Our field trip to the 2019 BC Tech Summit

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It’s not often you see a group of adults on a field trip, genuinely enjoying themselves. I’m pretty sure that’s what our team looked like walking around at this year’s BC Tech Summit, (and yes we all wore our bright teal REBCA t-shirts). We set out to take full advantage of all 3 days of the event, often splitting up to attend sessions that best fit our roles and interests.

Day 1 was an early start but everyone was super excited. Most met up at registration but soon went their own ways. The dev team had their Hyperledger bootcamp and the business team went off to check out the investors showcase, while the ladies had a full day of the Women in Leadership session. We hardly saw each other, but in true #rebcalife fashion we all somehow found ourselves at happy hour at the end of the day.

Day 2 and we still had no takers in the group for the SWEATworking with Clubrow at 6am (who’s networking that early anyways). We did manage to make it for the welcoming remarks from BC’s Premier and a very informative panel on the future of 5G. We saw a bit more of each other this time, despite having to split into groups to learn about quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and scaling a startup, managing  to grab coffee and chatting a bit in between. At lunch we realized that we were all heading to see the beer baroness, Manjit Minhas speak about her experiences as an entrepreneur, and boy were we excited. BTW, She didn’t disappoint! After the day’s sessions, we finally had some time to check out the Marketplace, which was also where all the snacks were, so that worked out well. Before calling it a day, a few of us decided to stop by the job fair to try and scout some talent. Turned out to be a great idea as that is where we met David, who joined our growing team soon after.

Day 3 was going to be a big day for everyone and we knew it, and no, it wasn’t just because we were stoked for the closing party. Everyone was mesmerized listening to  Duncan Wardle give tips on how to weave innovation into your brand’s DNA, an hour that was full of takeaways for the whole team. A (lucky) few of us got to attend his breakout session that dug even deeper into the subject, which by the way had a lineup out the door and down the hall. Towards the end we again found ourselves in ballroom A/B, fully expecting  to hear Eric O’Neill talk about cyber security. Instead, being wowed about his story about being a spy (his signed book now adorns our growing office library). What a great way to end the summit’s sessions.

But what were the most important things we took away from the BC Tech Summit? Sure, there was the technical knowledge, the scaling strategies and branding techniques, but the most valuable lessons we learned were these; there is no one right way to run a startup, we are allowed to fail, in fact, fail hard and fail fast so we can grow, and finally (and probably most importantly) that we all really like each other. That last one sounds like an easy thing to figure out, but it took 3 full days of spending time outside of the office to make us realize that we weren’t all just colleagues, but also friends, and what’s better than getting to work with your friends?

We’re all really excited for next year’s BC Tech Summit, especially since we’re going to have something amazing to share with everyone this time around.

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