02 Jan Three tech leaders share their journeys with BC Tech’s C-Councils
Designed for leaders of the innovation ecosystem to network, share, and learn with like-minded trailblazers, the BC Tech Association’s C-Councils now include 283 members over 14 peer forums. These impactful forums enable members to share insights, best practices, tackles challenges and learn from experts. All with one goal in mind: accelerating member success.
“The C-Councils’ impact is especially impressive given the relatively modest time commitment,” says Bruce Qi, Founder and Principal of Launchpad Technologies and chair of the CEO Growth C-Council. “By providing a confidential network for tech CEOs and executives to come together and share their questions, struggles and solutions, BC Tech C-Councils ultimately help everyone find better solutions to problems we’re all facing.”
Each BC Tech C-Council is carefully curated to ensure that participants are in similar (but non-competitive) businesses and at similar stages of growth. This ensures peer exchanges that are specific, meaningful, and highly relevant to every member. Most meetings take place quarterly in varied forms, with emphasis placed on content-rich peer-to-peer networking, real-life case studies, and insights from guest speakers.
Participation in C-Councils is limited to BC Tech members, but the learnings gained from the 100-plus hours of forums in 2022 amounted to great advice for any tech company, large or small. Here, Qi joins Nick Chandi, CEO and Co-Founder of ForwardAI (chair of the CEO Scale C-Council), and Simran Kang, CEO and Co-Founder of MyFO (chair of the CEO Startup C-Council), in sharing what BC Tech C-Council membership has meant to their businesses.
How did participation in BC Tech’s C-Council accelerate your company’s success?
Qi, Chair of the CEO Growth C-Council: “They have given Launchpad a clearer grasp of our market’s needs, have open conversations, foster sharing insights amongst colleagues, and ultimately help everyone find better solutions for common problems.”
Kang, Chair of the CEO Startup C-Council: “We had a presentation from EA Sports, and what was really helpful was talking about creating content and generating buzz during a downturn in the market. We covered topics like how to get buyers and users engaged without having to spend a lot of money, how to stretch the dollar when it comes to content creation and marketing, and what’s the lowest-hanging fruit you can target. Participation in C-Councils gives companies at our size access to speakers we would never have access to.”
Chandi, Chair of the CEO Scale C-Council: “Our company is growing faster and has survived longer because of our involvement with the C-Council. One of my team members is on a C-Council, and received feedback during their last meeting on a product we were considering. It was the kind of product insight that rarely comes up in internal reviews, and it helped us make an important decision on its implementation.”
How do BC Tech C-Councils strengthen BC’s tech ecosystem?
Kang: “From who to talk to about getting government funding to finding good recruiters and hiring best practices, sharing solutions is key. As a startup, the most important thing is realizing you’re not alone. If you’re having trouble hiring, for instance, you can learn from others who have faced the same challenges in these forums which allow us to grow as a community together.”
Qi: “When organizations move into the growth stage it’s kind of like they are moving into the awkward teenage years. You’re becoming aware of so many new issues, things like building a positive organizational culture, being cash-positive, and minimizing burn, and in our C-Council, we talk through and unpack those kinds of issues as a group as we build and scale to be the next anchor company here in BC.”
Chandi: “Even if you’re percolating an idea, the C-Council is the place you want to be because we have former startups that have reached the growth stage, and have been through all the pain points of getting there. By learning from them, you can accelerate your transition from the startup to the growth stage.”
As the chair, what are you most excited about for your C-Council in 2023?
Chandi: “I’m excited to meet more like-minded individuals, identify new opportunities to tackle real-world problems, and continue the conversations that keep B.C.’s tech space thriving. In this challenging economic climate, discussions around finding and sharing investors are crucial.”
Kang: “I look forward to seeing members graduate from startups to scale-ups. One thing that’s been helpful for startups in the current market is that there’s more talent for us to access. That said, there’s less capital out there. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, but we’re a scrappy crew and by working together and learning from each other we can figure out how to survive.”
Qi: “Given the current macroeconomic situation I’m very interested to see how companies are adjusting across the industry, and to explore how we can help each other overcome the challenges we face. Launchpad remains rooted here in BC because we have such a supportive ecosystem, and the BC Tech C-Councils are a prime example of that.”
To apply to join one of BC Tech’s C-Councils, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.