Atlantic Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Conference








David Audretsch 

Author of "The Strategic Management of Cities, Regions and States"




David Audretsch is a Distinguished Professor and Ameritech Chair of Economic Development at Indiana University, where he is also serves as Director of the Institute for Development Strategies.  Audretsch's research has focused on the links between entrepreneurship, government policy, innovation, economic development and global competitiveness.  His work has specifically included the impact of public policy on entrepreneurship, the geography of innovation, policy and determinants of high growth firms, and regional competitiveness.  He has worked on social capital building and new business formation in Silicon Valley, and studied Europe and the US extensively.


His most recent books, Everything in its Place: Entrepreneurship and the Strategic Management of Cities, Regions and States (Oxford University Press 2015) and The Handbook of Local Competitiveness (Oxford University Press 2015) are focussed on entrepreneurship and local and regional competitiveness.


In 2008 he received an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Augsburg, and in September, 2010 he received an honorary doctorate degree from Jonköping University. In 2011 he was awarded the Schumpeter Prize from the University of Wuppertal. He also is an Honorary Professor  of Industrial Economics and Entrepreneurship at the WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management in Germany. In addition, he serves as a Visiting Professor at the King Saud University in Saudi Arabia, Honorary Professor at the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena in Germany, and is a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research in London.


He is co-founder and co-editor of Small Business Economics: An Entrepreneurship Journal. He was awarded the 2001 Global Award for Entrepreneurship Research by the Swedish Foundation for Small Business Research.

He is a member of the Advisory Board to a number of international research and policy institutes, including Chair of the the Deutsches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung Berlin (German Institute for Economic Analysis Berlin), New York Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, and the Jackstädt Centre for Entrepreneurship in Wuppertal, Germany.





Dane Stangler

Author of "Measuring an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem"


As Vice President of Research and Policy at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Dane Stangler serves on the Foundation’s senior leadership team and leads a staff of more than twenty economic research analysts and senior scholars who are conducting or funding hundreds of studies on entrepreneurship and youth education.


Charged with creating new knowledge about entrepreneurship, Stangler is the author of several research reports on what drives economic growth in an entrepreneurial economy. His reports include “Path-Dependent Startup Hubs”, “Where Will the Jobs Come From?” and "Measuring an Entrepreneurial Ecosystem."


An avid writer, Stangler has written dozens of op-eds, guest columns, and blog posts for national news outlets, including The Wall Street JournalInc.,The Hill, Real Clear Politics, and Huffington Post, and is a regular blogger on He also is frequently quoted in news stories in these outlets as well as on broadcast news outlets, including CNN, Fox News, CNBC, and Bloomberg.


With the goal of translating research into real-world implications, Stangler engages with policymakers at the national, state, and local levels. He has spoken at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual conference and at National Governors Association events, and testified before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. He also presented testimony before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship on the advantages of senior entrepreneurship.


Stangler has been a featured speaker at meetings and conferences around the world, including at the White House’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, the Inc. 500/5000 annual conference, the National Association of Business Economics’ policy summit, and the Global Entrepreneurship Congress.


Stangler was named to Kansas City-based Ingram magazine’s 40 Under 40 list for 2015.


Stangler earned a bachelor's degree in English from Truman State University, and a JD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.







Gerry Pond

Innovator, Entrepreneurial Champion and Catalyst for a Regional Approach to Entrepreneurship



Gerry Pond has over 45 years of in-depth experience in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. As the CEO of NBTel and the President of its successor, Aliant Telecom, he was at the helm during a period of significant deregulation in the Canadian industry. Under his innovative leadership, NBTel emerged as an international ICT leader.


Born in Quebec and raised in New Brunswick, Gerry Pond’s educational achievements include a Bachelor of Arts from the University of New Brunswick; Organizational Effectiveness Program, Harvard University; Executive Program, McGill University; and Senior Executive’s Program, University of Western Ontario.


Pond is the Chairman and Co-Founder of Mariner Partners Inc., and has co-founded a number of successful ICT start-ups in Atlantic Canada, including iMagicTV, Q1 Labs, Brovada Technologies, Radian6, Shift Energy and Cirrus9. He is also the Co-Founder of Propel ICT, a start-up accelerator, the Co-Founder of the Pond-Deshpande Centre at the University of New Brunswick, and the Co-Founder and Chairman of East Valley Ventures, an incubator for Atlantic Canadian start-up companies with a mission of helping passionate entrepreneurs launch meaningful and enduring technology companies.


Gerry Pond has received many honours, both regionally and nationally, including the prestigious 1997 Canadian Information Productivity Association (CIPA) Innovator of the Year and Hall of Fame, the NB Knowledge Industry Recognition and Achievement (KIRA) Awards Person of the Year in 2002, the 2003 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, Atlantic Business Magazine’s Top 50 CEO Award in Atlantic Canada in 2003 and 2005, an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of New Brunswick, and an Honorary Doctor of Commerce from Saint Mary’s University. For his tireless contribution to regional economic development, he was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame in October 2007.

An inspiring innovator and social entrepreneur, Gerry Pond also earned recognition as 2011 Canadian Angel of the Year from Techvibes & KPMG. In 2012, he received the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian award for New Brunswick. He was twice honoured in 2013, first by The Learning Partnership as a Champion of Public Education, and then as the recipient of the Order of New Brunswick for his innovative spirit and critical contribution to many of New Brunswick’s IT and telecommunications success stories. At the 2014 Canadian Startup Awards, Gerry Pond’s passion for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship was recognized with the prestigious Wolf Blass Lifetime Achievement Award.


