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coLab Buzz #14

December’s an interesting month. Some of us get busier with the holiday hustle, and other find themselves in a period of seasonal slow-down. No matter what your situation is though, it’s easy to lose track of what’s going on around you during these hectic holidays. It’s definitely happened to us at times! Don’t worry though, we’re back with another edition of coLab Buzz to get you up to speed with the goings on in and around the Lab. If you’ve never heard of it before, coLab Buzz is a regular column that features news on members of our coworking space.


Karen Bowen

It has been a great year at ManagerKnowHow, and I am grateful to have worked with amazing clients on leadership development initiatives, culture change and strategic planning sessions. I have also grown personally and professionally through my coaching practice…it is funny how when I coach others I end up transforming myself as well! I look forward to 2017 and having opportunities with both my regular clients and lots of new ones. We have a few exciting contracts in the works, and hopefully I can provide a celebratory update on those in the next coLab buzz. Right now, I am really excited about our latest project we are launching for registration, the LEAD (Leadership Essentials Accelerated Development) Program.

For the first time we are taking our innovative curriculum from internal organization centric projects and into a “open” public offering in three different cities (Kelowna, Calgary, and Vancouver). The LEAD program covers a broad range of topics and is delivered over five months to allow busy professionals to balance learning with work and life. With a blend of in-person workshops, individualized coaching, and online classroom sessions, leaders move through a process of learning and discovery in three areas: Personal Mastery, Leading Others and Human Systems Acumen. The program uses self-awareness assessments, skill training and human systems development to ensure leaders manage effectively up. down, and across organizational boundaries. LEAD content is practical, relevant and easily transferred back to the workplace.

More information is on our website: www.managerknowhow.com and through our various social media channels. What is REALLY exciting is that this program is eligible for the Canada Job Grant and participants can attend the training for 1/3 of the cost once qualified (we help with that process). Finally, an affordable leadership program accessible to leaders across industries! Can you tell I am passionate about this? Here’s to an amazing 2017 with lots of learning!


Marcus Rideout

Have you ever completely changed your entire business model and pivot into a new industry? That’s been my life over the last 11 months! To an observer looking in from the outside the past few weeks wouldn’t look all that exciting. I’ve been living like a hermit crab – tucked away in my office shell with the door closed. It’s a foreign concept to me (as a guy who’s known to be quite outgoing and extroverted), however now that we’ve been having some killer results for our clients, now that I’ve got the team in place to help support projects, I finally feel like something ‘clicked’ and that I’m evolving into being a “Business Owner”.

For those of you that don’t know what I do – Lone Maverick is a Digital Marketing Agency focusing on search engine optimization. We’ve been getting some amazing results for our SEO clients over the past 11 months (including features on sites like Entrepreneur.com and Business.com) and it’s been equally exhilarating and terrifying – leaving familiar territory behind and moving into uncharted waters. With that said, I’m really looking forward to getting back to having a life again soon and seeing my friends over the Christmas season.

If you’re in Kelowna during the holidays let me know – this will be our first winter away from our family and I’d love to connect, meet, and hang out with ya outside of the walls of our coLab!

Oh, and obligatory link promo: You can check out what I do at www.MaverickSEO.ca

Michael Buffett

So I’m super excited about this event. The preparation and been a grind, but when we are teaching and hear the feedback from our clients it makes every second of it worth it. We want to make this a huge success! So please spread the word, come enjoy or just send happy thoughts so we can help the the lost boys fly again!

The quiet winter months mark an essential time of year, one that has encouraged collaboration and community-building through the ages. With this community spirit in mind, The Start Fresh Team will prepare a beautiful and hearty winter feast, perfectly paired with award-winning wines of Summerhill Organic Winery. Summerhill was named one of the most prestigious and stunning wineries in the Okanagan Valley, boasting magnificent views and a rich history.

Join us for a truly special feast alongside the savoury acoustic guitar of Adam Meachem, in the most inviting locale perched on the hills overlooking Okanagan Lake. The Start Fresh Project’s Chefs will prepare a wintertime feast that will warm your soul on a cold winter day. This will ensure that the resourceful cooking and farming classes that teach people how to eat well with limited income; and enhance participation, social inclusion, and development of essential lifeskills of vulnerable people in and around Kelowna are able to continue year after year.

More information can be found at www.startfreshproject.com, www.adammeachem.com, or https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/bread-basket-feast-tickets-29035022534

Tasha Da Silva

 It’s been a crazy year of growth since I first walked into the coLab doors back in February 2016. Had I known where the power of a collaborative work space would take my business in just a few short months, I would have jumped on this train years ago.

Prior to coLab, sure I enjoyed the benefits of working in a home office; I got to work in Pajamas and slippers, my commute was a flight of stairs, I could take extra long lunch breaks to talk on the phone with my BFF, and I often multitasked between work emails and the daytime saga of Y&R… I thought that I had it all! That is, everything minus a steady income, any kind of motivation, and almost zero human connection outside of my 9 year old daughter (whom I love dearly) and the cat.

I longed for a dedicated workspace, filled with like minded entrepreneurs with a shared passion for entrepreneurship and technology. So, in January of 2016, I decided to get up, get dressed and get to work. It was time to grow out of my little home business and turn this thing into the real deal.

I set off to find the perfect work environment to grow my business, despite the nagging voice in my head saying “How am I possibly going to afford this? Do I really need an office space to grow?” but something told me to forge forward, that I had to quell the fears and trust that the right environment would produce a path to success. I booked appointments with commercial real estate agents and obsessed over Castanet rental ads, looking for something suitable and in my price range. Alas, as the reality of office lease commitments, costs, insurance, renovations, furniture, etc. started to sink in, I started to feel like my grandiose dreams for expansion was simply unattainable… So far, the only thing that came close to budget was a back room in a real estate office, for $600 per month, with no windows and zero personality. Disheartened, I was ready to give up. However, serendipity has a funny way of bringing things into your life exactly when you need them. One evening, after putting my daughter to bed, I was googling something completely unrelated and came across co+Lab’s website. The voice in my head was immediately buzzing with excitement, “A community of entrepreneurs? Collaborate Workspace? In the downtown core? Under one roof? AND affordable???!!!” Ummm…YES, PLEASE! I booked a trial the next day.

The first day walking into coLab was the beginning of a whole new world. I am not exaggerating when I say that coworking has literally changed my life. Seriously, it has. This is not just a place to bring your laptop and work on some stuff for a few hours, this is a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are welcoming to anyone who walks through the door. Here, everyone has an interesting story, everyone wants to know what you do, everyone wants to help and everyone looks for opportunities to collaborate.

Fast forward to today, and I can honestly say that my company is well on its way to resembling the vison I had for growth and expansion. I attribute most of my success to the power of collaboration within this amazing melting pot of creativity and motivation. Since joining co+Lab; I graduated from a Hot desk membership, to Residential membership, to the corner office (just past the foosball table) with my growing team of innovators. I’ve attended multiple workshops, co-lunches and after hours events. I’ve met some amazing people and created lasting friendships, I’ve Incorporated my company with a new business partner, joined the Accelerate Okanagan – Venture Acceleration Program and hired our first employee through an IRAP Youth Grant. Most recently, our company was nominated, and shortlisted, for the ‘Small Business BC – Best Concept Award’ for our new software, VinStream. All connections made through coLab, all fostered through the power of collaboration.

So, for those sitting on their couch, in their Pajamas, with cat in lap… If you have a vision for your company and you need a space with the right environment and motivating power to re-ignite your passion for entrepreneurship, look no further… I look forward to getting to know you at coLab 😉

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