QuinteVation and Bay of Quinte Young Entrepreneurs share similar visions for the Bay of Quinte Region and rural Canadian entrepreneurs. QuinteVation’s vision is that the Bay of Quinte will become the most dynamic rural innovation region in Canada by 2023. This is a direct compliment to BoQ Young Entrepreneurs’ vision of the Bay of Quinte Region is a thriving rural hub for young entrepreneurs. 

For those maybe a little unfamiliar with QuinteVation, either because you live in another rural part of Canada or are new to the entrepreneurial scene in the Bay of Quinte Region, they are an inclusive, dynamic, passionate and future-thinking organization that exists to facilitate and encourage business innovation by entrepreneurs and thereby accelerate the growth of industries/sectors in the Bay of Quinte Region (from their business plan).

When QuinteVation announced that the Bay of Quinte region would be hosting the inaugural Canadian Rural Innovation Summit, I knew I needed to be a part of it, regardless of where I was in Ontario or what I was doing. When the Sponsorship Coordinator for QuinteVation, Alyssa Engelsdorfer, reached out to me about potentially being a sponsor, I knew I had to make the most of it. In exchange for being an in-kind sponsor, I offered to write a few promotional articles leading up to the Summit. I was  so happy when she agreed! This offer also included conduct a “My Day” interview with their Executive Director so that people get to know the people behind this incredible event for our rural area a little bit better!

Please welcome Rob Clute, QuinteVation’s Executive Director!

QuinteVation Team 2

Question 1: Describe yourself in 3 words only.

  • Conservative, Ambitious, Empathetic

Question 2: Tell me more about your business(es)? What kind are they?

  • QuinteVation is a not-for-profit organization in the Bay of Quinte that facilitates and encourages business innovation by entrepreneurs.
  • Our aim is to make the Quinte Region the most dynamic, innovative rural region in Canada by 2023.

Question 3: Where does your entrepreneurial drive come from? What are your sources of inspiration?

  • My drive comes from seeing my region grow and succeed.
  • My children are the source of my inspiration because when they get older, I want them to have a reason to stay in Bay of Quinte, not a reason to leave.

Question 4: Considering how fierce competition is among your industry, what are your business(es) competitive advantages? What makes you stand out in the crowd?

  • QuinteVation stands out in our ecosystem because of our ability to market our vision and our organization and grow our network of entrepreneurs in a truly grass-roots manner.
  • By delivering programming through our RevUP program that has measurable results, we are building a brand that has credibility and is creating a lasting impact on the clients we serve. Our clients have become our biggest advocates.

Question 5: No two days are often the same for an entrepreneur, but what does a typical day look like for you?

  • A typical day consists of managing the day-to-day operations of a young organization with 4 employees and spending the bulk of my time networking and continuing to engage entrepreneurs in our region at all levels of business development.

Question 6: What do you do daily to grow as a person?

  • I try to take a short break every day to focus on my mental and physical health.
  • I know when I’m not focused, everything around me suffers. I also try to improve my empathy toward any given situation and listen to other people’s views before sharing my own.

Question 7: What tricks have you discovered to keep you focused, productive and achieve a decent work/life balance?

  • My philosophy is “If you don’t schedule it, you won’t do it”. I absolutely live by my calendar. I make sure to schedule all my daily activities with my kid’s activities and then find the open spots to schedule time for myself and my wife. If it’s in my schedule, I will do it.

Question 8: What popular entrepreneurial advice do you agree/disagree with?

  • I firmly disagree that there are 10 things every successful person does, because success looks different to everybody.
  • I believe people need to set their own ideas of what success looks like to them and then set an appropriate timeline to achieve that success. That way, different goals can have different timelines and can serve to create a ladder of success. It also gives you an opportunity to pivot if you don’t feel you can meet your own deadlines.

Question 9: What’s your favourite metaphor to describe entrepreneurship?

  • After working in the car business for 20 years running two franchise dealerships, I tend to lean on cars as a metaphor for a lot of things. Bumpy roads; keeping your foot on the pedal; wishing you more green lights than red etc etc etc. That’s been my experience and generally it relates to most people over the age of 16.

Question 10: What was the toughest moment you have experienced in your business practice? How did you succeed to get over it and move forward?

  • Having lost two franchises due to a corporate restructuring of product lines and franchise strategy, my family was left with a bleak outlook on the future.
  • As an entrepreneur I look for the positives in any given situation. I decided to use that change as an opportunity to pursue a new chapter in my life and redefine myself and my work motivation.

Not included in question count: If someone wants more information, what is the best way to contact you?


Thanks, Rob!

Want to be featured in an interview series that mixes local and national entrepreneurs who provide words of wisdom to the (young) entrepreneurs who follow my blog? Send me a message via the Contact page! This series is getting more popular with every post & share!