Innovation Rodeo 2024
Featuring Kristie Jones

In Person & Online

July 8th to 11th, 2024

Spearheaded by Bow Valley College, the 9th Annual Innovation Rodeo is run during the same week as the Calgary Stampede. 

It is held in person at Bow Valley College AND online via a interactive Zoom meeting.

It is four afternoons of keynote speeches, workshops, Innovation Challenges and pitch competitions designed to upskill Alberta’s innovators, change-makers, problem-solvers, aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, scale-ups, advisors, mentors, investors and ecosystem builders while helping them build new connections and learn how to get new customers faster.

 This year’s Innovation Rodeo features 20 year technology sales expert Kristie Jones and awards all the registration fees from the event to participants in a crowd favourite pitch competition for high school students.

In-person tickets for startups (up to five employees) are just $60 per person for all four afternoons and $15 for one afternoon.

Tickets to participate online only are sold at a 50% discount, but DO NOT include the opportunity to pick up a free copy of Kristie’s upcoming book Selling Your Way In the day she speaks.

In-person tickets are free for students, and members of equity-seeking groups can call or text Craig Elias (+1.403.874.2998) to receive a discount code to also participate in person for free.

You can attend in person or online.

In-person tickets give you access to the live event held at Bow Valley College the food, the 100 books that are given away during the keynote speeches AND the ability to also attend the event virtually if desired.

Online-only tickets are available using the discount code (online-only) and give you access to the online version of the event, access to the session recordings and the opportunity to join a waiting list for the books if they are not all given away to the in-person participants. 

Upskilling Alberta's Tech Sector
and Startup Community

Selling Your Way In

During the Innovation Rodeo week, participants will learn two ways to apply Kristie’s approach:

  1. How early startups can use it to get their first 100 customers
  2. How more established startups can use it to go beyond their first 100 customers

Tuesday and Wednesday panel of entrepreneurs will share how they deal with the different levels of needs, and participants will have the opportunity to apply the content learned during the day in a local early-stage company while they compete for $2,000.

Students from the 150 Startups Summer Skills Development Program then compete in Regional rounds of the Most Promising Student Entrepreneur Pitch Competitions.

The top person from each regional round of the pitch competition wins $2,500 in cash, and the top two from each day move to the finals on Friday afternoon, where they compete for an additional $17,500 in cash and the chance to win one of three $12,000 US Scholarships to one of the top Entrepreneurship Programs in Silicon Valley

Schedule

Throughout the week, participants will learn new tools, exchange ideas, and share connections while developing the relationships, skills, and confidence needed to learn how to identify the levels of needs of their organization.

Monday

If you are starting from zero, or close to it, and it feels overwhelming, Kristie Jones has good news.

Many have successfully navigated this path before you, and Kristie has a proven roadmap she built over 20 years of helping technology companies to grow that can guide you down that path. 

During her interactive workshop, Kristie will share how to:

  • Embrace Your Role as the First Sales Rep: Accept this critical role and dive in with confidence.
  • Target Your Friendly Market First: Forget trying to conquer the entire TAM right away. Focus on getting early customers in your backyard or from your network first – #ownyourbackyard.
  • Master the Go-To-Market (GTM) Strategy: Develop a robust plan to take your product to market effectively.
  • Leverage Your Unique Strengths: Identify and play to your differentiators to stand out in the market.
  • Create a Powerful Value Proposition: Craft a compelling message that clearly communicates your value to customers.
  • Prioritize Process Over Prospects: Establish a solid process before chasing prospects to ensure sustainable growth.
  • Commit to the Process: Follow through with your process rigorously; it’s the backbone of your success.
  • Be Ready to Iterate and Pivot: Stay agile and be prepared to adjust your strategy based on feedback and market conditions.
  • Know When to Step Back: Recognize the right moment to hand over your startup to its adoptive parents (experienced leaders or new management) for the next phase of growt

Tuesday

 A panel of four entrepreneurs will share how they got their first 100 customers.

Next, the Innovation Challenge has in-person and online participants form teams of up to four (4) to compete for $2,000. The prize will be awarded to the team selected as having done the best job applying the sales component from Mike’s Hierarchy of Needs content to a local early-stage company.

The day ends with a regional pitch competition that has the top two proceeding to the finals held at the end of the final day.

Wednesday 

A panel will share how they went beyond their first 100 customers to capture their first 1,000 customers.

Next, the Innovation Challenge has in-person and online participants form teams of up to four (4) to compete for $2,000. The prize will be awarded to the team selected as having done the best job applying the profit component from Mike’s Hierarchy of Needs content to a local early-stage company.

The day ends with a regional pitch competition that results in the top two proceeding to the finals, to be held at the end of the final day.

Thursday

The afternoon starts with a Joseph Fung sharing how to build effective sales teams.

That session will be followed by a crowd favourite pitch competition where high school students will compete for all the ticket proceeds from the event.

Once the crowd favourite pitch competition is over, we’ll have the finals of the 150 Startups pitch competition, where six first-time entrepreneurs from Alberta’s publicly funded post-secondary schools compete for $17,500 in cash and $36,000 US in scholarship to Draper University.

Speakers, Moderators & Panellists

Kristie Jones

Keynote Speaker

Joseph Fung

Keynote Speaker

George Urquhart

Panel Moderator

Marti Evans

Panel Moderator

Why Attend

The 9th annual Innovation Rodeo is spearheaded by Bow Valley College and is four afternoons of keynote speeches, workshops, Innovation Challenges and pitch competitions.

It runs Monday to Thursday during Stampede week and helps like minded innovators, change-makers, problem-solvers, aspiring entrepreneurs, startups, scaleups, advisors, mentors and ecosystem builders to build new connections and learn how to commercialize new ideas faster.

Innovate faster

Validate sooner

Differentiate better

Get new products to market earlier

Reach positive cash flow quicker

You can buy individual day passes or a discounted pass for all five afternoons.

Can’t attend all day?

Not a problem. You can attend one or all of a day’s sessions.

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