WEtech builds programming ‘from the data up’
What we mean by that is that the programs we carefully craft to serve our 233 active clients are designed in large measure using the feedback we pull from the surveys we send out and the responses you provide.
For example, one of the biggest data points that kept coming up last year in our responses was the lack of wrap-around support for bigger tech companies in our region.
We were on a serious roll with our start-ups, but what about those scale companies with products on the market experiencing consistent growth and looking to take things to the next level?
You spoke, and we listened.
In December we sat down with all our information, all our surveys, and we decided to get to work and identify some key value drivers for those specific companies.
With the unique needs of a scaling business in mind, we set about building up four key pillars that are already impacting our scale ventures in a big way.
On January 1st, we quietly launched partnerships with global tech suppliers, creating exclusive offers and credits to WEtech clients. If a client were to take advantage of every single perk we offer, they would have a windfall of over $300,000 in savings and credits. We designed the program to cover a huge range of needs, from Amazon and Google Cloud credits, to Canadian based virtual computer units and insurance discounts with tech specific packages.
Since January, we’ve delivered close to $150,000 in perks, and they have been instrumental in helping us open the door to help some of our biggest and fasting scaling companies.
We’ve also had an added benefit in the attraction side of things, with our perks and programming having a key role in helping to bring new companies to the region as well. Want to check out our 20+ client perks for yourself? Click HERE
4-8-12 Milestone Planning
In early 2018, we implemented the WEtech 30-60-90 document, a custom road map designed to get our clients from idea to market in just a few short months. The response has been phenomenal, and Regional Innovation Centres across our network have since adopted this simple accountability strategy tool.
Bigger businesses though need more time, they set bigger milestones, and they don’t need quite as much day-to-day touch points to get things done. Enter our new year-long milestone tracker, the 4-8-12.
By chunking a year into 4-month intervals, we can set clear and tangible goals with our scaling clients that really make a big influence on the way our companies navigate the challenges and successes of a year. Each of these documents is created after a two-hour session identifying needs, top priorities, and pivots that need to happen in order to reach milestones that are deemed “level changers.” Setting things up in this way is a tremendous way to build trust and ensure that I’m following through on things on my end and gives me clear indication that our ventures are putting in the sweat equity needed on theirs. Getting off track happens but using a tool like this one allows us to get back on that track as quickly as possible. Once the “easy” part of properly identifying objectives is complete, the real work begins, which leads us to our next pillar.
Full Day Development Programming
You may have early sales and your very first customers, or you may be pulling in hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly recurring revenue with thousands of users. No matter where you are in your scale-up journey, one thing remains consistent, time is a precious and scarce resource, and managing that time carefully becomes one of the most difficult tasks for venture founders. WEtech has developed an expertise in delivering just-in-time, on-demand business advisory services. In fact we have an incredible group of diverse and passionate leaders we call our (VST) Venture Success Team that is always ready to provide Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent companies with highly tangible coaching. Our model for Start-ups involves chunking out VST hours over several weeks, attending War Room workshops, and piecing services together over 3-month periods. Our new Full Day Development Programming uses our 4-8-12 document to identify top needs and plan intensive full day curriculum for scaling companies that need to get the very most out of their professional development hours. We take founders and put them through a gauntlet of experts, with clear and defined outcomes from each development day laid out ahead of time. When every second counts, we believe your venture deserves the highest-quality resources built to wrap around your scaling business.
Angels in the infield
Let’s talk capital. You need it, and we know it, but getting it, specifically for companies in our region hasn’t always been easy. When we compare local raises to much bigger jurisdictions, our scale companies inevitably get frustrated with an overall lack of access to investment. Enter the WECAN Angel Investor Network of Windsor Essex, a newly re-energized group of investors looking to make strong partnerships in our community and invest in innovative and novel businesses with proven traction and scalability. Investment is fittingly our forth pillar because it allows local scale ventures the runway needed to grow, re-invest, and enter new markets. Our collaboration with WECAN allows us the opportunity to have a local company pitch every single month in front of their vetted investors, it also allows those same companies to get plugged into angel investor networks across the country.
These four pillars are allowing local tech SME’s to stand taller than ever and become more competitive on a global scale. One of our core values here at WEtech is to be innovative by design, to think like entrepreneurs because we all were or are still currently in your shoes.
None of this programming would have been possible without first collecting the data and feedback needed to deliver something spectacular to a previously under-served segment of our tech business community.
What’s coming next in WEtech programming to help businesses like yours?
Only time (and your carefully considered feedback) will tell.
Speaking of feedback, please take a moment to fill out the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Survey 2019.
A partnership between WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC) and regional partners including all municipalities in the Windsor-Essex region, the WindsorEssex Small Business Centre (SBC), WEtech Alliance, Workforce WindsorEssex (WFWE), and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, this survey identifies the needs of business, assist economic development professionals to develop strategies that will support businesses to stay, grow, and become more competitive.
Adam Castle has spent the last six years working in Economic Development in Windsor-Essex, specializing in business development and growth across multiple sectors and working with companies of all sizes. Adam is a highly driven and successful Business Advisor with an entrepreneurial spirit. He started his first business when he was 15 and continues to run it today. His favourite sport is beach volleyball.