Earlier this month I launched 4 days in the valley. I’m stoked to be working on this program to help foster entrepreneurship at the University level in Canada. I blogged about one of the inspirations on the 4daysinthevalley blog but I thought I’d share the inspiration here on my blog as well …
About 1 month after graduation from the University of Regina with a Computer Science degree, I attended my first interview. 2 kids about 22 years old wearing Bermuda shorts, flip flops, and ragged looking t-shirts welcomed me at the door (I was wearing dress pants, a shirt and tie). They led me into their board room, where on the middle of the floor sat an old picnic table. We chatted about the job, about how they still didn’t know exactly what product they were building, but that it was going after a general pain. They were using php, but thinking about changing to Java.
I still remember thinking to myself “what am I doing talking with these bozos?” I left the interview thinking about how I couldn’t wait to go talk to Sasktel, or SGI … companies that clearly had their sh#$t together unlike these dudes in their $10 tee shirts. In hindsight, I really wish I’d had someone tell me that taking that job would have been the best career decision I could have ever made.
Things worked out well for me. I took a job at a company called Saflink in Edmonton, ended up by some strange twist of events starting a Attassa with 2 awesome friends, was able to get that company acquired, and had the time of my life doing it and can’t wait to do it again. But it was mostly luck that I was exposed to the startup world. That experience really inspired me to make more students in Canada aware of the possibility of starting a technology company. The valley is a fantastic place … but there’s nothing in the water here that makes people smarter. There’s no reason you can’t make something big in Edmonton, Regina, Toronto, or Gull Lake Saskatchewan! 72 valley hours is a great way to start spreading that message.