The British Columbia Day Act states that the first Monday of August is a legal holiday to be observed as British Columbia Day. So I figured today was an appropriate time to revisit Techvibes Digital Media People to Watch in BC during 2008 and see where all 10 are at.
To kick off the year, we've put together a list of British Columbians in the Digital Media space that we think are worth watching in 2008. While all have been super successful to date, this upcoming year promises to be a BIG one. Mark our word.
David Ascher, MailCo – Ascher built his team for his Firefox spin-off and launched Mozilla Messaging in February. He's currently enjoying an unplanned extended holiday in Whistler post the 2008 Mozilla Summit.
Ian Andrew Bell, Something Simpler - Something Simpler launched their Pulse Facebook recommendation engine in January, but as of June Bell is no longer with the start-up. Side project RosterBot continues to roll along with over 10,000 users and close to 800 teams using the site. Look for a new version and other news from Bell in the very near future.
Leonard Brody, NowPublic.com – NowPublic.com continued to collect accolades (Branham Top 25 and KPMG PICK 20), took citizen journalism mobile, upgraded their platform, and landed a veteran advisor with their purchase of Truemors. Not bad for seven months work.
Jonathon Ehrlich, Communicate.com (renamed Live Current Media Inc.) – Ehrlich's e-commerce plans kicked into high gear shortly after the re-brand to Live Current in March. Live Current partnered with the DLF Indian Premier League to the tune of $50 Million over 10 years and proved it was the right call with a successful inaugural season.
Markus Frind, Plentyoffish – Frind started the year off right with a great New York Times piece but the big news is that Vancouver’s most successful one-man operation is now a three-person operation. No news on whether Frind is any closer to selling out.
Kris Krug and Robert Scales, Raincity Studios/Bryght – Scales conquered China (12 employees), next stop an office in San Francisco. Raincity completed first round of Angel investment in March and is working towards a Series A round in October. Krug & Scales continue to be hyper-active in the Drupal community through events, conferences, writing, and product development (look for a Bryght re-launch next week).
Boris Mann, Raincity Studios (now with Bootup Labs) - Mann launched an innovative business incubator called Bootup Labs along with Strutta's Danny Robinson. Their tagline - Taking founders from Zero to Fundable - says it all. Mann continues to power all events ending in "Camp" in Vancouver and is now a Guest Contributor on Techvibes.
Danny Robinson, Strutta - Strutta launched in April to plenty of fanfare, fine-tuned it game plan in June, and bleached it's business model in July with a new white-label strategy. Along the way Robinson co-founded Bootup Labs (see Boris Mann) and continues to promote Vancouver start-up scene through LaunchPartyVancouver.
Fred Speckeen, AERS & Terapeak - Speckeen launched Terapeak 5.0, closed a $1 Million round, and landed a thrifty director in the Spring. It's been a busy seven months on Vancouver Island for the company that takes the guesswork out of e-commerce.
Tom Williams, GiveMeaning - Williams' year got off to a rocky start thanks to an investigation of GiveMeaning and himself by the Vancouver Sun's David Baines. The dust has settled and I hear Williams is working on a for-profit side project. Stay tuned.