Report to Community: In conversation with Lourdes Juan

Report to Community: In conversation with Lourdes Juan

Platform Calgary is a non-profit, member based organization. Our mandate is to bring together the resources of Calgary's tech ecosystem to help startups launch and grow at every step of their journey, from ideation through to scale.

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Why do you think Calgary is such a magnet for people who want to build things? Why have you felt confident starting a tech company in Calgary?

I am not new to the entrepreneurial world, I have started five companies here in Calgary. I have always said that Calgary is really good at saying yes, particularly when it comes to supporting small businesses. My businesses have all touched different sectors, but they have had a social element to them.

"The Calgary community has been there to say yes to my dreams. Yes to being a customer, and yes to lending a helping hand."

Talk to us about Calgary’s tech community. When you started Knead, where were you able to find support?

As an entrepreneur who didn’t have a tech background, I needed all of the help I could get. I incorporated Knead in 2022. To do that, I had to go through the process of transferring IP from a charity into a tech company. I had no idea what I was doing. My very first phone calls were to Platform Calgary and Innovate Calgary. From that starting point, I learned about all of the different programs that could help us through those early steps. From there, Platform and Alberta Innovates were instrumental in getting us to where we are today.

You recently graduated from Platform Calgary’s Incubator program. Tell us about that journey, why did you want to join the program?

Getting started, we didn’t have a lot of contacts in tech. I had business knowledge but I knew tech would be different, especially around fundraising.

"The Platform Incubator gave me an opportunity to learn from people who had been there before."

Through a network of coaches and peers I was able to learn from their lived experience and help Knead take the next step as a growing company.

What advice would you offer to other Calgarians that are thinking about starting their entrepreneurial journey?

No matter what stage you are at, protect your time, your talent, and your energy. Those three things can run dry really quickly as an entrepreneur. That is a straight line to burn out and failure. Finding the right partners, the right advisors, and the right ecosystem are critical to push you in the right direction.

Published on

July 3, 2024


Women in Tech

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