The 2022 Women of the Year Awards: Community Builder – Runner-up

The runner-up for the community builder category of The 2022 Women of the Year Awards is Jeanette Jackson, CEO of Foresight CAC.

Jeanette Jackson
CEO, Foresight Cleantech Accelerator Centre

Serial entrepreneur Jeanette Jackson has always cared about the planet. One night at the dinner table, she argued with her father over a can, she recalls. “I was like, Whoa, I can’t believe you didn’t recycle! He very quickly learned to.”

Born in Peterborough, Ontario, Jackson moved to B.C. at age 12. Fresh out of SFU, where she earned a BBA in marketing and international business, she launched a clean technology startup in 2014. The company, which closed $7.5 million in funding, helped speed up the shift from incandescent to LED light bulbs by enabling consumer-standard control over the latter’s colour and brightness.

Today, Jackson is CEO of Port Coquitlam-headquartered cleantech accelerator Foresight CAC. The organization supports cleantech businesses across the country, works with industry and buyers to get technologies to market, and ensures that private capital, academia and government all play a role in the transition to net zero.

When Jackson joined Foresight in 2018, it only had two staff. “Now we’re supporting 300 companies with just under 30 team members and have a pretty robust mentor network of over 150,” she says. Jackson also points to Foresight’s Scale-up Program for later-stage cleantech businesses. “In just two years, we supported 30 companies, and they secured $450 million in capital, $250 million in revenue and created 600 green jobs,” she says. “If that’s not a huge win for the province, I don’t know what is.”

Jackson does 80 to 120 speaking engagements a year on climate and sustainability. “I feel like we need to do more to solve the climate crisis, and that’s what keeps me up at night and keeps me waking up loving the work that we do here.”