Bootup Partners with BCIC to Support and Promote Startup Ecosystem

At our Paul Kedrosky mentor event on November 19, we announced a BCIC/Bootup partnership before Paul’s talk. Since then, the ink has dried and I have had the pleasure of interacting and working with many members of the BCIC team including “the Deans,” Lin Kishore and Lindsay Thom.  Both organizations are committed to helping build a strong startup ecosystem that encourages innovation and offers digital media entrepreneurs the potential for long term success.

“Bootup Entrepreneurial Society fulfills an instrumental role in the acceleration of technology start-ups to competitively position British Columbia in today’s global technology space,” said Dean Rockwell, CEO of BCIC.  “BCIC is dedicated to develop entrepreneurial talent and to drive the commercialization of technologies and we are pleased to partner with BES in their efforts to make our province a desirable place to found and build digital media start-ups.”

Through this partnership, BES plans to expand its International Mentorship Program to include regular talks and workshops by leading business development and marketing experts. In addition, BES will work closely with BCIC to raise awareness of BC’s burgeoning digital media startup community locally and abroad.
On top of that, we really want to hear from you.  We started last month to get your feedback and suggestions.  Two of the ideas posted on the Wantit site are already in motion:

  • Mentor Speed Dating – Mack Flavelle of Compass Engine has come forward to organize a Mentor Speed Dating event on February 10.  If you are interested in being a mentor or looking for mentorship, please sign up at and Mack will get in touch with you.
  • University Connect Program – Jon Chui is working on a plan to support student entrepreneurs. More information to come.

Go to if you want to add or vote for your favorite suggestion.  If you want to help make some of these things happen like Mack and Jon, please contact me or comment below.

Bootup Demo Days Announced

The Bootup Entrepreneurial Society is teaming up with Bootup Labs, in partnership with BCIC to host the first Bootup Demo Days event.

Demo Days is a pre-paid, 2-part, pitch event, for 10 early stage BC start-ups, who are ready to pitch their company to an audience of sophisticated pre-screened investors. Part 1 will be in Vancouver, and part 2 will be in Silicon Valley.  In addition to the 5 portfolio companies from Bootup Labs, a BES advisory panel will review and select 5 additional digital media companies from BC.

Part 1 – Vancouver Demo Days – January 28th, 2010
We’re partnering with the Canadian Financing Forum to integrate our Demo Days event within the Financing Forum schedule. The Canadian Financing Forum will be taking place on January 28th, 2010, and has two presenting streams; Information Technology and Cleantech.  Bootup will be running a dedicated track for early stage digital media companies in the afternoon from 1:30-4:30pm, followed by a joint reception with the Canadian Financing Forum.  Qualified investors who are only interested in attending the Bootup track, may register free of charge.

Part 2 – Silicon Valley Demo Days – February 3, 2010
On February 3, Bootup will be hitting the road and heading to Silicon Valley with the same 10 companies that presented in Vancouver.  This is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to showcase our best companies in front of world-class VC and Angel investors.  We will be releasing the list of RSVP investors to the selected companies as we get them.

Company Selection Process
Digital Media companies that are interested in this opportunity need to complete our online application form by December 23, 2009.  To be eligible, companies must have already received an initial seed investment of at least $30K.  All applications will be reviewed by our Selection Panel.


The package includes one-on-one pitch prep with local mentors, accommodations and airfare from YVR to SFO, and introductions to local and International investors.

Investor Only Event
The Bootup Demo Days event is open, free of charge, to interested Investors, participating companies and press.  Investors are asked to register for the Bootup Demo Days Event.  Investors are also encouraged to also register to attend the Canadian Financing Forum in the morning.


“Facebook’s #1 Marketing Plan: Build An Awesome Experience” with Jonathan Ehrlich, Director of Consumer Marketing

Jonathan Erhlich, Director of Consumer Marketing at Facebook, was in town last friday to talk about effective product marketing. Set in the intimate Harbor View Room at Steamworks, it was an energetic & engaging talk. In the words of Boris Mann:

“Jonathan is rocking the room – forcing people to pay attention, think & respond” – @bmann

However, the comedic highlight of the evening occurred after Jonathan told the room that “Facebook ads work.” To which someone replied:

“Ads convert fans, but I can’t eat fans. Any tips on converting fans into money?”

Even Jonathan had to laugh at that.

Though it’s easy to summarize the key points as follows:

  1. Build something great.
  2. Acquire and engage users intelligently.
  3. Iterate like hell.

It simply does not do Jonathan justice. Therefore, read on if you want to hear those key points fleshed out with more salient quotes and examples, as well as Jonathan’s response on how to convert fans into revenue.

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