Metabridge 2010 or Bust

After having a successful exit, I look back and found that in the early days the biggest challenge wasn’t the great idea we had, it was getting people worth talking too, to listen to what we had. – Steve Wandler, Founder of Metabridge

Last Thursday afternoon, Danny Robinson of Bootup Labs drove a big blue Suburban filled with 6 other entrepreneurs from Vancouver to Kelowna for the 2nd annual Metabridge event.  After a late start and a pitstop in Hope, BC to refuel at the iconic Hope Drive in & Restaurant, we were on our way!

Photo Credit : @dshanahan of

Derek Shanahan of Foodtree, Lyal Avery of Outcome 3, Mack Flavelle of Compass Engine,  Cristian Strat of Summify and Dean Prelazzi of BCIC were all brave enough to make the trip with Danny at the helm. Both Derek and Cristian are from out of town so I was really happy they could join us and take in the beautiful scenery on the Coquahalla.  No companies were formed but many ideas were shared and my belly hurt from laughing so hard on the road to K-town.

Photo Credit : @dshanahan of

Day 1
We arrived in Kelowna just in time to catch the bus to the Quails Gate Winery for the Welcome reception.  It was great to see so many old friends from Metabridge 1 including Ethan Anderson, Founder of Red Beacon, Peter Haubrich, Founder of ORIC, Jason Richards of Vineyard Networks and Gary Symons, Founder of Vericoder.  Unlike the first Metabridge, the room was full with many attendees from Vancouver and I was not the only female entrepreneur in the room.

Photo Credit : @dshanahan of

Day 2
A pitch breakfast for attending startups kicked off Day 2 before a day of Golf or a Sparkling Hill Spa tour.  There were only 8 companies in attendance last year and over 30 startups at Metabridge 2.  Since I spent the day catching up on work, I did not get to experience either afternoon adventure personally but I heard that a full round of golf at the Okanagan Golf course was hands down the better choice!

Photo Credit : @stevewandler of Metabridge

Metabridge ended with a networking dinner at Earl’s Restaurant on the water. Various visiting VIPS were assigned seating throughout the venue and acted as hosts for each table.  I was paired up with Lars Lekkie from Hummer Winblad and Amy Leger of HuStream and Brent Bolleman from Axel Partners joined us.  I can’t sit still for very long so, as soon as dinner was over I was table hopping and mingling.  Without naming names, I made many great connections, who I intend to keep in touch with in the future.

Photo Credit : @dannyrobinson of Bootup Labs

Many people were thanking Steve Wandler, the Founder and organizer of Metabridge throughout the evening and he deserved all the props he was getting.  It takes a lot of hard work to pull an event like this off successfully.  Luckily, he had the help of Chantelle Kshyk, Event Manager from Ostec, who is absolutely fantastic to ensure everything ran smoothly and left attendees raving.

Bring Back the Boat!
When I caught up with Steve at the end of Day 2 to thank him as well, he turned to me and said “I don’t want to just hear how great the event was.  I want to hear how I can make it better and better.”  To which, I replied – “well, I have a couple of ideas…”,  which includes a boat, Dale Fuller 😉 and a few other suggestions I will share with Steve the next time he is in town.

Photo Credit : @stevewandler from Metabridge 1

All and all it was a great event!  Kelowna has a growing and very supportive tech community.

Thank you Steve, Robert Fine, Chantelle and the entire Kelowna Tech Community for being such great hosts. You are welcome at casa Bootup anytime.

Connect with Key Execs from Silicon Valley at Metabridge 2010

Metabridge is a tech event created by Steve Wandler, an entrepreneur, who returned to Kelowna after his company was acquired by in CA. Appreciating and understanding how the right connections can make a world of difference in the life of a startup, Steve created Metabridge to connect entrepreneurs in BC with key players in the Bay Area.

We believe there is no better setting in Canada then golf in the middle of a vineyard over looking Okanagan lake, sipping on a glass of wine in 30 degree weather. This lures key executives to British Columbia to meet with some of the best startups in the Province.

Last June, I was invited to the first Metabridge tech event in Kelowna, BC.

With it’s beautiful vineyards, large, deep lakes and all that sun, I don’t know why I had not visited the Okanagan before Metabridge 2009.  Perhaps starting a company had kept me chained to my desk for too long?  In any case, I jumped at the chance to take a break from the office to connect with other entrepreneurs and mentors in real time. On top of the amazing setting, round of golf and lovely boat ride on Okanagan Lake, I was able to spend some quality time with Dale Fuller of Moka 5, Ethan Anderson – Founder of Red Beacon, the Founders of Rack Force and many other entrepreneurs and mentors at Metabridge 2009. I made some great connections and was really happy to be a part of it.

Metabridge is back!
Metabridge 2010 will take place on June 10-11. Wandler has invited 20 key executives from Silicon Valley to Kelowna for the next event including:

  • Punit Minocha, VP of Corporate Development, Trend Micro
  • Stephen Beamish, Sr VP Bus Dev & Strategic Alliances, Mitel Corp
  • Dan Scholnick, Partner – Trinity Ventures
  • Tim Majarin, Sr. Columnist, PC Magazine
  • Jeremy Geiger, CEO RetaiLigence
  • Sam Odio, Founder of Divvyshot, Acquired by Facebook
  • Jim Curry, VP Corporate Dev, Rack Space

You can check out the schedule and register here.

Startup Bus
We know what it is like to be on a budget!  So, if there is enough interest, BES will look into a startup bus to drive us from Vancouver to Kelowna June 9 returning June 12. We can practice our pitch and get to know other entrepreneurs in the community on the way to and from Kelowna.  In addition, BES will look for Hotel deals for all of us.  If you are a startup, who is interested in attending,  you can email me directly maura [at] or sonia [at]  and we will see if we can get you a package deal.

For more information and photos, check out and join their Facebook Page for updates.