By Ashley Forseille, Operations Coordinator at Dyspatch

On September 22, we hosted the fifth annual Startup Slam, a free-to-attend tech conference held at the University of Victoria. Sixteen sessions were grouped into four tracks: Student & Beginner Tech, Advanced & Professional Tech, Entrepreneurship, and Product & Design. And we managed to fit it all into a 7 hour day!

We want to express our gratitude to all of our speakers for sharing their expertise with the tech community in Victoria. Experts representing a variety of companies presented on a wide range of topics, everything from building inclusive products, to iterative game design, to leveraging a BCOM to hack a career in tech business systems, to the legal side of incorporating a startup. And that was just before lunch. 

Veronica Best – The Future Of Product Development: Fostering Innovation With Multi-disciplinary Expertise

Beginner and Student Tech:
Nathaniel Woodthorpe – Introduction to Git
Erika Burdon and Scott Small – Slithering Into Our Hearts: How Battlesnake Made Us Better Developers
Laura Cooper – Fluid Page Layouts With Flexbox
Kim Dillon – Your New Studio: A Code Walkthrough Of Android Studio

Advanced and Professional Tech:
Vallery Lancey – Building And Running Applications On Kubernetes 4
Chris Pouliot – Making A Blazing Fast Python Server In The Age Of Node And Go
Izaak Schroeder – Graphql For Fun & Profit
Jaimie Imrie – Docker – All Aboard The Container Ship To Confident Deploys!

Eve Olynyk – Bcom To Business Systems: How I Hacked A Career In Tech Startups
Tim Teh and Magda Rajkowski – Purpose, Vision And Values — How They Help Define And Focus Your Business And Hiring Needs
Andrew MacLean – +1 Agility: How An Agile Mindset Can Help Rapidly Grow Your Business Idea
Jordan Potechin – Minimum Viable Legals: Incorporating Your Startup

Product and Design:
Max Loy – Iterative Game Design: Learning From Failure
Jen Reiher – Wcag Compliant Color Schemes: Lessons From White Labeling A Saas Product For Fortune 1000 Companies
Aashni Shah – How To Build Inclusive Products In The Tech For Good Space
Alexandra Skey – What Silicon Valley Taught Me About Building World Class Products

We strive to make Startup Slam an inclusive event and we wanted the speakers to be representative of all the people who make up the tech community in Victoria. This year, we slightly exceeded our goal of 50/50 gender parity in our speaker roster but we want to acknowledge that we can do better at including more underrepresented groups. We can also do better at including more diverse experts in Talk to an Expert. This is something that we’re committed to improving in future years. If you want to give a talk next year or have ideas about how we can make Startup Slam more inclusive, reach out to us!

For the second time, we offered Talk to an Expert at this year’s event, sessions that give participants the chance to talk one-on-one with experts in a variety of fields about how to build a career in tech or how to found a company. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive so this is definitely something we will look to offer again next year.

Startup Slam relies on the support and generosity of the community and this year we were able to roll out some great additions, thanks to our sponsors’ commitment to supporting the tech community in Victoria. 

Track Sponsors

Fuel Sponsors

Thanks to our sponsors’ generosity, we were able to record all of this year’s sessions! If you missed any, make sure to check, where the recordings will be posted soon. Creating a video archive of speaker sessions has been #1 on our event wishlist and we are very excited to have made it happen this year.

I know what you’re thinking. You thought there would be more Slam puns in this post. We’re all out! We’ve used them all up! But we promise to work hard to bring you more puns next year. In the meantime, you can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date on other community events hosted by Dyspatch. We’ll be back for Battlesnake in March 2019!

Want to get involved? Reach out to the Dyspatch team at if you are interested in sponsoring, volunteering, or participating in Battlesnake 2019 or Startup Slam 2019.