When David Shortt’s job as a Creative Director at a Vancouver design firm ended, he had a year to figure out what to do with his life. This was a difficult time, as his self-worth was always defined by his job, and no longer having one had a deep impact. However, he also saw it as the chance to reinvent himself and to discover what could be possible. And, perhaps, to live out his dream of owning his own film company. In 2011, David applied to the YMCA New Ventures Network entrepreneur program and was accepted. The rest is filmmaker’s history!

We caught up with David to hear about the growing success of his new business–Shortt and Epic Film–to learn about how the YMCA’s self-employment program helped him to reach his career goals.

“The most helpful part of the YMCA program was it helped me create a business plan within a structured, educational and supportive environment” he says. “The plan I developed helped me to obtain a business bank loan that in turned helped me launch my business”.

Just two years into his venture, David had three of his videos go viral, received two honors awards, obtained numerous media articles, and over one million combined views. Not to mention, Apple used Shortt and Epic’s Tahoe time lapse video to launch their iPad mini in 2012–a video that was later selected as a Vimeo Staff Pick and was viewed over 250,000 times. Shortt and Epic’s niche is with not-for-profit clients and currently includes The David Suzuki Foundation, Positive Living BC, Vancouver Queer Film Festival, the Dogwood Initiative, and Out in Schools.

“My business would not be where it is today without this experience and I am forever grateful,” he says.