The Cape Breton startup community will present a two-day seminar on sales techniques in the digital marketplace – a curriculum designed to attract participants from other parts of Atlantic Canada.
Momentum Cape Breton, the new group coordinating entrepreneurship efforts on the island, is hosting the seminar Oct. 2 and 3, which will be conducted by the New York-based sales consultancy Skaled. The aim of the sessions will be to introduce systems and processes that help businesses to sell technology in the modern marketplace.
The Skaled Sales Training seminar is part of a larger effort by the Sydney startup community to increase ties with other hubs in the Atlantic startup community. Bob Pelley, the head of Momentum Cape Breton, said the event has already attracted participants from Halifax, New Brunswick and P.E.I., and one company from the U.K. is flying to Sydney to attend it.
“What we’re really trying to do is the create highly curated, world-class training events here that will help companies from Cape Breton and Atlantic Canada grow,” said Pelley. “We want events that people from across Atlantic Canada will want to come to so that we can learn from them while they gain education at the events.“
Pelley said that the Sydney startup community has to improve its “connectivity” with other startups in the region, and the only way to do that is to send Cape Breton companies elsewhere or to attract companies to the island.
The mentorship program in the greater Sydney area is gaining steam. In August 2016, the Sydney community held a series of events that included sales training provided by Skaled. There were fewer than 10 participants. The organizers say word-of-mouth from the initial participants is generating interest in the 2017 event. They are hoping for about 30 participants this year – big enough to help a lot of business people and small enough that it is a workshop rather than a lecture.
“It’s sales training but it’s really geared toward companies in the digital space,” said Pelley. “A lot of sales training is based on relationships, but hard to do that digitally.” He said Skaled has mastered bringing the methods of relationship sales to the digital world.
The Cape Breton seminar series for this year has already featured PitchTweet, which was hosted this week by Momentum and Twitter Canada. It gave instruction on pitching a company on Twitter.
As well as using the seminars to attract interest from other parts of the region, the Cape Breton startup community is working on developing mentorship for its group of startups. Groups like the Island Sandbox, a partnership between Cape Breton University and the Nova Scotia Community College, and CBU Entrepreneur-in-Residence Permjot Valia are active. And the Cape Breton Partnership has initiated MentorConnect.
“It uses the MIT venture mentoring service model and it’s team-based,” said Pelley, adding that teams of mentors are assigned to each company. “Companies can get attached to long-term teams to work with them through trials and tribulations of growing the business. The mentor team grows as the company grows, and mentors can be replaced as new skill sets are needed.”
Disclaimer: The Skaled Sales Training event is sponsored by several groups that are clients of Entrevestor.