12 Nuggets of Wisdom from Vancouver Tech Anchors Ryan Holmes, Jack Newton, and Others

Earlier this week HootSuite’s new HQ2 office space hosted their very first event.

HQ2 is located two blocks from HootSuite’s HQ1, which opened to similar fanfare 15 months ago (no word on whether HQ2 has bullet-proof windows as well).

Building Vancouver’s Next Tech Anchor” was a sold-out affair with a focus on discussing the opportunities and challenges of growing a startup in Vancouver.

Venue host Ryan Holmes of HootSuite moderated a panel that included Clio’s Jack Newton, Mobify’s Igor Faletski, Unbounce’s Rick Perreault, and Allocadia’s Kristine Steuart. 

According to the panel, all four companies plan to double their employee counts in the next year, so the conversation quickly turned to the issue of attracting and retaining top tech talent in Vancouver.

Between the five of them (including HootSuite) they are hiring for a total of 87 positions on the Techvibes Job Board right now.

Here are the best quotes from the night—all of which your can find on Twitter following #YVRtechanchor.

  • “I think a lot of people are sick of hearing about HootSuite.” – Holmes
  • “People look at companies as transactions in the Valley. There’s a greater sense of loyalty in Vancouver.” – Newton
  • “Part of it is finding great people and part of it is mentoring people to become great.” – Steuart
  • “Ultimately we’re all friends here, but we’re all competing for talent.” – Holmes
  • “Check your spam folders.” – Newton (an email from Clio’s first investor was found there)
  • “If you have enough people swinging for the fences, eventually you’ll have a ball that’s going to clear.” – Newton
  • “Take a chance on the people that have the aptitude that may not have the experience.” – Perreault
  • “As a CEO, you need to sell the vision and keep up levelling the next BHAG.” – Holmes
  • “Vancouver is on the precipice of being on the global map for venture capital.” – Newton
  • “Don’t apply for a job; pitch for an opportunity.” – Perreault
  • “Digging for gold is a race to the bottom; we need to put our growth and energy into tech. I have no problem with mining, but no one is putting gold back in the ground so they can dig it up later.” – Holmes
  • “There are over 400,000 Canadian expats living in Silicon Valley. We need to think of ways to keep them here.” – Holmes

Photo credit: Meg Salisbury