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April 15, 2009 / Boris Mann

Wednesday Wrap Up Go Outside Edition

View out the Bootup Labs Window

We’re heading into the latter half of April and it finally looks like the sun is out to stay here in Vancouver. Yes, the view out our office window is pretty killer.

I just saw today that Yurii Rashkovskii is organizing what he calls Vancouver Venture Walks on Meetup. We met Yurii a couple of weeks ago at our breakfast meetup, and this is another great entrepreneur networking idea: meet up over lunch or other times and go for a walk, talking and sharing ideas as you go. Way better than always drinking coffee or sitting in a restaurant somewhere. I’m going to try and make it to the walk today at lunch.

Last week was all about being inside. We cleared our calendars and got some help from Strutta’s Ross Howard Jones to spruce up the main website. The goal: well, less black, nuke a bunch of information / functionality that never ended up getting used, and make some of the main information a lot clearer. We hope that the about page in particular makes it a lot clearer what our program is. Still lots of tweaks, features, and information to be added, but it feels like a good set of spring cleaning.

The week before ended up being gaming week at Bootup. We talked to a handful of different startups that are working on building casual games. I know, lots of people hate that term, and it’s really not quite correct: the games aren’t always casual, the main differentiator being that just like the rest of digital media, you no longer need $10M to bring a game to market.

One of the teams we met with, Genius Factor Games, had their first game released on the iPhone last Thursday – Gravity Well (iTunes store direct link). It’s built on the Unity engine, which is something that we’ve now got our eye on: you can build for the web and port to iPhone, or vice versa.

Speaking of apps for the iPhone, AdHack is working with MacWorld to make creative for iPhone app ads. I think this is a great fit – there are lots of iPhone App developers, and a large number of them don’t have a lot of experience at marketing. If you’re a creative, go on over to AdHack and start making ads, and if you’re a developer that needs ads, go to AdHack and start commissioning ads.

James at AdHack continues to be on a roll, pointing out that May 28th is Take Your Customers To Work Day. Check out http://takeyourcustomertowork.com/ for more information. I see that Techvibes covered this as well — but no event entry in the Techvibes calendar? AdHack is going to be participating, so there will be customers wandering the halls of Bootup. How else can we get involved? Not sure, we’ll post updates when the day gets a little closer.

David Crow did a great post on Startup North about incubators that looks at the landscape and reviews what could be done in Toronto and Canada more generally. In general, David and Startup North’s posts are don’t miss reading – we point to them on the front page of the new Bootup site under the Founder News section.

Let’s wrap this post up with a pointer to some upcoming events.

Next week is our Beers with Brad Feld event. Thanks again to W Media Ventures, Yaletown Venture Partners, and the BC Innovation Council for helping to sponsor the first Bootup Labs Entrepreneur Society event, and to Brad for visiting and sharing his experience with us.

The VEF is kicking off a new concept they are calling Power Networking. It’s an opportunity for businesses to get one on one mentoring/coaching/connecting time with experts from the local community. The next event is with Ken Spencer on April 28th, and you’ll need to fill out the form to apply for Power Networking.

Lastly, Dennis Chenard from the Masters of Digital Media program gave me a heads up about the Digital Kung Fu Interactive Workshop. It’s a day long event on May 14th designed for developers and founders looking to flesh out their ideas from technology trends, to business planning, and even a live pitch session.

Have a great week, and make sure to go play outside.

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