Nevin Buconjic Represents Sault Ste. Marie in Ottawa to help Build Canada’s Entrepreneurship Community

As many of you know, I am passionate about entrepreneurship and small business, coming from a background of small business and economic development. In my free time I operate multiple businesses, and I have written two books on small business as well.

About a year ago, I took the initiative to apply on behalf of Sault Ste. Marie, to join Startup Canada – a pan-Canadian network to provide entrepreneurs with a single doorway to enter their local entrepreneur community to access mentors, space, funding and support to start and grow their businesses and to connect with other startup founders.

Startup Canada, and its 19 Startup Communities are volunteer organizations and are led by entrepreneurs, not government. We are grass-roots and inclusive, with the goal of building more entrepreneurial communities across the country – in an effort to connect and strengthen the infrastructure for new startups and existing businesses.

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Requirements for becoming a Startup Community include building a team of volunteers and entrepreneurs, forging partnerships with community organizations that deliver programming and resources to the business community, and drafting a clear vision and plan of action.

Sault Ste. Marie was accepted and joined 16 other communities – 3 more were just recently announced in November — Toronto, Charlottetown and Halifax.

We formally launched Startup Sault in March 2014 with our first event – Startup Drinks, a casual networking opportunity to connect local entrepreneurs and business owners. Over 30 people attended the first event, and it proved a great opportunity to meet new people, discuss ideas, and hopefully collaborate on future projects.

Startup Drinks is now held every two months, and recently we introduced our latest program – Startup Book Club.

Startup Book Club participants read and discuss the latest business-related books (as well as classics) to glean tips, models and strategies to take their business to the next level. Startup Book Club creates an opportunity for local entrepreneurs, students, small business owners and others to discuss not only the content of each book, but their own strategies and experiences as well.

The first book choice was “The $100 Startup”, by Chris Guillebeau and the next choice for February 5th (6:00-8:00PM) at Q Café & Bakery is “How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age.”

Startup Sault continues to be involved in other events through our community partners, including the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre, Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation, SSM Chamber of Commerce and the Community Development Corporation of Sault Ste. Marie.

In May, Startup Sault offered a 5-day training session from the Canadian Entrepreneurship Institute via live streaming. The training featured keynote lectures by world-leading innovators, entrepreneurs, educators and policy makers; attendees gained the knowledge, tools and network necessary to make a meaningful impact in advancing innovation and entrepreneurship in their community, as well as their own business or organization.

MP HayesJust recently, I represented Sault Ste. Marie in Ottawa, meeting with Members of Parliament (including Sault MP – Bryan Hayes), Senators and Ministers as part of Startup Canada Day on the Hill.

Startup Canada Day on the Hill is a collaboration of Canada’s entrepreneurial community and partnering political and government leaders. Drawing nearly 1,000 attendees throughout the day, including some of Canada’s top entrepreneurs, investors, industry leaders, media personalities and government decision makers, the program is filled with meaningful government roundtables, media interviews, fireside discussions, TED-style keynotes, entrepreneur bootcamps, on-site mentorship, and an evening ‘Startup Soiree’, showcasing entrepreneurs and their products from across Canada.

15742921278_2d73084880_oI spoke on stage to share perspectives of entrepreneurs from the community and to the impact that Startup Sault Ste. Marie has had over the last 12 months in fuelling economic development through entrepreneurship. I also worked with public servants and industry leaders to educate them on how they can work with grassroots, entrepreneur organizations like Startup Canada to accelerate entrepreneurial growth in Canada.

The two days of events were jam packed with meetings, events and networking. I had the opportunity to meet and work with my colleagues from other Startup Communities across the country. Not only was it a team building exercise, but we all worked together to impress upon our federally elected officials – even Prime Minister Harper — the importance of supporting entrepreneurship, and supporting the Startup Canada movement.

Prime Minister PicIt was an incredible experience.

In just two short years, Startup Canada has grown to become the leading entrepreneurship organization in Canada with more than 85,000 entrepreneurs, 400 partners and 300 volunteers.  We continue to build on this momentum.

