Bootup Demo Days Vancouver

Our first Bootup Demo Days took place yesterday, January 28 at the Hyatt in Vancouver.  Danny Robinson, kicked the event off  with a brief background on Bootup Labs and the Seed Fund/Accelerator options available to early stage Internet entrepreneurs.  (Oh, how I wish I had the option of applying at Bootup Labs or Techstars when I started my first company but that is an entirely different post! )

The companies have spent the past month getting ready for Demo Days including one-on-one pitch prep with local mentors Dean Prelazzi of BCIC, Rizwan Kheraj of NRC/IRAP, Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures and Guy Kawasaki, Managing Director of Garage Ventures. So, when the founders finally took the stage yesterday – their pitches were tight.

Big shoutout to all of the mentors for their help and Guy Kawasaki for taking the time to fly up from CA to spend time with each company.  I have seen Guy speak at events and online before but this time, I got to see him in action. AND it was awesome.  He went through every pitch deck slide-by-slide.  He reminded all of the presenters that they had 30 seconds… 30 seconds to explain the problem and the solution.

Oh, and cut out the BS. Keep it simple. In other words, if you have Monetization Engine or Performance Based like words in your presentation, DELETE.

Many Thanks
With the support of IRAP and partners like BCIC, and Clark Wilson, we were successfully able to make Bootup Demo Days.  Thanks for helping us grow the startup ecosystem here.

Danny Robinson, Craig Baker, Maura Rodgers & Sonia Ryan

Next Stop => SFO
We are hitting the road for Demo Days in Silicon Valley next week. If you are an investor interested in attending Bootup Demo Days, you can sign up and join us at Plug & Play Tech Centre in Sunnyvale on February 3, 2010 at 9am.

On February 4, Sonia scheduled  a tour of the Digg offices in the afternoon and is really hoping she gets to meet Kevin Rose.

February 5, there is a Startup Canadians in the Valley Meetup brewing at the Gallery Lounge in SF.  More details to come.

Buying great startup books in Vancouver

I caught the tail end of a discussion that Tris Hussey was having on Twitter about the availability of certain social media books on shelves here in Vancouver. In particular, Tris and a bunch of other people in Vancouver have authored books which are hard to buy locally.

It’s something I’ve been thinking about as well. I get a lot of young entrepreneurs coming through my office, and many of them would love to just be handed a manual so that they can educate themselves. Steve Blank’s 4 Steps to the Epiphany should be on local shelves, and there are a number of other business, marketing, and tech books that we should be able to just grab from a local store.

(To Americans that may be reading this and just screaming “Amazon” at the screen, is a neutered version of the .com, and while we can order from the .com as well, shipping + the border take longer and cost more)

So, I suggest that anyone interested in having books like this in stock band together and approach some local stores about having a really great Startup / Entrepreneurship / Social Media section. As Tris found out, Chapters et al all get marching orders from Toronto, so the big box stores are going to be hard to deal with.

The two stores I have in mind (conveniently located in Gastown, of course) are Biz Books (focused on Film & TV because of VFS proximity) and the SFU Bookstore in Harbour Centre. I’ve sent Biz Books an email suggesting the idea to them, so we’ll see what they say.

Books to recommend? Leave comments and links below, and we’ll approach the stores and see what they say.

Event Announcement: Mentor Speed Dating! Feb 10th

Vancouver’s technology scene is thriving! But who among us has the time to stop and find that special someone? With all the challenges of working on a technology startup, it’s hard to find Mr.-or-Mrs. Right (now?)!

The Bootup Entrepreneurial Society is looking to help.

Not sure where to find that advisor you’ve been seeking? Mentor Speed Dating may be just the event you’re looking for. If you are a startup-phase company with a problem you need help solving, clear up some space on your calendar for two hours on the morning of Wednesday, February 10th.  Bootup is looking to help connect thirty local companies with interested mentors.

The format for the event will follow the speed dating model — after giving a brief introduction to the attendees, each mentor will hear from the companies.

The goal of Mentor Speed Dating is to set follow-up ‘dates’ between mentors and companies.

Companies should expect to come to Mentor Speed Dating prepared with a one-minute summary of the company, founders, and product. Additionally, companies should have a good grasp of the areas where the mentors can help them — legal, fundraising, technology, business development, sales, accounting, etc.; advice particular to a specific problem. Or two!

Mentors at the event will have a two-minute bio prepared which highlights what companies can expect from their expertise, and be ready to keep track of the companies they meet for follow up after the event.

Mentor Speed Dating is NOT a Q&A session or a venture capital pitch forum! Our goal is to focus on the meetings as a means to stimulate the local startup ecosystem.

Here’s how you can get involved: visit and fill out a brief profile, and then show up the morning of February 10th.

Who: Startup-phase Companies and Mentors
When: 8-10 AM, Wednesday February 10th
What: Mentor Speed Dating
Why: Connect mentors with startup companies. Come to the event prepared to find opportunities!
How: Register at!

Jan 2010 Bootup Demo Days Companies Selected

Congratulations to the companies selected to participate in the Bootup Demo Days. All companies will present at the Canadian Financing Forum on January 28th, and again at a special event at the Plug and Play Tech Centre in Silicon Valley on February 3rd.

  • Coincidence Labs: a stealth social commerce platform, with Giftolicious being the first platform app
  • Mobify: a hosted platform for publishers to provide mobile views of their content
  • Strutta: a hosted promotion platform that makes for easy online contests
  • Unbounce: self-serve hosted landing pages with A/B testing and no developers required

The selected companies will give 10 minute investment presentations in front of angel and early stage investors, and will be joined by the 2009 graduating class from the Bootup Labs portfolio.

Are you an investor interested in attending or a member of the press wanting to cover the event? Please sign up to attend »

Companies and entrepreneurs interested in future opportunities like this, make sure you are subscribed to the Bootup Startup Event Notification List.

New Year, New Office

As some of you may know the folks at Bootup Labs, Bootup Entrepreneurial Society and Strutta spent last weekend moving to our new digs, quite fine digs if I say so myself.

2010 is starting to smell really good as our new office is equipped with a full kitchen where resident foodie Boris Mann has already started to whip us up some delicious Bacon & Egger sandwiches and pizza!

Here’s a short video Jordan and I created touring our new office.

Come on by and visit us at our new office for a tour. I might even whip you up some butter chicken!

*Post written by Sonia*