As many of you have heard, Bootup Labs Managing Director and Co-Founder, Danny Robinson recently accepted the role of CEO of BCIC. There has always been a bit of confusion with the Accelerator and the Non-profit b/c we share the Bootup name and understandably so. But, BES has always been an independent organization. We have our own team, an independent Board, have to make our own money and raise our own funds. When Danny moved on to BCIC, the only thing that changed was he stepped down from our Board and Boris Wertz of WMedia Ventures stepped up as our Chairman.
In the past two years since we started Bootup Entrepreneurial Society, we have organized more than 40 of our own events and supported many other associations, organizations and international companies in their efforts as well. These events include mentor talks and workshops, Democamps, Mentor speed dating, Co-Founder speed dating, Launch Party Vancouver, Facebook Developer Garage and more. We have seen companies like Unbounce, Mobify, Hootsuite, Ayogo, Gist, Yowza and Weddingful attend and launch their companies at various BES events and continue to thrive. We are their biggest fans and we want to see all of these companies and more hit it out of the park.
We have come this far with a team of 2 full time employees and the support of some amazing volunteers including Mack Flavelle, Parveen Kaler, Lyal Avery, Boris Mann, Angela Baldonero, Jodi Day, Tina Hoang, Ross Howard Jones, Alexa Booth, Jordan Behan, and Derek Shanahan, a rock star Board of Directors, our sponsors and countless others, who have stepped up to help at many of our events.
What’s Next – Bootup Garage, an open space for Founders to Bootup
Bootup (BES) has always had an open door policy. We love having people drop by, plug in and work away while they are visiting from Toronto, SF, Boulder and even France. Working in an environment like this is exciting and inspiring. And as an entrepreneur, who’s first startup’s HQ was in my garage, I really appreciate and thrive on being surrounded by others, who are taking the same risks or have been there and can help me navigate through the sometimes unpredictable and challenging waters of entrepreneurship.
With this in mind, BES is launching the Bootup Garage Pilot Program. The Bootup Garage is something we believe every healthy startup ecosystem needs and we want to create a space where Internet founders and developers know they can come, connect and hack away on their idea in a very supportive, collaborative and inspiring environment. It is not meant to be a co-working space, where you rent a desk on a monthly basis. The space will support new ventures from their earliest single-founder ideation stage through small-team prototype development, until the startup has achieved proof of demand and is ready to accept funding or establish their own workspace.
We have lined up dozens of mentors already, who love Vancouver and want to support Canadian entrepreneurs. Mentors will be on site, hosting office hours on a weekly basis (if not more) at Bootup Garage and you can set up meetings based on their schedule. Everyone from Jason Bailey of Super Rewards, Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures, Boris Mann of IQMetrix, Angela Baldonero of Return Path, tech artist Kris Krug, David Ascher of Mozilla Messaging and Stewart Butterfield of Glitch and Flickr are on board and we are just getting started! The list and mentor calendar will be posted soon. Thanks to everyone for your support.
Bootup is a non-profit, supported by many wonderful partners and sponsors including BCIC, who has been a big supporter of us before Danny ever interviewed for the CEO job. While BCIC has funded us again this year, which includes this pilot project, we are also talking to many other private and government organizations to help us in our mission to support and inspire entrepreneurship in BC and Canada. If you are interested, please contact us or come to our Open House:
On December 1, from 12:30-2:30pm – we invite you to an Open House at Bootup – 163 West Hastings St., Suite 200. Come find out more about the Pilot program, ask questions, meet other entrepreneurs and mentors and check out the space.
If you are interested in the new space, sponsorship or being a mentor, you can send me an email – maura [at] bootup [dot] ca or jeff [at] bootup [dot] ca or sonia [at] bootup [dot] ca, come to the Open House on Dec. 1st or connect with all of us at Launch Party Vancouver 10, http://lpv10.eventbrite.com