Is There Such A Thing As Work-Life-Balance?

So before diving into this post, I should provide all the context that goes into my views on work-life-balance. First and foremost, my whole approach to work-life-balance goes in the toilet without a loving wife and partner to fill-in any gaps that come to light as a result of my approach. My wife has always been there and we’ve kept in constant communication on situations arising at home, with her and the kids, or issues she sees from her point of view where my career and focus may be concerned. Another key piece to this working for us is clear communication, communication between my wife and I, my employers, etc. to ensure everyone is on the same page and in agreement on where my focus is at any point in my work-life journey… Now on to this post…

I believe there is no such thing as work-life-balance on a day-to-day basis.

When I’m needed at work, when clients need me to connect them to a solution that solves their challenges, or when I want to find projects for the creatives and technologists I work with, I work hard at work. When I  want be at home, I’m present and want to be there for my wife and family. When I need time for myself to recharge and seek inspiration in the world in order to be at energized and at my best, my wife and I find experiences. I treasure those moments together with her, and have those moments fill my soul… I’ve never been able to balance all three in a single day, so I don’t even try. I’ll measure balance and ultimately my success over a year and hopefully see my life perfectly in balance over a lifetime.

Back in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s I spent 10 years of my life focused on my career, with my wife’s support. We talked about the time commitment and it was working for us and eventually I was a partner in a profitable company.

After ten years, I was burning out and I was starting to see signs that my family and my home were feeling neglected. 10 years of being a ghost in my own home (coming home after my wife and kids had gone to bed and leaving for work before they were awake) was starting to take its toll. We needed a change.

Typically when you’re focused on one part of your life the signs that other parts of your life are being neglected come way too little and too late to make repairs. I’m so thankful my wife and I kept communicating and we were somehow lucky enough to make significant changes to put focus in another direction and eventually balance out my life.

It wasn’t easy, but I was able to sell my share of the business to my business partner and start a new chapter in my life where my family comes first. Date nights, paddling and hiking with my wife, my daughter’s acting performances, my son’s soccer games; I wanted to be there for all of it, and I have.

Communication with my wife, my family and the people I work with are key. Now I’m trying to be more strategic with when I need to be at work and when I need to be home or out enjoying the life I’m building for myself, and making sure I’m focused on the right things in my life when it matters most.

I’m certainly not the poster-boy for success, but in my lifetime so far, I’ve experienced entrepreneurial success and built and sold a profitable business, I’ve helped grow other businesses, I’ve been happily married for 20+ years, I’ve helped raise 2 great kids, and I’ve taken reasonably good care of myself. What’s most important in my life, is being successful at balancing all these things over the coarse of my lifetime.  When I look back on my life, I want to believe that when it has been important to focus on business and my career, I have, and when it has been important to focus on myself and my family, I have.


Lessons “re-learned” on a 5 day hike in the Canadian Rockies with a Group of Teenagers

Sydney and Dennis Powers in the Rockies

In Sept 2015 I went on a 5 day hike in the Rockies with my daughter and a group from her graduating class. For these young adults this little adventure was about helping them to step outside of their comfort zone. It was about going forward in their lives knowing that they spent 5 days (6 nights) hiking in the Canadian Rockies and overcame challenges they’d never experienced before. In life they will face many challenges and it’s important for them to look back and reflect on times when they had to step outside of their comfort zones and had a positive (possibly amazing) experience.

As a chaperon, this too was an opportunity for me to (once again) step outside my comfort zone. I’d never looked after 6 teenagers in the Rockies before and it had been almost 20 years since I went on my last multi-day adventure in the wilderness.

