Report on Small Business recently hosted a Young Entrepreneurs Night at The Hive, a collaborative workspace for the creativity, sustainability and community sectors in Vancouver. The networking event featured a group of early stage small-business owners and students who aspire to be entrepreneurs
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Eugene Dong, co-founder and CTO of Procurify.com Procurify.com is an online spend management solution that gives you control and visibility into your company spending. It helps streamline the entire purchasing process to drive higher compliance with contracts, maintain control, assign accountability, and increase visibility into your organization. Motto: Today is what's important. Look for the good in everything. Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: Money has to be raised to start a company. The initial funds of the business should be provided by the founding team. By doing so, your team will get to keep more of the company for future fundraising. Hero: Mark Cuban. Trend to watch: Wearable devices, like Smart Watches and Google Glass.
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Ashley Wiles, founder of Sole Girls Sole Girls is an empowerment program for tween girls. We are building a community of healthy and mindful girls through physical activity, discussion and games. Motto: Believe you can! Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: You work 24 hours a day. I work a lot and I'm always thinking about my business, but believe that balance is important. Hero: My grandpa, who ran his first marathon when he was 75. As a lawyer, he worked very hard, but you could always find him running up Grouse Mountain in his hiking boots (which weighed 10 pounds each) after work! Trend to watch: People are more interested in community and social impact than profit.
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Jerry Tian, founder of ContentDJ ContentDJ is a social media content curation tool that provides one-stop shop for content sharing and scheduling needs. We cut the social media marketing time from 6 hours a week to tens of minutes. Motto: Be relentlessly resourceful Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: It's not for everyone. We have a strong success bias. All we read about is shining examples of successes. In reality, entrepreneurship is a game that requires a lot of mental discipline and relentless focus on mundane tasks. Hero: Elon Musk and Steve Jobs Trend to watch: Big data and robotics.
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Jerome Ng, founder and CEO of VenueSpot VenueSpot is an online event and venue marketplace where venues bid to host your events. Post your event details, receive bids from multiple venues, and choose your venue. Have an event? Let VenueSpot bring the venues to you. Motto: Take every shot and live for the journey. Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurs do it for the money. Hero: Steve Jobs for thinking different and being a visionary. Bill Gates for his philanthropy and impacting the world. Richard Branson for living life to the fullest. Barack Obama for his ability to inspire people. Trend to watch: Demand centered marketplaces that shift the power to the consumers, providing consumers more choices and better value
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Alexandra T. Greenhill, co-founder and CEO of myBestHelper myBestHelper makes it easy and fast to find the best possible fit of a home based helper - nanny, sitter or housekeeper. Motto: Carpe Diem (Seize the day!) Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: That it's a young man's game (the average entrepreneur is 38 years old and over 25 per cent of small businesses are owned by women!). Hero: In business, Howard Schultz, for his big idea (people needed another place where to meet other than office and home), persistence (showed his idea to 242 potential investors and 212 said no before the first yes) and execution (excellence in every detail while continuing to innovate). Trend to watch: Anything that helps save wasted time will become popular.
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Ray Hsu, co-founder of ROOM+BOARD ROOM+BOARD is an online board with listings of writerly opportunities (e.g. contests and calls for submissions) and a virtual writer’s room in which you can write at your computer yet in the company of other writers. Motto: Never predict. Always find out. Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: Focus. Hero: My dad. He once moved from a poor rural village in mainland China to Apartheid South Africa, where he lived in a native township outside of Johannesburg. He worked his way out of the ghetto and moved to Canada, where he met my mom. He didn't become an entrepreneur because he loved it; he became one out of necessity. Trend to watch: Keep an eye on Canadian startup accelerators. Next year's disruptive technologies are about to hatch.
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Frederick Heartline, founder and CEO of Carsurfing.com Think digital hitchhiking. Carsurfing is a newer, safer and lifestyle-oriented ridesharing service positioned at the intersection of social media and the sharing economy. 85 per cent of all cars on the road have only one occupant - which is ridiculous. Until things went sideways in the mid 1970's, people used to hitchhike everywhere all the time. Our low rez MVP proved people would hitchhike if they had precognition of who they were about to share space with. Carsurfing enables this. Motto: Strong and free. Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: entrepreneurship is something you can learn from a book or from sitting at a desk. Hero: Tony Stark. Trend to watch: Watch Carsurfing.
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Rob Pintwala, account manager of Bench Bench is a modern, online accounting service for small businesses. When you work with Bench you get your own a professional accountant as well as the apps you need to get your accounting done. As a result, with Bench you no longer need to hunt down a reliable accountant or buy additional software. Motto: Don't waste your time with something you're not passionate about. Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: It’s not all rosey. Hero: Peter Pan. He can fly, he can fight, and he can crow. Trend to watch: Smart services. Software has the ability to improve the traditional face-to-face model we see for doctors, lawyers, accountants, and other professional services.
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Crystal Jiang, social media strategist I help different organizations to build social media a presence to reach out to their Chinese audiences. Motto: "I do not know anyone who has got to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but should get you pretty near." – Margaret Thatcher Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: That opportunity will come. When you feel passionate about an idea, just start doing it, and everything else will follow. Hero: My mentors. Trends to watch: Chinese social media platforms are going mobile. ii) More companies will set up e-commerce sites that allow customers to purchase online and via mobile phones. ii) Sina Weibo and WeChat will still be the dominate social media platforms for the Chinese population.
Photo by Jason Tcheng
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Geoff Scoates, business auditor and blogger I do research comparing cellular and embryonic growth to business growth, then use my research to help entrepreneurs succeed. Motto: Live in the world of actions not in the world of reasons Biggest myth of entrepreneurship: The overnight success, there is no overnight success but once you've put in enough time and enough, overnight people will notice. Hero: Charles Darwin, his revolutionary way of thinking changed the way we view human life. His point of view was radical and he produced his theories regardless of what other people thought. Trend to watch: Bio-mimicry