About Jennifer Turliuk

Jennifer Turliuk is an entrepreneurial leader with a strong background in technology, strategy, marketing, business development, and writing. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wired, Fast Company, Forbes, Harvard case study, and more. She attended Singularity University at NASA, where she learned how to apply exponential technology to education.

Career Highlights:

  • CEO of MakerKids, the first makerspace for kids in the world. We empower the makers of tomorrow with programs on robotics, coding and Minecraft.
  • Forbes article was one of Forbes Greatest Hits (with over 1 million views), on the Forbes Most Read and Top Trending Stories for over a week, featured on Linkedin Today, and reprinted by New York’s daily newspapers, Business Insider and Vault.
  • Keynote speaker at first MakerCon in Europe, spoke at MakerCon New York and on panel discussion with Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal), did a TEDx talk in Spanish (at TEDxSantiago)
  • PR & Marketing consultant for various startups and campaigns including the Matterform 3D scanner crowdfunding campaign, the highest Indiegogo raise ever outside the US ($471,000)
  • Participant in Singularity University‘s 2012 Graduate Studies Program at NASA
  • Ran Canada’s largest business plan competition and created a launchpad program for top young entrepreneurs that was selected for the Startup Chile program
  • Developed self-education program that involved shadowing at 6 startups after being 1 of top 6 finalists from hundreds in competition to shadow Dave McClure of 500 Startups
  • Led launch of Tide Pods (biggest launch in 27 years on P&G Canada’s largest brand)
  • Launched SMS-based disaster relief project for Hurricane Sandy that was featured in the New York Times, Fast Company, CBS, and more within a week of launching.
  • Helped build a 3-D printer for a music video
  • First website featured in a major children’s magazine at age 12
  • Awarded Honorary Degree from Humber College for contributions to society
  • Winner of NextGen in Franchising Competition for next top franchise concept

Thought Leadership:

MakerKids is the original makerspace for kids.

MakerKids CEO Jennifer Turliuk has been invited to give talks about our work at key industry conferences such as:

MakerCon: Norway, New York, California

“The Business of Making With Kids”

Keynote Speaker, MakerCon Nordic: Called the ‘epicenter of the maker movement’, MakerCon is a professional conference by and for makers. MakerKids CEO was invited to speak about MakerKids.

Maker Faire: Rome, New York, California

“Re-Making the World through Making with Kids”

Maker Faire Rome: Jennifer was invited to give a talk to 1500 people at the opening conference of Maker Faire Rome. Other speakers included Brian Krzanich (CEO of Intel), Massimo Banzi (CEO of Arduino), Dale Dougherty (CEO of Maker Media), Leah Buechley (professor at MIT Media Lab), Mark Frauenfelder (founder of Boing Boing), and more. Her speech was covered by Wired.

Humber College Convocation

Honorary Degree & Graduation Speech

MakerKids CEO was awarded an honorary degree for her contributions to society via MakerKids, and invited to speak in front of 3000 graduates. Past honorary degree recipients include the Chief of Toronto Police Services, Mike Myers, and more.

Testimonial: “On behalf of the advisors for PiFF – PayItForwardFriends.com, A Junior Achievement Company, I want to thank you for your inspirational talk yesterday. You were highly engaging and showed a deep passion for entrepreneurship. We’ve had several guests come through our doors in the last few months but your “approval rating” was by far the highest amongst all speakers – on a student and advisor level. For the rest of PiFF’s members and advisors who could not make it last night – you missed a dandy.” – Larry Chan, Caldwell Partners

Past Speaking Engagements:

  • Humber College Convocation
  • Brightworks Innovation Day
  • Keynote speech at MakerCon Nordic (first MakerCon in Europe)
  • Maker Faire Rome
  • MakerCon New York
  • Maker Faire Bay Area
  • SXSWedu
  • Panel discussion with Peter Thiel (Founder of Paypal and early investor in Facebook and Linkedin) at Stanford University
  • TEDx talk in Spanish at TEDxSantiago
  • Ignite Presentation at Singularity University
  • Tech Wildcatters accelerator program’s weekly Speaker Dinner (in Dallas, Texas): ‘PR & Marketing for Startups’
  • Stanford MBA students: ’Startup Chile’
  • Concordia MBA students: ’Doing Business in Chile’
  • Junior Achievement students at Deloitte: ‘Career Planning’
  • [email protected]’s Undergraduate research conference at Queen’s University: ‘Marketing to Millennials’
  • Bizcamp Santiago
  • Business Plan competitions: various topics

Writing

Here are some examples of Jennifer’s writing:

Forbes

One of Forbes Greatest Hits (with over 1 million views), on the Forbes Most Read and Top Trending Stories for over a week, featured on Linkedin Today, and reprinted by New York’s daily newspapers, Business Insider and Vault.

