The Tech Advantage: Sandi MacPherson
Friday, March 3, 2017
Meet Sandi MacPherson, one of over 100 ConnectNS Global Advisors helping Nova Scotia exporters become globally connected.
Currently based in California, Sandi is the Founder of Quibb, a professional network based on sharing industry news. A self-described tech newbie, Sandi built her network from the ground up to become the leader of a global community.
The Early Days
Sandi is a Bedford, Nova Scotia, native who stuck to her roots and enrolled in environmental science at Acadia University. She later moved to Toronto to pursue an MBA where she decided to focus on tech. “I focused on tech for the second half of my MBA, but realized that one of the biggest risks in transitioning from a career in environment to tech was location- so I moved to Palo Alto before making another move to San Francisco”
As is the case with many startups, Sandi built Quibb based on a need. “I needed to read and learn about tech from people who are the best in the world at it,” and Quibb was born.
To get Quibb off the ground, Sandi built her networks and established the company to a certain scale before seeking funding from investors. “I knew that Quibb had to be interesting to investors to get them on board, so once I got to that level I felt more confident about raising an $800,000 seed to start paying myself for all the services to run the product and contractors.”
She finished the round fully funded by people and venture capital firms that use Quibb.
A Learning Opportunity
Sandi was able to gain a lot of insight in business growth by going through the process as the sole creator. She quickly learned that you cannot always predict the user experience. “One interesting insight is that it's difficult to predict who will interact with your product, and how they will use it- people may not behave in ways that they do with other similar products”
“I had people tell me that they had never commented online before, but would write comments that were hundreds of words long on Quibb.”
Although it was unpredictable, Sandi credits some of her success through different user engagement, and the outreach she was able to do with business influencers and tech bloggers.
Ask for Help
Owning your own business means you are always learning, but over the years Sandi has experienced many new things that she hopes to share with other startups including the importance of asking for help. “Being an entrepreneur is really hard, make sure you have people around you who have been through similar situations, so when things get hard - you have people to talk to and help you.”
Recently, Sandi agreed to join Nova Scotia Business Inc.’s Global Advisor program. “I feel very lucky and privileged to have had the education on tech and startups, getting access to this world is tough - so I am happy to share with anyone who's coming from a similar background or experience as me.”
Sandi MacPherson is one of over 2,000 proud Nova Scotians, friends, alumni and expats involved in ConnectNS. Learn how you too can get involved.