Thank You to Our Amazing Sponsors!

Experience the highs, lows, fun, and pressure that make up life at a startup. 
Meet the very best mentors, investors, cofounders, and sponsors who are ready to help you get started.
The hardest part of starting up is starting out. At Startup Weekend, you’ll be immersed in the ideal environment for startup magic to happen!

Startup Weekend Vancouver is a volunteer-run event, and we couldn’t have done it with the support of all our amazing sponsors:

Launch Academy is  Western Canada’s leading tech startup hub and early-stage incubator where you Launch your amazing idea off the ground, accelerate your startup to success, connect with Vancouver’s largest community of mentors, investors and thriving entrepreneurs, and Get Sh!t Done!

Since 2012 Launch Academy has helped 1000+ entrepreneurs, incubated 420+ early-stage startups, that collectively raised $80+ million and added 700+ jobs to the economy.

Lighthouse Labs was created as an experiment in 2013 by a group of software developers with a passion for code, mentorship, and education. Their mission: to continuously find the best ways to train the next generation of developers and to transform the way tech education is delivered. 

Square is one service for your entire business, from secure credit card processing – including EMV – to point of sale solutions.

Wantoo is a simple, powerful cloud-based platform that makes it easy to listen, analyze, and act on feedback from your team, your customers or anyone else.

MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP (MLT) is an expertise-based, full-service law firm of approximately 145 lawyers serving clients across Western Canada from offices in Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver. MLT has been practicing in the west since 1920 and has in-depth knowledge of the region’s business, legal and political landscapes.

Small Business BC (SBBC) is British Columbia’s premiere resource center for knowledge-based business products and services. SBBC’s core activities are supported by funds from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Ministry of Small Business, Red Tape Reduction and Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch. 

Dayboard is a web app that helps teams and individuals build self-awareness and encourage attention management at work. It replaces your browser’s new tab page with a minimalist to do list, blocks distracting sites, and provides a team dashboard for accountability and visibility. Dayboard currently serves over 30,000 users worldwide.

iQmetrix we are passionate about retail. Our purpose is to create great experiences for retailers, their employees and the end consumer. Our products bridge the gap between physical and virtual retail channels, offering the latest in retail management and customer experience technology.Spring is the startup school that teaches entrepreneurs how. Whether you are just beginning your journey or looking to grow, Spring provides the tools to build a successful business.

New Ventures BC’s annual business competition – awarding $300,000 of cash and prizes – launches next March. In the meantime, check out their new accelerator programs, which are designed for early stage ventures. 

Draper University, based in San Mateo, is an institution backed by some of the most established names in the industry including Tim Draper, Mark Andreesen and Mark Benioff as well as boasting students from over 53 different countries with $24,000,000 raised in funding by alumni.

Foodee is a corporate meal delivery service. We make it easy for companies to order from top local restaurants for meetings and work events by providing a large variety of carefully curated menus through our online ordering platform.

Spring is the startup school that teaches entrepreneurs how. Whether you are just beginning your journey or looking to grow, Spring provides the tools to build a successful business.

Creative Tim offers Bootstrap based design elements that speed up your development work. From plugins to complex kits, we have everything you need.

Blinkist is an app that gives you key ideas from bestselling nonfiction books distilled into powerful short reads or listens for your mobile device.

Daily Hive is a leading digital publication with a hyper-local focus, dedicated to connecting you to your city.




Thank you for Participating at Startup Weekend Vancouver 2016

It was brilliant to have you at Startup Weekend Vancouver 2016. We hope you enjoyed a great time, learned how to rapidly build a startup, met a lot of the awesome people in the room, and possibly met your potential co-founder 🙂 

So what’s next?!

Connect: 

Join SWVan’s Facebook Group to stay connect with like-minded people, exchange ideas, support each other, collaborate, share resources, ask questions and get access to resources and perks from our sponsors.

We will share the event photos and other awesome tech/startup events there too! 

Hint: if someone stood out for you, a team member that gave it their all, a mentor that added great value, a judge you thought was spot on with their questions and comments, why not connect with them on LinkedIn, write them a thank you note for their participation and even take it another step and write them a recommendation.

Whether you won or not, the bottom line is you’ve started something on that weekend. Don’t Stop! Keep on moving forward on your startup journey.

Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about the prizes. 

We had a blast and loved being in service of your startup journey. Hope to see you at the next event and around the community!

