This past weekend, we held the second annual Startup Slam on the campus of the University of Victoria and it was a blast. First things first: holy smokes, there were a lot of people there. For those that showed up and participated, we’d like to sincerely thank you for being a part of the growing tech community on the island and bringing so much energy to the slam.

If you’re looking for slides or any of the materials from the workshops, check out the slamdule on github.

First off, a huge thanks to all of our speakers:

Dylan Touhey – OneNet Marketing

Jason Trill, Izaak Schroeder, & James Philips – Metalab

Aurora Walker & Rob O’Dwyer – Pretio Interactive

Chris Hoefgen & Graham Davis – Tiny Mob Games

Nicole Smith – Flytographer

Gregory Schier & Matt Harris – Sendwithus

And of course, all of our wonderful volunteers in Code Review Corner, brought to you by Ladies Learning Code.

What Went Well

The most noticeable thing throughout the day was the energy and commitment of everyone there – both presenters and attendees.

Each of the individual talks seemed to go really well. I heard specific compliments on every session throughout the day from participants wanting to share their enjoyment. Most of the audience was comprised of students, and it seemed like they really appreciated the chance to hear real-world experiences and then immediately apply what they’ve learned themselves.

We were also really happy that the crowd seemed to pull from a lot of different communities within UVic and from around the island. Students of all ages came by to soak up the slam and that’s what the event’s all about: getting more people from all over into the startup community.

Notes for Next Year

Though the quality of each session was notable, it sounds like a lot of people would have benefited from a better understanding of what to expect from them. This is definitely something we’re looking at for next year, since it doesn’t really matter how good a talk is if you have no idea what’s going on (and really, aren’t there enough opportunities for this in school already?)

To remedy this, next year we plan on having slides available beforehand, along with better estimates of the difficulty scale of each session to help everyone get the most out of their slams.

We also had some issues getting enough coffee out to everyone who needed it to get through the sleepy Saturday morning. It took us a bit, but as my coffee station teammate noted, we got the hang of it eventually.

Suffice it to say that there are several members of our team that make coffee a priority and we’ll be all over it next year.

So There’s Gonna Be a Next Year?

We certainly hope so! Right now we’re hoping to schedule “Startup Slam 3: Days of Future Slams” around the same time next year, but for now we’re excited to get back to working on Sendwithus and looking forward to Battlesnake 2016 this February (stay tuned for details!)