Most recently, he was awarded the first-ever Business Development Bank of Canada Entrepreneurship Champion – a national award that recognizes the achievement of a Canadian entrepreneur and community leader who has created and grown one or many successful small or medium-sized businesses while significantly contributing to the prosperity of the Canadian entrepreneurship ecosystem.





Benson Honig

Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Immigration, (dis)Entrepreneurship and Start-up Nation, Israel Specialist


Benson Honig (Ph.D. Stanford University) is the Teresa Cascioli Chair in Entrepreneurial Leadership, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University. Studying entrepreneurship worldwide, his research interests have taken him to some of the most successful entrepreneurial ecosystems in the world, and in particular,  the ecosystem that is plagued with isolation and regional difficulties that is now known as start-up nation  – Israel.  Alternatively, he has written about dis-entrepreneurship, support systems that failed to promote ecosystems. In their book about transnational entrepreneurship, he and his co-authors study the mechanisms needed to support the new firm and the interests of the stakeholders that support new ventures.  Other research interests include immigrant entrepreneurship and globalization, and entrepreneurship in environments of transition.   


He has published widely in leading academic journals and the media, and serves on six editorial boards, including the Journal of Business Venturing, Academy of Management Learning and Education and the Journal of Management Studies. He is a past president of the CCSBE (Canadian Counsel of Small Business and Entrepreneurship), is on the board of the Africa Academy of Management, and is a past editor for Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice. He is the 2009 winner (with Per Davidsson) of the Grief price from the University of Southern California for the most cited entrepreneurship article in the previous five years, and is also the winner of the most cited article for the Journal of Business Venturing in 2009. He has published in the Journal of Management, Journal of Business Venturing, Academy of Management, Learning and Education, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, European Management Journal, Journal of Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development and the Journal of World Business, among others.





Colin Mason

Entrepreneurship & Regional Development Professor, University of Glasgow


Colin Mason is Professor of Entrepreneurship in the Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow. He previously held a Chair in the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship, Strathclyde Business School, University of Strathclyde and before that was at the University of Southampton. He has degrees from the University of Edinburgh (MA Hons) and University of Manchester (PhD) and has held visiting positions at universities in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Argentina. He was David F Sobey Visiting Chair in Business, The Sobey Business School, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, Nova Scotia between 2006 and 2008.


His research and teaching are in the area of entrepreneurship and regional development. His specific research interest is in entrepreneurial finance. He has written extensively on business angel investing and has been closely involved with government and private sector initiatives to promote business angel investment, both in the UK and elsewhere. He was joint winner of the ESRC’s 2015 Outstanding Impact in Business award for his research with Prof Richard Harrison on business angels. He was co-author of two annual reports on business angel investment activity in the UK (2008-9 and 2009-10) on behalf of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. He has also worked with Canada’s National Angel Capital Association on their annual reports on angel investment activity. He has also undertaken recent studies of high growth firms and technology firms in Scotland on behalf of Scottish Enterprise. He is the co-author of an OECD report (2014) Entrepreneurial Ecosystems and Growth-Oriented Enterprises ( He is the founding editor of the journal Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance (published by Taylor and Francis Ltd).


Special Feature











Ellen Farrell, PhD

Regional Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Expert



Ellen Farrell is at the Sobey School of Business at Saint Mary's University and completed her doctoral work at the University of Nottingham in finance and management.  Dr. Farrell specializes in venture capital and her primary research relates to informal venture capital and entrepreneurial ecosystems.  Dr. Farrell’s work has been directed to improving the economic prospects of the region through entrepreneurship.  Dr. Farrell has recently completed a major program review and research project about the entrepreneurship ecosystem and the role of government sponsored venture capital in the Province of Nova Scotia.  She has conducted research for Industry Canada, ACOA, and the Atlantic Provinces Chambers of Commerce and has worked to achieve provincial and regional objectives alongside the Office of Economic Development for the Province of Nova Scotia.  Dr. Farrell’s background includes private and public corporate work.  She has been invited to the Babson College Entrepreneurship Research Conference 10 years and has published in Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, as well as book chapters and cases.   She was awarded the Best Emerging Researcher by the Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (1997). 


Dr. Farrell is well received by students at SMU.  Twice, she has been in the top six mentors in Canada awarded by the Business Development Bank of Canada and Futurepreneur.   She was awarded the Father William Stewart Medal for Teaching Excellence (2015), SMU’s highest award for teaching, and she was nominated for the Women of Excellence by the Halifax Progress Club (2013). She was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award by the SMU Student Union Association (2015 and 2003).  She was twice named the Professor of the Year by the Commerce Society (2009 and 1999), twice named as one of the Most Popular Profs in Maclean’s Magazine, and made the list of MBA’s Hot Profs in Canadian Business Magazine (2005).  She was The Coast’s second runner-up in the Best Professor in Halifax category.  With her coaching, teams have competed at national and international competitions with notable prize winnings in graduate and undergraduate categories – amassing a total of more than $300,000 in prizes for her students.  Her hands-on manner and enthusiastic style make her a popular professor. 


She is an entrepreneur and an investor and was the only woman to have received venture capital under the Province’s former Venture Capital Act.  Her entrepreneurial experience brings a unique perspective to her teaching.


Dr. Farrell will be previewing her research on the Atlantic Canadian Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.