Investing in the #WeAreYQQ talent economy: getting Anotiv Team to the Global Finals

MatthewBlack_biopicTalent. It’s what drives an entrepreneurial economy. It’s what we need to be investing in, here in the Comox Valley. Because our 3R’s economy (retail, retirement, recreation) isn’t generating the real jobs and real incomes we need to attract and sustain young families. And young families are the lifeblood of our communities.  

One of the best parts of #WeAreYQQ Project is the people I get to work with. One of these is Matthew Black, an Isfeld student who is making shift happen, big time.

The shift: solving problems

The problem: Instead of listening to announcements high school students are looking at their cell phone screens.

The solution: Anotiv app. Matthew and his team created an app that replaces announcements and connects students, parents, and teachers. It’s available for iOS and Android at Anotiv.com (no charge).

Feeding talent, growing entrepreneurs

Anotiv Team built the app as part of the Destination Imagination (DI) program. DI is basically an entrepreneurial talent development program. It teaches creativity, collaboration, critical thinking, and problem solving to students around the world.

Anotiv launched at Isfeld in February. Immediate uptake: 40 percent of the school signed up and are actively using the app. He’s now working to introduce the app to Vanier, Highland, and other schools in the Valley.

Thinking BIGger

Matthew met with me after he’d attended the recent #WeAreYQQ Spring Party for entrepreneurs. He made his pitch. Then he pitched me on Anotiv Team’s bid to represent Canada and the Comox Valley at the DI Global Finals in Knoxville. My response? I pitched in with an immediate $100US, and a promise to help him grow this project.

First step was easy. I reached out to good people I believe are also interested in feeding talent. With help from Jayesh Parmar at Picatic in Vancouver, and Robbie Mulrooney locally, we got Matt into the Interzone tech conference. My thinking: this young talent needs to connect with other smart people beyond the Comox Valley, and he needs to do it soon.

Twitter is a “must have” tool for entrepreneurs – and for anyone attending conferences. I gave Matthew some “Twitter basics,” and watched him do magic. He took my basics and even before leaving the Island he was connecting with tech and entrepreneur leaders. Over the next couple of days I watched as he kept learning and doing. He did a stellar job reporting at Interzone. And an outstanding job of connecting to more tech and entrepreneur leaders. Inspiring. To watch Matt take Twitter from 0-60. Making Twitter work, fueled by his smarts, and by his desire to make shift happen for Anotiv Team.

Let’s make this shift happen!

Recent SD71 cuts and the decline of the $CAN mean it’ll be challenging for Anotiv Team to represent the Comox Valley at Global Finals. Challenging, but not impossible. Just another problem to solve. I’m inviting you to help make that happen. Here’s how.

On the #WeAreYQQ Project side, I’ve had Matthew pitch at our recent events. We’ve got a mini fundraiser as part of the upcoming April 29 Show & Tell at The White Whale with local (imported from Jersey) talent Tom Keenoy. On May 2 Matthew and Anotiv Team are going “on deck” at our BizOnDeck workshop. They’ll be pitching the app, but primarily their bid to represent this region and Canada at Global Finals. At the same time, the #WeAreYQQ Project is collecting funds at every workshop or event we host. See weareyqq.ca/events.

You can help Anotiv Team represent the Comox Valley directly by going to their fundraising site at FundTeamAnotivYQQ.ca. You can also donate items for their silent auction. Contact them on Twitter @Anotiv and @mattBlackDesign.

Recap: grow the future, invest in talent

I often talk about talent being the future of our economy here in the Comox Valley. Anotiv Team is what I’m talking about. This hard-working DI crew wants to show off the Comox Valley, represent Canada, and compete for gold at the Global Competition. Every bit of sharing, contributing, donating is an investment in their success. It’s also an investment in the future of our Comox Valley talent economy. 

Let’s make this shift happen folks! (hint: donate here)

by hpm, with files from Anotiv Team
@hanspetermeyer on Twitter

ps. During our April-May #WeAreYQQ Champion subscriber drive we’ll be putting 50% of your first month’s contributions towards the Anotiv Team bid to represent Canada and the Comox Valley at Global Finals. Join us as a Champion or Ambassador and you’ll also be helping get these young talents onto the global stage!