  • I walk over from my gig in the CBC building to West and Social, meet Jacqueline and her cameraman from the CBC. We’re joined onsite by my sons Daryl and Kyle and the camera rolls.
  • The news feature is to be aired in a couple of days

So, a whirl wind of activities that resulted in a featured segment on the CBC National News, CBC.ca, and CBC Radio in both French and English.  We were even “trending in the news” at one point and our story reached an audience in Australia that we continue to work with.  

Way too cool!  

I guess you never really know when life and opportunity will intersect, so just hold on and enjoy the ride.

~Tom