Gearing up for September
Well, it seems like September is going to be a busy one. It’s back to school and back to work. I’ve got a bunch of links and meetings cluttering up my bookmarks and my brain, so here’s a big post to clear the decks.
We’ve got several companies we’ve talked to at very early stages that are looking for advisors. The majority are web-based in some way, although with very different target markets (you can browse some of the public ones in our company directory).
Code Factory – coworking in Ottawa
I picked up the phone and talked to Ian Graham of Code Factory today – we talked about it when he launched back in March. Ian is adding about a member per day, has seen consistent increases in the DemoCamp Ottawa events he organizes, and in general is pretty jazzed about how things are moving in Ottawa. I spent 4 years there and am glad to see things taking off, especially around a commercial coworking space similar to Vancouver’s WorkSpace (which, according to a brief chat with the owner yesterday, is bursting at the seams and looking for more space).
BarCamp Vancouver has venues locked down for the party (evening of September 26th at WorkSpace) and for the day of (September 27th, several locations around Granville Island). I’m looking forward to this first time semi-distributed version of BarCamp, wandering around Granville Island, heading to JJ Bean for coffee and maybe nipping in to the local sake brewery for a tasting.
The VEF Momentum guys don’t have their website up yet, but they’re putting together an event for September 30th.
I posted this to Twitter some time ago, but we ripped out our event listings (blanket statement: your website and the world likely don’t need yet-another-event-listings page) and changed it to be a pointer to places to look for events in Vancouver. The Techvibes Vancouver event listings are very solid, but we’ll also be pointing to Upcoming and Facebook. We’ve made a group on Upcoming and are fleshing out an event resources page plus a guide to the recurring events in Vancouver.
We’ve been hosting interns for the Impact Entrepreneuership Group in our office all of August. As it turns out, Impact is also the national host for Global Entrepreneurship Week for Canada, taking place in the third week of November (Bootup Labs is a partner, and we’ll be doing a startup / founder focused conference – more details to follow).
I’ve spoken with people at both SFU and UBC about various entrepreneur programs that are underway. SFU’s Surrey campus (which I have yet to go out and visit, but I will do and take some pictures) is expanding its Entrepreneurship program with a side of Innovation. The first classes don’t kick off until January, but by all accounts it looks very interesting. Continuing with SFU, I’ve also got my eye on COSTAR, who are going to be focusing on open source. I’ve long wanted more university-level involvement in open source.
I also sat down with Mark Mawhinney to talk about the expanded UBC New Ventures Program which is in the process of being defined. I really hope that this is something not restricted to the Point Grey campus — downtown is where business happens in Vancouver. In general, we should encourage more cross pollination of all the campus’ and the downtown action.
Finally, had a great lunch today with Basil Peters of Angelblog.net. We had a lively discussion about all things startup related in Vancouver, from funding to education to what needs to go in a term sheet. You definitely need to be subscribed to his blog, and we hope to see Basil sharing his knowledge at some upcoming startup / founder workshops.