Facebook Developer Garage Vancouver Recap

When I told Dennis Pilarinos from Microsoft that I wanted to do a technology event with someone from Facebook, he recommended and introduced me to his friend Mike Vernal – Director of Engineering for Facebook Platforms. As much as I wish I could code, I am not a developer.  I just wanted to see an event like this happen again in Vancouver.  So, with a little help from Dennis, Jason Bailey and other local tech friends,  Bootup hosted the 4th Facebook Developer Garage in Vancouver last night at District 319.

Lean Startup Panel
Before the Facebook Garage began, local entrepreneurs Boris Mann, Eric Woodward, Mischa Steiner Jovic and Mack Flavelle along with investor, Brent Holliday debated the pros and cons of the Lean Startup Model.  Eric Woodward is clearly not a fan of this approach to starting a company, while Boris Mann could see both sides of the debate and talked about some of the basic concepts that Eric Ries professes.  As an investor, Brent explained how the lean startup methodology has had an impact on Venture investing – noting that big VCs, who used to invest millions of money at the Series A stage are now willing to invest as little as $200,000.  Many thanks to Mack Flavelle for organizing this panel and for moderating a very lively discussion that was cut short to keep us on schedule.  This panel clearly could have gone on for quite some time.

Eric Woodward, Boris Mann & Mischa Steiner Jovic

Russ Ovans, Backstage Technologies

When I decided to organize the Garage last August, Jason Bailey introduced me to a number of potential speakers including Russ Ovans, Founder of BackStage, which was acquired by Real Networks.  Jason and Russ met at the last FB Dev. Garage back in 2007. Despite this fact, 🙂 Russ agreed to talk at the garage before hopping on a plane to London to speak at another conference.

Russ talked about the Economic approach to social game design and shared some of the things he learned while building Backstage.  For starters, Russ noted that Backstage was not in the game building business but rather the money making business. In short, Backstage builds virtual economies. Russ has learned first hand that people will pay real money for virtual goods if they are 1) coveted, 2) can be used by owner at free will and 3) can be exchanged.

J.Joly – dimeRocker
If you have met J. and the dimeRocker team, you already know that they are very proud of their company and are pretty excited about their latest product, the dimeRocker Arcade.  J. and Wolfgang from dimeRocker demoed how game developers could use Arcade to quickly deploy their games on Facebook in less than one hour.  The dimeRocker arcade supports Unity, Flash and includes leaderboards, achievements and monetization.  As an example, J. explained that the app TopBar used Arcade to deploy to Facebook about one week ago and jumped from 4000 to 160,000 users.  Attendee Josh Nilson tweeted “@dimerocker arcade looks great indies and devs should take a look #fbdevyvr”  dimeRocker is a developer driven company, so I am sure they would love your feedback once you take Arcade for a spin.

Brad, Lyal, J.Joly & Andrew of dimeRocker

Paul Prescod, CTO – Ayogo Games
Have you ever tried to build a house on sand?  Well, that’s exactly how Paul feels about building and deploying apps on Facebook.  Paul explained that Facebook likes to break things and is clearly not the most stable platform as FB likes to deploy at least once per week.   But rather than jumping ship or pulling your hair out in frustration, Paul encouraged developers to be Nimble, and deploy in an a

utomated fashion.  He stressed that you have to be on call 24/7 to be prepared when FB breaks things.  Paul has also learned that FB’s documentation is not always right and their product roadmap is not nearly on track.  Therefore, developers should build based on the FB plan as it stands today – not 6 months from now.  And if all else fails – just copy Zynga.

There were definitely a lot of heads nodding and laughs throughout Paul’s presentation.

Pizza Break
After Paul’s talk, everyone beelined to the main lounge to nosh on some pizza, a beer and network for a bit at District 319.

Mike Vernal – Director of Engineering for Facebook Platform
We were thrilled that Mike took the time out of his crazy busy schedule to come to Vancouver and personally share some updates about the FB platform, answer questions and connect with local developers.  Mike even included his cell phone on the big screen, which surprised many including @rootsmith who tweeted: “Wow, dude from facebook just posted his cell #. Crazy! #fbdevyvr”  It was a bold move but shows that Mike is interested in hearing from you.

Mike discussed everything from how the Like button has driven higher conversion rates to how their research has shown that users are drawn to people’s “faces” first.  With more than 200M people using their mobile phone to access Facebook every month, Mike said that “Mobile is really going nuts for us right now…” and that they want to be integrated on all platforms.

