This week, Kuhlabo attended the most influential entrepreneurship event in Canada: Startup Canada Day on the Hill #startupday.

It was an inspiring event bringing together Canada’s top entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, media personalities and government decision-makers – we learned the true meaning of connecting with like-minded people to establish a strong foundation for your business.

A highlight of the conference was “TED-style keynotes” involving successful Canadian entrepreneurs sharing their engaging stories. Here are 5 key learnings for entrepreneurs starting your journey:

  1. Solve the equation: Social enterprise is solving a social problem and finding a market for it. Keep sight of what you want to accomplish and understand that to acquire an asset, you need to generate more revenue than costs.
  2. Use existing data to predict the future: Stats can determine market performance for the service or product you are selling. Immerse yourself in education about other companies in your industry and learn what you need to do to differentiate your business.
  3. Understand each funder: Investors need to be rewarded for their commitment to your business idea, make sure you understand their needs and put together a pitch that presents a win/win relationship for both parties. In Canada we have many financial supports connecting startups with funders and advisors. A great starting point is to learn what funding is available is
  4. Pick your team based on your weaknesses: Know your strengths and where you need other people’s expertise to fulfill your vision – listen to everyone around you and practice humility. Learning never ends, and if it does, learn something else.
  5. If you’re not testing, then you’re guessing: While it’s important to develop a comprehensive business plan to understand your business values and objectives, entrepreneurs must act in order to succeed. When someone asks you about your business values, this is an opportunity to align and build with potential business partners and investors. Persistence is key! As shared by Yona Shtern, CEO of @beyondtherack: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

In light of a recent Financial Post article by Jim Ghadbane, President and CEO of CANARIE Inc., it’s clear that digital technology is integral to Canadians. Now more than ever,  we as entrepreneurs have the opportunity to contribute to the growing $5-trillion global information and computer technologies (ICT) market while competing on the global stage. In the words of Startup Canada: Entrepreneurship Empowers Everyone.

Author Christina

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