It was a challenging and amazing experience. We hiked days with 50lb backpacks on our backs (some days we base camped – thankfully). Overall we hiked 40 kms over 5 days and I can’t even begin to calculate how much vertical we tackled. We saw some amazing outdoor vistas, I was so impressed with the drive and determination of my daughter, and I was reminded of some very important lessons for life that can be applied to business whether you’re an entrepreneur, in sales or in marketing such as:

1 – Plan, prepare, rehearse and repeat. For this adventure, we had to plan our trip, our routes, our gear and our food. Once we had organized all of this, we had to do a test hike. We had to pack our gear, put on our hiking boots and get a feel for the weight on an actual hike. We had to watch for blisters, test our cooking gear, our tents, etc. and if anything didn’t pass muster we had to go back to the drawing board. Our lives were literally on the line out there, and every moment spent preparing mitigates the risk of something terrible happening to us.

In business, you have to plan (business plans, marketing plans, etc,) you have to test and validate and you have to go back to the drawing board and pivot if necessary and try again.

2 – Don’t worry about detours and take the road less travelled. This was a lesson that was driven home to me on the first day of our adventure. Just outside of Field, BC on the way to Calgary, there is a road in the Rockies that takes off to the left. If I’d seen this road once I’d seen it a thousand times on my many many trips to Calgary, but it was a road I’d never bothered or took the time drive along. Well, we took the road to get to our first campsite on the first leg of our adventure. The road led to Takakkaw Falls, an amazing site, not to be missed and the only way to see it is to take a few moments and get off the highway and go see it.

In business, you have to find undiscovered markets and niches and take that road less travelled to exploit them. You have to trust yourself, endure the questions and the ridicule, the loss of respect from associates and partners, but stay on the road and reap the rewards for that effort. Look for those opportunities in unlikely places, don’t be satisfied with what’s in the marketplace. Always question  and be curious of what’s out there and how to make things better, solve customers’ problems, and build a business model around it. You may get laughed at, you may run into skeptics, but you have to try.

3 – Respect your surroundings. On the first day we were on our adventure, another hiker with no connection to our group fell from Twin Falls in the same area of the Rockies we were hiking in. Helicopters were constantly flying over and at one point we saw search crews walking up the river looking for the body. I’m not saying this gentleman wasn’t being careful, I have no idea how he fell over the falls. What I am saying is, even though it’s encouraged to step outside your comfort zone, try to understand the risks. This was a sad reminder to our group that we still need to be careful and not take unnecessary risks.

In business, there are too many stories of companies that have failed because of taking risks without fully understanding the business environment or economic environment and how their decisions adversely impacted their business’ futures. Do your research, ask for advice, perform your due diligence, mitigate your risk and make the most informed decisions possible for the benefit of your business.

4 – You’re never too old. There were a number of sketchy sections during the Lake O’Hara leg of our adventure. Sections where you were hiking along a hand-built rocky ledge with a cliff face going up on your right side and a cliff face going down on your left side. At one point as we were climbing up a ridge, we met an elderly gentleman making his way down the ridge. With little or no room to make way for each other there was no option but to make conversation as you tried to pass by each other. His name was Don Gardner. He’s 70 years old. He’s helped build some of the trails around Lake O’Hara and he also hand built birch bark canoes, kayaks and other artifact replications.

It’s a well-known myth that the older you get, the more risk averse you are, but in business if you’re doing what you love, keep challenging yourself. Keep learning, keep pushing, keep stepping outside your comfort zone, continue to get stronger and better at what you do. You’re never too old to make a difference in your field and in other people’s lives.

The bottom line is this: Stepping outside your comfort zone is important and necessary, but understand the risks in every situation, do your research, your planning and your preparation and don’t ever let your age hold you back.


MAD Nights and Building Community: Year #3

MAD Nights Photo

This year, we wanted to give speakers some more time for their presentations and talks, and give guests some more time for networking after talks and presentations. So rather than continue with 2 talks or presentations a night, we moved to 1.