Venturebeat

Acted as correspondent at Singularity University’s Graduate Studies Program for Venturebeat

Strategy Magazine

Selected to write about a new idea for September 2014 print issue. Wrote about “The closet of your dreams”

Women 2.0

Jennifer wrote an article about one of her shadow experiences as part of her ‘Startup Shadow’ project, which involved shadowing and interviewing many prominent founders and investors in Silicon Valley.

Teva Online for Business

An article that was co-written with Ken Wong, marketing professor at Queen’s University and member of the Canadian Marketing Hall of Fame. As part of an independent study with him, Jennifer also wrote other blog posts that offered insights to marketing professionals about how to market to millennials most effectively, demystifying which trends relating to consumption habits are actually relevant to this age group and how they can be successfully applied to marketing strategies.

Other

Jennifer has also written for TVO, Techvibes, the Hamilton Spectator, Burlington Post, and Startup Weekend. She was a Blogger for the Queen’s University School of Business website

Awards

Selected awards and recognition

Honorary Degree, Humber College

Awarded 2016 Board of Governors’ Honorary Degree (Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning) for contributions to society

1st, NextGen in Franchising Competition

1st place, NextGen in Franchising Competition (400 applicants), International Franchise Association Conference. Selected by CEOs of College Pro and Anytime Fitness to advance to top 3, then selected as 1st by votes from 4000 conference attendees.

Nominated as a pioneering woman in tech

Singularity University Scholarship Recipient

Selected from over 3000 applicants as one of 80 students (from 36 countries) for NASA’s Singularity University Graduate Studies program and granted scholarships

Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Bronze, Silver, and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards from Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex

Jury Captain, Core77

Jury Captain of Open Design Category, Core77 Design Awards 2015

Juror, TO Tech

TOTech Top Contributor of 2014 Nominees Selection (link)

Editor’s Choice Ribbon, Maker Faire

Blue Ribbon, Maker Faire

Next Founders Participant

Selected to participate in Next Founders program (affiliated with Next 36)

Startup Chile Entrepreneur

1 of 154 selected from 650 applications to be part of Startup Chile, a 6-month business incubator program run by the Chilean government granting $40K in equity-free capital

Dave McClure Shadow Finalist

1 of top 6 finalists from hundreds in competition to shadow Dave McClure of 500 Startups

2nd, Latin MOOT Corp Competition

Outstanding Presentation Award and 2nd place in Latin MOOT Corp Competition (international business plan competition in Brazil for MBA students) while an undergraduate student.

Queen’s School of Business Outstanding Achievement in Communications Workshops

Queen’s University Scholarships

-Queen’s University Thomas Nugent Memorial Award: For entrepreneurial endeavors and strong academic achievement
-Queen’s University D.I. McLeod Dean’s List Scholarship
-Queen’s University Academic Entrance Scholarship

Millenium Excellence Award

Awarded to 1,000 students across Canada on the basis of leadership, community involvement, innovation and academic achievement

Wendy’s Classic Achiever Scholarship Award

Awarded to 210 students from 12,000 applicants across Canada based on demonstration of excellence in academics, extracurricular activities and community service

Max Rotman Humanitarian Youth Award

Marc Kielburger Award

Hillfield-Strathallan College’s 1stMarc Kielburger Award

Competition Prizes

-2nd in Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition ($6K in prize money)
-3rd place Marketing Case Award at Queen’s Business Competition
-Case Presentation Award at Queen’s University Corporate Social Responsibility Weekend

Projects

Selected Projects

My mission is to help more people find and follow careers that they are passionate about, good at, and that help them and the world. Currently 80% of people are dissatisfied with their jobs (Deloitte Shift Index Survey) – I want to make a dent on reducing this number. Childhood is the most formative stage of life, so I am currently focused on empowering kids to develop the skills and confidence to have better careers. Here are some select projects I have worked on along the way.

Founder and CEO, MakerKids

2013-Present

MakerKids is the first makerspace for kids in the world. We empower the makers of tomorrow with the skills and mindsets to change the world. Thousands of kids have participated in our camps, after-school programs and parties on coding, robotics and Minecraft. We have written curriculum for Intel and trained educators from the Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Catholic District School Board. MakerKids was named Best Kids’ Workshops by Toronto Life Magazine and one of the top ten awesome birthday party places by Today’s Parent. Our Board of Advisors includes the CEO of Arduino. We are franchising and hiring – reach out if you are interested.

