The Day Job Premier took place this week to a sold-out crowd at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.
The articulate and truthful documentary featured the journey of three real life startups that went through the accelerator program with Extreme Startups in Toronto. The intense 12-week program showcased the realities of success and failure of launching a company. There was no sugarcoating any of the experiences or sacrifices each founder underwent trying to get their ideas and visions off the ground.
The film was well received by the audience that both connected and saw the humor with the relatable challenges faced by anyone that has tried launching a company. Fidelity Format created the documentary to share the inspiring stories of entrepreneurs following their dreams while revealing the unglamorous truth of what is really takes to succeed.
The three startups featured were Venio, Shifthub and Picatic. Following the screening, director David Chan answered questions and the Founders of each startup were interviewed about the accelerator process and where they are today.
“Why would I want to have a job when I can create jobs?” - Picatic CEO Jayesh Parmar.
When they found out they were accepted into Extreme Labs’ highly competitive program, Jayesh Parmar Picatic CEO and his team packed up their lives and drove for four days to Toronto from Saskatoon. The web-based platform offers crowdfunding services for event planners.
Experience showed as Jayesh has a long history in entrepreneurship and had a product that was already generating revenue coming into the program. Investors liked where they were going and the Picatic team has been involved in startup programs in New York, Silicon Valley, and Vancouver, where they now reside. Jayesh commented on the importance of building a great team to realize your vision.
Venio aimed at tackling poor eating habits. Though they had a great concept and over 10,000 active users in their mobile app, Venio was unable to secure more financing to continue on with their startup.
The CTO of Venio, Nima Garadideh, and another cofounder quit school to pursue this venture. Though the team has all moved on to new startups, they gained a lot of great experience and demonstrated the dedication it truly takes to get a company off the ground. Nima commented that he is still young and will definitely pursue more entrepreneurial opportunities in the future and commented that he has learned a lot from the experience.
Shifthub CEO Jeremy Potvin was definitely the character of the film. Shifthub is an application that solves staffing challenges, an idea spurred sitting in a local coffee shop. After the screening, the panel host joked that they had to get an R rating for the film because of him. In his truthful candidness, he opened up about the challenges he had maintaining relationships with his family and friends.
Jeremy also headed the not-so-lucky startup that had to let cofounders go. Though his hard work did pay off, Shifthub was financed and is generating revenue and growing today. After the film he commented, “It doesn’t get any easier."
Though they all went through a lot dramatic changes to get to where they are today, all three founders agreed they are better off from it. The film is a brutally honest synopsis of what really happens when you start a company and sacrifices you have to make. It did an excellent job of portraying all of the highs and lows that come with launching a venture, the harsh reality of failure and the thrill of success.
Anyone who has ever started a company can relate to the experiences of the founders. For those who have not yet pursued their dreams got a taste of what it really takes to grow a company with no guarantee of success at the end of it all.
“Entrepreneurs make the economy; they have to go through a lot to create jobs and opportunities for the community,” director David Chan remarked.
Fidelity Format hopes to inspire entrepreneurs and future entrepreneurs to pursue their dreams despite how difficult or daunting the actual process of creating a startup really is.