We can’t believe it’s end of August already. We don’t seem to have any events under our radar for this week. Kick back, relax, and enjoy a week of no events as we are certain your calendar will be full of innovative and inspirational events soon.
All was atwitter last week in Vancouver as some of the best Internet entrepreneurs, influencers and investors flocked to our beautiful city from across Canada and Silicon Valley for the highly anticipated, first annual Grow Conference.
Here’s a little sample of funny, inspiring and thankful tweets and “overheards” at the conference, around town and in the Bootup Labs office:
- ellenlevy: nice to be back in Vancouver for the Grow 2010 Conference… last time I was here I was running the Vancouver marathon! #in
- ericries: Feels like everyone I know is in Canada. Congrats #Grow “@danmartell: serious freakin’ #startup talent in this room http://yfrog.com/nekp6aj
- RobHayes: Headed to #GROWconf up in Vancouver. Can’t wait to get me some Tim Horton’s and a Molsen Canadian #broughtmytoque
- tconrad: Vancouver is amazing — beautiful, clean, incredible setting. Met 100 inspiring Canadian entrepreneurs yesterday.
- MayorGregor: potent morning @ grow conference. 450+ all stars in tech+finance. silicon valley #vancouver mashup#growconf
- chrisarsenault: OH: @davemcclure to entrepreneurs: if you don’t feel “out of control” you aren’t going fast enough #growconf
- jtoeman: Quantity of ipads at @growconf is astounding. Even for a tech conference it’s high.
- barbie_t: The 2 rules from Lane Becker: #1 startups are hard, #2 nobody knows anything. Follow your own vision at the end of the day. #GrowConf
- brian_wong: At #growconf – phenomenal day so far. Great to catch up with everyone!
- kevin_swan: It’s not about accepting failing, it’s about not fearing failure – Lane Becker #growconf
- robinaxon : 24 hours into the conf and the energy is still high. Tom Conrad from Pandora is just taking stage. #growconf
- springad: @tconrad shares that Pandora has no product roadmap. Stays simble and allows them to react to market changes #growconf
- alexcapehart: Maple Leaf Mafia. You heard it here first.#GrowConf (@deblanda, @flowtown)
- sonsryan: building a billion dollar business in 2 years doesn’t accelerate how fast you’ll get through customs.#growconf
- KatrinaCF: @Groupon’s Andrew Mason: “my biggest f**k up was waiting too long to launch”. #growconf #inspiring
- @davemcclure just got the wave going in the conference room at #growconf!!
- kevin_swan: They should put a 30 second delay on this panel with @davemcclure and @superrewardsCEO participating.#fbombs #growconf
- GundersonLaw: awesome weekend @growconf . Many many thanks @deblanda. Top of the food chain event.
- jeff : Back home. #growconf was a blast (congrats @deblanda). Jetlag + conference = beat. Way too many emails to dig in. Good night/week-end y’all!
- bwertz: GROW was probably the best web conference ever organized in Canada – great speakers, very good networking, amazing event venue. #growconf
- chrisalbinson: Awesome #growconf. @debbielanda rocks(-: Fun to see #c100 come north.
OH @growconf after parties and around town:
- CathyBrooks – Hanging at the #growconf pre party…if this crowd is indicative of the start-up scene here, color me impressed.
- quikness: @robertslewis, you’re such a ladies man! http://ow.ly/2rZJa #growconf
- albertsupdates: @MediaTemple Party was awesome. They had awesome Chocolate bars too! Thx to @freelilly & #growconf ppl!
- mapmove: Great day at @growconf then @stevewandler buys dinner then at the@mediatemple after party …….utopia …until a 8am flight
- maurar: OH: loved the vibe @growconf. It was like All of Us came together to say “Canada f**kin matters!”
- foodtree: The @bootuplabs office is BUZZING. If you’re in town stop by for tech talk, wifi, and coffee. (magic combo, right?).
- bmann: I’m not getting much “work” done, but there is a ton of @growconf related networking happening at @bootuplabs. MTL is in the house.
- skanwar: Out @bootuplabs – great conversations with @sonsryan, @summify, @strutta and more. #growconf
- davidcrow: @extremevp I’ve had so much fun with open office hours @bootuplabs @wavefrontac met many companies, must repeat in TO at EVP.
- alkarim: Finding masses of inspiration all in one place.
- kevindahl: Just “put yo weight on it” during slideshow karaoke @bootuplabs. Human centipede not allowed…
- anulman: Thanks again, @bootuplabs! #PPTKgrow was loads of fun. Presents in your fridge.
Please join us this week for Startup Drinks.
- Wednesday, August 25th
- On the Edge Pub, 303 Columbia St.
