This episode finally delves into who Jonathan and Angela are, a bit of our backgrounds and how we both took very different paths to get to where we are. We give shout outs to our team, mentors, friends, and family.
We talk in this episode about non-medical fabric masks and we wanted to give a shout out to Sew the Curve Kamloops
. We also mention a local company Desert Lily Clothing
that made the custom masks for Two Story Robot.
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Produced by Jonathan Bowers and Angela Hapke
You're just going to buy a mic anyways.
Okay. Well tell me if you do, and then I will also buy the mic and
Well, okay. I don't want to make you buy a mic,
Well, no, no, no. Cause I, I will, um, I kind of want to
Let's just buy my mics then
Hi, I'm Jonathan Bowers. I'm the CEO of Two Story Robot and we're helping Angela build a digital health startup. And we had a bunch of masks, custom made masks that I delivered to my team yesterday. Yeah, it was super fun.
Yes. Uh, Lindsey posted a picture of her wearing our branded mask, the branded hat, some chainmail, and a sword to vanquish COVID
I'm excited We made a, I think there's like 35 or so. Um, so we're distributing everyone on the team gets one, it's the Olsen
got. Uh, I had her use some scrap fabric, whatever scraps she had for
well, that one has hello,
This one is Hello Kitty.
That's cute. That's perfect.
Yeah, it's super fun. We're going to sell them, sell the extras, mark them up a whole bunch and give a, give the profits to charity.
That's great. Awesome.
] Hi, my name is Angela Hapke and I am the CEO of Central Referral Solutions. The company that has launched Clinnect the digital health product, um, that Two Story Robot is helping us with. And speaking of masks I made masks for. Sew the Curve Kamloops, which is a grassroots organization that made over 10,000 masks for, our geographic area around Kamloops and, um, not just mass, they made scrub caps and, um, bags.
] So like healthcare workers could put their, their scrubs in their clothes, in a bag that had like a drawstring. So they could just dump them in the washer when they got home and things like that. But it was really, really cool in the beginning of COVID to be part of something that was, um, that was really.
] Making an impact like that. So I think I ended up making about, I want to say about 40 scrub caps and about 25 masks.
Yeah, the, uh, we hired a business out of the Sew the Curve to make our masks, somebody new who is just starting a business for the first time. Um, and she, you know, she wanted a Desert Lily Clothing.
]She is going to make children's clothing, but then became really active on the Sew The Curve. And so we reached out to her and she was super excited about it. So yeah. Yeah, that's fine.
Hence the Hello Kitty uh, scrap fabric
]yup. There we go. Somebody we can talk about today.
Well, I wanted to, I wanted to get to know Angela. I already know Angela.
But do we like, so this is an interesting part is so we've known each other for a few years now. and I feel like, um, we know each other from like the last five years of our career, but I don't actually know the Jonathan pre.
] Pre age 30 or something like that.
How old do you think I am?
I know exactly how old you are, because you're the same age as me.
Well, you're a few months older
Oh, okay. When's your birthday? What? In December. Oh, so you haven't,
] yeah, but I mean, you turned 40 during COVID.
Yeah, it was, uh, not the birthday I wanted, but it was still, it was still enjoyable. It was still fun.
Brad and I will be married 10 years. This December, I will turn 40 this December Yeah, we had plans to go to France. I really lovely trip. And none of that's going to happen now. So no I'm adjusting expectations as is everyone right now with life.
] So, yeah. So, so how do we segue into the, who are we?
talk about it. Who, who, who is Angela?
how far do you want me to go back?
well, I was thinking about this. We met, um, when I was working at FreshGrade. Um, I was, one of the first employees and I can't remember how big the team was at that point, but you, knew one of the founders, Steve, Steve Wandler, or you knew Steve from some other thing and you were doing some kind of project through your MBA.
] And I remember that, but I don't remember much about it. I just remember that. That's what you were there doing. And then, I dunno, you went and finished the MBA. I went and did some stuff. And then, and then you were back in Kamloops and you came, I think you came through, um, the innovation center. And I think that's how we got reintroduced.
I think that was I actually, I think it was Steve again. So Clinnect is, is a long journey. Forget about overnight successes. Long journey has been about three years in the making. We started off as a government project. Um, and we thought we kind of landed on something really interesting.
