Business event plants the seed for young Canberra entrepreneur

Article originally published by Riotact and written by Jacqueline Lyons.

Shooby Kandel knew he wanted to be a business owner from day one. He wasn’t sure what the business was going to be, but he was sure he wanted one.

As he went through the motions of university, he knew he wanted to make his business dreams a reality more and more as the years went on.

By the time he was in his third year of studying, his motivation to start a business was in full swing.

While he felt he was getting a lot of theoretical practice in the classroom, he wanted to get a jump on real life as soon as possible.

“I was enjoying uni, don’t get me wrong, but I wanted things to happen sooner rather than later, so I started talking to my colleagues and family about what I should do to get my ideas off the ground,” Shooby says.

That’s when he was told about the Canberra Innovation Network – aka, CBRIN.

Nearly a decade later, his full-service digital agency has hundreds of clients worldwide, covering video production for government projects and entertainment purposes and promoting the creative side of their clients, including photography and graphic design.

For a decade, Canberra Innovation Network has been working with businesses of all shapes and sizes across the region to help them expand as far as possible.

He got the idea for his company from CBRIN’s support and the connections he made by liaising with them.

“After reaching out to them, I met so many like-minded people and had the opportunity to network with plenty of people, and that really inspired me to come up with the idea,” Shooby says.

Soon after connecting with the company, Shooby and 40 other business owners attended the networks SME Business Accelerator in 2022.

The program was designed to connect like-minded people across the Canberra region to exchange ideas and work on expanding their businesses, taking them from start-ups to SMEs and beyond.

“I attended the event as an SME participant and just loved it,” Shooby explains.

“We were all split into groups and given a series of activities to sort through. We all helped each other and were guided by the guys from CBRIN who really helped us prioritise the challenges within the activities to understand what’s important.

“I think it’s safe to say that after the event, we all walked away with a lot of clarity about our businesses and the choices we needed to make going forward.”

This year, the program is back again, and the group is inviting anyone looking to fast-track their business’s progression to come and join them to learn more about how to do just that.

Participants who attend will spend two days listening to experts in a live panel and guest discussions, experimenting with practical methods and tools, a peer-to-peer advisory board, stories from local entrepreneurs, learning new tactics on how to reach new markets, win new customers, grow your team and, of course, there’ll be plenty of networking opportunities.

Shooby says the highlight of his last CBRIN event was meeting people at varying stages of their business journey.

“I got to meet people just starting up who I might be able to give advice to, people who are at a similar level to me and people with decades of experience who are very generous with their knowledge,” Shooby says.

Shooby has attended many events organised by CBRIN over the past eight years and says the knowledge and connections he has made are priceless.

“The people I’ve met, the experiences I’ve had and the things I’ve learned have been nothing short of phenomenal. I don’t think my businesses would be where they were without the support of events like SME Business Accelerator.”

The event will be held on 20 and 21 May at 5/1 Moore Street from 9:00am. Registrations can be made through the CBRIN website before 17 May 2024. 

If you would like to follow along with Shooby’s entrepreneurial journey, make sure you connect with him on LinkedIn!