You will hear from us soon 😉

Rama, Hussein, Jen, Eva, and Candy

SWVan Organizing Team

 




Over $20,000 In Prizes 

Startup Weekend Vancouver is an action-packed weekend of entrepreneurial learning, execution, and fun. With such a short timeframe for teams to build a new idea, it’s amazing to see what they come out with.
First Place Prizes $11,800: 
  • 2 Full Scholarship to Launch Academy’s Lean Entrepreneur Acceleration Program (LEAP) – $3,000
  • 1 Full Scholarship to attend Draper University – $2,000
  • 6 Full Scholarships to Launch Academy’s LEAP Online Plus – $1,800
  • MLT Western Canada’s Law Firm Services – $2,500
  • Sponsorship to any of Spring’s Programs – $800
  • 1 Year Pro Account from Wantoo – $600
  • 3 Months Full Scholarship to the Venture Acceleration Program – $600
  • 5 Days Workspace Access and Mentorship at iQmetrix’s ThinkTank in Gastown with $500 worth of Food & Beverage
  • 2 Hours Virtual Mentoring by DraperU team
  • 1 Year Blinkist Premium Subscription with full access to the whole library – $79.99

Second Place Prizes $4,900: 

    • 1 Full Scholarships to Launch Academy’s Lean Entrepreneur Acceleration Program (LEAP) – $1,500
    • 4 Full Scholarships to Launch Academy’s LEAP Online Plus – $1,200
    • MLT Western Canada’s Law Firm Services – $1000
    • Sponsorship to any of Spring’s Programs – $600
    • 3 Months Full Scholarship to the Venture Acceleration Program – $600
    • 6 Months Blinkist Premium Subscription with full access to the whole library – $49.99

    Third Place Prizes $2,800: 

      • 4 Full Scholarships to Launch Academy’s LEAP Online Plus – $1,200
      • MLT Western Canada’s Law Firm Services – $1000
      • 3 Months Full Scholarship to the Venture Acceleration Program – $600
      • Sponsorship to any of Spring’s Programs – $400
      • 3 Months Blinkist Premium Subscription with full access to the whole library – $24.99

      All ParticipantsPrizes

      • A chance to win a part-time iOS course at Lighthouse Labs – $1500
      • 6 Months Pro Account from Wantoo – $600
      • $100 off Launch Academy’s LEAP Online – $100
      • Start Smart Series seminar vouchers from Small Business BC – $49
      • Complimentary Square Reader
      • And more…



      Startup Weekend Vancouver is back on Nov 18-20!

      We’re excited to officially announce that Startup Weekend Vancouver is back again on November 18-20th, 2016 at Launch Academy. Since you were a participant from previous years, we’d like to extend this invitation to have you back participating in this year’s event.

      It’s very fortunate to have this year’s event hosted at Launch Academy, Vancouver’s leading startup hub, who has helped over 400 early-stage startups to get off the ground. Yours could be next! 

      Registration is now open for all designers, developers, and anyone with a background in business, marketing, and PR.  

      We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Startup Weekend Vancouver. Stay tuned for more exciting announcements coming soon!

      We’re about 4 weeks away from the event, so get your tickets soon! Tickets are available through Eventbrite until 11:59pm on Sunday, November 13th, 2016.




      Startup Weekend Vancouver Brings Together Over 200 Startup Enthusiasts and Announces This Year’s Winning Team

      Nearly 200 attendees gathered at Unbounce last night to witness the startup teams competing in Startup Weekend Vancouver’s 7th annual competition. This year’s Startup Weekend Vancouver involved 125 participants, with 52 pitches presented at Startup Weekend Vancouver’s kick-off night on Friday — which resulted in 15 teams formed.

      Over a span of 54 hours, teams took to the streets of downtown Vancouver to validate their startup ideas, develop their minimal viable product and prototype, while gaining valuable insight and feedback from a team of industry professionals as their Startup Weekend coaches.

      With the steady growth of startups emerging within Vancouver’s technology sector, events such as Startup Weekend Vancouver have provided participants with an unfair advantage in receiving an outpour of support from the Vancouver startup community.

      “The tech scene in Vancouver is at a tipping point with the success of companies such as Hootsuite, and Slack — both of which once started in Vancouver as startups themselves,” said Sean Elbe, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)’s Technology Sector Development Manager. “With the steady growth of startups emerging within Vancouver, we expect up to 15,000 jobs opening up within just the tech sector alone. We were excited to help foster this startup momentum through our support of Startup Weekend.”

      As the final presentations on Sunday night fast approached, teams prepared to pitch to their panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and top-tier VCs consisting of: Ryan Holmes (CEO, Hootsuite), Wade Foster (CEO, Zapier – which emerged from Startup Weekend Columbia), Amy Rae (Principal, Vanedge Capital), and Igor Smirnoff (Chief Commercial Officer, PressReader).

      After an intense, 3-hour long round of pitches, three well-deserved startups made it to the top 3: Draft Madness (3rd Place), HouseHive (2nd Place), and Culitech, claiming the winning title of this year’s Startup Weekend Vancouver competition and category winners of having the “Most Disruptive Idea”, presented by PressReader. Additionally, Automated Vertical Agriculture (AVA) took home the title of having the “Best Impact”, presented by Spring Activator.