] And I wondered if we couldn't make it some kind of digital health product of some kind. And so I sought out Steve, um, Just because previously I lived in Kelowna, I worked for what at the time was the Okanagan Science and Technology Council, which is now morphed and grown up into Accelerate Okanagan and I, so I knew Steve through that and we remained in contact.
]Uh, I helped him, um, with his very first Metabridge events. Metabridge is at its root , um, uh, a series of events that would connect, um, BC and the Okanagan to the Silicon Valley. So I was helping him with that. Uh, we moved to Kamloops, um, because Brad got offered a job up here in Kamloops. It was a great one. We need, we were looking at a transition at the time. Anyway. I started working at the hospital as a project manager at Royal Inland hospital, first in the emergency department and then for the hospital itself.
] And that's how I got introduced to a group of surgeons that wanted to do a pooled referral. Um, what we soon found to be unscalable and unsustainable way? And we thought, you know, I think there's a better way to do this.
] Hence Clinnect was born. And at that point I reached out to Steve to say, I need a technical team um to do this and I actually I actually bounced the idea that we were bouncing around the ideas of whether I build it in house or um find someone
to do that and right away he mentioned you he said um
] oh really? Oh, that's cool. I don't, I don't recall that, but, okay. Yeah.
And so, and I think that's how we met. And then it just kind of morphed organically from there is I realized like, Oh my gosh, trying as a nontechnical founder to build a technical team would be a little unruly.
] And so then you came along and we're like, perfect. You guys can build it. And then I hired a software developer anyway, because she's brilliant.
Oh, she's awesome. Jackie's the, Jackie's the best?
yeah, so she's been working with you guys straight out, straight out of university.
you did the MBA at both the university of British Columbia and Thompson Rivers University
Correct. So I did my core MBA through UBC Sauder School of Business.
] And so you had to, like, I was flying in every other weekend for three days. And it was just getting too much on my relationship with Brad and I just, I couldn't do your number two right away. And then they changed it so that you couldn't take off, you had to start all over again. And I was like, Oh, that's not going to happen.
] And the price had gone up in the time that I had started to when I wanted to go back and do my second year. So we went to TRU or Thompson Rivers University, and they were like, Oh yeah, Come well, we'll give you all these credits for your core MBA classes and you can finish here.
Yeah, I did. So I did the same. I did the same MBA program at UBC a few years before you, I think, um, and we had the reason why I chose it was because they had a, they had one that had a part time program.
] And then, and they said, Oh, and you can, you can do this from Kelowna. I was like, Oh, that's, that's an easier drive. But when you get into it, it was just, no, you've got to come down for pretty much everything. But I remember those, those, it was like every other weekend I would, you know, leave, leave work at lunchtime ish on Friday
and wouldn't get home until,
Yeah, like a late Sunday night and just the whole, the whole weekend in that basement. Just
in the basement. No, I don't think I even remember windows in that
no, but I remember I enjoyed it. I loved it. I
to say the programming was unreal. It was very, very good.
And my, yeah, the classmates, like I still am in touch with, uh, not as in touch as I should be or wants to be, but I'm still, still in touch with a lot of my cohort. Um, Just, yeah, I had a much better experience in my MBA program than I did in my undergraduate, um, computing science program. It was just so much better just could have done with the driving and, um, yeah, it was also a pretty heavy strain on the relationship.
Um, where did you do your undergrad?
I went to SFU, Simon Fraser University in Burnaby. So I did my undergraduate in computing science.
Did you go straight from high school to university or did you take some time off?
No. Well, I went, I, not exactly. Like I there's a university college in Salmon Arm. So I did my first year there. Cause it was cheap and they actually had a very, very good science program and, and computing science instructors,
] the physics, the math and the computing science instructors at Salmon Arm were just very, very good. Like I remember, I remember in one of our first year computing science programs, doing stuff that. We never even came close to doing in the four years at, at SFU.
Uh, I really liked it. And then yeah, I went to SFU for the remaining six years, six years of my degree.
six Yeah. I took like seven years to do my undergraduate degree. Yeah. Yeah. I took a year off, not quite a year off. I took basically a year off. I took her a couple of semesters where I only took three or four courses.
]Um, I also worked through through university. I had a, I had a very, it wasn't a, it wasn't a hard job, but it was, um, it was very relevant.
]Somebody referred me to this, to this person in Hawaii who, uh, was like, who needed help doing, doing some work on websites and stuff?
