The event of my choice was the finishing event for Startup Canada Day On The Hillin Ottawa on November 21st.
I picked this event because I have Start-Up Canada as a regular #search for a while now and thought it would be a good opportunity to dive into the whole “networking in person” which I successfully avoided for a while. Also, I do work for a Start-Up which had a chance to pitch during Start-Up week.
I had a couple of interesting conversations. One was with a Hans, co-founder of the company Savvy Dox. He attended some a “round table” which was invite only and shared some ideas how the city of Ottawa is planning to improve entrepreneurship in Ottawa and what the company he co-founded does. My contribution was limited to asking questions and listening because I was not sure what the company was doing.
Another person I spoke to was Susan, Founder of GivOpoly. I’ve learned about her Start-up, an online marketplace for local businesses, allowing consumers to connect with a local business in order to send gifts to people in that particular neighborhood. During the conversation I shared my view that in the beginning of online shopping, small businesses where concerned about loosing business and now it seem, they leverage the internet to actually reach out to a not local customer base, which was to my surprise an angle she had not thought of.
Karen is a Chinese student in Ottawa who is setting up a business to import jewelry from China. I’ve learned that Ottawa U has programs for entrepreneurship and my contribution was, to share the fact that Invest Ottawa offers courses from marketing to accounting whatever one needs to start their own business.
The main idea I walked away with was that there are a lot of people who have smart ideas out there. The ability to explain what it is one is trying to accomplish in simple words is important especially if what your doing is complex. To boil down messages to bring idea across is very important because not understanding the other person makes it impossible to have a conversation.
“The most valuable class I ever took while doing my business degree was consumer behavior and the best investment was a Marketing course” is the quote I’ve collected. I’ve heard a couple of interesting things but picked this one because it came up as a key challenge in every single conversation I had.
I will attend an in person networking event yes. I can see it being a great way to meet potential clients but at the moment I can’t possibly fit more work in and therefore I plan to investing my time in events I can network with fellow designers or learn new things I can implement in my work or improve my work flow with.
Photo: done with my phone