In a province caught in the constant tug of war between future diversification, a global climate crisis and a deeply rooted resource economy, Ayo Aiyeleye sees another way.
“We don’t believe that you’re just going to say bye to the Old World and then face the New World. There’s a lot of learning and a lot of experience that you can bring from our core industries that you can easily translate into the future.”
Standing in the gap between the old and new is what motivates the work at Alberta Innovates, and as the agency’s capital access director, Aiyeleye connects local innovators with the funding they need to take their ideas from concept stages, all the way to commercialization. It’s a tricky task even in the best of times, but even more so in a cluttered commercial environment where getting an idea to market can be just as hard as making the initial breakthrough.
Facilitating others’ success has been a constant theme through-out Aiyeleye’s life. Whether he is helping Nigerian small businesses raise capital on the local stock exchange, and international capital market, connecting Black businesses and investors through the Black Business Ventures Association or supporting his team at Alberta Innovates, Aiyeleye is always looking to turn openings into opportunities. More recently, he’s even played the other end of the assist in launching Clavis Studio, a platform that allows homeowners and designers alike to create 3D renderings of their prospective homes’ interior spaces.
“We’re not in the business of choosing winners, but instead asking, how can we have more winners? That’s core to everything,” Aiyeleye says.
He bridges the gap between budding business people and the future.
This article appears in the November 2022 issue of Edify