As we look towards a new provincial budget for the 2018 fiscal year, many questions have arisen surrounding the future of the economy and job sectors. We here at the Genesis Centre can see the bright future ahead stemming from the technology sector!
The B Corp movement has been in the spotlight lately as it quickly gains momentum worldwide, and in the province. Social enterprises and companies built on a foundation of social responsibility are becoming more and more common as more consumers begin to demand ethical behavior from corporations.
Nicole Helwig, Manager at the Memorial University Centre for Social Enterprise, and Carolyn Wakeham, Senior Account Manager at BDC, helped us answer some key questions about B Corp. They discuss how the movement is present in Newfoundland and Labrador as well as what the future of B Corp looks like in the province.
Providing support to female entrepreneurs, especially in the technology sector is extremely important. Today is International Women’s Day! So today we look back on our biggest event to date in support of female founders in tech- The Big Raise.
So the Big Raise for Women in Tech was born! The Big Raise Poker Tournament is an exclusive Charity event founded by Craig Rowe and Craig Tucker as a way to combine the social aspect of poker with a passion of giving back to the community. The Big Raise for women was a special edition, an event for women tech entrepreneurs by women business leaders. Every player was female, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t a few males in the room - the Premier, Paddy Daly and tech CEOS from the community filled the role of dealers, coming out to show their support.
If we truly want to see growth in the tech sector in this province, then we need to embrace diversity in tech. We. Need. To. We need to support diverse groups of people and encourage them to take jobs in tech, start companies in tech, move to this province and help them to make this place their home. Diverse thinking keeps us current, competitive and innovative. It’s that simple!
We have amazing stories to tell about the success happening in tech in this province. We have interesting stories that includes searching for the Avro Arrow, the Amelia Earhart wreckage and the Malasian airliner. Our stories include photographing the Titantic, fighting bank crime and food insecurity and taking power transmission to a whole new (wireless) level. So, let’s start telling our damn story!
You’re a start-up who has created an amazing and innovative idea that you believe will make a real impact; this right here is enough to be a sure-fire success, and you can’t wait to establish a large customer base and great revenue stream. But wait — no one knows who your brand is or what your company does. Search Engine Optimization is an activity that is often placed as a low priority at the beginning of establishing your business but it can make all the difference in connecting you with with your audience and having a bigger impact on your potential customers.
Socrates once said, “the hottest love has the coldest end”.
As Valentine’s Day 2018 has come and gone, it might be worthwhile to examine relationships — in relation to start-ups, of course — that didn’t have a fairy-tale ending. Having the right co- founder(s) is essential to a start-up’s success. Based on the Start-up Genome Project, a comprehensive study on what contributes to a start-ups’ success, a balanced team of co-founders raise 30% more money. Solo founders also take 3.6 times longer to reach the scale stage compared to a team with two founders. In addition, CB Insights’ post mortem report on why start-ups fail has identified negative team dynamics as the third most popular reason why start- ups don’t have a “happily ever after” ending.
The Genesis Centre has always prided itself by surrounding its entrepreneurs with valuable partners, as well as reputable thought leaders in the province. For this post, we’ve reached out to Natalie Hand, Partner at Meridia Recruitment Solutions, for her thoughts regarding this matter.
Why is finding the right co-founder(s) essential to a start-up’s success?
It’s no secret that its people are the key to a company’s success. The results that come from having the right talent in the right chairs are limitless. This is especially true when identifying a co-founder. It is this relationship that will form the foundation for the business, weather countless challenges and opportunities and ultimately drive its success.
What are the negative consequences that may arise when finding the wrong co-founder(s)?
Just as the right partnership creates momentum, the wrong one can be distracting and draining, especially on financial and emotional resources. Co-founders do not need to always agree on every detail or decision, but they do need to be aligned on values, principles, and a common vision. When they do not the business will suffer.
What best practices should start-ups undertake when it comes to recruiting a co-founder(s)?
First, consider what you need in your partner(s); what expertise you’re lacking, what gaps a founder could fill, and what skills will complement yours in what you want to accomplish. Due diligence to determine fit is essential. Like-minded entrepreneurs will be attracted and excited to become involved with a start-up if they feel their interests align. That excitement is contagious, but beyond that, ensuring you can work well with and trust the person you select is key. Have an up-front and honest dialogue with those you are considering and understand their motivation, knowledge base, strengths and perhaps most important, their weaknesses. Discuss your goals for the business and how you want to get there. Lastly, suggest that your advisors or mentors meet with your potential founder as well. Most often these discussions will lead to great clarity, openness and will solidify the relationship. If any red flags arise out of these conversations, look at them closely. Never ignore your gut.
By: Angelo Casanas| Director, Programs & Partnerships