Amira Boutouchent, Julie Tousignant and Catherine Proulx, Ubisoft Women in tech ambassadors, visited Silicon Valley last April 29 to May 3 as part of the trade mission seeking to promote Quebec’s expertise and to draw inspiration from technology giants.
They share their thoughts on this exceptional adventure.
It’s already the last day of our mission to California and the human connections I’ve made are even more meaningful to me than the official tours and meetings.
The delegation has an incredible energy, and it’s really inspiring to be around women startup founders who aren’t afraid to aim very high. The atmosphere is so ripe that it produces plenty of ideas I didn’t even know I was going to look for.
Some of the ideas I’ve hung on to relate to social capital and how a collaborative economy can work. One thing you hear about a lot is just how much Silicon Valley is based on paying it forward.
In fact, one of the women entrepreneurs we met explained to us that every time she helps someone by facilitating a meeting with an expert in her network, she puts a little bit of her credibility on the line. If the meeting goes well, it strengthens her relationship with these two people as well as her credibility. Otherwise, a part of her credibility takes a hit.
It’s therefore essential to cultivate a network of people you really trust. Conversely, when a new collaborator opens up doors for us, we need to recognize that helping us involves both generosity and risk. In this case, we have a responsibility to give back.
Another thing I learned from this mission is the importance of clearly defining our company’s culture. We have to be willing to risk not pleasing everyone to find the people who can make our company grow.
Lastly, on a personal level, you have to think carefully about what you’re looking for in your work and the image you want to project. Focus on these aspects instead of trying to go after every goal at once just because you feel you’re supposed to.
The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal. As a result, the Chamber cannot be held responsible for published content.
About the trade mission to Silicon Valley
The trade mission to Silicon Valley, led by the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal in partnership with Ubisoft, was presented by the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation. The trade mission was made possible through the cooperation of CN and the participation of the Offices jeunesse internationaux du Québec, Montréal International and our official carrier, Air Canada.