AcceleratorYYC kicked off Global Entrepreneurship Week by officially launching as a non-profit organization on November 15.
The "startup launchpad" is a coworking space as well as a community hub for Calgary startups, founded in 2011 by Pieter Boekhoff, along with Christian and Tori MacLean. It was originally conceived as a place for local tech founders and startups to work alongside each other.
Since then they have also begun to offer events for entrepreneurs to grow their business knowledge through lunch and learn sessions, speaker series and boot camps, among others. Director Hannah Cree says that AcceleratorYYC’s transition into a non-profit would help to establish their vision of making Calgary a “global leader in tech, energy, social innovation, and enterprise technology.”
“We are fortunate because our Board Members and Board of Advisors have a wealth of experience and each person is committed to entrepreneurship and the startup community,” says Cree. “With all this support we are excited to bring that vision into reality.”
The launch was attended by AcceleratorYYC’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Stephen King. City councillor Gian-Carlo Carra cut the ribbon using an EZ-Robot, one of the startups that calls AcceleratorYYC home.
The new non-profit board is composed of:
- Patrick Lor, Co-founder of iStockPhoto and CEO of Dissolve
- Ken Bautista, Founder of Flightpath Ventures and Startup Edmonton
- Dan Park, VP of Azure Capital
- Alice Reimer, Founder of Evoco
- Sean Collins, Co-founder of Student Energy
- Kenneth Bond, Co-founder of POSH View
- Lucas Tomei, Dentons Canada
- Pieter Boekhoff, Co-founder of AcceleratorYYC and POSH View
AcceleratorYYC also announced that Pieter Boekhoff was selected by Startup Canada as one of their Top 10 Mentor Rock Stars for 2013.
“I’m extremely flattered,” says Boekhoff. “It means a lot to me to know that mentorship which I am passionate about is being well received by those I’m able to help. I truly enjoy being able to try and give back to young entrepreneurs and hopefully give them some advice that helps them to succeed.”
As part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, AcceleratorYYC also hosted a financial modeling lunch and learn with KPMG, featuring sessions like "Pitch to a VC" with Dan Park from Azure Capital, "Coworking and Cocktails," and "Entrepreneur Speed Dating" with Patrick Lor. Cree will be attending the Startup Edmonton Launch Party and presenting an award at the Startup Calgary Launch Party to round out the week.