First networking event in years

Back with another solopreneur update post with two huge events happening tonight.

By “tonight”, I mean my Thursday night because I write these emails the night before they go out.

But anyway, two exciting events:

1) I was invited to a fancy shmancy dinner downtown tonight by one of the bigger tech accelerators in the country

How did I land the invite?

Our law firm recently started working with them to help their tech companies from outside Canada who want to come here through what’s called the Startup Visa Program (pretty original, I know…).

They’ve quickly become a really good partner, and since we do good work, this relationship will hopefully continue to build down the road.

There’s a big lesson in there on networking and partnerships – because if I hadn’t built a relationship with their director over the last few years, we never would’ve got the opportunity.

The other reason it’s exciting is because they’re hosting the dinner for all of their tech company mentors, and:

  • it’ll be a really good networking opportunity because they’re all successful tech folk, so I can definitely learn a lot
  • I haven’t been to a “networking event” or anything similar, in-person, in years

Pre-Covid I used to attend a lot of networking events, so it’ll be fun to get back into the action.

2) Our software developer from Mexico lands in Canada with his family tonight

As many of you know, Visto is a platform that helps Canadian companies bring devs into Canada.

Naturally, we’re an immigrant-friendly company and when we made our first tech hire back in September, we knew we wanted to drink our own Kool-Aid – aka hire a foreign dev and bring them to Canada.

After months of him working for us remotely, tonight is the night he arrives in Canada for good!

Very exciting for him, his family and for us. Not just because our Canadian team grows by 1, but because I’ve helped dozens of companies bring hundreds of devs to Canada – but never did it for my own company.

Fast forwarding into the future to the day after…

The networking event was a lot of fun, great food and had a bunch of meaningful conversations with cool people.

Despite it being the first in-person event I’d been to in a while, it didn’t feel “weird” at all. I think my biggest takeaways were:

  • ultimately humans are social beings. Even though I’m not an extrovert, it was nice to get back to seeing and chatting with people in-person after months/years of not
  • I started losing my voice near the end of the night. Partially because I’m not used to talking that much in-person, and partially because the venue was kind of loud – meaning there was a lot of very loud talking that had to be done, something I haven’t done in a while
  • I was wiped out by 9pm… lol… I guess just like anything else, if you haven’t stayed out “late” talking a lot in a while, there’s some adjusting to do

Step 2 was going to the airport.

Our Mexican developer, Andres, landed in Canada with his family around midnight.

I promised I would be there to welcome them, and although it made for a late night (by the time they cleared customs and got bags it was ~1am), it was an amazing experience.

As a quick background, Andres has been dreaming of starting a new life in Canada for his family for years, and seeing it come true was incredible.

For more details on how it went, check out my LinkedIn post here.

And if you like these updates and want to get them straight to your inbox, head over here!

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