      Thebrain-child of two young entrepreneurs, Angela Wang and Madeleine Liu (both whom are still in secondary school as eleventh graders), Culitech offers detachable cutlery that can detect allergens, toxins, and nutritional content (calories, sugars, proteins, etc.).

      HouseHive, claiming 2nd Place, offers an online platform which connects household service providers to city residents.

      Draft Madness, at 3rd Place, offers a revolutionary March Madness drafting platform to enable players to win more money through engaging in fantasy sports.

      Lastly, AVA was awarded as having the “Best Impact” by Spring Activator. AVA provides a simple, beautiful solution to home gardening using the AVA device, a microwave-sized, smart urban gardening box for the urban cultivator.

      With the support of local and global sponsors such as Google, dotCo, Vitamin Water, Branch Metrics, Zenefits, Unbounce, Jukebox, QuickMobile, PressReader, the finalists took home over $16,000 in prizes to help further their startup success.

      Other local sponsors for this year’s Startup Weekend Vancouver competition include:

      • BC Innovation Council (BCIC)
      • Smythe CPA
      • Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)
      • Small Business BC
      • Lighthouse Labs
      • MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP
      • iQMetrix
      • Launch Academy
      • Todoist
      • Spring Activator
      • Mailchimp
      • Mobify

      About Startup Weekend Vancouver
      Startup Weekend is a global grassroots movement of active and empowered entrepreneurs who are learning the basics of founding startups and launching successful ventures. It is the largest community of passionate entrepreneurs with over 1800 past events in 120 countries around the world in 2014.

      For more information on Startup Weekend Vancouver, please visit:
      vancouver.up.co/startup-weekend

      Twitter: https://twitter.com/VanStartup
      Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VanStartup
      Email: vancouver@startupweekend.org




      #SWVan Update — Here are this year’s awesome startup ideas

      Our 7th Startup Weekend Vancouver event kicked into high gear at Unbounce Friday night with over 150 attendees eagerly awaiting to pitch their ideas. When the dust finally settled, a total of 52 concepts were pitched resulting in 11 ideas voted in, and 15 teams finally formed.

      Early Saturday morning, the teams got right to work bringing their startup ideas to life. Some took to the streets of Downtown Vancouver for customer validation, and others hustled to develop their prototypes (with coffee in hand, of course).

      We’ll be opening our doors to almost 200 guests for our sold-out event on Sunday night, and we’re excited to see our teams present their innovative ideas. Here are the exciting ideas our #SWVan teams have been working on so far (*updated team names):

      1. Magic Motion 

      Magic Motion is an affordable virtual reality (VR) system that enables PC-gamers to enjoy VR games using Google Cardboard. As a direct competitor to Oculus Rift, Magic Motion’s advantage is making VR gaming affordable for the average PC gamer.

      Twitter

      2. Draft Madness

      Draft Madness is a new platform for fantasy drafting of March Madness (one of the largest sporting events in the United States featuring men’s college basketball). Draft Madness allows you to draft your favourite team through a live, interactive auction, double your winnings when your team wins, and buy/sell teams amongst your friends throughout the tournament.

      Twitter

      Facebook
      Instagram

      3. Closure

      Imagine suddenly losing a loved one, and now having the daunting task of settling all their outstanding liabilities (phone bills, loans, credit card payments, etc.), finding a funeral home, estate lawyer, and countless other tasks while still grieving for their loss. Closure is an automated platform that will close all outstanding tasks required to manage the death of a loved on — saving you time, and stress while allowing you to grieve.

      4. ActivePal

      ActivePal is an online community that connects you to active pals nearby who love the outdoors. Key pain points outdoorsy people face are: finding other active people nearby to enjoy the outdoors with, connecting with smaller groups of people (avoiding large groups of hikers), and finding an active community for outdoor activities (that’s not a dating site!). This platform will be filtered based on location, availability, interests, and various activities you’d like to do.

      Twitter
      Facebook

      5. ActiveShadow

      ActiveShadow is an online platform that helps people improve their presentation skills through a live, online audience. Think SoundCloud meets Toastmasters. Users will connect on the platform with the intention of wanting to improve their presentation skills, or to provide feedback on the presentations that others’ make. The platform will enable presenters to record their presentations, and engage in Q&A with their audience.

      6. Culitech

      Culitech aims to produce smart, attachable cutlery that will detect toxins, allergens, and nutrient content in your food. This smart utensil will enable both consumers and households to take precautions of any dietary sensitivities, or toxins (i.e. mould, bacteria, etc.) that otherwise may harm cause harm to your body.

      7. Rentbid.co

      Rentbid.co is a web and app-based platform that optimizes rental property revenue, helping landlords get more money through an auctioning system. This rental property revenue optimizer allows you to get the best market price for your rental property by crowdsourcing bids from qualified, trustworthy renters.

