> OVOU

MAKE BETTER CONNECTIONS

"As a third-generation entrepreneur, I know the value of connections. As a first-generation immigrant, I also know the reality of starting over and needing to build a network from scratch. My quest to differentiate myself during professional interactions, led me to create OVOU. My goal for the company is to inspire people to network, make connections, and build meaningful relationships that fuel their success".

- Founder – Reza Varzidehkar

At OVOU we believe in building better relationships. We know that people are so much more than what fits on a piece of paper, so we created a way to showcase the entirety of who they are. One of the most basic human instincts is to connect—and the more we know about each other, the easier it is to find those commonalities that strengthens our relationships. Rather than reduce our identities to a handful of words, OVOU celebrates the richness of who we are in every aspect of our lives while reducing waste associated with traditional business cards.

We took a basic problem and dug deep into its roots to find an innovative solution. It turns out we are more than just a name and a phone number on a piece of paper. Thanks to the Internet and the power of Social Media there’s so much to learn about a person by just browsing through their LinkedIn or Instagram account. We wanted to merge the offline and the online world. OVOU Smart Business Card is empowering professionals to make connections everyday by sharing a fuller and more impressive picture of who they are with just a tap!

3 LESSONS I LEARNED THROUGH LAUNCHING A BUSINESS DURING PANDEMIC
1. Build your Social Capital.
In November 2019, I had a crazy idea of attending 100 networking events in 100 days. By the time I got to the 100th event (OVOU Launching event). I had some real momentum in the Vancouver business community. I didn’t know what Social Capital was until I experienced it first-hand. The connections I made during my networking marathon helped OVOU in ways I could never imagine. Building a community around yourself and your business is more powerful than one might think. Every person you come in contact with, could become a raging fan for your products or services.

2. Your reputation is everything.
People want to know WHO they are doing business with and if they trust the person. Even a business as big as Amazon or Facebook has a face attached to it. In this day and age, you cannot hide behind your company logo anymore. Your reputation directly affects your business. During the pandemic we saw how CEO’s and world leaders used very basic technology to connect with others. Their smartphone!
Your phone is more capable than ever before and it’s naïve not to use it to better connect and build your reputation. That’s why I started a podcast called “#100Podcast” and Co-host at Startup Vancouver’s show called “What keeps you up at night? entrepreneurship edition.” Put yourself out there and build your reputation. It takes years of hard work for you to build your reputation in the business community and only seconds to lose it, but the benefits are enormous.

3. Don’t lose hope, push through, and never give up!
10 days after launching OVOU, we went into lockdown. I could not fathom the sudden change that was taking place. Businesses shut down, people got laid off, and consumer spending plummeted. I remember myself refreshing the browser to see if there are any sales coming through the website. None! In fact, I did not sell a single card for about two months. 10 days earlier, I had brought in 250 people into a room for OVOU’s launching event. What did I do wrong?! I started questioning everything. The idea, the business model, the timing. I was on calls with our technical team leader for hours each day trying to figure out opportunities and ways to pivot ourselves out of this. Two months later we circled back to the same idea we originally had. OVOU is simple and innovative. For the next 6 months, I drove to every business that was still open in town and tried every sales channel you could imagine. I was on zoom calls pitching my product more than I can remember. It is what saved OVOU. Never give up on your hopes and dreams, even if there’s a pandemic out there.

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