Riipen is a technology platform that connects the greater business community with higher ed students, recent graduates, and educators through meaningful project-based experiences. Emma Bullen spoke to Co-Founder and Director of Industry Partners, Dave Savory
Emma Bullen: Tell me a bit about you. How did you get to where you are today?
Dave Savory: I grew up in Southern Ontario and moved out to the University of Victoria when I was 19. I ended up getting a business degree, and I ran a college pro-painting franchise for three summers to get some real-world business experience while I was still at school. I met Dana, who I started Riipen with, in the program at UVic. We were in an entrepreneurial class in our last semester, and we had to come up with a business idea and do all the planning for a potential venture. We wanted to do something that could potentially be taken outside of the classroom. We went through doing a mandatory Co-op program where we went through the process of sending out a million resumes and not getting anything back from companies. It was frustrating. Thinking about all the different projects and assignments that you do through your academic career that demonstrate real world value are often siloed in an academic bubble. From there, we started asking, “what if projects we were doing for course credits were for real companies?”
EB: Tell me about Riipen – when did it launch and how many users are on the platform? Continue reading
Changing the Way You Find Event Space
thisopenspace is on a mission to connect people and space to bring ideas to the world. They are an online marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique short-term spaces from around the world. From an empty downtown retail store to an art gallery inside a heritage building, it can all be found on thisopenspace. Emma Bullen spoke to Co-Founder and CEO, Yashar Nejati.
Emma Bullen: Tell me about your background. How have you got to where you are today?
Yashar Nejati: My background is in business, marketing, and biochemistry. I worked in business and life sciences for about a year out of college, then I switched to enterprise technology sales. I’ve always wanted to start my own business and my first business was food manufacturing. We made organic dips and sold them into Whole Foods and had some success doing that. In around May 2013, we were planning an event and wanted to open a pop-up cafe for a couple of weeks and couldn’t find anywhere to do that in. It’s really the classic story, I solved my own problem and found the space. And after the event, we got feedback that accessible short-term space is a problem that a lot of entrepreneurs face.
OpenChannel provides everything you need to create and manage your own app store, partner directory or plugin marketplace. Emma Bullen spoke to Head of Marketing, Michael Kovacs about how a change in career led him to co-founding a Toronto-based startup.
Emma Bullen: Tell me about your background. Where did you start out?
Michael Kovacs: I guess you could say my background is a bit unusual. I was a professional musician. As a kid, I started off playing with friends in our parent’s basements, and it went from there. We won a few battle of the bands, and we got some free studio time. There’d be someone in the studio who would say, “I like what you guys are doing, why don’t you come back and I’ll give you some more free time.” We needed a manager, the manager had contacts at a record label and we ended up signing a deal with Universal Music. We did that for a while. The part of the label that we worked with was based in Germany, but we recorded in Canada. Lots of our touring was done in Germany as well as the US and China. It was a super fun experience.
EB: How did you change your career path?
Curatio is an award-winning health software company, with users in over 39 countries to date. With a private platform that combines matchmaking, curated content and easy tracking tools, their mission is to give every patient on the planet the support they need. Emma Bullen spoke to Founder and CEO, Lynda Brown.
Emma Bullen: Tell me a bit about you. How did you get to where you are today?
Lynda Brown: I started my first business at age 14. Back in the day, I didn’t really know much about being an entrepreneur. But, when I look back, I’ve always been interested in using tech to connect people. In terms of where I find myself today, I’m following that passion. Being part geek, part connector has influenced my life and what I’m doing with Curatio. I wanted to do something that had impact. Continue reading
Various titles I considered for this article include: “I’m not psychic, and neither are you”, “your stakeholders won’t know if you don’t tell them,” and “heyeayeayeayea, heyeayeayea, I said hey, what the heck is going on?” It was a close call, but at the end of the day, search engine optimization won out.
Improving my communication skills has been a recent goal of mine along with ‘say no more often,’ and ‘improve all the workflows!’ Given that Brian Tracy describes it as a skill that anyone can learn, “like a bicycle or typing,” and that Richard Branson says that it’s “the most effective skill any leader can possess,” improving my communication skills seemed the best place to start.
I’m a writer; I should know how to communicate, right? Well, to some extent. When I found myself saying, “I’m not psychic” and “why are you all acting like I don’t have a plan?” several times a week, I realized that part of the problem was me. And it was time to do something about it.
A couple of weeks back, I wrote an article about social media management in which I committed a cardinal sin. I used the terms social media manager and community manager interchangeably, implying that they are basically the same thing.
I’m so sorry! Think we can still be friends? Let’s see if I can make it up to you.
What are the main differences between community management and social media management?
