Yoga, ridiculously healthy food and the buzz of potential keep Kerri Lee Knull fuelled. Dressed in a funky red Indiacotton summer frock with a grey sweater thrown over her shoulders, Knull isn’t exactly the picture of corporate Calgary. Yet, her ability to map effective business plans for startups has made her known as an extraordinary mentor and facilitator throughout the city’s technology community.
“What I love about business is that ability to go up 30,000 feet over everything and see what the big trends are,” Knull says. “It teaches you to look at things from the top of the mountain, to see the really broad picture,
and the big moving parts.”
Originally from Leduc, Alberta, but a West Coaster at heart, Knull arrived here in 2005 after getting her MBA in Victoria and working in venture capital for six years. The 33-year-old made her name as manager of the Calgary Innovation Centre, based at Calgary Technologies Inc. There, her keen focus and grasp of potential helped raise the profile of Calgary as a technology centre by steering entrepreneurs in the right direction for their projects – to success. “It blows my mind that I had such an impact on the clients at CTI,” she says, a look of bemused wonder on her face.
Buzz about her successes lead to being headhunted by Internet startup Tynt Inc., where Knull is now vice-president of business development (though her business card reads: “it’s valiant princess, not vice-president”). The company, which recently launched its new website, creates see-through “canvases” that allow users to mark on top of any website and share it with their friends via e-mail or a variety of social network partners.
So, what’s next for Knull? “More,” she says after a pause. “More success for Tynt, more integration into this community, and more time to do the things I love, like hiking with my friends.”
University of Calgary
University of British
Columbia and Simon
Volunteer, Big Sisters
of BC, Lower Mainland