Our Journey So Far
We were invited to pitch at the L-Spark Best in SaaS Showcase on April 17 on behalf of the Technovation program.
After participating in and winning Technovation Ottawa in 2016, we had the opportunity to guest speak at the 2016 Best in SaaS Showcase featuring graduates from the L-Spark incubator. The event’s donations funded the Technovation program. We presented our Technovation pitch (the same pitch as we entered in the competition) to the Best in SaaS audience of a few hundred. Even though it has been two years since, we remembered it as if it was yesterday – it was one of our fondest experiences as a business: our first big pitching event as a group!
Now, two years later, we were so excited to be invited back by Ottawa’s Technovation Ambassador, Jennifer Francis, to pitch our business and our progress since the competition. Our business started in Technovation, where we developed our ideas and worked with mentors to develop the basis for what would later become SitterNextDoor. Not only did we get support and learning opportunities during the program, but Jennifer continued to support us after we graduated from the program. Nothing we have accomplished to date would be possible without the program! We felt that Technovation was the start, a key stepping stone, and a catalyst to our business and without Technovation, we wouldn’t be here writing this blog post.
This year’s Best in SaaS Showcase marked another first for us – we had our own booth at the showcase to network. We even printed up a huge banner which we designed ourselves and were very proud of! During the days leading up to the event, we worked with mentors to better our presentation, and practised, practised and practised some more. Then came the day of the event…
During the networking portion of the event, we met a variety of people from start-up entrepreneurs to industry experts to investors, and we made some great connections. We also had a SitterNextDoor preregistration open and got many parent signups! Andrea even met her sensei from Jiu Jitsu from years ago, Hana Abaza, who was emceeing the event – now the Head of Marketing at Shopify!
Networking flew by so fast that we almost forgot that we had to present! Before you know it, we were on stage, people staring at us and bright lights were blinding our eyes. In the moments leading up to it, we were very nervous… but the pitch was over in the blink of an eye, and we enjoyed every second! Since we were the first ones to present, we were able to watch the L-Spark Graduates presentations. There was so much new technology-based innovation that we could have never even imagined, seeing these businesses and their growth is truly inspiring.
We are so grateful to have been invited to the event, and to get the opportunity to pitch our business so close to its launch. Huge thanks goes out to Jennifer Francis for inviting us and for spending time to make our pitch as close to perfect as possible; the event coordinators who were so friendly and helpful; and the awesome people we met, who we can’t wait to hopefully work with in the future. During the whole event, there was so much positivity and support, and overall was so different (and much more fun!) than sitting in a classroom as we otherwise would have been doing 🙂