] I was like, okay, well, I'll sure and, uh, he just employed me through through university and it was. No, not a lot of work. It was maybe maybe 10 or 20 hours of work a week if that, but it was in US dollars and pretty good, pretty good wage.
] So yeah, I was, and the stuff that I got to do was kind of, um, wouldn't say over my head, but the clients were not the clients I should have been interacting with.
Right. You're a little bit out of your
I worked on a pharmaceutical for a large pharmaceutical company helping with some of their, some of their website.
] I worked, uh, at one point we had a client that was, um, going to be featured on Oprah. And so they said, yeah, we're going to get an onslaught of orders to our eCommerce site. So we just want to make sure that things are like tickety, boo. And so.
] Yeah, he phones me. He's like, Hey, can you, can you spend the next couple of weeks getting ready?
] I'm like, okay, sure. And I go in there, I'm like, Oh man, there's a whole bunch of stuff that needs fixing. And I would fix a bunch of things and report back. And then, uh, yeah, it was, it was a neat, it was a neat, like, very, very odd job for me to have as a university student. But, um,
That sounds like a perfect odd job to have.
it was, it was, uh, I could one work remotely, which in 2000 whatever. um, was a strange thing, right. Working, remote and working on the types of things that I was doing, which I was very excited about. Um, yeah, it was a good, it was a good job.
Did you, so, okay. So like 15 year old, Jonathan. Did he know what he wanted? Like, did he know that he was going to be doing what 40 year old Jonathan is doing right now?
Um, maybe not exactly, but, uh, pretty close. I think I was doing lots of programming classes and I was doing stuff like that on my own time. Um, it wasn't really though, until I got into maybe grade 12 that I was really doing, like taking it more seriously. And I had, I mean, I, I had basically started this, not this company, but this version of version of this, when I was in grade 12, I had made friends with this, um, with someone in a game who lived in New York, who happened to be a really good graphics designer. Uh, and then one of my other friends from high school and we started building, management information systems for people, for other companies.
] They were like, it was really, really small potatoes. Like they were, we built the theaters, um, the, uh, like a system for the theater to update their what's what's playing.
] Um, and so we built that and we like learned all sorts of technology and ideas. And then, so yeah, it was, it was great.
]Linear paths vs Z-shaped paths
]Uh, well, if you want to, I have what we call it, like the, the, the Zed. Uh, path
Okay. Your, Oh your Oh, my path was linear. Oh yeah.
Yes. Yes. Sorry. I meant your path. Not your, yeah. Your path. Like, I feel like 15 year old Jonathan, you could potentially see, okay. Where
Oh, yeah. Yeah, it was, it was pretty clear from when I was fairly young and that, I mean, that comes from some pretty significant privilege, right? Like I've got a computer when I was quite young and then never, um, I didn't feel like I was missing anything.
] I mean, I also, I also had to like save up and buy some, buy some things, but I, you know, I had some jobs, which again was some privileged cause my dad helped me get those.
] and uh, yeah, and then I just got like a lot of experience, very, very young and very relevant experience. But yours was a Z yours wasn't straight like an arrow like mine was?
Oh, Oh boy, uh, grew up on a ranch in Saskatchewan. Um, and then I left for university when I was 17,
because, well, because I'm a December baby. So I was actually, uh, 17, my whole first semester of university. I moved four or five hours away. Um, Lived in an apartment with two friends and had just way too much fun, um, applied to university, got in, uh, for a kinesiology degree.
] actually, sorry, I applied and got in under a business degree. So a marketing degree is what I was going for. And then I went to one economics class and one statistics class and hated it. And so I went down to the student counselor and said, I don't think this is for me.
] Like, I don't even like where was my resiliency? No idea. Um, went down to that basement. Said to her. I can't like I can't do this. And she goes, well, what are your interests? And it was like, I really liked sports when I was in like in high school. Like, that was my thing. I loved sports. And she goes, well, have you looked at her kinesiology program?
] I looked at it and it involved a lot of, a lot of classes that were like, I took fencing,
Oh, Tai Chi. Ooh. I took Tai Chi, like just random. And I looked at this and 17 year old
You went through the like parks and recreation catalog and thought that,
Yeah. She could have handed me the parks and recreation catalog. I was like, yep.
