As part of our Launchpad program, we host exclusive live Ask Me Anything sessions with mentors from the tech ecosystem monthly for our members. For this month we had, Alex Benjamin, a good friend of ours here at Launch, Partner at 4A Capital, and one of the first to go through the Startup Visa Program (originally immigrating to Vancouver from Australia in March 2015) join us. The following is a snippet of some questions that were asked:
Q: What was the most challenging part of your Startup Visa journey?
A: To be honest, I was so focused on making sure my business survived and was a success, I didn’t really stop and build friendships or make time for myself and my wife much int he first few years. So after 3-4 years I came up for air and realized I hadn’t made a lot of meaningful friendships in Vancouver. That has changed since, but I certainly realized how obsessed with my work I had become.
Vancouver is a harder city than others to make new friends- and many newcomers talk about this. However, it really is down to the individual and how much effort you put into being social.
Q: In general, how would/did you reach out to an investor that doesn’t know you to have a conversation/meet with you?
A: I would try to develop ‘common-ground’ or find someone who you both know, like on LinkedIn.
For example, you have to start off with an email on their inquiry page. Write an interesting caption that will grab their attention- if they get 100 inbound emails a day, how will you build trust and intrigue quickly with what you ask?
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