Final Word – If you could offer one piece of advice for a young entrepreneur entering your industry, what would it be?

Marcus Kääpä
By Marcus Kääpä  - Senior Editor

We asked three contributing business leaders – If you could offer one piece of advice for a young entrepreneur entering your industry, what would it be?

Lauren Knausenberger, Chief Information Officer, United States Department of the Air Force

“You have to really know your market, understand what you do better than anyone else and make sure that you’re well-placed. 

“For young entrepreneurs working in the defense space, if you have some sort of incredible dual use technology, we have programs where you can apply for capital and work for us. It’s fast and can supplement your work while still commercializing it. If you don’t have those ideas and aren’t steeped in mission, go to the commercial world first. Go and prove your technology somewhere else and then come and do dual use because a lot of people think it’s easy to go into the government and get contracts. That’s true if you’re the lucky one that gets through it easily, but you have to have that track record, cool technology idea or a solid network and the best successful entrepreneurs in the defense space have all three of those. It’s an incredibly valuable space if you want to go after those specific problems but it’s not for the faint of heart. You can’t go in without a plan and that doesn’t work anywhere, especially in government. 

“If you have ideas for solving problems, we’ve lowered the bar through our programs to help people get in and have a chance to engage and we have some cool mechanisms in place to help companies scale from there.” 

Mckinsey Lyon, Vice President External Affairs, Perpetua Resources

“Our most powerful tool as an industry is to listen openly. Listening openly provides the space to see opportunities and solutions. The mining industry today has some of the best talent in environmental sustainability and engineering and, if we are open to the conversation, we can use these talents to align environmental and community goals with business goals.” 

Ronald Durham, Vice President & General Manager, Hecla Québec

“In 1989, I went underground and fell in love with the whole aspect of the underground mine. My final word would be that you need to be in love with what you do. This makes for a much happier life.”

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