Interview with finalist Dylan Lidster

Dylan Lidster was a finalist in the 2nd Annual Canadian Global Impact Competition. Dylan’s idea: Mobile agrology data  ‘disrupting the agriculture industry’. Dylan comes from Ucluelet, BC, he is the Founder and CEO of PlantID3.

PlantID3 aims to disrupt the agriculture industry, which will give millions of people access to information that provides higher quality of food and increase yields. PlantID3 will be able to provide critical and timely information to a mobile device for farmers and gardeners to quickly identify plant information such as species, health, disease and insect damage. This product will decrease the need for expensive professional agrology services enabling anyone with a device to high quality information pertaining to plants, crops and/or species.

Q. What was it like to be selected as a finalist this year? What was the reaction from your colleagues, friends and family?

I was pleasantly surprised and very stoked. My family and friends immediately wanted to know how to get tickets or watch the event online.

Q. What positive outcomes did you experience from participating in the Canadian Global Impact Competition?

I extended my relations with Singularity University and was able to meet with Salim Ismail and Adam Little who are jointly associated with SU. I met some interesting contacts and was able to gain publicity and engage with potential clients and customers.

Q. Will you continue to work on your idea/business? Has participating in the Canadian Global Impact Competition affected the way you are approaching your idea/business?

Of course! After participating in the Canadian GIC, I will continue to develop my company and support the Farm 2050 effort and the Singularity Grand Challenge ‘Food,’ tasking PlantID3 with a small component of the solution to feed nine billion people by 2050.

Q. Did you connect with a local business support organization leading up to the competition? Did they provide help? How did it go?

I was able to connect with ventureLAB, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Canadian Digital Media Network and The Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. I will encourage my local startup ecosystem to model the ecosystem within these partners, developing BC into a similar tech hub. Ontario has many support organizations for entrepreneurs that is very encouraging when making the journey to become a founder, owner and CEO. I also cherish the idea of Salim and SU when he stated “that Canada is going to be a really important inflection point in the world.” Salim also mentioned how important Canadian leaders are in the global ecosystem and having partners like those surrounding the Canadian GIC is critical to find solutions for our Grand Challenges.

Q. Did you make any business connections during the Canadian Global Impact Competition that will help your idea/business?

I met some really interesting business leaders and companies that I have been collaborating and forging new paths with PlantID3. The partners at Deloitte were very beneficial in this respect opening up new networks and associations with partners beyond the local ecosystem. One thing that really stuck out during this event was the ventureLAB theme, ‘Alignment.’ Again I hope my local ecosystem can replicate this idea and grow new roots that will anchor the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Canada.

Q. Do you have any words of wisdom or inspirational thoughts for other thought leaders who want to make positive change in Canada or the world?  

Steve Jobs says it best… “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.

About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.

Maybe they have to be crazy.

How else can you stare at an empty canvas and see a work of art? Or sit in silence and hear a song that’s never been written? Or gaze at a red planet and see a laboratory on wheels?

We make tools for these kinds of people.

While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”