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  • Writer's pictureDave Veale

The Importance of Coaching Breakthru Leaders

Updated: Jan 29

Attending the Breakthru awards event is one of the highlights of my year.  Breakthru – hosted by the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF),

Breakthru logo

I didn’t envy the judges of the event this year – they had a very tough job choosing winners among the incredibly talented finalists.

Vision Coaching became a corporate sponsor of Breakthru in 2015 because we love the spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation of the competition. As part of our sponsorship, we provide leadership coaching to the winners – it’s a prize that Calvin Milbury, President & CEO of NBIF, feels provides the important support for entrepreneurs who are pursuing the development of a new and innovative business venture.

According to Calvin, “…leadership coaching helps our founders stay focused, provides structure and accountability, and supports them to go to the next level.”

We caught up recently with one of the 2015 winners, Matt Vance of Castaway Golf Technologies, who experienced coaching for his team after their big Breakthru win.

Matt said, “Coaching not only helped me to better understand the dynamics of our team, but it helped me as a leader within our organization.”

Matt and Castaway Golf are an example of one of the many exciting new businesses that turned an innovative idea into a solid business venture.

Why the NBIF Breakthru Competition provides leadership coaching to its winners

Calvin Milbury

“Launching a startup is an exciting yet daunting task. We recognize the importance of surrounding the founders with advisors and experts from day one. That’s why NBIF brings so many of its trusted partners into the mix through our prize packages. Our Breakthru winners not only get to access NBIF’s support but they also leverage the help from our partners, like Vision Coaching.

We believe leadership coaching helps our founders stay focused, provides structure and accountability, and supports them to go to the next level. Being a founder or CEO can be lonely at times, so to have a qualified coach by your side can provide perspective and helps to maximize your leadership potential.”Calvin Milbury, President & CEO, NBIF

An NBIF Breakthru Winner Talks about Coaching…

Matthew Vance

“I was not fully aware of the extent of professional coaching before being coached after our Breakthru win in 2015. I had heard of the profession before but never understood all the benefits of it until our company had the opportunity to be coached.

Coaching not only helped me to better understand the dynamics of our team, but it helped me as a leader within our organization.

A lot of decisions were made upon completion of the coaching that changed the culture of our organization for the better. We were very happy to see how our leadership team pulled together to better understand our strengths and weaknesses and asses how to effectively use them in the best interest of our company.

The comfortable and professional environment that our coach provided allowed us to truly speak what was on our minds. If you are inspiring to become a better leader, team member or individual, it is a must that you explore professional coaching.”Matt Vance, Co-Founder, President, Castaway Golf Technologies

It’s a Celebration of Innovation Every Breakthru – including the recent 2017 event – is a great opportunity to rub shoulders with many movers and shakers in our province, and hear some great ideas. We love being a part of that excitement. It is inspiring to see these entrepreneurs making something out of nothing.

Breakthru really celebrates innovation – the event oozes positivity and it can’t help but inspire future creativity. We are looking forward to meeting – and coaching – the 2017 Breakthru winners.

Breakthru encourages the creation and development of entrepreneurial, innovative business ventures. Breakthru 2017 was the biggest Breakthru ever. They set new records across the board including a record prize pot – $1.1 million in cash and in-kind prizes to launch 4 new startup companies in New Brunswick, a record number of partners from our community supported the event, a record 141 entrepreneurs participated. (Some from as far away as Nunavut and Ontario, Nova Scotia and PEI.) And there was a record number of attendees at the awards dinner. Read more about Breakthru and meet the winners.

About Castaway Golf Technologies Castaway Golf Technologies is a clean tech company that is adamant that a recycled golf ball should not be so difficult to retrieve nor should be so expensive to purchase. They have developed an innovative solution that is more efficient and effective than existing practices. They remove the balls from the ponds that they are polluting and provide golfers with a top quality ball at a 50% discount.

About the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) NBIF is a private, not-for-profit corporation that invests in startup companies and R&D. With over $70 million invested, plus $380 million more leveraged from other sources, NBIF has helped to create over 90 companies and fund 400 applied research projects since its inception in 2003, with a current portfolio of 47 companies. All of NBIF’s investment returns go back into the Foundation to be re-invested in other new startup companies and research initiatives.

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