Mike Vernal, Elmer Sotto from FB Toronto and Jason Bailey from Super Rewards

Parveen Kaler – Smartful Studios
Out of all the talks, Parveen was the only one, who pulled up some scary code on the big screen while smiling and saying, “This will give PHP devs a heart attack.”  Parveen could have easily talked for 30 minutes about IOS/SDK but cut his talk down to 10 minutes because we were running over schedule.

Parveen Kaler and Tom from Compass Engine

Jason Bailey – Founder of SuperRewards (acquired by AdKnowledge)
If there is anyone in town, who understands how to make money on Facebook – it’s Jason but rather than give his presentation on Super Rewards, he decided to leave more room for networking, beer and leftover pizza.

Many thanks to Jason for being the MC and helping connect me with Russ and others, to Mike Vernal for flying up, to Dennis Pilarinos from Microsoft, Elmer Sotto from FB Toronto and to all of the great speakers, who carved out some time to share their experiences and lessons with the rest of us!

Pics from last night can be found here.  Please tag yourself and share with others.

Boris Mann also posted more about his Lean Dev Discussion at FB Garage YVR here.

DemoCamp Vancouver 12 in Photos

Last night’s DemoCamp Vancouver was a great success as Maura mentions in the post below. This is the 5th DemoCamp that I have attended since working at Bootup. I can still remember my first DemoCamp at Workspace. I had NO idea what I had signed up for. For me, DemoCamp has been a fun event to meet new people and share laughs with some old friends. Last night was no exception.

Here’s a collaboration of some iPhone snaps from Bootup’ers.

14 super awesome lighting pitches.

Full house at the Lounge on Granville

Techvibes Rob Lewis and 49 Pixels Justin Kozuch

KPMG’s Jacqueline Gustafson and Shana Korotash

Salesforce.com’s Dave Orchard & Microsoft’s Dennis Pilarinos

DemoCamp regulars: Roland Tanglao, John Biehler & Dave Drucker 🙂

6 Final Pitches at 4 minutes each

If anyone else happened to take pictures at the event, please tag them with #dcv12 or share with me: sonia (at) bootup (dot) ca. I’d love to add them to our Facebook Events Page.

Hope to see you all at Launch Party Vancouver 10. Register here.

Bootup’s Going Going Back Back to Cali Cali

This week, Bootup’s heading back to the Valley. In tow, Team Bootup, Bootup Labs and BUL’s fresh crop of graduating companies: Summify, Compass Engine and Foodtree. The companies will be pitching to VC Firms, Angel Investors and participating in C100’s 48 Hours in the Valley. Bootup’s also teaming up with our friends at Metabridge to throw a reception at Kicklabs. Come on by if you’re in the SF. Register here.

Keep up with Bootup and follow our shenanigans while we’re away:

Team Bootup @bootup

Maura: @maurar
Sonia: @sonsryan

Team Bootup Labs @bootuplabs

Danny: @dannyrobinson

Team Summify @summify

Cristian: @cgst
Mircea: @mirceapasoi

Team Compass Engine @compassengine

Mack: @mackflavelle
Ben: @ben_hesketh

Team Foodtree @foodtree

Derek: @dshanahan
Anthony: @tonynicalo

Team Bootup after Bootup Labs Demo Days Last Year

This Week in Tech Events: Oct. 18 – Oct. 24, 2010

We hope everyone’s been joining this incredible Vancouver weather. What a beauty.

See you at the following events:

28th Angel Forum

  • Tuesday, October 19
  • 7:30am
  • SFU Downtown, 515 West Hastings St., Vancouver
  • Spaces still available for investors. Register here.

WaveFront 2010 AGM

  • Wednesday, October 20
  • 6:00pm
  • TELUS World of Science, 1455 Quebec St., Vancouver
  • $10 + taxes/fees = $11.50 | You receive burger + beer + ticket to the BODY WORLDS & The Brain exhibit

Upcoming Bootup Events

DemoCamp Vancouver 12

  • Wednesday, November 3rd
  • 5:30pm
  • The Lounge at Caprice, 965 Granville St., Vancouver
  • Event is free. Register here to confirm attendance.

Facebook Developer Garage

  • Monday, November 8
  • 4:00pm
  • District 319, 319 Main St., Vancouver
  • Event is free. Register here to confirm attendance.

