On the heels of the success of MIT REAP Team Nova Scotia, Canada (Global Cohort 4), ONSIDE (Organization for Nova Scotia Innovation-Driven Entrepreneurship) chose to extend the MIT REAP experience more broadly to regional leaders across the province via the MIT REAP Focus program. Focus Nova Scotia will support acceleration strategies for economic growth, and believes the evidence-based program will be instrumental in fostering regional resilience and aid in recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.

ONSIDE, a not-for-profit that amplifies the power of inclusive innovation-driven entrepreneurship and works collaboratively with stakeholders to foster a prosperous Nova Scotia, was launched in 2019 to carry on the important work started by MIT REAP Team Nova Scotia. The MIT REAP Global program provided the space for Nova Scotia leaders to understand the drivers of a successful innovation ecosystem, identify Nova Scotia’s comparative advantages, and collectively accomplish, among other notable achievements, their “Must Win Battle” – winning the Ocean Super Cluster – which is expected to generate $14 billion in GDP and create 3,000 jobs over 10 years. ONSIDE continues to share disruptive ideas such as those advanced by MIT REAP and to use the collective impact approach to accelerate growth in Nova Scotia.

With key partners such as the One Nova Scotia Collective, ONSIDE has mobilized five teams from across the province to participate in the Focus program to employ targeted IDE ecosystem acceleration model within their regions.

Click here for more information and to connect with on ONSIDE.

Nova Scotia communities have high innovation capacity, and with the MIT REAP Focus program, entrepreneurial drive will be tapped to create far reaching outcomes for all Nova Scotians.

The goal is for each MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia team is to:

  • Uncover the potential of its locality;
  • See the bounty and comparative advantages at their disposal;
  • Create strategies that make sense in their local context;
  • Leverage the power of their collective action toward creating meaningful value for their communities. 


A prosperous Nova Scotia driven by inclusive innovation, entrepreneurship and comparative advantage.

ONSIDE Mission: Convene, Connect, Catalyze

  • ONSIDE convenes individuals and organizations to build trust and quality partnerships which are essential for the advancement of innovation-driven entrepreneurship.
  • ONSIDE connects stakeholder efforts, facilitates learning, shares best practices and amplifies the power of inclusive innovation-driven entrepreneurship.
  • ONSIDE catalyzes innovation-driven entrepreneurship by mobilizing resources, stirring action and creating awareness.

The MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia program concluded in February 2022.

Each team produced an executive summary of their MIT REAP experience:


MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia Faculty

Fiona Murray
William Porter Professor of Entrepreneurship, MIT Sloan School of Management - Associate Dean for Innovation and Inclusion
Philip Budden
Senior Lecturer, MIT Sloan; Diplomatic Advisor, MIT REAP
Scott Stern
David Sarnoff Professor of Management, MIT Sloan School of Management, Faculty Director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship
Active Alumni

MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia Cohort

Team Members

Brenda Chisholm-Beaton

Team Champion
Mayor, Town of Port Hawkesbury

Carla Arsenault

Team Project Manager
President & CEO. Cape Breton Partnership

Allan Eddy

Manager Business Development, Port Hawkesbury Paper

Roderick Googoo

Retired (former Chief - We'koqma'q)
We'koqma'q First Nation

James Kehoe

President, Joneljim Construction

Robert MacEachern

Owner, KingMac

Grace MacIntyre

Maritime Innovation Manager, Global Spatial Technology Solutions

Blaire Martell

Owner, Lobster-R-Us

Edgar Samson

President and CEO, Premium Seafoods

Vivek Saxena

Principal, NSCC

Chad Munro

CEO, Halifax Biomedical Incorporated

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Team Members

Maxine Mann

Team Champion
Principal - Pictou Campus, Nova Scotia Community College

Scott Ferguson

Chief Executive Officer, Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network (REN)

Jennifer MacKinnon, RCIC

Northern Regional Manager, IGNITE Atlantic

James Fitt

CEO, Velsoft

David Bruce

Director, Research Grants, St. Francis Xavier University

Jaime Smith

Director of Social Innovation, St. Francis Xavier University

Alex Rice

President, Nova Scotia Spirit Co.

Ryan Sharpe

Manager, Treasury, Sobeys Inc.

Mark van de Wiel

Account Manager, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Heidi Sinclair

Project Manager, Pictou County Regional Enterprise Network (REN)

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Team Members

John Swain

Team Champion
President, Swain Chartered Professional Accountants Inc.

Jason Huskilson

Manager, ABCO Industries

Mark Winfield

Retired Tax Partner, BDO Canada

Rachel Browne

Area Account Manager, ACOA

Terrence Collins

Principal, Nova Scotia Community College

Brianna Higgins

VP & CFO, Stelia Aerospace North America Inc.

Jessica McDonald

Director of Community Development, Town of Bridgewater

David Mitchell

Mayor, Town of Bridgewater

Larry Rosborough

President, SSI Consulting Solutions

Thomas Sullivan

Community Manager, RBC

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Team Members

Wayne St-Amour

Team Champion
Principal, NSCC

Richelle Brown Redden

Team Project Manager
Economic Development Officer, Valley Regional Enterprise Network

Daniel Surette

CEO and President, Statera Spirits Inc.

Sandra Snow

Mayor, Town of Kentville

Leonard Ells

President & CEO, Valley Credit Union

Lisa Jenereaux

President, Spurr Brothers Farms

Clifford Keefe

Provost & Vice-President Academic, Acadia University

Burnell Lyons

Retail Operations Manager, Glooscap Ventures

Stephen Shaw

Executive Director, CBDC Hants Kings

Andrew Schnare

Plant Manager, ANDRITZ

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Team Members

Pamela Mood

Team Champion
Mayor, Town of Yarmouth

Angelique LeBlanc

Team Project Manager
CEO, Western REN

Natalie Smith

Team Data Rockstar
Director of Planning and Development, Town of Yarmouth

Kenneth Deveau

Vice-President, Academic and Research, Université Sainte-Anne

Nicholas D'Eon

Chief Financial Officer, Scotia Harvest Inc

Richard Doucet

CEO, Coastal Financial Credit Union

Angela Greene

President, Yarmouth & Area Chamber of Commerce

Douglas Jones

CEO, Ignite Atlantic

Gilles Theriault

Managing Director, A F Theriault & Son, Ltd,

Mary Thompson

Principal, NSCC

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“Nova Scotia has high potential for innovation. MIT REAP Focus Nova Scotia has brought together some of the most resourceful and committed members of our communities to turn this capacity into strategies and action which will drive real economic and social prosperity for our province.”

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Alex McCann, Executive Director, ONSIDE