metabridge happened last weekend in my home town, Kelowna. It’s a small city in the Okanagan Valley of British Columbia, Canada, and relatively new to the Canadian tech scene. This premier event aimed to connect top Canadian start-ups with Silicon Valley (www.metabridge.ca).
I eagerly signed up for the complementary talk sponsored by Accelerate Okanagan. It was entitled, “Social Media for Business with HootSuite” and presented by the charismatic, Kemp Edmonds (@kempedmonds). I thought ‘why not’- I love social media, think HootSuite is great and dig tech culture. So I went.
The talk was fantastic, ripe with take-a-ways, laughs and social mentions. Kemp’s cavalier presentation style was a great icebreaker for the rest of the weekend. However, in addition to candid stories and top-notch info on social media, I was caught off guard by something even better.
I only attended one session, but what I found was an electric energy I had never experienced. I’d been to a couple other tech-based networking events and numerous biology conferences, but this buzz was different. I could tell right away. To embrace the cliché, there was something in the air.
Too bad this was the only talk I saw. Imagine my buzz had I attended the entire retreat.
So what made this one little presentation at metabridge 2012 trump any other networking event I had ever been to? I narrowed it down to a couple of things:
- Big names roamed the room
Representatives were present from Google, Oracle, HootSuite and Club Penguin among others. There were investors, founders, bloggers and entrepreneurs that I read about, tweeted about and admired. References were made to articles, apps or online services that I had first-hand experience with. Simply put, it felt important to be there.
- Big breaks were hiding in every corner
There was a handful of burgeoning, energetic startups looking to meet the right people and to be in the right place at the right time. After all, creating moments of opportunity is why metabridge exists in the first place. In the following days, 15 of these young companies were to pitch their ideas to tech VIPs in hopes that some bigwig would see promise in their latest obsession. Nervous energy and anticipation was everywhere.
- Big event in a little city
For a couple of days, Kelowna, BC was making a bit of a splash. It was a big event and it was happening locally.
Overall, the couple hours I spent at the metabridge retreat provided a glimmer of insight into the excitement people were talking about of Silicon Valley. Thank-you metabridge for bringing that buzz to Kelowna. Thank-you Accelerate Okanagan for sponsoring Kemp Edmond’s honest and frank presentation.
I would love to hear how the rest of the retreat days progressed and if that positive feeling of opportunity continued to flow.
Next year, just maybe, I’ll check out more than one event.