] That's for me. Um, yeah. Seventeen-year-old Angela was, was. Going to do that and pair it with an education degree. So now I went from marketing and I was going to, because Lethbridge was the university of Lethbridge was well known for its education degree. And you could get a dual degree in five years.
] And I thought, well, that just makes a lot of sense. And so I was on the path to be a phys ed teacher
I don't imagine you being a phys ed
no, I would have been an awful teacher period. so third year I've now decided I just want to go do something different for the summer. So I decided to move up to Lake Louise and worked for whitewater rafting company, which I did. four months turned it into eight months and then they decided that I had to go back and finish.
] I had 15 classes to finish and I had a goal of finishing the by September. So January to September, I was going to finish 15 classes.
that's that's ambitious.
So I went and I told somebody this, and she goes, Angela, you can do this.
] but you cannot go below B in any of your classes. Well, 21 year old Angela was up for the challenge and I did it. So I finished by September and they phoned me and they were like, Angela, we're really impressed with your work ethic and how you came back and you really upped your grades and you kept the up blah, blah, blah. We'd like to invite you to do your master's program with us. And then all of this, I'd never got into the education program because I didn't have a 4.0 GPA.
] And like four kinesiology students get into the ed program, they forgot to mention that to me when I was like, this is what I want to do. Uh, so then, uh, I got this phone call and I said, thank you very much. Um, but I have a job in Banff and I'm just going to go be a, like a, uh, gonna go be a ski bum for the winter.
] And she just laughed and she goes, okay, have fun? So that's what I did. And what was only supposed to be eight months in Banff, turned into four years.
Cool. You ski bummed for four years.
In a way. Yeah, but I actually got like a pretty grownup job at a pretty young age there. So I was, I was a project coordinator for a destination management company. So it was managing these big corporate events and vacations and things like that. That's where I learned, like everything I kind of needed to learn for project management in the future, because I worked for this amazing woman named Laurie who had this really cool company, but she was like, she was really tough on , on, um, internal workflows and what must be done so that you could hand over projects really easily.
] So she kind of trained us all to, and that set the stage for, so for me, kind of in the future. So then we met, I met Brad, we moved to Kelowna. I started working for the Okanagan Science and Technology Council, as I mentioned. Um, got into tech, which I like, then I was like, Ooh, this is fun. Um, in all of this, I've like, I've done wedding planning.
] I've I've, I've worked like you talk about what you worked during university. I worked at the Nikka Yuka Japanese gardens. Like as a tour guide wearing a, um, a yukata. So it's not a con kimono, but it's a yukata. And like, it was just like Zed path. And then, um, moved to Kamloops, got into health care. And then I blended those two passions of healthcare and technology.
That's so funny. It is a Zed path, but I like that, like I like.
the ridiculous it's Zed path.
No, I feel, I feel like my path is a little restrictive. Like it's, it's good. It's focused, but I don't have a ton of breadth of experience.
] I mean, I have, I have different experiences, obviously. I'm not totally, uni-dimensional, but where you, you know, you've got these other things that you can draw on that are okay.
I rolled my eyes because it's like, yeah, I guess I can, you know, you're, you're right there at different experiences. That's for sure. But, Oh man, I also feel like I delayed. My career by at least four years by sidetracking and going to, you know. Like Brad always jokes that my time in Banff was my never, like, it was never, never land.
Gain anything. You're stunted by four years,
I'm stunted by four years. So we would joke about when, how old I'm turning. We minus four, because
you have the emotional maturity of a 30 something year old, not a, not a nearly
40 year old.
What Do You Want To Do When You Grow Up?
Yeah. And Brad, so Brad has a similar path to you and I just find it so fascinating when I meet these people that are like, okay, they were in high school and they could see themselves doing what they do now.
Yeah, I don't, I don't see that a lot. Like I've I talked with not a lot of high school students, but a fair number of high school students and, and they, you know, some, some of them are like just clearly like, yep, I want to program.
] I want to be, I want to do this, but most, most just have no clue.
] And it's hard, like, and the pressure to the pressure to have made all those decisions in grade nine, you know, what do you want to do when you're in your late twenties? When you're in grade nine? I don't
I don't have a clue. Why should I know that?
