There is a quiet corner of Railtown on which an old house sits.
Actually, it’s not a house at all. It’s an Italian restaurant called Ask for Luigi’s. Every day they have line-ups out the door full of people waiting for a table. They’ve been voted one of the best places in all of Canada. You may have heard of it.
It wasn’t always like this, however.
Before its fame arrived, Luigi’s was just another pasta joint.
And back then, a hungry startup team would roll in every Thursday and take it over for lunch.
Meet Kashoo. They’re super cool.
Camaraderie, as you can tell, is kind of their bread and butter.
Launched in 2009, Kashoo is a simple cloud accounting tool for small businesses. Their software (which is available on the web, iPad , iPhone and Android) allows owners get back to the business of, well, running the business.
And it’s this type of holistic approach that makes them so successful.
Their team of 25 has the freedom to work from home or to come in and work out of their awesome office space. And on days when there happens to be an Apple Keynote presentation, everyone crowds into the boardroom to watch. (Apple is a bit of a religion over there.)
In fact, almost everything they do over at Kashoo manages to cultivate this team spirit, which has been a very conscious effort since they began.
For example, every year they get together for a fun-filled street hockey tournament. They even have a full sized net inside their office space to practice their puck skills.
How cool is that!
Other notable team-bonding perks include a particularly popular coffee machine, movie nights, the aforementioned team lunches, as well as an upcoming Tornado Foosball Table (a self-given pat on the back for outstanding work). They also entered this year’s Sun Run as a team.
This culture of togetherness extends well beyond the confines of their own office, too. Each August, Kashoo and a few of their neighbours throw together a Railtown street party, inviting local startups to mix and mingle with them (can’t wait!).
But perhaps their most outstanding feat of communal embracement is Startups-Care.com.
The brainchild of Kashoo’s Creative Technologist, Chris Luft, Startups Care is a simple initiative that took the city by storm last year. In the month of December alone, they were able to gather up 4 tonnes of food and almost $6,000 from local companies around Vancouver to deliver to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society!
In 2015, Startups Care's goal is to do 10x what they did in 2014.
With such a genuine dedication to team spirit, it’s no wonder Kashoo won BCTIA Startup of the Year.