Highlight included:

  • Clint Schnee, who was part of the design leadership at Disney’s Club Penguin, an online game with a population 4X that of Canada, base out of Kelowna, BC. He has also built a world-class design group across four studios and three continents.He presented on “Font in the Age of Interface”.
  • We had our first design panel talking about what design trends in both print and web that they were excited about for 2015, which I thought was exciting, and it included:
    • Julie Baese crafts awesome user experiences for the web through strategic design and good old fashioned common sense. She’s worked with a lot of brands large and small and has a soft spot for startups. Julie played a pivotal role in the rebranding of GOODSIR Creative, a leading local digital agency, and currently works as their art director and lead UX designer.
    • Kodie Beckley is a graphic designer, community activator and punk rocker, a combination that’s bound to produce exciting solutions to customer design challenges. He specializes in print and is equally comfortable with digital and the web. Kodie loves to use techniques from the past in ways that help push a customer towards an exciting future.
    • Linsey Valeriote is the owner and creative director at LV Creative. Linsey helps entrepreneurs by creating strong brands and online identities that serve as a launch-pad for their big ideas. She is a graphic designer, illustrator and branding champion. She’s been working professionally since the mid-90’s and has designed for web, software user interface, print, corporate identity and video games.
    • Mike Czuboka started Ignite Design after working as art director for Think Marketing. Through his career he has created marketing materials for high-profile clients and some of his work has been distributed around the globe, receiving awards and recognition along the way. He has a wealth of experience designing for print, web, and advertising, and is known for combining creativity with the theories and psychology of advertising to ignite a response from his clients’ audiences.
  • Perhaps what will a remain a personal favourite, was our panel on real estate development marketing. We probably had our smallest turnout for the event, but our most gracious and generous panel/speakers, and it turned out to be one of our most engaging and informative talks. Instead of speaking to the group, the panelists asked us to create a large single table by joining several tables together in the Streaming Cafe. We then help more of a discussion rather than a presentation on the topic. Our excellent panelists included:
    • Renee Wasylyk is the CEO of Troika Management (, a progressive, future-focused land and real estate development company. Renee leads a team that’s involved from start to finish in the creation of living spaces and communities, from the acquisition, construction, sales and marketing right through to property management.
    • Andrew Gaucher holds roles as owner of Catalyst Developments (, General Manager of G Group, and VP Sales and Marketing of McKinley Beach. His focuses range from land subdivisions, single and multifamily home development to retail and commercial development. Andrew manages day to day operations and execution of project related deliverables, including sales management, marketing planning and execution.
  • Another Exciting MAD Nights for me this year was our Google Hangout presentation with Mike Mills of Studio M sharing a case study of their work with their incredibly successful Westjet videos.

We also started moving our community more over to Facebook and getting more traction there with growing it.

San Jose Entrepreneur Conference Part 2: Kick-in-the-pants Nuggets

This is the 2nd post on an entrepreneur’s conference I attended in San Jose in 2014. Many successful entrepreneurs and solopreneurs took to the stage and shared their experience and tips on their success.

They shared their efforts to balance family while building a successful career. I’m sure you heard many of these before, but I captured a few inspirational nuggets that hit home for me like:

  • Treat your business like a million dollar company and that you have no other option but to succeed
  • Be “all in” before you go “all out”
  • Don’t bet the ranch. Watch your risk and don’t risk too much on your business or a business opportunity. A risk isn’t only money, it could be your brand, time with family, etc.
  • When you’re your own boss, you need to set a work schedule that will get you results, block the necessary time and stick to it
  • The largest room in the world is the room for self-improvement
  • Always work with intent, purpose and respect
  • Create a cause for the brand. Something for partners and clients to believe in and rally behind
  • Associate with good people and good companies
  • Focus on sales (lead generation, sales funnel, pipeline)
  • Follow-up and follow-through
  • Your kids are watching you succeed or fail and what you do next
  • Get a mentor
  • Finish what you start

I hope one of these nuggets are the verbal kick-in-the-pants you need push a little harder and make that next step to whatever your success means to you.

