Cultivator announces new Director: Laura Mock

(Regina, Saskatchewan – Dec 8, 2023) – Cultivator is excited to announce Laura Mock as the new Director. With a rich business background, extensive customer experience knowledge, and a passion for fostering innovation, Laura is set to lead Cultivator into a new era of growth and impact.

Mock’s professional journey has been diverse, ranging from sales and operations, to most recently leading the experience design team at SGI Canada (Saskatchewan Government Insurance) during their digital transformation. Mock has intentionally developed expertise in design thinking, user-centred design, and business process management, recognizing the critical intersection of innovation and business fundamentals for future success. With experience collaborating with VC-backed organizations and consulting for tech startups, Mock demonstrates a deep understanding of comprehensive market analysis, growth strategy formulation, company pitch decks, and securing capital.

Expressing her enthusiasm for joining Cultivator, Laura highlights Conexus’ commitment to possibility and innovation in the tech space. We had the opportunity to meet with Laura and ask her a few questions before she officially gets started with our team in January 2024.

Everyone can’t wait to meet you– Tell us a little about yourself, Laura!

“I was born and raised in Moose Jaw, SK. I moved to Alberta for school in 2000 and stayed there for work after graduating with a business degree in 2003. In 2011, I had a daughter, Elisha (we call her Ellie) and I decided to come home to the prairies so I could raise her here in Regina. In terms of my family, I am blessed to have a wonderful and supportive partner – Tristan. I also have two bonus sons from Tristan – Keenan and Cassidy. Collectively, our kids are ages 11, 12 and 13. We also have two dogs and a cat- so to say we have a busy household would be an understatement!! We have learned to embrace the chaos and have a lot of fun doing so – you’ll typically find us laughing around the table playing games, out on a family walk, or hosting friends and family for a meal and some laughs. A couple of things that I am incredibly proud of, this summer my daughter was the recipient of a Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee medal for her efforts in the area of philanthropy. The other is completing my EMBA in November 2022 (graduating in June 2023). This represented two years of working full-time, going to school full-time, and being a full-time single mom (this was before Tristan). My daughter was my biggest cheerleader and I’m so grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate to her the value of working hard and persevering to achieve goals.”

Can you share your experience in your professional journey and how it has led you to Cultivator?

“My professional career has been a winding road! I began in pharmaceutical sales and later transitioned to pharmacy operations roles. While I loved what I was doing, the part that I loved the most was the people – the patients and employees.  

In 2016, I made a significant shift into a Customer Experience role, marking a substantial departure from a hands-on, action-oriented position to one focused on understanding customer needs. In this role, my mandate was to connect with customers, comprehend their needs, and develop strategies to meet those needs while delivering value. Since entering the customer experience domain, I’ve dedicated myself to enhancing my knowledge in key disciplines such as design thinking, user-centered design, and business process management. I consciously pursued a dual focus on developing two sides of thinking: innovation and creative disciplines. This strategic approach ensures that great ideas not only thrive creatively but also possess scalability and make sound business sense. 

As mentioned earlier, in 2021, I started my EMBA  at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.  I choose Queen’s because of its reputation for developing transformative leaders and its cutting-edge business insights.  Looking back now, while my career has been a bit of a winding road, each of those chapters has equipped me with knowledge, skills, experience and a network that I will be able to tap into and apply in a leadership role at Cultivator.

On top of all this, I have hands-on experience working with VC-backed organizations and consulting for tech startups. It gave me a deep dive into the fast-paced world and dynamics of startups. I’ve shown I can use my understanding of business fundamentals and methods to help these startups secure capital and channel their growth in the right direction. Plus, I’m naturally all about networking, and I’ve got a solid circle of connections that I can tap into. I’m confident that I can bring in new opportunities for Cultivator and build strong partnerships that’ll help our startups thrive.”

What excites you about Cultivator and motivates you to join the tech ecosystem?

“Where should I start?!  First off, I do want to mention that my mom spent her professional career with Conexus, so I’m pretty excited to be joining the Conexus family and following in her tracks! But looking at the unique qualities of the Cultivator, the first thing that comes to my mind is ‘possibility’. There is so much happening in the tech space and there is a thirst to find investment and talent for Saskatchewan startups! Couple that with our province’s innovative and hard-working attitude…. the possibilities are endless.  To have the opportunity to work with and support founders, as they challenge conventional thinking and innovate on ways to solve problems, meet user needs, create value and improve our world, is such an honour. I‘m beyond excited to help showcase to Canada and the world just how big of an impact our Cultivator startups can have in the tech space!”  

Time for rapid-fire questions 🔥

  • What is your favourite local restaurant? The rice guy – Best satay beef soup in town
  • What was your first job? Tim Hortons
  • Do you have a favourite quote or motto? When given the choice to be kind or to be right, always choose kind
  • Tea or Coffee? Tea
  • Do you have a favourite hidden gem in Saskatchewan? I love Lumsden and the area, including Wascana trails
  • What’s your go-to karaoke song? Anything country
  • What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day? A run
  • Do you have any pets? We have 2 dogs (Maggie and Lambert) and a Cat (Lulu)
  • What is your favourite food? Sushi
  • What app can you not live without on your phone? My fitness app

Cultivator, known for creating impactful programs and fostering innovative startups since 2019, underwent a leadership change in September 2023. Jordan McFarlen, the Incubator Manager for the past five years, transitioned to the role of Director at Conexus Venture Capital. With this shift, and the announcement of Laura Mock as the new leader of Cultivator, Conexus is confident that Mock will sustain the organization’s momentum and guide it to greater heights.

Welcome Laura! We can’t wait to GROW with you!


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