I think I, I even think like at 17 or 18, when you're heading into university, even then, like the 30 year old Angela was dreaming of what I'm doing now, but it wasn't ever really sure if that's even like, and that was just a decade ago.
yeah. I think, I think my, I was fortunate in that I I understood what I wanted to do, maybe. Well, not, not specifically, but I understood the direction that I wanted to go in. And always, I mean, I always felt this desire to, to start a company or to start and start a business. Um, and eventually got there.
] I had rose colored glasses though, when I was 18 or 19 thinking, thinking it would be a lot easier and a lot, like a lot more financially successful than I would that I am.
] Um, but I think we both, and I think we both need to check that for a minute though, because you and I graduated, maybe you less. So just, it took a little bit longer to graduate from university. But when I graduated from university, it was, um, so it was 2002 and I was in Alberta. Everything the world was my freaking oyster.
I could, I could have got a job in five minutes there, anything, and, and, and now, so I look at, you know, the environment and the work environment that we graduated into versus these kids that better. I shouldn't call them kids. These young, young people are graduating into right now. And I'm, I, I can't even
So, yeah, I can't, I mean, yeah, like I did, I did school right when the tech crash happened and, um, it was a great time to be in school and, uh, a very, very fortunate time to have a job that was. I'm paying for it. Like, I, I came out of, came out of university with very little debt.
like, yeah. And then, and then also managed to get, uh, get a job in public sector, um, which paid quite well.
] Uh, yeah, as my first job, I, as my first job out of university, I, within three months was a manager of an IT department. I mean, I had, like, I had nobody to actually manage. It was just a title. I didn't have any, I didn't have any experience managing anyone, but they needed to put me in excluded staff.
This is what us as we, because we sit on the cusp of gen X and millennial. Um, wow. What an amazing time to be born.
Yeah. Yep. Super lucky. I think I it's, I've reflected on this a little bit and I mean, there's, there's a ton of luck that is unearned completely, you know? My dad introduces me to some folks and says, Hey, you should hire my son and go and do the, you know, go and hire it. Do a good job. Like I'm not, I'm not saying like I didn't deserve to work there, but I probably didn't deserve the introduction.
] Um, I didn't earn that, but earned my keep once I got there. And then, and, but everything, everything up until up until now feels like it's just luck. Like, I've just, I've just been lucky. Right? Like meeting, meeting Steve at FreshGrade was pure luck. It it, you know, there wasn't there wasn't, I didn't go off looking for it.
] I just happened to be in the right place at the right time and was doing, doing the right kind of thing. And he said, Hey, we should, we should chat. Uh, okay, sure. Let's let's chat. And then, um, you know, everything's, everything's like all the clients that we have is luck. It's just people, people show up and we happened to be there and.
] It happens. I think the skill is maybe recognize not, not squandering that luck, not, not,
] um, not letting that opportunity pass because I do see that happen a lot where people, people, people are in the right place at the right time. And, you know, I've taught with mentored these people and. And they just don't have the, they don't, they don't, they don't see it either.
] They don't see the opportunity or they're missing some, some skill to actually, uh, be able to take advantage of that opportunity and then they miss it. And so I think that's some, one of the skills that I've managed to figure out is that I can recognize that luck is happening. Try to increase my surface area of luck and, uh, hopefully, um, hopefully turn that into, into
I like that. Um, I also love where we're at right now in the fact that we're now at the experience level and the age and the, um, just time in life where we can start handing the opportunities down like to, to others that are like, you know. When I take a look at, um, hiring Jackie was pure luck, I found Jackie by pure luck, that being said.
] when I, you know, kind of got to meet her and understand, you know, where her passion was and, and her interests and things like that, I was like, Oh my gosh. Like if you got to come work for us, like, I can't afford somebody to be hired yet, but like, I gotta, I gotta find a way to get you on board. And just being able to give that.
] You know, to be able to give her her first job out of university, what it felt so amazing. And, and those kinds of things, where we get to give the opportunity now to those that are exiting and graduating at a time, that is just crap. And now we're in the positions where we can give those, you know, um, help them out in, in some ways just feels.
] Our Families are Our Best Fans!
Alex and I were listening to Spotify. And I don't pay for the premium. and of course the ads pop up it was an ad for a podcast that was, that was being released on Spotify.
] Comes running into my room and she's like, Mama, somebody else is releasing a podcast too. She's like you, I thought that was pretty cute.
Oh, she's so proud of her mom. That's so cool.
like, Aw, warms my heart. She was so excited for me