Rewind to four years ago when we had just started building SoapBox. We had just built SoapBox and we gained one huge client that year. One day, Atlee came by the Digital Media Zone (where we were based) and we pitched to her. She saw the pitch, loved it and told us to apply to 48 Hours in the Valley because it would be an incredible experience where we would learn, network, and grow. Feeling quite enthusiastic ourselves, the three of us worked on the application to 48 Hours together and eagerly awaited our acceptance.
We did not get in. Our application was declined.
Fast-forward one year. Our team had grown, our product was better and we felt that we had gained a world of experience since applying to 48 Hours the year before. One day we pitched to Anthonywho also told us that we should apply to 48 Hours and that it would be a fantastic experience. Feeling as though we had grown vastly and armed with Anthony’s encouragement, we applied to 48 Hours yet again.
We did not get in. We weren’t “ready yet” was the official word.
Another year passed and the time to apply for 48 Hours came again. We knew our product was even better than the first two times we applied and we had grown significantly with more clients than we than ever. However, given our previous experience, we were unsure about whether it was even worth our time and effort to apply. Graham bit the bullet and applied for us.
This time, we were “too small”.
At this point, we were pretty confused. What were we doing wrong? The feedback that we kept getting was that we were too small and, simply put, we just weren’t ready. But at the same time, we were seeing other companies who we thought were smaller than us and whose product wasn’t nearly as ready as ours attend 48 Hours. Honestly, I think after trying for three years, the experience left us a little jaded and put us off from trying.
This past year, I met with Atlee again to chat and show her our latest achievements. Once again she was really impressed and pushed us to apply to 48 Hours.
I’ve heard that before Atlee.
This time, though, was different. We hadn’t just grown — we’ve grown a lot. Armed with a bigger team, product, and set of ambitious goals we applied for one last time… and waited…
This year, the email started with “Congratulations”.
The event itself was worth every application combined. In 48 Hours we had met more like-minded people, investors, and companies than we had in the months prior. We were introduced to some of the most influential Canadians in the Bay Area and advised by some of the most successful in the industry.
We came back with so much energy and a refreshed outlook that the disappointment from the previous applications faded away.
I want to extend a huge thanks to Atlee, Anthony and the C100 team for throwing such an amazing event.
To Future Applicants to 48 hours: the only words of preparation I can give are the same the C100 team gave to me, “You’re not ready.” The truth is, you’ll never be ready. But that doesn’t mean you stop – you keep growing, building and improving so that when you get to 48 Hours, you can make the most out of the experience. The 48 hours experience was so intense that the more prepared and ready you are, the larger and more lasting the outcomes will be.
Come back tomorrow for more insights on our journey to 48 Hours in the Valley