About Bootup

Founded and managed by entrepreneurs, the Bootup Entrepreneurial Society (BES) is a community and mentor driven non-profit organization that was formed to inspire entrepreneurship in Canada and help Internet startups take their idea from conception to commercialization.

Meet Our Team

  • Maura Rodgers
    Executive Director – Maura does it all. From overall strategy and event planning to doing the dishes. Maura is also working on Lift Ventures, creators of handmade startups, first of which is .

    As Executive Director of BES, Maura does it all. From overall strategy and event planning to doing the dishes, Maura is not afraid to roll up her sleeves and get things done. Maura is now working on Lift Ventures, manufacturers of the finest startups, the first of which is UrbanDig. Originally from Boston, Maura moved to Vancouver by way of Silicon Valley, after her first Internet start-up, Spinway was acquired in 2000. Recently, Maura founded Strutta, a platform for creating online contests and co-founded the popular networking technology event Launch Party Vancouver, which is now managed by BES. Maura holds a BA in English from UMass Boston, WSET Level II certification in Wine & Spirits, a culinary degree from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Enterprise Forum.

  • Sonia Ryan
    Community Advocate – Sonia is responsible for organizing monthly mentor visits and workshops, Bootup Demo Days, Democamps and Launch Party Vancouver.
    Sonia is the Troublemaker at A Thinking Ape. Her vision for ATA is to be THE company recognized by developers as the place to work.  Often described as the “Social Glue” she is dedicated to creating an inspiring experience through creative and experimental initiatives. Prior to ATA, Sonia worked at Bootup and was responsible for organizing monthly mentor visits and workshop, Demo Days, Democamps and Launch Party for the Vancouver startup scene. Sonia can always be found with her iPhone and a smile that doesn’t quit.
  • Mack Flavelle
    Community Advocate – Mack is an institution in Vancouver’s startup scene and integral to making most of Bootup’s events happen.

    Mack is CEO of CompassEngine and an institution in Vancouver’s startup and gaming communities. His self-organized events are the stuff of legend, including Co-Founder Speed Dating & Consoles Are Dinosaurs. His young company is building social games, and he’s the guy to talk to if you have an idea for bringing the local community together. He’s excited to join Bootup’s committee to help other firestarters get their events off the ground and running.

  • Derek Shanahan
    Community Advocate – Derek is managing Bootup’s social communications and lending a hand on making sure the community keeps getting together.

    Derek is Chief Community Officer of Foodtree and somewhat new to the Vancouver tech scene. He’s managed and built digital communities for more than a decade, and has eagerly supported the organic ethos of Bootup. With the little free time he’s got outside of Foodtree, he writes a popular personal blog, a more popular music blog, and runs the world’s largest personal blogging community. He’s quite possibly the only Chicago Blackhawks fan in Vancouver.

  • Janis Behan
    Community Advocate – Janis is responsible for community relations, office management and marketing at Bootup.

    Janis is responsible for community relations, office management and marketing at Bootup. She enjoys the challenges that come with this wide range of responsibilities, and the things she learns from the entrepreneurs she meets every day. Janis attended Camosun College, where she earned a Diploma in Business Administration & Marketing. Soon she was off on a four-year stint at sea, working as a Stewardess aboard the private luxury yachts of the mega-elite, in some of the world’s most exotic locales. Since returning to dry land, she has been working in marketing and public relations for five years, in hospitality & entertainment, real estate, wholesale recreation supply, and now the tech industry.

Our Board Rocks

Our board is comprised of Super Angels, who have either started and/or invested in an Internet company and are passionate about helping the Canadian Startup Community.

  • Boris Wertz
    Chairman – Boris Wertz is the Founder and CEO of W Media Ventures, one of the most active early-stage consumer internet investors in the Pacific Northwest.

    Boris Wertz is the Founder and CEO of W Media Ventures, one of the most active early-stage consumer internet investors in the Pacific Northwest. He is also a venture partner of Acton Capital Partners from Munich / Germany, a large consumer Internet fund that is focused on later stage companies with an established track record of revenues and profitability.

    Before founding W Media Ventures, Boris was the Chief Operating Officer of AbeBooks.com, the world’s largest marketplace for new, used and rare and out-of print books which was sold to Amazon in 2008. Boris joined the company in 2002 after JustBooks, the German company he co-founded in 1999, was acquired by AbeBooks. He successfully finished his PhD as well as his graduate studies at the Graduate School of Management (WHU), Koblenz, majoring in Business Economics / Business Management. In 2005, Boris was the Pacific Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year award winner.

  • Stewart Butterfield
    Stewart Butterfield is the president and co-founder of Tiny Speck, developer of the web based massively multiplayer game, Glitch, to be released late 2010.

    Stewart Butterfield is the president and co-founder of Tiny Speck, developer of the web based massively multiplayer game, Glitch, to be released late 2010. Prior to Tiny Speck Stewart co-founded Flickr and was the president of its parent company before Flickr’s acquisition by Yahoo! in the spring of 2005. Until July 2008, he oversaw the development of Flickr.com as its General Manager inside Yahoo! where it has grown to one of the largest web sites in the world with over 80 million unique visitors a month.
    In 15 years working on the web, Stewart has had a distinguished career as a designer, entrepreneur, and technologist, named one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World by Time Magazine and one BusinessWeek’s Top 50 Leaders.

    Butterfield graduated from the Universities of Victoria and Cambridge, with degrees in philosophy and retains interests in cognitive science, the history and philosophy of science, and economics. He lives in Vancouver.

  • Keith Spencer
    Keith Spencer is a partner with the Technology and Intellectual Property Group and chairs the Vancouver office’s Securities and Technology Business Unit at Fasken Martineau.

    Keith Spencer is a partner with the Technology and Intellectual Property Group and chairs the Vancouver office’s Securities and Technology Business Unit at Fasken Martineau. Keith’s clients range from start-up and emerging technology companies to large multi-national technology and telecom companies, and parties in outsourcing transactions. He is a member of various boards and advisory boards for a significant number of private early-stage technology companies.

    Keith was in-house counsel to the Vancouver-based Wireless Data Group of Motorola, Inc. (formerly MDI Mobile Data International), where he had overall responsibility for its legal affairs. Keith has lectured in the area of technology, outsourcing, e-commerce and intellectual property law at The University of British Columbia Law School and at various Continuing Legal Education and Information Technology industry conferences. He has also authored articles in the areas of computer and information technology, outsourcing, e-commerce and intellectual property law.

  • Sean Hodgins
    Sean Hodgins, CA, CPA (Illinois) founded QCDocs Systems in early 2006. Mr. Hodgins was formerly a partner with Quantum Outsourcing Group LLP and is a contract CFO for many startups

    Sean Hodgins, CA, CPA (Illinois) founded QCDocs Systems in early 2006. Mr. Hodgins was formerly a partner with Quantum Outsourcing Group LLP and has provided contract CFO and controllership services to a wide variety of private and public companies in Vancouver, California and Nevada, including LumiCyte, Inc., Mobile Operandi Communications Corp, Level4 Biometrics and BC Advantage Funds. Mr. Hodgins worked for six years as a manager with Deloitte & Touche LLP in Vancouver and two years as a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in San Jose, California, specializing in assurance services for technology companies. Mr. Hodgins holds a B.Comm. from the University of British Columbia.

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