Rural Innovation Centre Highlight

Joerg Tews from Noreca Consulting

“If you rented your own office you’d be on your own, but at the Rural Innovation Centre you have the option to connect with other people.”

Tell me a little about your business and what role you play in its operations.

We mostly develop mobile and web-based software in the environmental information systems sector. Our clients are actually all over the place; we do a lot of work on the West Coast, in Nunavut and the North West Territories.

I am the President here. I also have a few staff but they are all working remotely at this point. It’s mainly just me here, but we have a developer in Halifax, and another who is in India right now. We work closely with another company in Victoria, which I am actually the co-founder of. We have a SaaS (Software as a Service) product that we maintain at Noreca, it’s a web and mobile-based land use mapping/planning platform, and that keeps us fairly busy.

Why did you choose to operate your business out of the Annapolis Valley?

It is primarily because I was already located here; I have my local network here. I used to work with Acadia so it was just sort of natural to start the business here. However, the actual network of people that I work with is not restricted to the region. I have to say it is a really nice place to work.

What is your favorite part about the Rural Innovation Centre?

I like the open concept here, and running into people. I am only here a couple times a week, but whenever I am here I seem to meet someone new which is really nice. If you rented your own office you’d be on your own, but at the Rural Innovation Centre you have the option to connect with other people.

What piece of advice would you give to students who are looking to get into entrepreneurship?

First of all, follow your ideas. Seek some advice from other more knowledgeable people who can help you shape that idea. Primarily it’s the idea that is the starting point. If you think it’s a good one, it’s worth going for and getting your feet dirty.

What’s an interesting fact about your business or something cool you are working on?

We are very diverse in what we do. We’re a small group but we do all kinds of stuff. I personally started out as a wildlife biologist and then ended up as a programmer and that is reflected in the work we do.