Startup Sault also continues on its mission to strengthen and build a more entrepreneurial community in Sault Ste. Marie, and other Startup Communities across the country do the same.

Startup Canada’s goal is to reach 100 Startup Communities over the next two years, truly connecting entrepreneurs across the country — driving competitiveness, innovation, job creation, and economic growth along the way.

I hope you will join us in our movement. Together, let’s take risks, generate big ideas, and push the economy forward.

About Startup Sault:

Startup Sault connects new entrepreneurs with the small business resources available in the community, and provides the support of existing entrepreneurs who are building successful companies.

For more information about Startup Sault, visit www.startupsault.ca.  Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/startupsault) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/startupsault) to keep up to date on Startup Sault events, startup tips and other useful information.

My New Business

I recently launched a new business, and I am excited to tell you all about it! Stay tuned…

My New Book Video

Hey, check out my new video for my book, 25 Money-Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time! I created the video for my Amazon page to introduce myself to readers and to explain why I wrote the book and how it can help potential entrepreneurs to get started!

Startup Sault Interview

Nevin Local2 InterviewOne of my new and latest projects is Startup Sault – which is a local entrepreneurship group dedicated to building a more entrepreneurial community in Sault Ste. Marie by bringing together entrepreneurs and small businesses to network, learn and help each other start and grow our businesses. We held our first events on March 27th — Startup Drinks and it was a great turnout and super fun. Check out my interview from a local news website: http://www.local2.ca/ssm/viewarticle.php?id=14732

Win 1 of 5 FREE copies of my new paperback

25-Money-giveawayThere are only a few hours left to enter the contest to win 1 of 5 FREE copies of my new paperback — 25 Money-Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time! Enter today! Click the link to enter http://prmo.me/VT5tjV

Hoping to Write a Post This Weekend!

Although I have been on parental leave with my daughter for almost 3 months, I have still managed to find a little time to publish my first paperback book, launch a new entrepreneurs group locally and a few other things. I have so much to share — hoping to get one or more posts out this weekend to explain!

Soon to be my new toy – the Blackberry Z30!

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Blackberry Q10

Well, this is day 2 with my new Blackberry Q10. The experience so far has been positive.

Blackberry Q10I like the size of the device – it fits nicely in my hand (smaller than the Z10), although I am still getting used to the smaller 3.1″ screen (the Z10 has a 4.2″ screen) and physical keyboard. It has been several years since I have had a “real” (physical) keyboard — it will take a bit of adjustment to move from one thumb to two thumb typing.

Look for a full review of the Q10 model in a few weeks. After spending six months using the Z10 touch-screen model, I want to give the Q10 a fair comparison by giving myself time to use it day to day.

Blackberry Z10 U.S. Launch

Wow is all I can say about AT&T’s lack of promotion for the new Blackberry Z10 launch in the USA! I happen to be in Florida visiting my parents and thought I would stop into an AT&T store at the mall, the day of the launch. Walking in I surveyed the store for signs of a launch promotion, but other than a tiny flyer (a flyer…really? Not even a banner, sign or poster?) at the front of the store there was no sign of it.

I asked one of the sales staff if they had the new Blackberry Z10 and he said yes. “Would you like to see it,” he asked next. I told him yes, thinking he would lead to a display in the store, but to my great surprise, he instead walked into the back room to grab one. After asking a few simple questions, I could tell he was aware of some of the highlights of the new device, but did not have a lot of training using it.

Instead of letting him know that I have had the device since it’s January 30th launch in New York City, I simply handed the device back and left the store.

As AT&T is the first U.S. launch partner for the Blackberry Z10 I am simply blown away by the lack of effort and marketing on its part. What a joke. From my experience, the Z10 is a new bread of Blackberry. It delivers on all of the promises, and I think if people just pick it up and play with it for a few minutes they will love it.

With Verizon launching the Z10 this week, let’s hope that AT&T’s miserable excuse for a product launch doesn’t hurt sales too much. With all the bad things I hear about AT&T service in the U.S. I am just glad I don’t have to deal with them, living in Canada!

