What benefits have you seen as an SBBC Award winner?
Winning the award has brought added credibility to Kinzoo. We’ve been lucky to have expanded our team since the awards and the fact we won has been front and centre. It’s something we love to promote; it legitimizes us and gives us credibility. In fact, we’ve had people reach out to us looking to get involved and I think that came directly from us winning the award.
We saw a real spike in traffic on our website and social media channels following the announcement. I was so looking forward to continuing the momentum and meeting more people in person. Of course, COVID came along and limited what we could do.
What impacts have you seen on the business as a result of COVID?
For all intents and purposes, Kinzoo was a remote company already. Luckily, we had already made that investment in the software and computers needed to function remotely. Honestly, that part was seamless for us.
I think it’s actually helped our productivity as it’s allowed our devs to get the head down and code without as many distractions. There are fewer meetings to attend, nobody tapping them on the shoulder, so I know they’ve enjoyed it.
On the other side of things, it’s made us reevaluate our need for an office footprint. We had two office spaces on Water Street in Gastown and after about two months it became clear we weren’t going to need them. We can move to a hot desk style setup when we do eventually look to get together in-person again.
What advice would you give to anyone considering entering the awards this year?
Go for it! I found the process really enjoyable from start to finish. When we were considering it a year ago, we were busy, we had a million things going on etc. but taking part in the Best Innovation Award really helped us learn and appreciate where we were as a company and in our cycle.
You could argue it was too early for us. We were talking more conceptually than in terms of showing a finished product. We weren’t able to point to download numbers, usage or any of that sort of thing and it did lead us to question if it was worth entering. Long story short, I’m so glad we did.
What I enjoyed and appreciated so much was the judges and everyone else involved along the way really took the time to read and understand what we were trying to do. They took the time to understand the purpose of the app, our plans for the future, and how we planned to get these. Just having these leaders in the business community understand us and help us win the award was fantastic.
Even if we hadn’t won, I’d be saying similar things. We were extremely happy with everything from the application process to the awards ceremony. If you’re on the fence, put the application in.