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Nspire’s NBTC’13: Intersection of Inspiration and Passion


Sucker Punched by Inspiration

Photo by Shelbi Noble

Photo by Shelbi Noble

By Sucheta Shankar, Staff Writer

With the increased accessibility and availability of motivational talks, stylish quotes and bit sized wisdom, there is still something to be said about experiencing inspiration in real time and getting that sucker-punched feeling – the jolt that awakens something in you.

Nowhere are there more opportunities to experience that feeling than at the National Business and Technology Conference (NBTC). NBTC ’13 opened its doors at the Toronto Metro Convention Centre on March 8-9to 400 delegates and treated their minds to competitions, workshops, 50 startups and 25 speakers.

“The theme for this year is catalyzing your potential and what I’d like delegates to gain at the end of this conference is inspiration and connections. I’d love for people to connect and start on something together – create a difference, create an impact,” shares Layan Kutob, Chair of NBTC ’13.

The conference has previously organized speakers such as Eric Gales, president of Microsoft Canada,  and Sean O’Dea, founder of Second Cup. This year, the conference adds more weight to their already impressive speaker alumni with the presence of Reza Satchu, co-founder of Next36, Drew Dudley, TEDx speaker and founder and chief catalyst of Nuance Leadership,  and Alfredo Tan, group director of marketing solutions for Facebook Canada, to name a few.[pullquote]The theme for this year is catalyzing your potential and what I’d like delegates to gain at the end of this conference is inspiration and connections[/pullquote]

“This year we felt that we should answer the real questions students need answers to,” says Reza Abasi, director of events. “People are interested in finding likeminded individuals that can collaborate with them as well as seasoned entrepreneurs who have experience and have proven what it is they are driven by.”

While some aspects of NBTC retained its structure and format, workshops were made more interactive this year and NBTC Talks were introduced. NBTC Talks, similar to TED Talks, provides a platform for trending and growing startups to discuss the basis of their companies. For example, how their company is a solution to a problem they felt needed to be addressed.

An additional unique focus to the conference this year was the venture capitalist and women in entrepreneurship panels. Not only did the delegates get to directly interact with the speakers, but the entrepreneurs were also quite diverse in their background and experience.

Beyond the plethora of inspiration provided by NBTC, NBTC executives have also been inspiring others beyond the reach of the conference itself. “Last year, I met Victoria Chok who was (and still is) a part of a youth council I was involved in and she told me to attend the first Nspire Discover series. I was literally blown right out of my seat. I loved it. Since then, I’ve tried to make it out to every event, to the best of my ability, that Nspire created,” says Singyu Chan, Grade 12 student at Markville Secondary and delegate at NBTC’13. “That series ignited a spark. Business is my passion. I really wanted to pursue it, constantly build upon myself and build upon others as well.”

While NBTC has wrapped up and closed its door for this year, people who are looking to get inspired should consider keeping an eye open for NBTC ’14.

I enjoy channeling that passion towards writing, whether it is the creative or journalistic kind. If I’ve got you curious, feel free to check me out at www.suchetashankar.comSix months after forty-eight hours of intensive labour, I (@suchetashankar) started to communicate and haven’t stopped since.

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