Karen Dubeau is the Director of Creative Economy with InvestBarrie, at the City of Barrie. In her role, she has oversight on strategy and operational programs to grow a dynamic ecosystem that includes startups, existing companies seeking to leverage innovation, academic partners and institutions. She will be working to expand the City’s successful Arts and Culture programs to incorporate innovation and to highlight the role of the Arts in driving community prosperity.
Karen has experience as an entrepreneur, having founded a successful Ottawa technology firm, and has worked with not-for-profit business associations and communities on strategic programs involving Intelligent communities, knowledge mobilization for small businesses, disruptive and exponential innovation and community-based collaboration ecosystems. She led the development of the Cluster Strategies for the Health and Technology sectors for ventureLAB, a Regional Innovation Centre, creating dynamic partnerships design to drive growth and impact, In 2016, she led the team in York Region that hosted the GO Open Data Conference.
Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for province of Ontario, a Top 40 Under 40 Alumnus, the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada’s Staff Person of the Year Award, and more recently, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Karen has participated on grant review committees for Federal and Provincial funding agencies, and has served on Boards of community food banks, public libraries and educational institutions.