11224432_10205750106085443_3287075043468179685_nLISA CANNING  is a main street creative entrepreneur. Lisa launched her first entrepreneurial venture, at 17, from her ‘dorm room’ at Northwestern University  in Evanston, IL building it from nothing into a 12 million dollar creative sector retail, wholesale and distribution business with over 50 full time employees and a million dollar payroll. Her most current venture, Lisa’s Clarinet Shop, does 1.5 million in sales in 15 hours a week earning her a six figure full time income. 

With a love for the arts, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, Lisa has been helping SME’s, for over 30 years, realize their highest purpose and earning potential.  Lisa’s core skills include: Business Strategy & Customer Acquisition, Digital Media and Marketing Strategy, Crowd, Go-to-Market skilling, organizational communication strategies and trade finance.  Lisa spent 5 years designing and market testing entrepreneurial curriculum and individualized learning plans resulting in a 97% first sale rate among the 78 SME’s who participated in iaeou’s incubator program in Chicago, IL.  

As an expert in creative entrepreneurial education, Lisa was asked to speak after a former US President at a World Leaders Forum, and is frequently a requested speaker in the creative entrepreneurship education space at Universities and for organizations internationally. Both Aspen Institute and State Department engaged her services for the 1st PNB-NAPEO Summit in Algeria. As a champion for women, and the winner of the 2004 National Association for Women Business Owners Business Owner of the Year award (Chicago), she was invited to speak at The 1st Women as Elements of Change Conference in Jordan in 2014 by members of the royal family. In 2015, Lisa was invited by The White House to be a delegate for The 6th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit at the request of the Department of State to serve on the 1st ever Creative Industries panel focused on the building of the Creative Economy.

Lisa’s most recent academic publications include:

  • (INVITED) Thomas J, McDonagh D, Canning L The New Paradigm: Creatives and Arts Entrepreneurs. In Morris, M (ed.) Annals of Entrepreneurship Education and Pedagogy. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing/USASBE. December 1, 2014
  • (INVITED) The Value of Creativity: Implications for industrial design and design entrepreneurship. The Value of Creativity: Implications for industrial design and design entrepreneurship. In Nambisan, S (ed.) Embracing Entrepreneurship Across Disciplines. Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing. In PRESS
  • (INVITED) Thomas J, McDonagh D, Canning L (2014). The Design Journal, Issue 17(3), pp 425-444 (September)
  • Developing the Arts Entrepreneur: The “Learning Cloud”. Crafting the Future, 10th European Academy of Design Conference. Apr 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden

Canning was honored in 2004 by The National Association of Women Business Owners as Business Owner of The Year and featured on Music Trades Top 200 List of Music Retailers in the United States for ten consecutive years.

As an accomplished clarinetist, Canning has performed with members of the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra,  Buffalo Philharmonic, Florida Symphony Orchestra and Milwaukee Symphony. Her most current CD, The Music of Donald Draganski was released on Albany Records and features the works of composer Donald Draganski.

Canning spent ten years as a faculty staff member at DePaul University in Chicago, while also serving on the university’s School of Music Advisory Board of Directors. While at DePaul, she developed a Career Development Course for Artistic Disciplines, built a creative career regional job fair, jump-started several student-run creative entrepreneurial organizations and taught and mentored over one thousand students from different artistic disciplines. All of these efforts served to help students with their career and entrepreneurial advancement.


Scott-Gillespie-300x300SCOTT GILLESPIE is a growth adviser, investor and mentor to ventures (micro) around the globe; helping founders to transform their: ideas2products, products2sales, and ventures2businesses.  In parallel, Scott is a global leader in developing practical solutions for regional economic developers (macro) for T2 Venture Creation (T2VC).  Scott splits his time architecting regional startup ecosystems (macro) in: Australia, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Palestine, Jordan, USA, Malaysia, and Colombia.

As Founder and Director of the Jigsaw Group, a business accelerator Scott and his team connect:  founders, talent, customers, markets, and channels; with global opportunities.  Jigsaw Group investment portfolio ranges from office fit out (UAE Compare), to new media (BTG Studios) and online education (co-founder IAEOU).

In parallel, Jigsaw Group has delivered outcomes and programs, for a variety of entities. For universities, Jigsaw has: set up research centers, improved tech transfer offices, plus develop and deliver courses on: innovation, entrepreneurship, risk management, and strategic marketing.  For startups, Jigsaw has implemented mentoring programs for: new market entry, startup founders, women entrepreneurs, winners of innovation & entrepreneurship competitions, and angel investors.   Jigsaw Group has a keen interest in supporting not-for-profits including: Sydney Angels and Yacht Aid Global (YAG) which transports education and medical supplies to natural disaster areas using mega yachts.  Jigsaw Group delivers outcomes and programs to government agencies (from bootcamps in Tanzania and Jakarta; to entrepreneurship training in Saudi and Dubai; to incubator and accelerator support across the GCC and Australia) as well as corporates (e.g. regional headquarter selection to first 100 day roadmaps after private equity’ investment).  Scott and the Jigsaw Group team also provide Gulf Region support to Crowdfund Capital Advisors, a for-profit advisory, research and education organization dedicated to promoting access to capital via crowdfunding to protect small business and promote entrepreneurship.  

Two Jigsaw Group’ initiatives of note include:  ExpatriateConnect, a mentoring and training program that supported export-motivated Australia ventures, by enrolling >2,000 candidate mentors to support Australian ventures ready for global growth; and the Center for the Study of Choice which grew from 3 academics into a tier 1 UTS research center with global partners (Motorola, Bose, Boeing,..).

Prior to the Jigsaw Group, Scott  was  the  Executive  General  Manager  for  Business  Development  of MFP  Development Corporation. His team coordinated over $25M in investments from major firms such as SGI, Telstra, Microsoft, Motorola, Stanford Research Institute, and Australian Commonwealth while leading the development of two technology parks (over 2,000 staff), establishing a regional incubator network, and hosting a global conference on Learning, Education and Training.

Is his early career Scott served in a dozen roles for Unisys Corporation, a global technology services organization including as Chief Financial Officer for the South Pacific, industrial engineer, and Finance Director for Japan Operations.  Scott was born in the USA and been an expatriate for >25 years.