Five days, twenty-one events, 57,605 steps, and countless business cards later - Vancouver Startup Week 2018 has come to an end. For my colleague Rich and I, the goal of startup week was simple: gain insight into the startup ecosystem in Vancouver, attend as many events as we could, and network Nucleus’ service offering specifically tailored for early stage entrepreneurs. Below are a few key takeaways of my experience from #VSW2018.

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De-centralizing Events.

This past May, Rich and I represented Nucleus at the #BCTECH Summit that was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. It was a 3-day event that showcased emerging BC Tech companies and highlighted some of the more established BC Tech powerhouses. Intertwined with the showroom floor of vendor booths were fireside chats and discussions that spoke to everything tech, from VR to blockchain and everything in between. The first day was great; endless vendors that are enthusiastic to speak about their product and company, plenty of networking on the showroom floor, and targeted discussions that peaked both personal and professional interests. Day two, the same and by day three the event had run its course. 

With 34 events marked on the schedule for Vancouver Startup Week, it became apparent that going to all of them would be impossible. Gastown, Yaletown, North Van, Kitsilano, and Coal Harbor all played host to the variety of events. What seemed daunting at first became one of my favorite parts of the week. The refreshing change of scenery (with the cooperation of the weather) was welcomed change of pace. This also presented the opportunity to meet new faces and hear the different ideas that an entrepreneur targeted event would produce. Not to mention that like minds would be drawn to similar events and topics of discussion, presenting the ability to build rapport.

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Open Discussions

Hearing a thought-leader speak enthusiastically about a topic that excites them is contagious. What’s even better is when they open the floor to allow the audience the ability to contribute and ask specific questions. Recalling a discussion Rich and I attended, Paul Singh began his event sitting at the front of the room, pointing out that all attendees (about 25) chose to spend time there for a reason and he wanted to make the most of it. Unscripted, he began by instead asking us upfront what we hoped to accomplish, making the engagement aspect something I found to be extremely valuable. Unscripted, organic, and engaging, it set the benchmark for every other event during the week.

One other event of note was a round table discussion hosted by Freedom 55 Financial, presented by Enoch & Brandon. The topic of the event was aimed at creating a strong company culture within a startup. To begin, each attendee introduced themselves, what company they were from, and their goal for the discussion that was top of mind. The combination of breaking the ice early while in an intimate setting set the tone for the rest of the great conversations that followed. The subject of the discussion is a good way to draw people in, but the delivery and execution is what makes people remember it.

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Supercharge Your Startup

The ‘Get Supercharged’ t-shirts that Rich and I wore were terrific icebreakers. While one individual thought we were an energy drink, another guessed a workout supplement - all good guesses... but the key? The shirts presented a way to have people engaged and interested to learn more.

Nucleus’ Supercharge Your Startup is an IT solution specifically tailored for Startups. It’s a stack of tools that Nucleus will deploy and support for a monthly fixed cost that covers file sharing and collaboration utilizing Dropbox, Email & Office Suite through Microsoft Office 365, and Softphone-based voice services by leveraging Shaw SmartVoice or 3CX. The benefits of the stack also include: No contracts, bundled pricing, 100% cloud based, and IT support and Security powered by Nucleus, comprised of 60+ IT professionals that are ready to assist your business.

Overall, the goal of the event was met. We now have transparency and insight into the startup ecosystem within Vancouver that is buzzing with enthusiasm, rich with ideas, and full of influential companies that will soon be considered Vancouver startup success stories.

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cutmypic Steve Bailey | Account Executive