– D

San Jose Entrepreneur Conference Part 1: Questions I Learned To Ask From John C Maxwell

June 2014, I attended an entrepreneurs conference in San Jose, California. My wife went with me and we turned it into a little learning getaway.

The headline (if you will) of the conference was John C. Maxwell. He’s an author of many books , primarily focusing on leadership. He’s also an accomplished speaker (I’ve witnessed this first hand now) entertaining and educating Fortune 500 companies, international government leaders, and many organizations.

Mr. Maxwell was promoting the book he released in 2014 entitled Good Leaders Ask Great Questions and shared advice on asking good questions and how asking good questions can help your business. I’d like to share some of the advice I captured:

  • Ask good questions every day
  • Take your mentors out to lunch. Don’t eat, ask questions
    • Sample question:
      • Who do you know that I should know?
  • Be intentional about your questions
  • Ask yourself good questions
    • Sample questions:
      • Am I investing in myself?
      • What am I doing today to make myself a better leader tomorrow
      • Am I a person of value? How? Why?
      • Do I care about the people around me?
      • Am I investing my time with the right people
        • Do they have character?
        • Do we have chemistry?
        • Do they have capacity?
        • Do they have commitment?
      • Am I doing what I love and do I love what I do?
      • Am I staying in my strength zone?
      • Am I taking people to a higher level?
        • Are they succeeding because of the way I’m leading?
        • Am I developing leaders?
      • Am I taking care of today?
      • Am I taking time to think?
      • Am I doing things right?
        • Am I doing what’s right by my family?
        • Am I doing what’s right by my friends?
        • Am I doing what’s right by my values?
  • Develop an action plan for the information you learn from the questions you ask. ACT!
    • A = apply
    • C = change
    • T = teach

Use these questions and ask new questions in order to stay focused on your success and whatever that means to you.

– D

MAD Nights and Building Community: Year #2

MAD Nights at Streaming Cafe 2013

MAD Nights Season #2 kicked off with a recap of season #1. Something I’ll never do again. It provided no real value to the community/audience.

I also started thinking that the best way for our small market community to compete with the agencies, creatives and technologists in larger markets was to bring in speakers and presenters from larger markets to share their war stories and experiences. I decided to use tools like Skype and Google Hangout to bring these speakers and presenters into the Streaming Cafe for MAD Nights. One nite we even piped in Tan Khiang, the Director of Hong Kong based creative agency “wowwowtank” from Hong Kong! For the most part, the content is great but the jury is still out on whether the presenters are connecting with the audience… And the HUGE technical issues we’re experiencing aren’t helping!

Some highlights in the season included February’s event, where Bob Anderson presented for MAD Nights. Bob worked with a successful marketing agency in Vancouver and then brought his talent and experience to Kelowna where he began directing the marketing efforts for one of Kelowna’s largest real estate developers, the Mission Group. He’s now the Marketing Director for the Mission Group’s latest acquisition, BigSteelBox. Bob’s topic for discussion was “Achieving Excellence in Marketing”.

For our March meetup we participated in Okanagan Startup Week and had a panel of startup entrepreneurs talk about what is involved with marketing a startup business. This was a great panel discussion. We invited 5 local Kelowna entrepreneurs to join us for a panel discussion relating to marketing and design as it relates to startups. The panel consisted of a wide range of talent and industries – from tech to not for profits. This was a great opportunity to ask seasoned and veteran entrepreneurs about their experiences, successes, and failures. the panelists included:

  • Rob Bartlett – CEO/Founder, WTFast
  • Christian Brandt – Exec Director and Co-Founder, Okanagan Car Share Co-op
  • Hugh Culver – Keynote Speaker, and startup entrepreneur
  • Nick Kellet – Co-Founder,
  • Stephen Whiting – Founder, StreetText

Another way we tried to engage our community was with an event called Speed Speaks… Ya… That wasn’t a big success.

