#LPGROW, It’s a Wrap.

On August 17, 2011, my desire to one day have a Canadian-wide Launch Party was finally realized as Bootup hosted the opening reception of the 2nd Annual Grow Conference in Vancouver, BC. From NB to BC, 15 startups from across Canada were selected to demo at the #LPGROW reception and mingle with over 750 investors, entrepreneurs and other influencers from all over Canada and the US.

Food.ee Demoing at #LPGROW

High Fives All Around
This was without a doubt our biggest Launch Party event ever. We could not have pulled it off without the support of our wonderful partners:

Payfirma
Vancouver born, Payfirma has answered Bootup’s prayers by finally solving our payment processing needs. Payfirma’s little chip plugs right into your iPhone to make it easy for you to take a credit card payment just about anywhere.  A huge thank you to the whole Payfirma team for being so supportive of LPGROW, Bootup and the whole startup community. Support this great, local company:

This may sound crazy but I have never just taken a cheque to pay for an event. We only partner with other companies and people, who truly care about and support entrepreneurs:
  • Initio Group – an Investment Group run by Managing Director, Mike Edwards. If you haven’t had a chance to meet or work with Mike yet, he’s one of the best angels an entrepreneur could ask for.
  • A Thinking Ape –  The Apes are making waves in Vancouver building seriously addictive games for the iPhone. The whole team rocks and we are happy they decided to call BC home. PS. They are Hiring!
  • LaBarge Weinstein –  A Canadian business law firm that totally gets startups. James Smith is a good guy, great lawyer and splits his time among startups from TDot to YVR. He’s on our top 3 referral list.
  • Freshbooks – One of Canada’s favorite companies makes it easy for startups and freelancers to save money and time on invoicing. Amazing product and customer service to boot! Bonus: Saul Colt is a genius WOM, who wears crazy pants.
  • Strutta – the platform behind the Launch @ GROW startup competition can help you create and manage beautiful branded promos online. Conversion without sacrificing your brand’s id! No coding necessary. (disclosure: Maura & Danny are founders)
  • Keith Spencer  – Keith is not only one of the best technology lawyers I know but someone, who dedicates a lot of personal time to help local startups and our tech community. They broke the mold with this guy.  Also, on our top 3 list.
  • Lonsdale Rentals – North Vancouver company Lonsdale Rentals came through again to support #LPGROW and provided us with all the things we needed to make the venue look great.  Super friendly staff. Don’t rent from anyone else!
  • Jet Cooper – A User Experience Agency in Toronto led by Satish Kanwar stepped up to help us with the LPGROW site, and twitter walls. Phew!
  • Layer 7 – Big thanks to Dimitri Sirota’s (one of the LP’s Co-founders) company for supporting our 11th event.
  • Queen’s Cross – From the beer to the flatbread pizzas, my good friend Chris Greenfield’s pub catered the entire event. Drop by his pub on Lonsdale in North Van. for a pint, ridiculously good food, and great staff. #Truth.
  • Yaletown Venture Partners-   I am looking forward to seeing YVP invest even more in the local startup community.
  • Urbandig – If you found yourself being served up a teacup sized portion of beer by a cheeky rabbit, you were not lost in a bad remake of Alice in Wonderland but rather at the UD booth. Big thanks to Team UD for throwing a great after party at the Hub in Yaletown! (disclosure: another company by Bootup ED, Maura)
  • Pop Chips & Smart Pics – If you nom nomed on their tasty chips or posed in the digital Photo booth, you have these two awesome companies to thank for all the fun.

Big thanks to our media sponsor, Techvibes for helping us spread the word and share your startup stories. True Story: Rob Lewis and his team can help you get your brand and message in front of thousands and thousands of readers. 

