#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. 🙂

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Launch Party Vancouver 10 Gratitude

We kicked off the season with a bang at our 10th Launch Party Vancouver event on December 1st.  There were many familiar faces as well as newcomers, who dropped by Canvas Lounge to check out some fresh Vancouver startups, mingle with friends and colleagues and even sit on Santa’s lap:

Santa's Helper, kk, Santa, and Danielle Sipple

Launch Party is not just about the startups but about bringing our community together to have fun.  Thank you so much for joining us and for showing the world that Vancouver is one of the best places to start a company. We hope you had as much fun as we did.

Good peeps at LPV10. Photo Credit: John Biehler

Please Raise Your Glass to:
We have said it before but it has to be said again – Our sponsors + a whole lot of love and passion are what makes all of our events and existence possible.  If you are starting a company and need help finding the right lawyer, bank, SEO company etc, you should consider some of partners. They are giving back to the community and want to work with startups:

  • Canpages – fastest growing local search company in Canada with a nationwide API for smart phone application developers.
  • Clark Wilson – Mark Longo & Brock Smith are two of the best startup lawyers in town.
  • Outcome 3 – Need help with SEO? Want to improve traffic and conversion rates, contact Outcome 3. This team has helped Bootup with our site and many other startups in town.
  • HSBC –  This bank is interested in working with startups and has inexpensive packages that could work for you.
  • Fasken Martineau – Their office may boast one of the nicest views in town, but Keith Spencer and Shahrooz Navabi have definitely given back to the startup community many times. Good guys & lawyers.
  • KPMG – Most startups may not need the services of a big accounting firm in the early days but KPMG wants to work with and support startups at an early stage.  Don’t hesitate to reach out to learn how they can help you.
  • FMC – Lawyer, Gal Smolar has worked in the Internet startup Industry for a long time and loves it. He moved to YVR via Israel. Reach out.
  • Strutta – the platform behind the LPV10 Startup Competition. (disclosure: Maura & Danny are founders)

Big thanks to our Media Sponsors for helping us spread the word and share your startup stories:

  • Techvibes – If you want to get the word out about your startup or an event, then look no further than local tech blog, Techvibes. Rob Lewis had to miss LPV10 (a 1st!!) to cover the Canadian New Media Awards in Toronto but as always, did a great job spreading the word ahead of time.
  • The Next Web – Tris Hussey, who is now writing for the Next Web Canada did a great job interviewing of all of the LPV10 Startup Showoffs.  Thanks Tris!  If you haven’t seen their videos yet, check them out!
  • Startup DigestJon Chui, the curator of YVR Startup Digest is doing an amazing job keeping us all informed of weekly tech events. If you are feeling out of the loop, sign up to receive your Monday morning update in your inbox every week.

We may be a small team by day but when we need help, awesome people like this always have our back:

  • Jodi Day – talented UI Designer and member of Team Strutta, who makes us laugh and kept things rolling at the LPV10 door!
  • Chrissy Chrzan – Communications Junkie, who happens to be new to Vancouver, made sure everyone got thru the line on time.
  • Maral Artang and marketing pro, Nicole Steele helped check everyone in-and-out at LPV10.
  • Laurent Munier – Big shout out to Laurent for helping us with event logistics and planning.
  • John Biehler – Thanks for all the great snaps of LPV10, JB.
  • Lyal Avery – For making sure Santa showed up on time and for always being there.
  • Jeff Magnusson – For lending a hand with set-up and LPV10 candy canes for Santa. 🙂

And Last but DEFINITELY NOT LEAST:

Sonia Ryan – is my right hand at Bootup.  Thanks for hustling everyday and caring so much about Bootup and the startup community.  You are the best. I have enjoyed working with you and watching you come into your own this past year.  BAM! ❤

Sonia Ryan, Shelly Roche, Derek Shanahan Photo Credit: Weston Trimestra

You can find more photos of the event on Flickr, of course. 🙂  Until next time, keep on rockin’ Vancouver

Launch Party Vancouver 9 Wrap Up

When we started LPV in September 2007, our goal was to shine a big bright light on the startup community and help connect entrepreneurs with investors, potential partners and their peers. Looking at photos from the last 9 events, it is clear that our community is growing and that the best of Canadian tech has consistently showed up to support and celebrate the latest crop of Internet startups in the great Northwest. It’s our hope that the startups you have seen demo at Launch Parties 1-9 will grow into the next generation of Canadian super angels.

Martin Ertl of Contractually, LPV9 Startup Competition People’s Choice Winner
Photo credit: Jeremy Lim

Our ninth edition of Launch Party Vancouver on June 17th was definitely our biggest event yet.  As Debbie Landa tweeted, LPV9 was definitely a “who’s who of Canadian tech.” We were thrilled to have Chris Albinson, Katherine Barr, Dan Martell, Debbie Landa, and Anthony Lee from the C100 fly up from Silicon Valley as well as Chris Arsenault and Shawn Abbott from iNovia Capital in the house.  A great big thank you to all of our out of town guests for making the trek to Vancouver.  Go Canada!

Chris Albinson of the C100 Organization and Panorama Capital
Photo Credit: Jeremy Lim

Put your hands together for…
We rely on public and private donations and a whole lot of sweat and sometimes tears to make this all possible.  Many thanks to Sonia Ryan and volunteers Melissa Joaquin, Angela Baldonero, Tarlan Klo, Tina Hoang, and Laurent Munier for working the door and helping us set-up.

