Monday evening had the Delta Bessborough buzzing with excitement during the Launch of Co.Labs, Saskatchewan’s first technology incubator. The importance of this initiative drew an exclusive guest list of 200+ key individuals which included City of Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark, the Honorable Bronwyn Eyre Minister of Education, Neal Dempsey from San Francisco Bay Partners, and many others from across Canada.
The night was filled with celebration and pride, including a panel of pioneering entrepreneurs such as myself Katherine Regnier - Coconut Calendar, Jordan Boesch - 7Shifts, Greg Sutton - Tiny Eye, Jeff Dyck - Solidio, and Jacqueline Cook - Vendasta. What I realized that night, is that we are amongst a few individuals who are digging in our heels and saying to the outside world “we can make huge businesses right here in this booming city.” Each panelist had a unique message which highlighted obstacles and challenges. However, more importantly, we demonstrated progress, and that every time one of us raises investment, or hires more talent, or has a successful acquisition like Skip the Dishes, we are sending a message that it can be done right here in Saskatchewan. And to further that, we are making the path a little less bumpy for those entrepreneurs coming up through Co.Labs.
As the night progressed, we also witnessed an all-star investor panel which included Tyler Bradley (Westcap), Clement Ng (GCI Ventures), Eric Clark (PFM Capital), Caterina Papadakos (Espresso Capital), alongside Mr. Neal Dempsey (GP, Bay Partners).
During which, Mr. Dempsey respectfully went a little “off script.” He outlined how Saskatoon has real entrepreneurs taking real risks to make this happen, and now is the time for investors to step up and “cough up some dough”. Everyone applauded as he delivered his dose of reality regarding the path to success as seen in the video below.
Very rarely am I impressed with events, but this was by far one of the most fabulous gatherings I have been to in a long time. To be honest, if you were not there you really missed out. It was exceptional. So on behalf of all of all entrepreneurs in Saskatchewan, I would like to give a personal thank you to Jordan Dutchak - Executive Director of Co.Labs, Wes Jickling - CEO of Innovation Saskatchewan, and Presenting Sponsor PFM Capital for marking this night in history for Saskatchewan’s Tech Community.