Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in training and education but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Carl Peters, Founder and CEO of Pathfinder Academy, located in Halifax, NS, Canada.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Pathfinder is a project management framework designed for university students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior researchers. It is designed to help these individuals increase their research output, become more organized, and meet deadlines by providing a framework that is quick to learn and easy to understand, can be implemented at any project stage, and recognizes academic team dynamics. The framework is free to use, but the company, Pathfinder Academy, also offers professional certificates and support to help users better understand the content and improve their careers, as well as training courses for universities.

Tell us about yourself

I am a scientist, leader, and entrepreneur with a passion for investigating project management in an academic context. I became interested in this field while I was working as an academic researcher, postdoctoral fellow, and managing research programs at a large science institute where I observed inefficiencies in project management within the academic sector. I noticed that many scientists did not progress at a rate representative of the hours they put in, and projects were constantly delayed. I realized that this was due to a lack of emphasis on soft skills, such as project management, in university curriculums.

To address this problem, I decided to take matters into his own hands and learn the global standards of project management in today’s businesses, and develop a project management framework specifically for scientists which is quick to learn, easy to understand, and can be implemented at any project stage while recognizing academic team dynamics. I am motivated to continue working on this business through my passion for project management, my desire to help scientists become more efficient and productive, and my love for innovation. I hope that my framework, Pathfinder, will help academic researchers to become better project managers and achieve their goals more effectively.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

My biggest accomplishment as a business owner was to design the first-ever academic project management framework, which has not only the potential to make more efficient researchers but also has the potential to save universities around the world billions of dollars each year.

What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?

The hardest thing that comes with being a business owner is to fight the resistance that universities and their researchers have to find and understand a better way of working. Challenging their status quo is difficult but needed if the academic sector wants to progress.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Too much startup advice is just noise; cut it down.
  2. Do the Lean way of starting a business.
  3. Understand demand-sided sales.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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