Lucky Lady IV is a festival on a yacht for new grads

Lucky Lady IV is a multi-day summer festival. Unlike most other summer festivals, you're less likely to wake up in a tent with a hangover. You'll wake up feeling fresh, with a stack of business cards and a job interview at an accounting firm.

Originating in 2013 as a yacht party for graduating students (“Lucky Lady IV” being the name of the yacht), the event has since broadened its ambitions. The event now includes three separate evenings -- respectively titled “Connect,” “Discover” and “Celebrate” -- and has increased its focus on professional networking.

The first night, “Connect,” is a traditional networking event, featuring representatives from companies looking to connect with new grads. These range from established multinational corporations, such as Ernst & Young and Electronic Arts, to startups and new media companies like Vancity Buzz.

“The conversations we want to have in Day One are primarily based on innovation,” said event co-founder and creative director Kayode Fatoba. “We want to actually try out the quote ‘if you put a bunch of smart people in a room, what will happen?’”

Fatoba is the certainly the kind of person who can speak to the power of networking. A Health Sciences student at SFU, he is a past recipient of the TD Canada Trust Scholarship for Community Leadership, a founder of the SFU African Students’ Association and SFU Fashion Week, and SFU’s first-ever VP Student Life. He has over 500 connections on Linkedin.

For Fatoba, networking is essential for new grads hoping to get a foothold in the working world. Unfortunately, he said, there are few local opportunities at the moment for young professionals hoping to get in touch with their more established counterparts. This event will, ideally, help to fill that gap.

“What we have in Vancouver isn’t the fact that there is a lack of jobs. It’s the fact that there is a lack of portals or avenues whereby individuals can transition from being a student into the professional world,” he said.

“From high school to university there’s that transition. Within the workforce, my hope is that it becomes the same thing. Where companies see it as their responsibility to come out and commemorate how much work students have put in, be there as advisors to them to pass down information about how they got to upper management.”

Following “Connect”, there are two days’ worth of parties to help guests unwind from all that elevator pitching. “Discover” is the event’s signature yacht party, and will feature Caribbean catering from the Calabash Bistro, and a fashion show with clothing from local designers. The last night, “Celebrate,” is an all-ages, outdoor concert that will boast all the typical, best parts of a summer festival (EDM, food trucks, jumping around).

In the years to come, Fatoba hopes that Lucky Lady IV will continue to increase its impact by building on both the networking and partying aspects of the event.

“A couple of people are starting to compare us to platforms like South by Southwest," he said. “Just because they’re saying that we’re not just a party. We’re more of a showcase that’s really delving into providing opportunities in terms of employment.”

Lucky Lady IV starts on June 19 and tickets are available online.