2012 Goals – Year End Checkup

Ok, this post is a bit overdue.  The problem is I have been super busy writing and publishing ebooks on Amazon.com among other things.

As you may recall in my first post on my 2012 goals, I listed my 10 goals for 2012.  So let’s get right to it.

1. Get in shape. (FAIL) – Well since this is #1 I feel really bad ;). This goal is still a big fat fail.  I’d like to blame my busy schedule and time spent writing books, but the truth is, I just need a kick in the butt!  Since I am usually tired at night (going to bed after midnight doesn’t help) I have continued my habit of blowing off the workouts!  Update – ok this past week I have already worked out 3 times…so let’s hope I keep it up!

2. Eat right. (PASS) – As I’ve mentioned before, thanks to my lovely wife we do usually eat pretty healthy.  I think the workouts will make the big difference.

3. Grow my business. (PASS) – About half way through 2012 I began to change the focus of my business.  I will talk more about this in goal #5, but I have written and published several ebooks on Amazon.com.  Due to my experience in this area, I am now going to offer several services in this arena — I will help clients interested in writing an ebook.  This will include counselling on topics, the process, ebook formatting, and marketing assistance.

4. Finish my writing course (FAIL) – I was sidetracked big time on this one.  After I published my first ebook, I was totally absorbed in the marketing and writing new books.  I did finish one more assignment though – and I am almost half way done.  I definitely want to finish the course in 2013!

5. Publish something and get paid for it. (PASS) – I have done this many times over now!  So far I have published three books and I am working on more.  Since September 2012 I have sold almost 1,350 books and have had close to 10,000 downloads overall!  I am really excited about this new venture and love getting monthly cheques from Amazon.com!  My books:

25 Money-Making Businesses You Can Start in Your Spare Time
Starting Your Own Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting and Growing a Small Business|
Small Business Start-Up Success Collection

6. Expand my social networking reach. (PASS) – In January 2012 I began a concerted effort to grow my Twitter following and other social media channels.  From 59 followers to 866 in my last update — I now have over 4,700 Twitter followers.  I find that Twitter has become my dominant social media platform.  I still check Facebook daily, but don;t spend a lot of time on it.  I did however create my “author” page on Facebook mid-year and have about 80 followers (will you like my page?).  I definitely want to continue growing my author page.  My LinkedIn account now has 274 connections as well.

7. Grow my blog and bring in revenue. (?) – As I mentioned last update, I actually shut down my blog and turned it back into my business website, www.digitaladventures.ca and I now blog on both that site and this site.  But I have not attempted to monetize either site except for  some Amazon affiliate links, and also links to my books of course!

8. Re-learn to code. (FAIL) – Wow.  I have had absolutely no progress on this front.  I don’t know how 2013 will fair either. It would be very time intensive…

9. Home improvement projects (PASS) – Late last summer my dad and I built a new metal shed.  We now have plenty of additional storage space for boxes, totes and other stuff.  Of course it’s still not enough :).  We also changed/installed several new convection heaters with new energy efficient ones — big difference!  I’m not sure what 2013 holds for home improvement – we have two major improvements still ahead — hardwood flooring on the main floor and building a new, expanded balcony off the master bedroom!  Both are big projects and expensive.  We’ll see what happens this year.

10. Read more. (PASS) – Last update I mentioned I had already read 10 books.  I am going to take a guess and say I read about 30 books in 2012!  A huge improvement.  This does not include dozens of shorter ebooks which I have read or skimmed.  I have downloaded a ton of FREE ebooks on Amazon.com as authors promote their books using KDP free days.  I must have at least 100 Kindle ebooks on my reader which I will eventually go through.

My reading actually slowed as my writing increased, but I definitely found a several new passions in 2012 — reading more and writing books!

Six passes, 3 fails and 1 in-between.  I haven’t thought a lot about my goals for 2013 but I’d have to say at least two of the fails will carry over and goals for this year.

What are your goals for 2013?  Do you find it helps to have goals and follow up on your progress?

Cheers!

 

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