WEtech’s Journey From A Co-Founder’s Perspective
Thrilled To Share The Journey
It was such a thrill to be the keynote speaker at WEtech’ Annual General Meeting to share my perspective of this great organization to the current and new board members. I brought my passion and I admit, I was a bit more emotional than expected.
Here are just a few highlights of AlphaKOR’ eleven-year journey with WEtech.
Why WEtech Was Started
Six IT professionals, five of them entrepreneurs, came together to form a not-for-profit organization in 2008 called Softech Network Alliance. This idea was initiated by the University of Windsor with a lot of supporters to help launch this.
We envisioned Softech to be the facilitator of the local IT community, to share best practices, form peer groups, collaborate and to brand the area as a Tech & Innovation Region. Collaboration was something new to us. One of the other co-founders shared his perspective: “Before we formed this organization, I thought we were the only software developers in the area”.
Looking At The Bigger Picture
When you have a group of entrepreneurs working together for the bigger picture, many great ideas and things will materialize. Sometimes, it can be a challenge when two direct competitors sit on the same board.
As direct competitors, we were able to collaborate for our nine years together on the board for the better good of everyone and embracing the bigger picture. One of the first things we wanted to do was launch our first website. We declared a conflict of interest for board members’ not to quote on this and we looked our membership to provide this service.
In 2011 it was time to rebrand Softech to WEtech Alliance. Today our President, Yvonne Pilon and the amazing WEtech Team do a terrific job of moving the organization forward and leading the way to facilitate IT, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and support the Community.
Board Members & The WEtech Team
The board plays a role in making a difference to support the WEtech team. We need the organization to continue to lead, collaborate and be an integral part of the ecosystem. What we learned from Tom Jenkins, one of the founders of Communitech in Waterloo, was to mandate all the board members to sit on other boards such as the municipalities, cities, education, public sector to have a voice at the table.
For WEtech, we do sit on some of these other organizations’ boards. They are our stakeholders and we have good relationships with them and collaborate. The WEtech Team is a hard working and dedicated small group making a difference. Keep up the great stuff you are doing!
AlphaKOR As A WEtech Member
AlphaKOR has been a member since day one and has benefited in many ways being part of WEtech. The number of connections locally, abroad and access to provincial and federal resources has helped us achieve some of our goals. These connections and networking opportunities would not have been possible without being part of this organization.
WEtech has helped AlphaKOR raise our awareness as the experts on subject matters such as CyberSecurity and new technology. When the media reaches out to WEtech for advice, WEtech refers its’ members. We have been fortunate to have media contact us direct as a result.
Our Team has been recognized over the years. Our very own, Hassan Farhat, was named Tech Professional of the Year in 2017.
My Personal Growth
Being on the WEtech board for nine years, serving as Chair for three years has taught me a lot and has contributed to my personal growth. I enjoyed my post-Chair role as mentor and entrepreneur in residence. Yes, I’m still part of WEtech!
One of the many great things I have gained by being a part of WEtech is my mentor role. I have enjoyed mentoring WEtech members and have taken this role to mentor at other organizations. In fact, I now mentor on my own accord with some of the entrepreneurs I connect with in my circles. It is a thrill to watch local entrepreneurs and professionals share their stories, ideas and ambitions while trusting you to listen and provide some advice.
Many Great Organizations
There are many great organizations that we belong to and support in our community. I highly encourage you to get involved and to get more involved if you already are. Be part of the bigger picture and see the difference you make along your journey.