Nicole Verkindt

Speaker


Nicole Verkindt

Founder, OMX | “Dragon”, Next Gen Den

Nicole Verkindt is passionate about leveraging the talents of entrepreneurs. The founder of OMX (Offset Market Exchange) and a Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den, she understands the powerful role entrepreneurs have in growing the economy and helping to solve global issues. Speaking to the importance of disruptive thinking, women’s roles in business, technology, and innovation, Nicole shows audiences how the real key to success is learning how to push past being told “no” over and over again.

Named “Canada’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year” by StartUp Canada in 2017, Nicole has a knack for finding industry gaps and building innovative platforms and technology to fill them. At just 27 years old, she launched OMX — the only online platform of its kind that serves users from the world’s top defence, aerospace, shipbuilding sectors, and tens of thousands of local suppliers around the world. It also generates data to help governments understand the economic impacts of their procurement decisions.

Prior to founding OMX, Nicole launched Tiburon in 2008, an offshore manufacturing business in the Dominican Republic, which sold shelter components to government contractors during the height of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. At the same time, in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, she founded the non-profit organization GlassFrog to provide aid to the torn nation. In 2011, she led the sale of Tiburon to a Private Equity Firm.

Nicole is also the official technology columnist for Vanguard magazine, which has a readership of over one million. In addition, she sits on the board of the Canadian Commercial Corporation and the Peter Munk School of Global Affairs MGA Program Board. She is also an active member of the Canadian Space Commerce Association; the Canadian Aerospace, Defence, Security Industry Association; Aerospace Industries Association Canada; and, the Global Offset and Countertrade Association.

Nicole is a graduate of the prestigious Richard Ivey School of Business with a specialization in International Political Science and Entrepreneurship.


Entrepreneurship

Nicole Verkindt admits to only ever interviewing once for a “job” that she was interested in (a “huge flop”, she admits), and her first job with a “real boss” was 100% commission based. An entrepreneur from the beginning of her career, Nicole believes that the skills required to be successful in entrepreneurship are no different if you are farmer, an owner of manufacturing facilities, a technology entrepreneur, or anything in between. In this inspirational and information-packed talk, Nicole shows entrepreneurs how to turn ideas into success.

Innovation, Technology, and Disruption

Nicole Verkindt is passionate about technology. She’s a Dragon on the tech-focused web series NextGen Den, she’s the technology columnist for Vanguard magazine, in addition to being the founder of tech driven company OMX. In this riveting talk, Nicole explains how investment in technology can drive competitive growth, and shows audiences how to leverage technology as a competitive advantage.

Women in Business and Leadership

Women face unique challenges in the business world, be it in entrepreneurship, leading technology start-ups and or working in the defence industry (and much much more). Nicole Verkindt has been at the centre of all three of these worlds. Her unique stories and advice to women provide a roadmap to what can be a rocky and confusing path.

How to Increase Contracts Via Government Procurement

Every country has their own policies on how to increase jobs from government procurement, and Nicole Verkindt’s company, OMX, is at the centre of it.

OMX connects foreign government contractors with local companies, as well as managing and tracking how many jobs are created as a result of big government contracting programs. It was at the centre of the debate of the economic impacts that would arise from buying new Fighter jets, of moving commercial offshore oil vessels to Canada from Asia, and of involving Aboriginal communities in major pipeline and power projects.

Nicole is an expert on the topic, and passionate about how big of an impact can be made when done correctly.

Global Government Relations/International Relations

Nicole’s Verkindt’s career has always been very closely linked with that of international governments. Her first job focused on helping governments with their global branding, and as CEO of Tiburon and then GMA, she sold to governments around the world. Now, as president of OMX, she is leading the charge to help companies access work to government contractors and help government contractors maximize the impacts they make on local economies by creating jobs, investing in technology, and partnering with academia and aboriginal-owned businesses. In this empowering talk, Nicole explains the ins-and-outs of government contracting, maximizing governmental relationships, and more.