On the positive side of things, our community on Facebook has almost doubled. We’re getting good engagement there but not seeing a whole lot of engagement on the other platforms, like


Microsoft Convergence 2014

In 2014 I attended Microsoft’s business technology conference, Covergence 2014. When I wasn’t working the tradeshow floor I took in some of the presentations and parties that were part of the whole conference experience.

I was excited to see the Convergence 2014 Keynote Presentations. Keynote speakers included Kirill Tatarinov, executive vice president of Microsoft Business Solutions, Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and Biz Stone, co-inventor and co-founder of Twitter and co-founder and CEO of Jelly. Here are some tasty nuggets of technology entrepreneur advice I captured from these successful people:

1 – All businesses today, regardless of their industry are P2P (people to people) rather than B2B or B2C. We’re entering the “era of the customer” and customers now expect to be able to interact with businesses quickly and through a variety of channels – Kirill Tatarinov.

2 – Online customer relationships have moved from observation only, to participation to full-on engagement – Arianna Huffington.

3 – Make meaningful connections with your partners and customers. Don’t just make a business case for your software, solution or service, share how it actually helps people – Biz Stone.

I hope you can find a way to apply this advice to your entrepreneurial or sales efforts, messaging and conversations with your customers for engagement and success going forward.

– D

Boulder, Colorado: A Must Visit For A Tech Startup Entrepreneur

Geeks Welcome Stickers

In 2013 I found myself working for a business technology developer… Full disclosure: my brother Kelly Powers worked there and recommended me for this position. It was a pleasure to be able to work with my brother while I worked for them.

I was excited when Kelly and I were asked to join the team in Boulder for a week in August. It was great opportunity to meet and work with the team there for a week. The trip to Boulder also offered an opportunity to see the tech startup community there that I had heard so much about first-hand and get a glimpse at what makes it so successful.

Boulder has the impressive distinction of being the top city for tech startups in the US. Prior to arriving there, I reached out to some friends on social media and they were kind enough to help connect me to people within Boulder’s startup community.

Most of our time in Boulder was spent working of course, but there were a couple of evenings where Kelly and I hit the town to check out Boulder’s startup scene. Here are some of the Boulder startup community highlights we experienced:

– Pitch to Developers. This meetup is for tech developers that are interested in getting involved in the creation of a startup, and for entrepreneurs that are looking for developers. Startups would pitch, answer questions and then setup in a corner of the room with snacks and beer and network with developers in the room.

Kelly Powers in Boulder

Kelly inside the Pixel Space’s new digs. Kelly was a rockstar in Boulder.

– Pixel Space Launch. Pixel Space is a startup that provides a residential experience complete with tons of geeky amenities, right in the heart of downtown Boulder. It’s a great looking space and a place I hope to stay when I visit Boulder in the future. They threw a fantastic party and we met some great people like Michael Dusing (@mdusing), Joe Sampson (@youngJsampson), Chris Hayes (@heizusan), Tim Williams (@timwilliamz) and Monika Wittig (@lan_monika).

Dennis Powers, Kelly Powers and Tim O'Shea in Boulder

Kelly and I trying the 1 litre of beer they serve at the Bohemian Biergarten with Tim O’Shea in downtown Boulder… My recollection of observations and specific information around Boulder’s startup community understandably gets a little fuzzy after this point 🙂

– Drinks, dinner and more drinks with Tim O’Shea (@tmoshea on Twitter). Among other things, Tim is the Events Chair for Boulder Startup Week and is incredibly connected to the community and entrepreneurs thriving there. He’s also incredibly generous with his time, knowledge and experience in Boulder. Tim gave us the lay of the land and introduced us to many of the people we met in Boulder.

I can’t say enough about the city of Boulder and its startup community and I can’t wait to go back. It’s a town that must be experienced if you are an entrepreneur. You’ll find every conversation with every person you meet to be positive and full of encouragement, support and advice.


