Flip the Switch – Igniting Saskatchewan’s Tech Landscape

It’s not often that you get tech leaders, investors, and government in the same room, supporting the same cause, but that is exactly what Flip the Switch – Igniting Saskatchewan’s Tech Landscape did. The event, located at the beautiful LB Distillers, was an afternoon of networking and conversation centred around building a thriving startup community in Saskatchewan. View Event Photos

Flip the Switch located at LB Distillers.

The sold out event presented by Coconut Calendar was proudly sponsored by Saskatchewan Capital Network and ICT West.

Flip the Switch also garnered attention from media including, CTV Saskatoon, and ShawTV (to be aired on March 13th), and CKOM.

Katherine Regnier and Neal Dempsey appeared on CTV Saskatoon to talk about the Flip the Switch event and investing in tech here in Saskatchewan.

The high profile guests contributed to the large turn-out, making it one of the successful tech industry events to date. It also confirmed that there is a need for events like this, that bring everyone together for an open and honest discussion. Saskatchewan tech companies want to keep growing this community and support each other here in Saskatchewan.

“What Katherine and her team did was something that has never happened in this province. By creating a culture of risk and inclusiveness that event started something that hopefully will perpetuate into all other events and programming in the tech community going forward” said attendee Jordan Dutchak, Specialist- Startups & Commercialization, Innovation Saskatchewan.

From left to right- Chris Noble, Mike Brennan – Vendasta, Laurie Dmytryshyn – PIC, Katherine Regnier, Jordan Boesch – 7Shifts, Neal Dempsey

Here are our top quotes from the panel:

Chris Noble – Long time Venture Capitalist and now Angel Investor

“You can make a lot of mistakes and still be successful” Chris shared a story of “the” company that got away on him. “You don’t have to be right all the time. That is not possible. Just keep moving.”

Jordan Boesch – CEO, 7Shifts

“It’s extremely hard to steal passion.” Jordan’s response to what if people are trying to take your employees or if you are trying to find new employees. A hot topic in Saskatchewan is recruiting talent.

Neal Dempsey – Managing General Partner of Bay Partners located in Menlo Park, California

“People are the most important” Neal shared his top considerations before investing in any company “1) Do I get along with the CEO. 2) Do they listen 3) Can they recruit the right people.”

Laurie Dmytryshyn – PIC Investment Group

“In Saskatchewan, we often have to do more with less.” Laurie shared her perspective on the landscape here in our backyard. “When investing, our first criteria is to look at the People. We spend lots of time with them to see if they are able to pivot and handle things that might not work out as planned.”

Mike Brennan – CFO, Vendasta

“Make the tough decisions and the team will recognize it.” Vendasta is proof a company can make big things happen here in Saskatchewan. Mike added “We will be a billion dollar company. The question is how quickly can we get there. We want to move at breakneck pace.”

We want to thank each one of our panelists for making this event a huge success!

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