Bootup is run by a very passionate volunteer group of amazing entrepreneurs and startup peeps.  We seriously could not pull a rabbit out of a hat without their help (follow these awesome people now):

  • Sonia Ryan – Previously my right hand at Bootup and now a Trouble Maker at A Thinking Ape, Sonia hustled hard to make #LPGROW a stellar event. She’s awesome but you already knew that!
  • Janis Behan  – Janis is part of team Bootup and helped organize everything from setup to labels to bunny suits. We could not have done it without her.
  • Robin Leskiw – One of my dearest friends, who has been with me since LPV1 at Section 3.  She did everything from keep your wine glasses filled to clean up. ❤
  • Toan Dang, Eliz Sarobhasa, Alex Shipillo & Tammy Yik – Thank you so much for all of your help setting up that morning. Huge Help!
  • Pauline Lipska & David Cameron – You were amazing at working the crowd  and doing whatever was needed during the event.  So great.
  • Leila Pejman – A big supporter of ours and the tech community, Leila is always willing to lend a hand. Thanks for working the door and then some. Big Hugs!
  • Rohit Tandon – Designer, Producer and awesome DJ, spinned up some sweet tracks to set the mood.  Thank you.
  • Jodi Day – talented UI Designer and member of Team Strutta worked the door and made all of your beautiful name badges. I can always count on her.
  • Tina Hoang – Communications Manager at Strutta kept the line moving at the door and ran the entire #LPGROW Startup Competition from start to finish.  My hero.
  • Keighty Gallagher – Surprise, Surprise – one of our newest members of Team Strutta and pro hand sandwich maker helped Tina & Jodi keep things tight at the door. You Rock.
  • Mack Flavelle – also part of Team Bootup, Mack did everything from pick out super heros to wear a bunny suit. An entrepreneur himself, Mack knows how to hustle and #GSD.

Until Next Time
Thank you so much for joining us and showing the world that Canada is one of the best places in the world to bootup. We hope you made some new connections, had a chance to reunite with old friends, challenged some Apes to a game of Foosball, saved bags of money with Freshbooks, tasted one of Dave O’s favorite craft brews at the Urbandig booth, snapped a photo or two in the Pop Chips & Smart Pic’s Lounge and  maybe even closed some financing or landed a new customer or two.  Rock on.

You can find more photos of the event on Flickr, of course. 🙂

Announcement: Launch Party to Host Opening Reception of the GROW Conference

Launch Party, a launchpad event for early stage tech startups, is teaming up with Dealmaker Media’s GROW Conference to host Launch @ GROW for the Opening Reception in Vancouver on August 17th, 2011. The event will attract over 600 attendees including top tier investors, entrepreneurs and influencers from across Canada and Silicon Valley. And we are looking for 15 of the hottest Canadian tech startups from Vancouver to PEI to showoff their wares at the event.

Nominate your Startup
All you have to do is create and upload a two-minute video describing your company to the Launch @ GROW Startup site no later than June 17 for consideration. Tell the world what makes your startup unique and why you should be one of 15 companies to demo at Launch @ Grow.

In order to be considered, you must:

  • Have launched within the past 18 months or plan to launch at GROW
  • Be a Canadian company
  • Have a demo or live site for voters and judges to view
  • Startups that have demoed previously at Launch Party in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton or Victoria can still enter Launch @ GROW

Voting Starts June 17
On June 17, the first round of voting will begin! At that time, you should rally your friends and local tech community to get out and vote because the top 25 startups with the highest ranking will move on to the Semi-Finals.

Semi-Finals
A panel of expert judges will review and rank the top 25 startups to determine the 15 companies to headline at Launch @ GROW.  From shiny boardrooms to quaint coffee shops, our judges hear all kinds of startup pitches everyday. Take this into consideration when creating your 2 minute startup video entry for the contest.

Danny Robinson, Martin Ertl and Maura Rodgers at Launch Party Vancouver 9

Pitch Live on Stage @ GROW
4 startups will be selected on August 17 to Pitch Live on Stage at the GROW Conference on August 18. You need to register to attend @growconf in order to be considered for the Final 4.

We will be telling the world about this Startup Competition and the Launch @ GROW event, so go enter now.

Follow the Launch Party Canada Team List for Updates.  Hashtag #LPGROW:

  • Ken Bautista – @kenbautista
  • Janis Behan – @janisbehan
  • Saul Colt – @saulcolt
  • Mack Flavelle – @mackflavelle
  • Tina Hoang – @t1nah
  • Satish Kanwar – @skanwar
  • Christian MacClean  – @fourslice
  • Danny Robinson – @dannyrobinson
  • Maura Rodgers – @maurar
  • Sonia Ryan  – @sonsryan
  • Derek Shanahan – @dshanahan


OH at #GROWConf

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:

OH @growconf:

    • 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:

OH @bootuplabs:

    • 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.