MAD Nights and Building Community: Year #1

MAD Nights at Streaming Cafe 2013

This year was the inaugural season of MAD Nights. MAD (Marketing And Design) Nights is a local meetup where anyone working in marketing and graphic design can share stories and experiences from the field. Through the stories and experiences shared we all get little nuggets of information and inspiration that we can apply to make us better at our craft the very next day.

Kelowna, BC Canada has a population of about 100,000 and is continually growing. The meetup was started by Richard Taylor and I because we were getting tired of seeing business opportunities leave our smaller market and go to bigger agencies, creatives and technologists in bigger markets like Vancouver, Calgary and even Toronto when we felt that professionals working in our market were just as qualified and talented. We felt by bringing as many of us together as we can and learning from our collective experiences, we can create a more competitive community. We’ll add more value to our clients and make the choice to work with bigger agencies, creatives and technologists in bigger markets more difficult.

Having never built or managed a community before, and not technically being a marketer or designer, there was plenty of nervousness around starting this initiative. However, as someone who sells services and solutions for creatives and technologists working in marketing and communications, I knew this was a step we had to take. I’d also taken part in several other types of meetups and even presented at one and knew that there was a need and an audience for the content we wanted to deliver.

We only had a few beliefs we wanted to establish within the community in this first year, and they included:

  • We can learn and be better together. By connecting with this community marketing and design professionals feel less like they are working alone – which is something we can sometimes feel no matter the market we’re working in – learn more about each other and what we do, and provide more value to our clients.
  • Share experiences. By sharing experiences – war stories from the field, the good, bad and ugly – the community absorbs these experiences, and some of the knowledge gained from them, and applies them to their work in the field the very next day.
  • No selling. The experiences being shared were not meant to be a platform for pitching services and solutions. If we can’t share knowledge without expecting anything in return, then we don’t deserve to share.

We had 2 community partners that helped us successfully launch our community – Digital Okanagan, and the Streaming Cafe. Digital Okanagan is a community of about 500 creatives and technologists living in the Okanagan Valley (Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton, and other surrounding communities), and working in the fields of marketing and technology. Both Richard and I are on the board of Digital Okanagan. They connect to their community through the online community building application We were able to add our meetup to list of other meetups they managed through their community and connect with their members which was hugely helpful to us getting started and added value to their community members. The Streaming Cafe is a coffee shop with tons of technology built into its venue (like the ability to stream its events), and they were kind enough to allow us to hold our meetups in their very cool venue which added value to the experience we wanted to create for our community. We also provided some additional revenue for the Streaming cafe by bringing in coffee drinkers and food consumers to their venue on evenings when they had no events and few customers. It’s also worth noting that Richard had a Facebook Page that he had created for another marketing meetup he had created that was no longer doing anything, and that we could rebrand for MAD Nights. The partners and platforms we had available to us initially really helped get us off to a good start.

Our first meetup or event took place in December 2012. We promoted the event through, Facebook and Twitter, and then posted key messages and images from the event live or shortly afterwards through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Full write-ups detailing who was presenting, what they were going to be discussing and where/when the event was taking place was posted blog-style to Full recaps after the event were also posted there. This was a pattern we continued throughout our first year. We only had about 15 attend the first event, but feedback was positive and I loved the content that was being shared. I quickly demised that even if no one showed up t0 the events, I enjoyed the content and felt the effort was worth it, and I think that’s the attitude required to start a community or initiative like this, because consistency is the key and if you don’t love what you’re creating than how else can you get through any discouraging times. I also learned that December events can be difficult, because everyone has Christmas parties and events to attend, there’s a lot of noise hitting your target audience at that time making it difficult to get bums in the chairs at your events.

