#vtjtalks: Scaling From Idea to $1M -10M | Our Takeaways on the Event

A night on the town!

The Vancouver Tech Journal (@vantechjournal) hosted a speaker series yesterday evening featuring three panelist speakers and drew a substantial crowd of founders, owners, emerging talent, and business development types. We were excited to attend the event and truly enjoyed the panel discussion. 

Let me introduce and link the three guest panel speakers and their organizations here:

Launchpad (link)

@launchpadboom | Bruce Qi @Brusskkii

Providing next-generation integration platform capabilities for connecting and managing enterprise automation and data integration.

jane.app (link)

@JaneRunsClinics | Alison Taylor

If you’ve ever booked yourself a massage or workout class appointment online, chances are you’ve used Alison’s app. 
Jane is an all-in-one health and wellness practice management platform designed to be helpful to you, no matter how or where you practice.

Keela (link)

@keeladotco | Nejeed Kassam @nejeed

Keela is a complete fundraising and donor management software that gives you powerful tools to reach new audiences, raise more for your cause, and build a lifelong community of supporters.

Each speaker shared unique insights on the matter of timing and team building. Nejeed, being used to 80+ hour work weeks in law, explained how Keela started off with personal sweat equity up and until the point they could safely invest in staff. Bruce, on the other hand, emphasized a more philosophical notion of developing team capacity early on, in order to drive long-term success. Alison used a staggered approach, where problems that arose from circumstance would be addressed when identified. This slightly reactive approach was based on evaluating/triaging business circumstances in order to make hiring decisions or implement a process-based improvement. 

Each speaker presented their individual entrepreneurial pathways and fascinating personal backstories. Throughout their stories, a takeaway theme was apparent: at one point you have to make the leap and dive in - while keeping execution of the concept as the highest priority.

Most digital workflows tend to follow a similar pattern:

  1. Lightbulb: a problem presents itself and a solution begins forming
  2. Crew: a team is assembled to identify the technology required for the execution
  3. Iteration: the technology grows in sophistication and capability 
  4. Backing: funding the concept and growing the team to move the business forward

a brief soiree ensued

I was able to chat with Launchpad's head of sales. Since our agency, Acorn Interactive, focuses more heavily on consultation, configurability, and purpose-built implementations, it's always interesting to learn more about singular product development and scaling a broad customer base.

Then, I was also able to speak with  Ali Avci (Ariglad) who, like me, was a developer. This led into a discussion about the nature of our work moving forward. We both acknowledged there is, or could/should be, ways in which outfits like ours plug into broader organizations using a branching strategy on GitHub to augment the broader organizations code base.

For example, if the HR firm needed to have a feature built but their hands were tied, they could write the technical specifications to contractors, who would then extend capabilities. With discovery, user stories, and leveraging their subject matter expertise, we could have detailed specifications, and be able to augment their team. The deliverable would be to submit a pull request to the business with the features code - after which they'd review the work and approve or send feedback notes.

If we circle back...👀 to the original idea that concepts and fulfillment are two different things, with an emphasis on getting things done, I learned that this is actually quite the balancing act. Some of the nuances of the technical roles don’t translate easily into plain language, but this support is essential for a business to scale up. While getting this “right” in a professional sense is a bit abstract, it’s extremely helpful to attend these events to get a pulse on what’s there, who’s building what, where resourcing can come from (see Meet Our Fund 3).

So nice to meet everyone!”

Special thanks to:

Vancouver Tech Journal (link) | @vantechjournal

William Johnson (host) | @notionport

James Matthews (organizer) | @jimmermatthews

Kate Wilson (organizer) | @KateWilsonSays

The Home Key | @thehomekeygg | website

Did you notice any typos or indiscretions? We are always happy to hear from you and update our articles to the most up-to-date information possible. Please reach out to us: info@acorninteractive.ca