Nicole Verkindt

Founder, OMX

Dragon, Next Gen Den

Panelist, CBC News, The Exchange

Bio

 

As founder of OMX (Offset Market Exchange) and the newest Dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den, Nicole believes in the necessity of entrepreneurs in our economy and communities. Nicole speaks to technology, innovation, disruptive thinking and the role of technology in empowering equality.

 

Nicole launched OMX in 2012, at just 27 years old. The online platform is the only one in the world to manage the obligations of government contractors to invest in local economies, a policy called “offsets”. The platform is a powerful online marketplace with users from the world’s top defence, aerospace, and shipbuilding sectors, and tens of thousands of local suppliers around the world. The platform also generates data analytics to help governments understand economic impacts of procurement decisions.

 

Prior to founding OMX, Nicole launched Tiburon (the Spanish word for “shark”) 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. It was also during this time that Haiti experienced their devastating earthquake. Nicole reacted by founding the non-profit organization GlassFrog, which provided aid to the torn nation. Nicole later integrated Tiburon into a family business, and became President and CEO of GMA. In 2011, she led the sale of both Tiburon and GMA to a Private Equity Firm.

 

Nicole graduated from the Richard Ivey School of Business with a specialization in International Political Science and Entrepreneurship. Upon graduation, she worked for Big Media Group out of Belgium, and was stationed on international projects consulting with governments and international industry looking to target foreign investment. This was her bridge between international politics and entrepreneurship.

In unrelated news, Nicole grew up with horses and still rides every single week.

TOPICS

Entrepreneurship

Nicole 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 a farmer, the 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 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 or working in the defence industry, Nicole has been at the centre of these challenges. Her unique stories and advice for women in business 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’s company, OMX, is in the thick 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 the enormous impact that can be made when management is done correctly.

 

Global Government Relations/International Relations

Nicole’s career has always been very closely linked with 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.

 

Economy / Entrepreneurship / Innovation / Leadership / Management Strategy / Motivators / Sales & Negotiation / STEM / Tech / Workforce/HR

Change Management / Entrepreneurship / Famed Authors / Fresh Perspectives / Generational Differences / Innovation / Loyalty / Marketing / Millennials / Moments Marketing / Retail / Tech

Business Strategy / Creativity / Education / Entrepreneurship / Innovation / STEM / Tech / Women in Business