MentorshipBC Profile: Nicole Smith, Founder of Flytographer

 

Background

Having worked as a Marketing Manager and as a Consultant at Microsoft for 12 years, Nicole decided to try something new and pursue her idea for a business called Flytographer - an innovative service that connects travelers with local professional photographers in over 80 cities worldwide for a beautiful candid, informal photo shoot. Upon deciding to launch in March of 2013, Nicole knew she had limited connections in Victoria and limited knowledge of running a startup - she felt that seeking out the guidance from a mentor would be helpful to the process and ultimately the success of seeing her idea through to fruition.

Mentorship

Mentorship through VIATeC in Victoria has propelled Nicole’s launch and growth, and fuelled her knowledge of subject matters that have been integral to Flytographer’s achievement. Through the VIATeC’s accelerator program for start-ups, Nicole had access to several mentors who have provided remarkable help in navigating areas like accounting, legal documents and expert advice in varying matters that aided in an expedited launch.

“Being in the VIATeC program for over a year now, the value of having several mentors and different subject matter experts available to me has been tremendous. Just having someone to talk to weekly, who has been there before and can bang ideas back and forth, or give specific advice on how to approach things you don’t know about has made this process much less daunting and has opened so many doors for me that I wouldn’t otherwise have had access to”.

Results & Success

Originally launching in March of 2013, Flytographer just celebrated its one-year anniversary. During that time Nicole has watched her company grow exponentially, beginning with Flytographer locations in 18 different cities, and now growing to over 80 cities worldwide. As a result, revenues have seen a marked increase, enabling Nicole to hire the staff and photographers needed to support the business in varying cities around the globe.

Nicole attributes the value of her mentorships with the continual development of her entrepreneurial skill-set needed to grow the business, and believes their willingness to connect her as well as open doors to her in their own networks has built the backbone of her success.

“Mentors have skills in areas that your business may need, and having someone there who really gets your business and loves your business and believes in your business is huge in terms of helping to see the potential in yourself. My mentors have really helped me to tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience to continue to improve upon my strategy and keep motivated throughout the process,” Nicole explains.