Beer: a key ingredient to startup success

Photo by Paige Bush
Photo by Paige Bush

If you glance at most posts made about the Kitchener-Waterloo Region, you will find that the main narrative will be about startups or technology. This is not just a weird coincidence. The region, booming with startups, is known as Canada’s Silicon Valley and is recognized internationally for the talent it produces.

The beauty about the community is how accessible it is and how valuable its teachings are through the simplest of interactions.

An event such as “Startups and Beer,” hosted by Sortable, is just one reflection of how the region is moving past bland networking events, making tech talk a comfortable, interesting topic. The organizer’s objective is to have a relaxed environment where attendees can sample a few of the region’s breweries like Stone Hammer Brewing and New Collective Arts Brewing, all the while making good conversation with startups that span different stages of development.

In June, the very first “Startups and Beer” took place at Eaton’s Lofts in Kitchener, which raised funds for the Working Centre, an organization that focuses on providing opportunities to underprivileged communities.

The money raised at this event was put towards building 18 low-income housing units in Kitchener. In addition to raising money for local charities, the event helped with increasing foot traffic for local businesses.

“The goal was to have people as comfortable as possible and to meet cool startups,” said Sam Trieu, community marketer for Sortable.

The second “Startups and Beer” had a similar intention of raising money for a local charity, increasing foot traffic in the region, with a spotlight on hardware companies. This past Thursday, over 2,000 dollars were raised to help support the Women’s Crisis Services of the Waterloo Region, helping to rebuild Haven House.

The organization focuses on empowering women and children that have been abused and providing safe, educational and supportive environments for victims. When talking to those in attendance, I was surprised to learn how this event drastically differs from other recruiting events.

“[The event was] great if you’re looking for jobs, great if you want to meet some people, great if you’re thirsty,” Said Jacob Tutt of Fresh Air Films.

The environment created by not having an expectation of attendees to be blood thirsty for a job opportunity, resulted in a laid-back atmosphere. The venue that facilitated a more genuine conversation without the pressures of having to impress whoever was at the receiving end of the conversation. Also, a little beer never hurt anybody.

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