It’s Vancouver’s turn to shine as our city is invaded by technology’s finest entrepreneurs, influencers, thinkers and investors this week. So, bring your Vancouver swagger and let’s show them what we’ve got.
We hope to see you at the following events.
- Wednesday, August 18th
- Century Bar & Restaurant – 432 Richards St., Vancouver
- Thursday, August 19th – Saturday, August 21st
- Vancouver Convention Centre – West Building – 1055 Canada Place, Vancouver
- Day 1: Engage – Closed
- Day 2: Inspired – Last Minute Tickets: $325 Register here.
- Day 3: Challenge – See list of activities here.
So, if we’ve missed an event, please add it below as a comment or add it to Upcoming and we will add it to our Bootup page.
If you would like to be notified of upcoming Bootup only events, please sign-up. You can choose what type of events you want to be notified about from networking to investment pitch opportunities. We’ll email you several weeks before events to let you know about
Jon Gelsey, Director of Corporate Development from Microsoft joined us in Vancouver yesterday to share some insights on the process that he goes through when considering to “buy vs. build:”
- Adjacency – For starters, Jon said they look for companies that are “adjacent to the core business.” In some instances they have bought companies that are not necessarily adjacent but something they know they could benefit from moving forward. A perfect example of this is their acquisition of Aquantive in 2007, which they knew would help better monetize Microsoft’s online content.
- Valuation – Considering valuation and doing a model helps Jon decide how much more money they will make by buying your company today vs. developing the technology in-house and releasing it in 8-10months. “At the end of the day, a valuation is all about what someone is willing to pay for you,” Jon said.
- Think like a VC – Since everything moves really quick in the tech industry, Jon needs to think like a VC and have an asymmetric risk return. Models are imprecise. And at the end of the day, Jon and his team have to decide that based on their model and the assumptions is this acquisition “directionally correct.” What matters most to Microsoft is taking market share and keeping it.
- Market Traction & Technology – Two girls in a garage with a few users vs. 20 people in an office with real customers makes a difference. Microsoft is looking for traction, credibility and getting another point of “query share.” That said, Jon stressed that the size of your company, number of employees, and price is all ultimately irrelevant. Microsoft will happily consider buying a two person company or a larger entity. However, they sweet spot is a company with less than 50 employees because of the low organizational impact.
- Team and Culture – This is something Microsoft looks closely at. They have passed on deals for cultural reasons. While culture is important, Jon’s team looks for good documentation, coding and hiring practices. And after a price is negotiated, Microsoft will hire an independent third party of your choice to delve deep to find out if your code actually does what is advertised.
- Location – Microsoft has bought and invested in companies all over the world. Location “matters only as much as it becomes a friction point.” If Microsoft can manage a company remotely, then borders and location are not an issue.
- Patent Portfolio – As a startup, you probably don’t want to be spending your money on filing patents. VCs like Brad Feld would like to abolish software patents all togther. Jon stressed that “any technology is replicable” and if you are concerned bout people stealing your ideas, don’t share your core IP. Jon mentioned that Bruce Sewell, Apple’s Lawyer believes that a “patent is worth pretty much what it costs to process it.” Execution is what matters.
- Get Noticed – If you want to capture Microsoft or any acquirers attention, focus on building a quality company. Execute! Execute! Execute! Don’t worry about the exit. Jon said, “Performance is the best advertisement.”
And once you do get noticed, be organized. Eliminate as many friction points as possible to getting the deal done. If Microsoft asks for your latest financials and historical projections, turn it around fast. Let them be the bottleneck.
As you build your company, Jon recommends working with good attorneys, practicing good corporate hygiene and engineering practices and fully understanding all risks of the deals you sign. If there are any weird contracts you sign or deals you do along the way, these can affect your success and possibility of a future exit.
Microsoft also invests in companies as a syndicate investor but they did lead the round for a multi-touch screen company called N-Trig in 2009. “We will only invest, when we sign a commercial deal along side it,” Jon said. Investing is a great opportunity for both sides to build a relationship that could lead to an acquisition down the road.
If you are interested in exploring a deal, all you have to do is send Jon an email firstname.lastname@example.org and he will happily take a look at it.
If you have any other mentors you would like to connect with – leave a comment here and we will see what we can do.
Jon Gelsey, Director of Corporate Development is driving up from Seattle on Thursday to speak about Microsoft‘s investment and acquisition process. I reached Jon over Skype at his office in Seattle this morning to get some insights on his upcoming talk.
As Jon mentions in the video – “Stop procrastinating and register”.
You can purchase tickets on Eventbrite here or by filling out the form below.
See you on Thursday.