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February 11, 2009 / Boris Mann

Wednesday Wrap Up Iceberg Edition

Launch Party Vancouver 6 is on the runway, with 6 great companies on deck. Techvibes did a post adding all the startup profiles to their directory, so you can learn a bit more about them. Freebie tickets are gone, but you can still sign up to attend. LPV6 will be right below the Bootup Labs offices in the atrium of The Landing and the private room of Steamworks. I’m looking forward to the first Launch Party of the year and some of the new new stuff we’re going to try out, and we’ve even gone so far as reserved a date for the next one in May.

James from AdHack sent me a link to a post at Startup Lessons Learned – The free software hiring advantage. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of open source, and this is a good read through of what it means to build on and hire from an open source community. AdHack itself is built on top of Drupal.

We often have people drop by the office that are new to town and/or wanting to have an overview of the local tech and startup scene. Greg Wynans just moved back to Vancouver from The Netherlands, starting out here originally at PMC-Sierra. Greg is interested in connecting with startups that need to add business and marketing skills to their team, or maybe doing a startup of his own.

The next two upcoming events that I recommended that Greg attend to connect with more people are the Feb. 17th VEF and the Feb. 26th Launch Party. Say “hi” when you meet him, and ask him about the cake shop he built in the Netherlands…

By the way, we’re helping to run the Lightning Pitches at the VEF event again. There are a handful of slots still open to present, so please email lightning@vef.org to apply. Tell us about your company, organization, or service provider and why your 100 second pitch would be of interest to the Vancouver business community.

The Iceberg Problem

I’ve talked through this concept in person a number of times with entrepreneurs, and on Monday Mark Peter Davis posted on how you should ‘Tell the bigger story’ – we call this the “iceberg problem”. You’ve got a Big Hairy Audacious Goal (aka BHAG, pronounced bee-hag) that you want to tackle, but no one can realistically believe that you can make it all the way there. It involves massive rollout, changes in technology and/or people’s behaviours over time. But, if you only talk about the “tip of the iceberg” — how you can make money and grow your business today — you both undersell your bigger ideas and make the entire business seem less interesting / less compelling.

Striking a balance between explaining or walking people through the entire size of your iceberg is a fine line. Done right, it can cause growing excitement in an audience, until they get the ah ha! moment of understanding how you’re going to tackle the entire audience. It tends to play well with investors, too 😛

Incubator Application Season

TechStars application is open now, and the deadline is March 21st. Y Combinator’s application for Summer 2009 is also open, with a deadline of March 18th. To put you all on notice, Bootup Labs is fine tuning our application form and will be opening it next week. Our form is very similar to the other two: we’ll ask you tell us about your team and your company, with much of the material being very similar to what’s in a good executive summary (check our templates page for an example).

Riz’s Links

Most content or links are fair game for Wednesday posts. Feel free to contact us with anything you’d like to see highlighted here. Until next week, stay classy, YVR…

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