Singularity University Graduate Studies Program

2012

Singularity University is a program started by NASA and the founders of Google that teaches about the most cutting-edge exponential technologies (e.g. 3D printing, genetics, nanotechnology, etc) and how to use them to solve the world’s greatest grand challenges (e.g. poverty, water, etc). Faculty members included Eric Ries, Vivek Wadhwa, Vinod Khosla, Jean-Michel Cousteau, the Chair of Kiva’s board, astronauts, members of the Obama administration, and more. With a mission to positively impact 1B+ people within the next 10 years, the program consisted of a mix of lectures from subject experts, field trips to places like IDEO and Autodesk, team projects, and technology workshops. Jennifer was selected from over 3000 applicants as one of 80 students (from 36 countries) for the 2012 Graduate Studies program and was granted scholarships. Her team won the Android app challenge, garnering $2000 in funding. She wrote about the Singularity University experience as a correspondent for Venturebeat.

PR & Marketing Consultant

2012-2013

Provided PR, marketing, writing, sales and strategy services to clients working with exponential technologies to change the world:

  • Matterform 3D scanner (first affordable desktop 3D scanner): raised over $471,000 via Indiegogo campaign – the highest Indiegogo raise ever outside the US at the time. Garnered press in major media outlets such as Fast CompanyMAKE MagazineVenturebeatGeekDadWired Italy, CBC.
  • Atmel (the makers of the microcontroller used by Arduino) and Ardulab (a startup that lets anyone send an experiment to space for under $5K): landed press in Fast Company, Make magazine, Huffington Post, Mashable and more.
  • Oroeco (the world’s first automatic purchase impact tracking tool. Created by a group of Stanford, Harvard, Berkeley and MIT professors): Exceeded $15K fundraising goal for Indiegogo campaign. Garnered press in major media outlets such as VenturebeatHuffington PostForbesDiscovery NewsReuters
  • Dyo.co (custom 3D printed jewellery): secured major press for launch

Self-Education Program

2011

After being named one of the 1 of top 6 finalists from hundreds in a competition to shadow Dave McClure of 500 Startups, Jennifer created her own self-education program that involved meeting with and interviewing successful entrepreneurs and founders, shadowing at 6 companies for 1-5 days each to learn from them and help out wherever possible, volunteering at conferences (such as DEMO and Founder Showcase), sitting in on some classes at Stanford with the permission of the instructors, and visiting the offices of companies such as Facebook, Google, Apple, etc.

She met with and interviewed entrepreneurs and investors including Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal and early investor in Facebook), Tim Ferriss, Richard Branson, Joe Gebbia (Airbnb), Dave McClure (500 Startups), Eric Ries (Lean Startup), Steve Blank (4 Steps to the Epiphany), Reid Hoffman (Linkedin), Brad Feld (Techstars), Matt Flannery (Kiva), Randy Reddig (Square), Brian Wong (Kiip), Sam Zaid (Getaround), and more. Jennifer shadowed at Kiva, Causes, Ashoka, the Stanford d.school, Launchrock, and Dojo, helping them with things like marketing, customer service, sales, design, and strategy.

You can read more about this self-education program in Jennifer’s Forbes article about it, which was one of Forbes Greatest Hits (with over 1 million views), on the Forbes Most Read and Top Trending Stories for over a week, featured on Linkedin Today, and reprinted by New York’s daily newspapers, Business Insider and Vault.

Recommendations

The word around town

Caroline Burke

Manager, Procter & Gamble

“Jennifer is a very strong marketer due to her entrepreneurial spirit and clear drive to succeed. We worked together when she first started at P&G and she was an extremely quick learner and picked up total responsibility of her projects right away. She is a great partner to have on any business.”

Ken Wong

Professor, Consultant, Professional Speaker and Entrepreneur

“I taught Jennifer and served as her advisor. I was impressed enough to invite her to write a blog with me for one of my clients. She is bright, articulate and committed to entrepreneurial success. Strongly recommend her for anything requiring intelligence, persistence and energy”

Ian Monroe

CEO, Oroeco

“Jennifer did a fantastic job spearheading media outreach for Oroeco. She connected us with more than a thousand journalists, leading to high-profile publications to help spread public awareness about Oroeco’s mission and services, as well as contribute to the success of our Indiegogo campaign. She’s quite creative in her approach, and she was a joy to work with!”

David McConomy

Assistant Professor Smith School of Business at Queen’s University

“During the four years that Jennifer was at Queen’s I spent many hours discussing career opportunities with her and came to know her quite well. Jennifer is a hard worker who can identify exactly what she wants and has the energy and intelligence to pursue her objectives relentlessly. I would recommend her as an employee or as a consultant without hesitation.”