How to get started in Vancouver Tech

Trevor O is one of the founders of Layerboom Systems. This was originally posted on his personal blog at

I’ve been meeting quite a few people who are new to Vancouver and are looking to get involved in the local Web and Tech scenes. There’s quite a bit going on, and Google is your friend, but if you want to save some time here are the best places to go, meet people and see what’s going on. There’s also a score for how nerdy or business-y (?) the event is on a scale of 1-10.

Do your research

Nerdy: 5
Business: 4

Find out what you’re interested and search for companies based in Vancouver that do what you love. If you’re enthusiastic people will make time for you. Ask someone out for coffee or a pint and just talk. Don’t try and get a job, just figure out what’s going on. Like any “scene” you’re likely to hear conflicting viewpoints. Keep an open mind. Look for and talk with local bloggers and tech reporters. Look for events happening in your area. If you’re interested in Open source projects, find out if the people who work on them are in the area.

Democamp Vancouver

Nerdy: 7
Business: 5

Like most unconferences, Democamp is a loosely organized evening event where the people that attend make up the conference. In this case you bring an idea, and the idea is your demo. You don’t have to present, and it’s a good way to meet people that are interested in starting something new, or are working a project already. Democamp doesn’t happen nearly as often as it should, so if you’re interested in helping out there, check out the site and get in touch.

Launch Party Vancouver

Nerdy: 4
Business: 8

Every few months local entrepreneurs who are launching their projects meet up to celebrate all their hard work. Walk around and talk with people and get to know the people behind these projects. Most of the time the executives are presenting but ask to chat with some of the developers if that’s more up your alley. This is usually a very social event where you’re bound to meet a lot of interesting people – just don’t be shy.

Bootup Labs

Nerdy: 8
Business: 6

Bootup Labs is a local startup incubator which helps companies go from “zero to fundable”. The offices are located at 375 Water St, in Gastown and house a rotating group of Vancouver based startups which are always looking for talented help. Bootup has an open door policy so if you’re new to the area you can generally just pop in, but I suggest getting in touch with them first to arrange a quick (<30 minute) chat. Everyone is really friendly, and it’s a good way to plug in, or at least get pointed in the right direction.  Bootup helps run a few of the events in town, so pay attention to their upcoming feed for things that are happening


Nerdy: 5
Business: 5

Techvibes is a tech community blog and business directory. It’s a really good way to get to know which businesses are in the area and what they do. They also publish a list of events happening in town that range from an Entrepreneurial to Developer focus.


Nerdy: 2
Business: 10

If you’re more into the business and entrepreneurial side of things, I suggest checking out Vancouver Enterprise Forum or VEF. VEF hosts events on a monthly basis and it’s a great way to connect with other like-minded individuals.

Developer Meetups

Nerdy: 10
Business: 3

There are plenty of developer meetups happening in town. The umbrella meetup for all of these is the VanDev network. Join that and you’re bound to meet quite a few people. The most popular is the Ruby/Merb/Rails meetup which has events on a monthly basis.

I hope that’s enough to get you started! Let me know if there’s anything else you want added to the list.

Launch Party Vancouver 8 Companies Announced

The judges have chosen and 8 companies have been selected to demo at LPV8, 5 from Vancouver, 2 from Seattle and 1 from Kelowna.

As usual, we’ll feature each of the companies in a 2 min video and give you the chance to vote on which is most likely to succeed. Voting will begin starting Saturday, September 5th.

We present to you the 8 companies (in no particular order) chosen to demo at LPV8.

Seattle-based Lilipip will be one of 3 out-of-towners at LPV8.

What is Lilipip all about? Check out what they have in store:

We make animated videos about products, services, and concepts – putting stories into a form that help them go where they need to go. Unlike traditional agencies, we make business fun and deliver projects with a predictable price and a guaranteed date. We advocate an “Open-Source Creative” approach with transparent pricing, processes, and direct links to the people we work with.

Vancouver’s very own Hootsuite will make an appearance at LPV, demoing their shiny new 2.0 features. Maybe they will surprise us with some exciting new features on September 16th.

get Yowza
Not only is the co-founder on a hit NBC TV series, he also likes to start internet companies. In their own words, they let us know what Yowza is all about.

Yowza is a FREE application for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch that uses the device’s built-in GPS to find coupons and deals from participating merchants in your vicinity.

Seattle-based Gist is #2 of 3 out-of-towners for this installment of LPV. Straight from Pioneer Square, check them out:

Gist is an online service that helps you build stronger relationships. By connecting your inbox to the web, you get business-critical information about key people and companies.

My Wedding Match
Check out what founder Angel Pui has in store for LPV.

My Wedding Match is the ultimate wedding marketplace. Brides can set their profile and criteria and find relevant search of vendors. We will be demoing the newly launched website.

The team from DEQQ will be there to answer all your questions regarding DEQQ. From DEQQ themselves:

DEQQ is a service that helps artists, celebrities, and broadcasters connect and manage deeper fan relationships across multiple social networks

Groove Systems
Located in Kelowna, in the heart of Canada’s Silicon Vineyard comes to you Groove Systems. The team from Kelowna will be there to let you know of their service.

Groove Systems’ Collaboration Suite lets you spend less time managing email and more time getting things done!

Wireless Image is an early stage company in Mobile Brand Engagement.

We will be demonstrating ShoutOut – our patent pending branded ringtone download , monitoring and reporting mobile web service.

What a great bunch of companies. It’s not too late to get a ticket (though it will be soon) so you can meet these founders in person to find out more. And don’t forget to cast your votes for your favorite starting Saturday morning!