Tech Community Rallies Behind Startup Weekend, the Birthplace of Tomorrow's Canadian Entrepreneurs

Posted by John Gray

An African Proverb suggests that it takes a village to raise a child; such thinking is beginning to pervade the Vancouver startup community. In order to foster, and help develop future entrepreneurs it helps to have a community to nurture, mentor, and advise them.

The Vancouver technology community is rallying behind Startup Weekend, and seeing it as an event that’s a birthplace for future entrepreneurs. Vancouver Startup Weekend can serve as the genesis of an idea, the foundation of a team, and the creation of a working prototype application, all in the span of 54 hours.

In the spirit of “raising an entrepreneur” there’s now a logical progression emerging, with Launch Academy being the next potential place for a fledgling startup to land. This learning experience is about grooming a founding team and preparing them scale up, be investor-ready, or apply to an accelerator such as GrowLab.

In theory, this all sounds great. But in practice it’s taken a group of hustle hard volunteer organizers to pull the community together.

Plans for the third Startup Weekend event in Vancouver started in late March with the process of creating a new organizing team. At a meeting on May 25 the team really got down to business, with Jesse Heaslip taking over the reins as lead organizer from Micheal Tippett. With very little fanfare tickets went on sale in June and with minimal effort—and to the team's total surprise (and total delight)—sold out on July 3rd.

Startup Weekend is happening in large part because the community is supporting the vision and value the weekend delivers. Ticket sales help, but without all the sponsors, including Uniserve and HootSuite, it would been difficult delivering an impactful event.

Cash, prizes, services, and support certainly makes the event happen. But the value over the course of the weekend comes in the form of the keynote speakers, the mentors, and the judges.

On Friday evening the attendees will appreciate the musings of Matt Mickiewicz, co-founder of SitePoint, 99designs, and Flippa; and Thomas Lewis, the principal technical evangelist at Microsoft. After the speakers, every attendee is welcome to make a one minute pitch for their idea. The crowd then chooses the best ideas, and approximately 15 teams of developers, designers, and business people will come together, and get to work.

Mentors will be playing a key role on Saturday helping teams with their product and focus on highlighting features that will make their startups more attractive. Mentors on Sunday will be helping teams with their pitch for Sunday night in order to win over the judges. Mentors will include Jon Caright, CEO of Food.ee, and Chris Neumann, cofounder of Datahero.

Judges will include angel investor Boris Wertz and East Side Games' Jason Bailey.

 

 

The demand, enthusiasm and support for Startup weekend has been almost overwhelming for the organizing team, and it’s easy to see why there’s already thoughts ahead to the next event planned for November. The next event will sell out quickly, so it’s a good idea to get on the waiting list now!

Company:
Hootsuite Media, Inc.
Website:
http://www.hootsuite.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Hootsuite is the world’s most widely used social media relationship platform. More than 10 million users, including 744 of the Fortune 1000 companies, trust Hootsuite to manage their social media programs across multiple social networks from one integrated dashboard. Learn more about how Hootsuite is revolutionizing communication at http://www.hootsuite.com. more

Company:
GrowLab Ventures Inc.
Website:
http://www.growlab.ca
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

GrowLab supports the World's best entrepreneurs through seed funding, office space, mentorship & programming in Vancouver & San Francisco. more

Company:
Version One Ventures
Website:
http://www.versiononeventures.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Above everything else we invest in entrepreneurs, not businesses. We love passionate entrepreneurs with deep domain knowledge. Entrepreneurs with great product and design instincts. Entrepreneurs who want to change the world but know that in order to do so, they need help. And yes, we love to help, when and where ever we can. Besides the founder team we look for a few more things when evaluating an investment... more


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John Gray

John Gray

John jumped into the startup world in early 2009, bringing his experience in business development and sales to companies creating new software products. He was co-founder and CEO of Mentionmapp, a visual analytics company that was acquired by OverInteractive Media in October 2011. Before that, he sold legal software and services (LexisNexis), medical devices (Auto Control Medical) and... more



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