Last year was not my first Startup Open House, but it was the first one I helped host. Three days after I started working at Sharethebus, I was welcoming curious startup enthusiasts at the office and riding on one of our shuttles around Montreal.
Freshly arrived at the company, sharing that bus was one of my first times bonding with my new colleagues. From that moment on, we’ve formed the kind of friendship that inspired many haikus – but that’s another story. The important thing is that I now get to count these colleagues among my good friends.
This brings me to my point: shared experiences are the best kind of social bridges.
Breather, PasswordBox/Intel, Shopify, Lightspeed, International Startup Fest, and District 3 Innovation Center have all worked with us to organize bus trips for their team events. The common thread? Bringing people together.
This is also the case for Startup Open House. Our collaboration stemmed from the idea of connecting places and people with memories and opportunities.
Flashforward to today, and we’re doing it all over again – but better.
Explore the City’s Smorgasbord of Startups
Our most literal purpose: get you around the city. We want to make it easy for you to see what the startup scene is all about in Montreal. With carefully crafted routes spreading across the city, we’ve curated an itinerary to help you hit up the most startup-dense neighborhoods and visit as many startups as you can. Plus, your fellow travelers most likely share similar interests, which makes for a much more interesting tour!
Here are the bus routes:
Stop 1: Notman House (Arrival/ Departure in front of Hotel 10)
Stop 2: Casgrain (La Gare 5333 Avenue Casgrain #102, Montréal, QC)
Stop 1: Notman House (Arrival/ Departure directly in front of the Notman House)
Stop 2: De Bleury and La Gauchetière (Shopify)
Stop 3: Crew (Pick up in front of the Westin on 270 Rue Saint-Antoine O)
Stop 4: Lightspeed (700 Rue Saint Antoine E)
Expand Your Networking Opportunities
Onto the bus, and in go the headphones, right? Your first thought when joining a bus probably isn’t to start chatting up your neighbor. We’re changing that. We want to play up the social aspect of taking the bus. It’s not just about bringing people to various startups offices. The focus here is on connectedness: interacting and creating meaningful relationships with those people.
Fleeting moments have the potential of becoming so much more than that, so why not create more of them? That’s why we’re extending the experience beyond the event itself: sharing a bus means more opportunities to meet people and share anecdotes. Through an entirely new channel, you’ll get to discover the startup community while linking up with others. Two for one.
This year, we’re reinforcing the bus experience by hosting special talks on our buses. Our speakers will discuss and answer your questions on starting, failing, working, and investing at a startup in an intimate yet still casual environment. Meet and mingle with founders, creators, builders, makers, aficionados, and perhaps your future colleagues – right here on the bus, before you even set foot in an office.
Experience New Technology
When you think startups, what pops into mind is often innovation and technology – two things we set to deliver. So, in the spirit of kinship, our team developed technology to keep everybody connected to one another. During this edition of Startup Open House, we’re creating an experience equally interactive for both participants and startups by letting everyone track buses all over town.
Participants – through a link to our Trip Viewer, you’ll be able to literally see which startups are on the map and keep track of your bus while it’s en route to your next destination.
Trying to sync up with your buddies? No sweat, just check where they are on the map to plan your visits accordingly!
Startups – you’ll be able to set up a screen to display the whereabouts of each bus in real time as it travels through city streets.
Know exactly where your next batch of visitors is and when they’re set to arrive. That way, you’ll always be best prepared to welcome them. Plus, you can share your Trip Viewer link with participants, so they can easily catch the next shuttle to your office!
You can view the Trip Viewer here: http://www.sharethebus.com/soh
Extend the Party
Startup culture runs far deeper than a quick meet-and-greet. It’s about more than just adding a few extra connections to your LinkedIn profile – you want to nurture those newly created ties and form actual relationships.
So, why not organize a get together to catch up with all those fine startups folks that you met? Keep the good times rolling after Startup Open House by bringing the community together again! Gather everyone for a leisure trip, whether that be a cottage getaway or hitting the slopes come wintertime. Or, you might want to plan something on a smaller scale like a corporate retreat for your own startup to engage in some good ol’ team bonding.
Whatever your idea is, we want to help you make it happen. We’d love to hear about events that you have lined up, and what you think makes an experience special.
Come visit us during SOH, and we’ll gladly chat more!