In a nutshell, Social Media managers are responsible for the voice of the brand on social media channels. They’re out there making content, answering questions, getting the brand in front of people. Social Media managers bring the guests to the party.
Community managers are responsible for brand advocacy across social networks. They put their social persona out there, and they actively go out into the online community to form relationships with potential customers and champion the brand. Community managers boost awareness of the brand, welcoming the party guests with open arms. Continue reading
Koho is on a mission to change banking in Canada, particularly for Millennials. The company’s goal is to provide low-cost (free), highly functional mobile savings and spending accounts. Dubbed “the mobile hub for your money,” the company is generating a lot of interest. Emma Bullen spoke to CEO, Daniel Eberhard.
Why attempt to solve banking?
Koho started from a place of frustration. From a consumer perspective, traditional banking institutions leave a lot off the table. We’ve got these giant banks, making huge profits while we pay some of the highest bank fees in the world, and navigate outdated experiences with little choice as consumers. It got really clear for me when I found out that my brother had spent $85 in banking fees over three months.
When I was at school, if you told the careers advisor that you wanted to be more social, then you’d be directed to roles at your local leisure centre. Today, almost everyone company has someone on staff who is responsible for social media. At smaller firms, the person doing the social may also be responsible for PR or marketing. At a larger firm, it’s usually a dedicated employee with a starting salary of around $50,000.
What Does a Social Media Manager Actually Do?
A Community or Social Media Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management and development of editorial content on social media platforms. This includes positioning a brand through tweets, posts and discussions on social media sites. It also includes passive monitoring of related discussions on social media sites, as well direct customer interaction on these sites.
A Community or Social Media Manager is embedded in social media communities and has a strong handle on various tools and interfaces. In addition, he or she must be a have strong people skills, communication skills and must have an enthusiasm for the brand they are promoting, as they are responsible for driving consumer engagement in social networks.
I’m Popular on Instagram. Should I Become a Social Media Manager?
So, you use social media every day? Does that mean you’re an ideal candidate to be a Social Media Manager? In a word — no. Your career will not be determined by your number of Instagram followers alone. This position generally requires a degree in journalism or a related field. In addition, two to three years of experience in journalism, communications or social media is desired in addition to education.
This year marks the 150th birthday of Canada, also known as the 150th anniversary of Confederation or the sesquicentennial anniversary. With businesses across the country starting special initiatives in honour 150 years, tech startups are no different. We spoke to Toronto-based EventMobi, who are launching a new program, 150 Days of Action.
Tell us about EventMobi
EventMobi are the global leader in conference and meetings technology. We make it easy for event planning and marketing professionals to create and manage their online registration and event app. Our platform is trusted by over 12,000 event professionals in 72 countries and has reached over 10,000,000 attendees worldwide. We’re proud to say that we’re revolutionizing the way event organizers leverage technology at conferences and meetings around the world.
What is 150 Days of Action?
150 Days of Action is a program which kicks off July 1st to provide employees with meaningful opportunities to give back to their communities. As a company, we are incentivizing our employees to contribute to a total of 150 company days dedicated to volunteer work of their choice. We are excited to launch this program on Canada Day and inspire our staff to be Helpful and Empathetic – values that are core to our company and part of Canadian culture.
Nicole Smith is the founder of Flytographer, a Canadian-based startup that connects travellers with a community of hundreds of local photographers in 200 destinations around the world for fun, candid vacation photo shoots that capture the magic of travel. A former high-tech marketing manager, Nicole’s idea for Flytographer came after a trip to Paris to reunite with her best friend, Erika. Disappointed with awkward selfies and the blurry photos strangers had snapped, the duo asked a local friend to take some candid shots of them exploring the city together. The photos take on her iPhone were the best souvenir possible: priceless memories. On returning home, Nicole saw an opportunity and launched Flytographer in 2013. Emma Bullen spoke to her about her career, what she looks for in a photographer, and what’s it’s like to work at Flytographer.
How did you get to where you are today?
I studied international business and marketing at business school and then spent two years working and studying languages abroad after I graduated. That was an incredible education as I learned Spanish in Mexico City and learned all about Korean culture living in Seoul for over a year. As for my formal career, I have worked as a product manager for a tech startup in Seattle then spent the next 13 years in various marketing and consulting roles at Microsoft.
What do you enjoy most about your role as CEO of Flytographer?
It’s an incredible gift to be an entrepreneur. To take an idea and turn it into something that customers value. To design a culture with values that matter. To foster a global community of creatives. But I think what I enjoy most is (every day) seeing the memories we are preserving all over the globe, and going to bed at night knowing we are building something that is making a difference in people’s lives.