The faster you fail, the faster you learn.
Technology entrepreneur Justin Goodhew, 25, is a poster boy for such a philosophy.
“By the time I was 23 I had two company failures under my belt,” said Goodhew.
“But I learned from them. It was like getting an MBA. I learned to be a better entrepreneur. It honed my skills and made me more independent. It also set me up to flourish in the Okanagan.”
Goodhew has his fingers in many pies in the Valley.
He’s the founder of 1 Space, the co-work office with 12 tenants at 12 desks in the Accelerate Okanagan building in downtown Kelowna.
He hopes to grow the concept by moving it to the Okanagan Innovation Centre when it opens in 2017, adding more tenants and desks.
He’s a sales and marketing consultant for early-stage tech companies like Kelowna-based MathToons, which has platforms for teachers to develop math games and for employee training.
He just started ReclaimedCanadianWood.com to make photo boards, coffee mug holders and wine racks from discarded winery pallets.
Goodhew is also partners with his optometrist uncle in Ontario in a tech company called Social Practice, which teaches optometry businesses how to use social media to bring in more clients, increase customer satisfaction and boost public profile and goodwill.
He’s also taken an active volunteering role with several local tech events.
Goodhew co-created Okanagan Solopreneurs, a meetup group for entrepreneurs that’s grown to 110 members who gather monthly to discuss running tech startups.
He also took organizational lead for Startup Weekend Okanagan, which saw 55 businesses built in just two days.
And, he’s taken over coordinating Startup Drinks, the monthly social and networking mixer for tech types.
Goodhew went to the Sauder School of Business at the Vancouver campus of UBC.
During his final year there, he and a business partner took part in Startup Weekend Vancouver and created a web-based resume builder called My Skill Base.
They incorporated the business and ran it for nine months before it fizzled out.
Undaunted, the pair pitched a similar plug- and-play technology at a Vancouver
competition and caught the eye of a California tech firm.
“They didn’t want the idea we pitched, but they did want us and gave us funding to move down to Silicon Valley to work on a different product called Blue Perch,” said Goodhew.
Blue Perch was a swipe application similar to the Tinder dating app, where a swipe right is a potential match, a swipe left is not interested.
“We lasted three months in California before Blue Perch perished because another company was already doing the same thing and was farther ahead than us,” said Goodhew.
As a graduate with a business degree, Goodhew then applied for 35 jobs and didn’t get a single return email, phone call or interview.
“It was disheartening,” he said.
“But, it prompted me to realize if I wanted things to happen I’d have to do it myself.”
Goodhew considered moves to Victoria, Squamish and Kelowna, all communities with burgeoning tech clusters.
“Kelowna won out when my girlfriend landed a job at UBC Okanagan,” he said.
Since the move here, he’s settled in and taken off quickly.
“I was so surprised, in a good way, how big and diverse and innovative the Kelowna tech industry is,” he said.
“I’ve become one of those lifestyle entrepreneurs who comes to Kelowna to run businesses, get involved in the community and enjoy the mountains, lakes and all the great recreation in this Valley.”