Thursday, December 13, 2018
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NABI Commons Business Coach Profile: Ryan Theriault Chelsey Tattrie

Ryan Theriault

Acceleration Services Consultant
Office of Research & Innovation at NAIT

We all know NAIT as Edmonton’s leading polytechnic institute, but did you know there’s a whole other side to NAIT’s learning opportunities? Ryan Theriault of NAIT’s Office of Research and Innovation explains how NAIT is catering not just to students, but to businesses and industry. Find out more about how NAIT is bringing their innovation and expertise to NABI Commons!

According to Ryan Theriault, Innovation Services at NAIT has seen industry interest growing recently. Ryan is an Acceleration Services Consultant on this team (a fancy name for business coach/consultant), and attributes their growth to how their team fills a specific niche for startups in Edmonton. By providing access to NAIT’s huge network of equipment and expertise, as well giving startups the option for single-batch prototyping, they’re helping entrepreneurs lessen their financial risk right from the start of a new venture.

Ryan is an expert in getting businesses into and through the prototype phase of their product development. A decade of experience as a private consultant in information technology and health infomatics makes him a unique addition to NAIT’s industry-facing team. He also has an MBA in Community Economic Development, and a keen interest in social enterprise and community initiatives.

Those first steps of product development are fundamental. Ryan’s ultimate goal is to help entrepreneurs get answers to the questions they need before starting out, without personally bankrupting themselves. “It’s important to get out there and take risks,” he says, “but measured risks, armed with as much information as possible for success.” He can walk you through the first steps, and point you on the path to making your product viable for the marketplace.


You need to drop by Commons today to talk to Ryan if you: 

  • Have an idea for an innovative product 
  • Need help with determining if there’s a market for your product
  • Are moving into the prototype development phase
  • Want to expand your product line to include innovative technology
Thus far, Ryan has been helping Commons clients with everything from basic idea validation, through to market validation and sampling. One important question he’s been able to answer for Commons clients is the unique value they’re seeking to offer through their products. This essentially means finding the fit between customers and products – what do people want? Will they use this? Which features could make a product better or more desirable?

If you’d like to get in touch with Ryan (or his colleague, Adrianna), drop by Commons on a Thursday afternoon for a one-to-one coaching session. Or, drop him and the NAIT Research & Innovation team an email at 


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