Vancouver, like other emerging tech hubs in the Pacific Northwest, is home to many high-potential startups – anything from the next big thing in consumer app to the most cutting edge IoT companies. There is no shortage of good ideas in Vancouver, yet what it is lacking is access to knowledge to gain traction and scale a business.
The technology industry here in Vancouver is quite young and it doesn’t have the same depth of experience like Silicon Valley. The companies there are naturally forced to think bigger because they need to hit certain metrics of valuations for venture financing. VC’s don’t want to invest in million dollar companies anymore; They want to invest in billion dollar companies. So these companies look towards international markets right off the bat.
In contrast, Vancouver companies usually focus on their own backyard first. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but there needs to be a bigger vision. That’s something that Vancouver companies and a lot of companies around the world are guilty of – thinking too small. We need more unicorns like HootSuite, Slack and the newly IPO-ed Shopify.
The one thing that sets Silicon Valley apart is that depth of knowledge and a growth mindset. Most startup entrepreneurs know this mantra: Fail fast and learn from it. Down in the Valley, there is a wealth of people who have tried it, done it and repeated it over and over again. They have figured out what works and what doesn’t work and the most successful businesses are always trying to find scalable and repeatable methods for growth.
This mentality has given massive popularity to the term growth hacker – essentially an individual or a team who’s sole objective is to grow the company. At many technology companies, traditional marketing roles are transforming into growth hacking roles. In fact, a quick search on LinkedIn or Indeed shows that several companies are hiring “growth hackers.”
Often misunderstood, growth hacking is NOT about magically achieving hockey-stick growth by using short-term hacks, but about continuously trying to find scalable and repeatable ways to grow using the power of people, data, technology, marketing and creativity. In addition to finding new growth channels, a growth hacker or growth team is deeply embedded into the design of product, testing features, usage, referrals and retention.
“At the end of the day if growth is not a part of your company culture and mindset, then it’s likely part of one of your competitors!” explains Lloyed Lobo, Partner with Boast Capital and Co-chair of Traction Conf.
It’s understood that not every entrepreneur can afford to move to Silicon Valley to expand their network and learn from the best growth hackers in order to grow their companies.
Launch Academy and Boast Capital have teamed up to bring the Silicon Valley heavy weights to Vancouver for Traction Conference June 18, 2015 to extract their knowledge and expertise on customer growth and retention. Traction Conference has secured 40+ founders and growth experts from tech unicorns including LinkedIn, Dropbox, Pinterest, Zillow, Hootsuite, Marketo, Groupon, HubSpot, AngelList and more to share distribution strategies and tactics to get, keep and grow customers and users at scale.
“Many conferences are designed to expand your network and build connections. Traction is different because we are extracting knowledge from notable individuals who are not only value-add connections but also able to share the exact strategy, mistakes made and lessons learned from growing a lean startup into a multi-million dollar valuation company,” said Ray Walia, CEO of Launch Academy and Co-chair of Traction Conf.
The conference is the first of its kind in Canada, and certainly boasts a speaker list that matches TechCrunch’s Disrupt and Web Summit.
According to CVCA there were 121 VC deals (up from 109 in Q1 2014) with $362 million invested in Q1 2015 alone – a three per cent increase in investment from the same period last year ($351 million). It’s a good indication that investors are putting money in Canadian companies. Now the challenge is to make the most out of that investment to fuel growth. Each company that goes to Traction Conference is going to take away something different that will help them build their businesses and grow their customer base.
While Traction Conference is sold out already, tickets to the After Party & Product Hunt Meetup are still available. This is your last chance to meet and connect with Traction Conference speakers and attendees. Buy your tickets now!