Jared and Alex from TechToronto invited Coconut Founder and CEO Katherine Regnier to speak at TechTO, below, we list the 7 key growth learnings for start-ups from TechTO
Katherine Regnier – 7 Key Learnings From TechTO
1. “We Were Making 200-300 Dollars a Month.”
On the journey to pitching Coconut Calendar’s first big customer, Telus, Katherine took vacation time from working full-time to fly to Vancouver for the “worst meeting.“ She was surprised when they landed the gig and thought, “Oh sh!t! Okay.”
Katherine kept her job and spent the next three months building the software with her Partner Romeo until they finally got the confidence to quit. “I was super conservative and I waited until everything was lined up.” However, right after she resigned Telus told her that they were looking at some other options. She thought “I just quit my job and I am 3 months pregnant. I was crying like a schoolgirl, but we got the job rolling.”
2. Something Told Me; “I Just Need To Go.”
After being in business for a few years, Katherine needed to explore the tech landscape and get out of Saskatoon. She said, “We just needed a lift.” So, she applied for a grant to take her entire team to WebSummit in Ireland. Two very important things happened: 1) the team became certified Guinness pourers, and 2) Katherine was invited to the Investor Lounge.
When she was asked to come up she told them “I’m not interested because I’m bootstrapped”. However she decided to go anyway which led her to meet THE Neal Dempsey of Neal’s Running Start.
3. “It Was One Woman and Three European Men Living in a House.”
Katherine’s mentorship experience in the Valley was more than just being roommates with other startups.
4. “Everyone is Unsure.”
She finally understood that everyone asks the question, “Am I good enough?” from time to time. “We all have failures.”
5. Kids or Career. “I Decided I Wasn’t Gonna Pick – I’m Doing Both!”
Katherine confirmed the uncertainty most women face when choosing to have children when she said, “for anyone who wonders about having a career and having kids, raising a start-up is like raising a family. It takes a village to do both and manage both.”
6. “Get Coaches Who Know What They Are Doing!”
When you are starting a business everyone will offer advice. But Katherine encourages you to search for a coach who’s been there. Major professional athletes have coaches. Start-ups need them, too! Katherine says, “I just tried to do it by myself for too long.”
7. “Don’t F*ck It Ip!”
It’s hard to cater to both SMB and Enterprise. The needs of an enterprise versus the needs of an SMB are night and day. Katherine said she couldn’t have served her enterprise clients effectively whilst bootstrapped with SMBs. She admits that investments were the gas she needed to move full speed ahead.
At the end of the day, TechToronto was a great chance for Coconut Calendar to get out to the East tech hub to introduce ourselves to the crowd. Katherine Regnier says, “I really enjoyed the event. The most rewarding part was all the individuals that came up to speak with me afterward. At about 12:30am – I had to call it quits.”
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