The 2015 Virox Future Forum Explores the Importance of Creativity, Entrepreneurship, and Social Media

Written by: Marianne Sy-Lucero

On February 25th, 2015, Sheridan College’s Hazel McCallion Campus hosted the seventh annual Virox Future Forum where over 100 students gathered to connect with Gerard Puccio, Sean Wise, and Scott Stratten–leading experts in creativity, entrepreneurship, and viral, social and authentic marketing.

This one-day event was founded and supported through the generosity of Sheridan Alumni and Virox Technologies, Inc. CEO, Randy Pilon, who’s continued support was recognized last fall with the naming of the Pilon School of Business.

Randy Pilon delivering a speech at the 2015 Virox Future Forum at Sheridan's HMC campus.

Randy Pilon delivering his opening speech at the 2015 Virox Future Forum hosted by Sheridan College’s Pilon School of Business

The Virox Future Forum is designed to bring together business world leaders to share their knowledge and experiences with Pilon School of Business students in order to help them understand current trends and how being able to identify them can generate opportunities for themselves in the future.

The forum began with opening remarks from Randy Pilon, which was proceeded by a short video about the rapidly rising power and influence of social media. Afterwards he delivered a short presentation about strategic planning where he used Virox as a model.

The Department Chair and Professor at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State, Dr. Gerard Puccio, went on to speak about how creative and divergent thinking is a key skill for success. “The world is changing rapidly, faster than ever before, and for that reason, creative thinking, creative problem solving and creative leadership, are appearing on the list of the top ranked attributes that business leaders are looking for in employees.” He quickly went on to explain to students that creativity is not a trait only a select few have, “Humans were designed to be creative; it’s a basic survival skill.”

Sean Wise, Professor of Entrepreneurship at Ryerson University, and the Host of The Naked Entrepreneur, took the stage next with a lesson on Entrepreneurship 101. He began his presentation by describing his own experiences as an entrepreneur and offered some tips on how to launch a successful startup. Wise went on to explain that although he believes that becoming an entrepreneur is easier than ever, he would still advise students to take their time and to learn from others before starting their own business, “It is the journey that makes you an entrepreneur, not the destination.”

The President of UnMarketing and Sheridan alumni, Scott Stratten, began his presentation by sharing how he started as a Sheridan student and his journey towards becoming the president of his own company. He continued his discussion by reminding students that they are their own brand and what they do, whether online or offline, leaves an impression with others. “Be aware of the digital trail you leave – never text or put something on Facebook that you wouldn’t want to see on a billboard.”

Virox Future Forum Guest Speakers: Sean Wise, Randy Pilon, Scott Stratten, and Gerard Puccio

Virox Future Forum 2015 guest speakers (from left to right): Sean Wise, Randy Pilon, Scott Stratten, and Gerard Puccio

Following the presentations students were given the opportunity to participate in round table sessions with Randy Pilon, Jeff Zabudsky, President and CEO of Sheridan, and Sylvia Lowndes, Dean of the Pilon School of Business, joined by the three guest speakers.

Afterwards a draw was held to award three students each with a $1,000 scholarship from Virox Technologies, Inc. The lucky winners were Kiersten Jensen , Alethea Baptista  and Mary Catherine D’Agostino.


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