February 5, 2019 - 1:45pm
Shane Strom’s entrepreneurial journey began when he enrolled in the Bachelor of Hospitality and Management program at Vancouver Island University (VIU). Shortly after graduating in 2015, Strom created his first start-up, GoCampers, with business partner, Scott Mitchell. GoCampers has converted basic cargo vans and transformed them into stylish and functional mobile hotels for travelers to tour Vancouver Island.
What was the inspiration behind GoCampers?
We wanted to make a Vancouver Island company that supports local businesses. Our campers are for people looking for a unique, non-traditional camping excursion, or for those who just want to pick up their suitcase and go. It’s camping made easy. When people book with us, we make recommendations for places to visit or how long you should stay to explore an area so it takes the hassle of planning their trip.
How did your education at VIU prepare you to start up your first business?
I had taken an entrepreneurship course where we were learned the steps of developing a business from idea to actualizing it – writing a business plan, financial plan and designing a brand image. When I applied for funding for GoCampers, I was able to use the knowledge from that course to write up a proposal. We were successful with our application. If I hadn’t gone through the VIU program, I would not have had the confidence to even write that application and go for it.
Do you think post-secondary education is necessary for entrepreneurs?
Having a post-secondary education definitely gives entrepreneurs a massive jumpstart with their ambitions. It gives you the concepts and knowledge you would otherwise be stumbling around to find out yourself, which could take a lot of time and self-motivation. Most importantly, my education at VIU gave me the confidence to bring my ideas into the world.
What was a highlight of your time at VIU?
The most memorable moments at VIU were spent jamming with my friends in the Jazz program. I met a lot of great musicians at the university, and I furthered my music career because of them. I even wrote the music for a video we made for the campervans.
What does the future hold for you?
I am hoping once we expand GoCampers that we can begin looking for more business opportunities. Scott and I are always looking for new projects to continually challenge our entrepreneurial skills.
Rae-Anne Guenther, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University