We could not do any of this without the backing of our LPV9 Partners:

  • BCIC – the lead organization charged with advancing innovation and commercialization in British Columbia.
  • Canpages – fastest growing local search company in Canada with a nationwide API for smart phone application developers.
  • Clark Wilson – BC’s Law Firm for Business. Mark Longo & Brock Smith are the go to guys.
  • HSBC – the world’s local bank with startup banking packages.
  • Fasken Martineau – a leading international business law and litigation firm. Keith Spencer and Shahrooz Navabi are the real deal.
  • Strutta – the platform for creating online contests and the brains behind the LPV9 Startup Competition.
  • Lonsdale Rentals – the place to go for all of your corporate and private party rental needs. From bar rentals to glasses, they have it all.
  • Pixstar – Pixstar Photo booths provide the perfect memento to remember any party.
  • Mission Hill – Mission Hill has an amazing selection of Okanagan wines. They featured Rigamorole red and white at LPV9.
  • Russell Brewing – committed to brewing 100% natural, real Canadian beer. And it shows!
  • Jeremy Lim – Check out Jeremy’s awesome LPV9 photo set on Flickr and contact him for your event.

Our Media Sponsors rock:

  • Techvibes – our favorite technology blog does an amazing job highlighting all of the LPV9 startups and covering daily tech news in cities across Canada and the United States. And best of all, Techvibe’s President & Editor, Rob Lewis always shows up as promised   ——->
  • Startup Digest – All you have to do is enter your email address and choose your favorite hubs to receive the best startup events in your inbox every week.  Jon Chui runs the weekly Vancouver newsletter.

Thank you all for making LPV9 so great!

This Week in Tech Events: May 10th – May 16th, 2010

After such a busy week in tech events last week, looks like this week is a bit more calm.

New Ventures BC Seminar – Corporate Structure

  • Tuesday, May 11
  • 6:30pm
  • SFU Segal School of Business – 500 Granville St., Vancouver
  • $20

Social Media for Social Change – Part 3 with Strutta’s Jordan Behan

  • Thursday, May 13
  • 1:30pm
  • Hollyhock Room, Tides Renewal Centre. #304-163 W. Hastings St. Vancouver, BC.
  • $105 for single session price

If we’ve missed an event, please add it below as a comment.

Upcoming Bootup Events
If you would like to be notified of upcoming Bootup only events, please sign-up. 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.

“The Brand of Me” with Shira Lazar

On March 18, our good friend Shira Lazar, flew up to Vancouver to present at Social Networking in Transmedia Hollywood: A Strategic Master Class presented by DigiBC and DFAIT.

Shira was joined by other social media specialists from LA, Darcy Jouan, Peter Huh & Gregory Markel, who spent the day discussing transmedia storytelling and how to engage audiences across multiple platforms including mobile and social networking sites.  For example, Darcy discussed the TV Series, Ghost Whisperer and how they created a series of webisodes to create a themed experience for viewers both on and offline.  The webisodes named The Dark Side were spawned by fans of the TV series. The purpose of the webisodes was to allow the audience to experience something beyond what they experienced from week-to-week on TV. In return, both audiences tuned in on and offline as the series runs parallel.

Shira’s presentation focused on her personal brand and how she bridges the online and on air worlds together using multi-media platforms.  Here are Shira’s “Five Steps to Becoming a Media Empress”:

  1. Be you! People can see through a fake brand of image, and it’ll drain you to maintain something that you’re really not. Once you embrace your authentic voice, you’ll find your audience and your audience will find you.
  2. Balance PR/buzz with actual work, i.e. new content and projects. As much as it’s great for everyone to see you at that party or getting interviewed by a cool outlet, it can only go so far. If you’re not continuing to challenge yourself and your audience with some real projects outside of publicity than you’ll lose engagement. Your brand isn’t just about you, but the conversation you create and what you contribute.
  3. Maintain a consistent presence on and offline. As powerful as all these online tools can be to make an impact and be heard, meeting your network and community in person is the incing on the cake.
  4. Think multi-platform. Whenever you have an idea, think of how you can integrate other mediums to get the message out there.
  5. Call yourself a media empress. Michael Jackson actually pegged himself the King of Pop, and he delivered that above and beyond. Don’t wait around for someone to discover and brand you. You have the power to create what and who you are now — and as we all know, perception is reality.

Shira and I sat down during lunch to discuss her presentation.  At the end, she gives a shot out to some of her favourite Vancouver peeps!

Lunch with Shira from Sonia Ryan on Vimeo.

Many thanks to DigiBC for letting me attend this event on behalf of BES.

Jan 2010 Bootup Demo Days Companies Selected

Congratulations to the companies selected to participate in the Bootup Demo Days. All companies will present at the Canadian Financing Forum on January 28th, and again at a special event at the Plug and Play Tech Centre in Silicon Valley on February 3rd.

  • Coincidence Labs: a stealth social commerce platform, with Giftolicious being the first platform app
  • Mobify: a hosted platform for publishers to provide mobile views of their content
  • Strutta: a hosted promotion platform that makes for easy online contests
  • Unbounce: self-serve hosted landing pages with A/B testing and no developers required

The selected companies will give 10 minute investment presentations in front of angel and early stage investors, and will be joined by the 2009 graduating class from the Bootup Labs portfolio.

Are you an investor interested in attending or a member of the press wanting to cover the event? Please sign up to attend »

Companies and entrepreneurs interested in future opportunities like this, make sure you are subscribed to the Bootup Startup Event Notification List.

New Year, New Office

As some of you may know the folks at Bootup Labs, Bootup Entrepreneurial Society and Strutta spent last weekend moving to our new digs, quite fine digs if I say so myself.

2010 is starting to smell really good as our new office is equipped with a full kitchen where resident foodie Boris Mann has already started to whip us up some delicious Bacon & Egger sandwiches and pizza!

Here’s a short video Jordan and I created touring our new office.

Come on by and visit us at our new office for a tour. I might even whip you up some butter chicken!

*Post written by Sonia*