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Event Review: GradusOne Launch Event

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the launch event for GradusOne, a new program designed to help young adults navigate the various steps towards a fledgling career.

Co-founders Sam Thiara and Manny Padda have endeavoured to create a program that facilitates the success of young adults through mentorship, career-oriented workshops, panels, and networking. And if their launch event was any indicator of the program’s future, it will be a resounding success. It seemed that nearly half the audience were past or present mentees of Thiara’s, proving that his methods do connect in a special way with those in the process of transition and change.

Specifically, Thiara’s analogy of life being a mosaic of puzzle pieces, only ever creating a full image when connected to other seemingly random pieces, was effective in its simplicity and tangible nature. And the importance of networking and making connections with those around you was a clear theme of the evening. Building on this, Thiara and Padda invited four thriving entrepreneurs to speak to the audience about their journeys towards personal success.

Each speaker definitely brought a unique flavor to evening, as no two had taken the same path to reach their respective places on stage as entrepreneurs.

  • Alexandra Greenhill, founder of My Best Helper, shared a bit of her path to creating her own startup in Vancouver. In a family full of Ph.D's, Greenhill is only an MD, and she relayed the pressure she felt from her family. But knew that pursuing her passions was the way to be successful.
  • Lisa von Sturmer, founder of Growing City, shared her path from the film industry to playing with garbage. Her soul goals, and focus on culture in her start up were ever present. She never would have thought she would have learned how to drive a dump truck.
  • Taylor Conroy, founder of Change Heroes, also shared his no nonsense, I want to change the world approach to philanthropy.  Change Heroes is about raising funds with your change to build schools all over the world. How can you make a difference with $3.33? Take a look at the website and find out.
  • Daniel Dubois, founder of Share Shed imparted wisdom well beyond his years to the audience. An energetic student on a mission to change the way people get outdoors, and use outdoor equipment. Not to mention he and his company are supported by The Next Big Thing.

Interestingly, the notion of staying present and enjoying the process towards your ultimate goals was a prominent aspect of each entrepreneur’s ruminations. It was abundantly clear that the four on stage were passionate about each piece of their journey, which ultimately culminated in the execution of their overall ambitions.

Gradus shot

And you could see that the reminder to slow down and enjoy present experiences was a welcome one for many in the audience. A collective sense of relief could be felt as it was confirmed you can in fact have fun in life and also be abundantly successful: they are not mutually exclusive to one another.

Overall, I think this program will fill a void for those who aren’t quite sure what the next piece of their puzzle looks like yet. I look forward to seeing what future GradusOne event hold in store.

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