Derek Ball

CEO and co-founder at atVenu

I love launching and growing companies that leverage the latest technology to solve business problems!

atVenu (www.atvenu.com) has become the industry standard platform for maximizing live event merchandise revenue for touring musicians, record labels and venue/festival operators.

Since launching in January 2013, atVenu has grown to work with over 7,000 artists, festivals and music venues and has managed over 200,000 shows on behalf of our clients. We are proud to work with many household name touring artists from club level acts to those selling out arenas. We have artists from every major music label using the platform and have partnered with many of the industry’s top merch companies. Most recently we have begun working with world class festival clients like Coachella and Governor’s Ball.

What excites you about participating in The Breakout Project?
I love the excitement of creating something out of nothing. Seeing something that is useful and valuable rise from the imagination and sweat of entrepreneurs and start up teams is incredibly gratifying. Even though I live in Silicon Valley now, my roots are in Canada. In Canada we have a wealth of enthusiasm and drive to innovate and build things that will have an impact on the world around us, and I am excited when I get to be a part of making that happen.

What is innovation and technology’s role in solving major world problems?
Innovation and innovative application of technology has been the number one force for change in the world. The accelerating pace of innovation and change means that the world is changing faster than ever before. This rapid pace of change comes from efforts to make our world better, but also exposes whole new problems that need to be addressed. I am a big believer that the best way to overcome many of these problems is through innovation. For example, if you are opposed to oil pipelines, instead of just protesting, research and innovate with alternative energy and technology that can make oil obsolete. The best force for change is to alter the economic equation through innovation.

Millennials are faced with the fact that “career mentality” of generations past no longer applies. How do you feel innovation can provide opportunities for the next generation of Canadian workers?
I’m 46 years old, so hardly a Millennial, but some might say I’ve been living the Millennial career path since before the term was coined. I’ve always created my own jobs and career opportunities, changing industries every 5-6 years and starting in a totally new market. Right now I’m in the live entertainment industry. Before that it was digital publishing and adTech. Before that I was in data center management technology. I believe that the Millennials have very exciting career prospects in from of them – but they won’t be successful if they just turn on their ‘autopilot’. They have to actively take charge and navigate their career. The world is constantly changing and innovating, and if you embrace this innovation and are excited by it, you will be able to find opportunities that are exciting and rewarding.