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January 28, 2009 / Boris Mann

Wednesday Wrap Up Template Edition

Yesterday was the first monthly VEF event. Danny is going to be helping to MC the lightning pitches that start them off, taking over from Dick Hardt. The next event is February 17th and will be about Social Networking Tools for Business Development (event reminder here). Want to do a 100 second lightning pitch? Email

Now on to interesting stuff from the past week…

Stan of Lijit has a great post on the skills of founders of tech startups:

In fact, the more competent you are, the easier it is to think that you can or should do it all. It’s the classic problem of founders not wanting to let go.

On the other hand, if you are a non-technical founder, you are forced from day one to rely on other people to build your product. You learn other skills like “how to assess someone’s competency” and “how to inspire others to work” and “how to lead.” These are skills that scale.

Founders and early startup employees always are forced to wear many hats. Understanding what the most effective hat to wear at any one time is the hard part – focus!

At Bootup Labs, we’re thinking hard about the teams we’re going to have coming into our next intake in May (we’ll be opening our application process in mid February). Techstars (apply now) and Y Combinator, with the length of their program and other factors, pretty much require a strong hacker/technologist component. I’d love to find a great (for example) business + UI / design founder team who can work with developers to build something great. Could a team like this get to a first round, at which point they bring a CTO on board? I don’t know, but it’s an interesting question.

BCTIA 2009 Technology Impact Awards

David Crow reaches way out west from his perch high atop mount Toronto and links to the BCTIA criteria for the 2009 Technology Impact awards. David continues –

My favourite part about the TIA awards is the submission criteria. I think every start-up should be able to answer these questions [PDF 48.9kb].

Yes, every startup should be able to answer those questions. The majority of them should be covered in your executive summary. Skip to the template section below to get an exec summary template.

The deadline for submitting your company for consideration is March 13, and I’ve added an entry to upcoming so you can keep track.

David’s additional offer is to publicly answer those questions in a blog post and he’ll help point a little more exposure your way. We’ll definitely do the same, and profile the companies right before the deadline.

Template Edition

Since this is the Template Edition, here’s our executive summary template. Martin Bliemel’s blank profile is good, too, and his other financial spreadsheets in that same package are excellent … but perhaps a bit too complicated. I found a good Cap Table via the Texas Startup Blog, which got it from the Venture Hacks blog. Venture Hacks’ option pool shuffle article is worth reading, with some good guidelines on how much of an option pool you need to set aside for different roles and employees. I’ve created a permanent page for startup templates that we’ll add to over time. Suggestions? Send ’em in, we’ll post them next Wednesday.

Riz’s Links

  • PC World: 10 Websites That Will Matter in 2009 – Riz says: “Okay… How many of these will really matter in 2009?”
  • Backbone Magazine PICK 20 award nominations are open
  • The federal budget has more money in it for IRAP and other programs that are available to fund and support startups – “Budget 2009 provides $200 million over two years, starting in 2009–10, to the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to enable it to temporarily expand its initiatives for small and medium-sized enterprises. This includes $170 million to double the program’s contributions to companies, and $30 million to help companies hire over 1,000 new post-secondary graduates” (no link)

It’s been written up in various places that CoverItLive, the live blogging tool company out of Toronto, raised a $1.2M from Flagstone Capital and Paul Kedrosky. Good to see investment activity in Canada, and very happy to see Kedrosky getting involved.

For upcoming events, 12th Canadian Financing Forum is tomorrow, and other than that, you should join us and Opera at the Bootup Labs offices tomorrow Friday afternoon for beer and browsers.



  1. davidcrow / Jan 28 2009 11:31 pm

    "from his perch high atop mount Toronto" jeesh, I guess I need to get out Vancity more often. I love what you're doing with Bootup Labs, and if I could spend more time in Vancouver I really would.

  2. Boris / Jan 29 2009 3:22 am

    😛 All in good fun, David. If I'm going to write stuff every week, I have to have a little poetic license.

    Also, it gives something for Jevon to gripe about when he thinks I'm dissing Toronto.

  3. Alesis MultiMix 8 USB 20 / May 28 2011 1:25 pm

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