Launch Party Vancouver 10

  • Wednesday, December 1
  • 6:00pm
  • Canvas Lounge, 99 Powell St., Vancouver
  • Early bird: $20
  • Buy here.

Add your Event

If you would like us to know about your tech event, please add it to our event group and post it on Techvibes Events.

Upcoming Tech Events

Sign up to our event list to find out more about upcoming Bootup Tech Events.  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 registration deadlines and other important dates.

Who should be the next CEO of BCIC?

BCIC has been a big supporter of Bootup Entrepreneurial Society since we launched.  The entire team from the Board members and the CEO, Dean Rockwell to the Director of IT, Dean Prelazzi and Director of Marcom, Lin Kishore have been very supportive of the work we have been doing to help grow the startup ecosystem in BC.

Recently, BCIC announced that Dean Rockwell had decided to leave the organization to work within the private sector.  We have really enjoyed working with Rockwell. He’s one of the good guys, who really “gets it” and made many positive changes while he was at the helm of BCIC.  We are sad to see him go but wish him all the best with his next adventure.

That said – we need to find someone to fill Rockwell’s shoes and we thought **YOU** may have some great recommendations to share.  After working with BCIC and various government organizations for several years now, I’ve learned that there are few CEO roles in this province that have as big an influence on our tech community as the BC Innovation Council CEO.  It’s a very important position and we would love to see it filled with someone, who is as just as passionate about supporting and growing our technology community as Rockwell is.

What can YOU do?
View the job description and if you can think of a candidate, who would be the right person to lead the organization and be a strong voice for our technology community – email Kim Brooks from Corporate Recruiters – kim @ corporate [dot] bc [dot] ca with the candidate’s name and contact information.

See you at Connect 10 – Tuesday, October 12
Connect, a conference hosted by BCIC for early stage technology entrepreneurs, is coming up fast on Tuesday, October 12 at 4:oopm. Lane Merrifield, Founder of Club Penguin will be the keynote at the event. If you don’t have your ticket yet, grab one now!

This Week in Tech Events: Oct. 4 – Oct. 10, 2010

We can’t believe that it’s Q4 already. Where does the time go?

We hope to see you at the following BES recommended events.

MoMoVan: Mobile Advertising Hosted by DigiBC

  • Monday, October 4
  • 6:00pm
  • Granville Island Brewery, 1441 Cartwright St., Vancouver
  • Free for Members. Non-member: $28
  • Register here.

Orange Partner Meetup hosted by Wavefront

  • Friday, October 8
  • 8:30am
  • 1055 Hastings St. (Conference Centre – Lower Level, Vancouver
  • Free. Pre-registration is required, as seating is limited.

Startup Weekend Vancouver

  • Friday, October 8 – Sunday, October 10
  • 5:00pm
  • Bootup, 163 West Hastings St., Vancouver
  • $75 for entire weekend. Includes meals, beverages and turkey dinner.

Robert Tercek to Keynote Merging+Media Conference

The Merging + Media Conference is coming up on October 28-29 at the new Woodwards Heritage Complex in Vancouver and consists of two jam packed days to explore the business of cross media production.

Day 1 – M&M Masterclass
On Day 1, you will go deep and learn the “tools of the trade” from International Transmedia Specialists Darcy Jouan and Anita Ondine.  You will discuss new business paradigms, learn how to develop successful transmedia cross platform strategies, and receive hands-on advice from the pros.

Day 2 – The Conference
M&M has pulled together a great line-up of mentors and speakers including Robert Tercek, former President of Digital Media for the Oprah Winfrey Network and a pioneer in the Digital media space:
It is a golden time to be an entrepreneur – there has never been a better time. We have audiences in the billions with terrific terminal devices who can participate. New companies can grow incredibly quickly. New generation companies like Zynga and Foursquare are growing incredibly fast. This is opening the playing field to new companies, to scrappy new start-ups willing to give it a try. – Robert Tercek
Whether you are a digital media entrepreneur, content producer or media content executive, this conference was designed to inspire and help you develop successful cross-media production strategies and connections.  You will explore hybrid business models, interactive storytelling, gaming and cutting edge technology trends.

Get 45% off with Bootup
Only 5 more days to get your early bird tickets, so grab one today.  As a friend of Bootup, the first 10 people will get an additional 10% off right now. Be sure to use the code: mergingmedia.ca/promo when you register.