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Q&A: How Nicole Mclean is adapting to a new normal.

The Co-Founder of InStage shares her strategy and advice.

Nicole is a true-blue Nova Scotian who loves to communicate with people. She spent 10 years working in a corporate training position at Scotiabank and then co-founded InStage in 2017. InStage creates V.R. Training simulations for soft-skills and was originally created to help Nicole practice for large group presentations. Since 2017, Nicole has been driving the reach of InStage to include 1000’s of users at Fortune 500 companies and large post-secondary institutions. Nicole shares how InStage is navigating the pandemic, from what area of the business is receiving the greatest focus to what she is doing to stay positive.


What area of your business is getting your most energy and focus? 

With the recent spike in demand for interactive online learning, InStage is focused on partnering with post-secondary schools to help them adopt VR technology adaptations that work online. Nearly all educational institutions believe that VR technology will play a key role in the future of education, so we are helping them start this process of bringing in technology and learning best practices.

What is the most important problem you are trying to solve?

The most important problem we are trying to solve is filling the soft skill gap between what students have and what employers expect. It has never been more urgent to help prepare students to develop these skills which requires a lot of practice. Students can now practice in V.R. Simulations for interviews, presentations, storytelling, objection handling in safe environments that also allows for repetition and real-time analytics.

What has been your most successful solution so far?          

Adapting to this new world and continuing to innovate to add value to our clients.       

How have you been staying connected with your customers and employees?             



I love associating myself with people I admire so I can continuously push myself both work-wise and personally. 


What advice do you have for businesses struggling with their finances?

Test your innovation with the market and see if it adds enough value for clients to pay.

What has surprised you? 

The biggest surprise is how things have changed since pre-COVID days. Continuing to adapt and innovate is essential.

How far ahead are you planning? 

In the short term, we are looking forward to the fall as schools are reopening. But planning is a 6 month to 5 year project at least.

What keeps you positive?

Positivity comes from your mindset and also who you are surrounding yourself with. It’s important to be connected with positive influencers. I love associating myself with people I admire so I can continuously push myself both work-wise and personally. 

What message do you want to share with entrepreneurs right now? 

Covid-19 has created a lot of new problems for entrepreneurs to solve. Entrepreneurs should be looking at how the world is changing and what the new world will need rather than dwelling on the economic issues.