We're growing!!

by Leah Sarich, Head of Story (September 2020)


We are delighted to announce two new members to our Thin Air Labs team.

Joining us are Rick Bird as Chief Operating Officer and Mitchell Gillespie as Chief Growth Officer.

At Thin Air Labs we value trust, collaboration and building meaningful relationships.  Both Rick and Mitchell come to us as a direct result of these foundational principles. Rick and Mitch go way back with our Capital Partner James Lochrie and the company he Co-Founded, Wave.  

Rick is familiar with venture creation in the West. His first four companies were based in British Columbia and for the last year he has been directly supporting Thin Air Lab portfolio company, Athennian, a Calgary based global legal entity management platform.

Rick says he joined the Thin Air Labs team because the opportunity for Calgary to become a global leader in technology and innovation is enormous. And he says this growth momentum is quickly gaining traction.

 “Alberta is seeing explosive growth in early stage companies across multiple sectors. For example, companies like Calgary's own Athennian are emerging as global players and are becoming destination employers both locally and internationally. They're building a world class team and a product that both enables and empowers their customers to do their best work. As a multi-time operator, I want to continue supporting early stage company growth and innovation. More practically, this means helping people become their best versions of themselves, deepening local talent and catalyzing job creation. These are incredibly important areas of focus to me -- and to the team at Thin Air Labs.”

Educated as a software engineer and coming from 10 years of startup product management, Mitchell has joined Thin Air Labs because he’s motivated by people trying to solve big problems. 

"I’ve cherished every opportunity to lead, manage, teach and mentor passionate people chasing borderline impossible ambition; it’s my personal fuel. Nothing compares to witnessing those special light bulb moments for an individual; helping them turn a fuzzy challenge into a clear understanding of what’s next. I feel humbled and privileged to maximize these moments. Within the Thin Air Labs community there are so many talented, inspirational and visionary innovators. We at Thin Air Labs are all excited to support the critical growth happening in the tech ecosystems of Western Canada. I’ve rolled up my sleeves, and I'm ready to work." 

Rick says building those ecosystems starts with ensuring each entrepreneur gets the support they need when they need it most.

The team at Thin Air Labs believes in putting ventures first and providing support to entrepreneurs and teams through access to design, community and capital. Everything we do centralizes around this "ventures first" theme, and our goal is to contribute to the success of every founder, team member and venture we work with.” 

Attracting this quality of talent to the province is further proof that Alberta is producing world class ventures that are capturing the interest of the global workforce. This is why Thin Air Labs believes the opportunity is now to support entrepreneurs and drive investment and innovation to create a new way forward for this province and beyond. It starts with building great companies and leads all the way to a regenerative economy that benefits more people and the planet. Rick and Mitchell join Thin Air Labs to #buildwhatsnext