Our second event was the validation we needed that we were on the right track! Nico Boesten presented being courageous and vulnerable in our work, and James Calder used his work with Cherry Hill Coffee and the impact it had on their business. We had about 40 marketers and designers in attendance. It was almost standing-room-only at the Streaming Cafe. They were ecstatic and I was elated! The content/presentations were exceptional and everyone had a great time. January is an ideal time to have a networking event, as everyone is excited to get their year off to a great start – networking and learning is a great way to do that – so you can almost be guaranteed to have good attendance numbers.

Our third event was in February – February 14th to be exact – and obviously wasn’t a good date to hold an event. Attendance wasn’t nearly as good as the numbers we saw in January, but again, I was becoming less concerned about the numbers as I was enjoying the experience and the content being shared anyways. The second presentation of the evening ended up being an outright sales pitch and was uncomfortable for everyone. I learned that more work needed to be done to get the “no selling” message out to potential presenters.

We redeemed ourselves in April When Phred Martin talked about some of his pro bono work and why it’s important for us to working in marketing and design to consider this kind of work. He then brought on a panel of nonprofit directors to provide insight into how marketers and designers could better work with nonprofits.

We ran the events on the second Tuesday of every month through June 2013 when we quickly realized there was no competing with an Okanagan Summer, and took a much needed break over the Summer months. We’ll try to use this time to organize our events for the next season which will Start October 2013. I’m learning that a lot of work is involved finding speakers arranging availability, scheduling and preparing to promote the events.

metabridge 2013

Lilly and Dennis Powers at Metabridge 2013

My wife and I at the metabridge 2013 finale party at the Eldorado Hotel, Kelowna BC.

I was asked to be the project manager for metabridge 2013 and reluctantly accepted. At the time, I knew little about metabridge and although I was project manager for a number of marketing and media production projects. it was not my strong suit, and I was never professionally trained in that line of work. I was ensured that I was to be used more for my community experience, not my project management experience… I had to give it a try. I was asked to be responsible for logistics on the ground in Kelowna, BC Canada where the 2-day tech retreat takes place.

metabridge is a powerfully positive experience for an entrepreneur. Whether you are lucky enough to be one of the top Canadian startups to be chosen and invited to attend or you need to pay to attend, you have to be in it and see it to understand how the experience benefits you and your company.

metabridge offers many learning opportunities for entrepreneurs and there are opportunities to pitch your business to people that could potentially be game-changers for your business. Where the real value lies however, is in the opportunities you have to truly get to know people and build authentic relationships with like-minded professionals that could potentially help you and your company as you grow.

I was lucky enough to be closely involved with 2 such opportunities that were presented through events I helped organize and run during the retreat. They included:

  • The Bike ride and winery tour where we rode bikes and toured a few of Kelowna’s award-winning wineries. During this event conversations between entrepreneurs, VC’s and investment companies were about anything but business. Future business relationships were being built based on shared experiences and conversations about bikes, the weather, the views and fine wine.
  • The Finale Party where mutual interests around food, drinks, music and silly dance moves brought potential business associates together. This was also an opportunity for the amazingly creative and tech-savvy talented people working in and supporting Kelowna’s tech community to show-up en masse to rub shoulders with the tech companies and VIP’s participating in metabridge and show them why Kelowna is the best community for tech in Canada.

metabridge is a reminder that people do business with people, and as much as metabridge has started conversations between companies and organizations that have hugely impacted some Canadian tech startups, those business partnerships may have developed over mutual passion for bike riding, wine or other interests and/or shared experiences like metabridge.

Overall metabridge 2013 was an awesome event. The project team was flattered to get feedback from many of the tech companies and VIP’s participating in the event saying it was the best retreat in its 5-year history. After working closely with the metabridge team, helping make arrangements for all the venues and events that take place during the retreat and making sure metabridge VIP’s were transported to and from the airport for their flights, I can honestly say that I get it. I understand without a doubt the value metabridge delivers to Canadian entrepreneurs, to Canada and the host city, Kelowna. It’s an essential component with all the other incredible things that are happening to build a successful tech industry in Kelowna.

– D