      Website
      Twitter
      Facebook

      8. HouseHive

      HouseHive enables your local neighbourhood to leverage purchasing power by bundling common household services. This online platform helps organize you and your neighbours to find common services you all require, package up the service requests, and connect you with the best local service providers in your community. With HouseHive, you can find out who’s already working in your building (home cleaners, dog walkers, cooks, carpet cleaners, etc.) and find the best deal on your shared services.

      Website

      Facebook

      9. Rideaway*

      SurfLife is an online community that connects extreme sports professionals with new learners to provide their expertise, share lessons and sports equipment. Through SurfLife, you can find suggestions for local spots to best enjoy the sport, and learn from seasoned professionals at a fraction of the price. SurfLife’s extreme sport-listing will include (but not limited to) surfing, ski/snowboarding, and mountain biking.

      10. Wow Her

      Wow Her is the Expedia for date nights — a web and app-based platform that will enable users to find and search for date night ideas. Filtered based on budget, location, and interest, Wow Her will personalize your next date night suggestions.

      11. AVA

      AVA, or Automated Vertical Agriculture creates beautiful, modern, indoor farming units for the urban cultivator. Paired with a smart tech plant food gel dispenser, users can grow and monitor their organic produce using AVA’s mobile app. AVA aims to encourage more urban cultivators to adopt a healthier, self-sustainable lifestyle.

      Twitter
      Facebook

      12. Quantext*

      Carbon Context is a B2B platform that simplifies environmental data for companies to make better choices in their project initiatives. Corporate Social Responsibility representatives (CSRs) are often tasked to evaluate possible environmental impacts made on any company-initiatives, however the data collected is scattered and difficult to understand. Carbon Context provides a clear, visual representation to enable businesses to make better design decisions to prevent harmful environmental impacts that damage may damage the earth.

      13. Blue Circle Project

      Blue Circle Project is a food redistributor service that takes any leftover food from grocery stores and restaurants and re-distributes them to local animal farms, charities, etc. Billions of dollars worth of food gets wasted every year, and produces substantial amounts of CO2 emissions into the environment. Blue Circle aims to reduce the amount of food waste to help foster a low-carbon economy.

      14. Local Log

      Local Log is a discovery engine for local shopping, helping shoppers discover local stores and support local businesses. Additionally, local business owners can expect an easier transition to developing an online presence for their store through Local Log.

      15. Lift

      Lift is a match-making service for fitness and nutrition coaches to connect with new and goal-orientated clients. Moreover, Lift will match clients with their ideal coaches who can best accommodate for their fitness and nutritional goals. These highly-trained coaches will be vetted based on their experience, training/background and professional network to offer a variety of options for clients to choose from.




      Startup Weekend Vancouver is Here — Thank You to Our Amazing Sponsors!

      The moment we’ve all been waiting for Startup Weekend is finally here, and we are thrilled to present the 7th Annual Startup Weekend Vancouver event tonight at Unbounce!

      Startup Weekend Vancouver is a volunteer-run event, and we couldn’t have done it with the support of all our amazing sponsors:

      Unbounce

      Unbounce has always been an amazing supporter of Startup Weekend Vancouver, and as our Signature Venue Sponsor for this year’s Startup Weekend, we are so excited to host our competition at their new headquarters in Downtown Vancouver. Unbounce will also be providing a 1-year account for the winning team for SWVan.

      Zenefits

      Originally founded in San Francisco, CA, it’s hard to believe that Zenefits was once a startup only two years ago, and has been our biggest contributor to helping us put on an amazing event. Zenefits Financials is one of the fastest-growing SaaS Businesses ever, and we’re thrilled to have them as our Platinum Sponsor and hosts of our Official After Party for SWVan!

      Jukebox

      While serving customers in over 100 countries, most people don’t think of Jukebox Print as a startup, but in fact, Jukebox was once the very definition of a startup— created and managed by one person. Huge thanks for Jukebox Print providing us with all the beautiful print work for SWVan! Find out more about their story in our latest guest blog from Jukebox’s Founder & CEO, Loredo Rucchin.

      QuickMobile

      Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, QuickMobile was named Deloitte’s #1 Fastest Growing Technology Company in Canada in 2013, and has now expanded globally with offices in London, UK, and Singapore. This year, we are thrilled to have QuickMobile provide our attendees with our Startup Weekend event app —complete with a list of our event schedule, profiles of our judges, coaches, sponsors and more!

      PressReader

      PressReader is the global leader in multi-channel, cross-platform content distribution and monetization, and the chosen partner of more than 4,000 publishers from 100 countries. We’re grateful for PressReader’s support in SWVan this year as one of our Gold Sponsors, and sponsor for one of our extra prize categories for “Most Disruptive” idea.

      In addition to our featured sponsors, we’re so thankful for the support of our Bronze and Silver Sponsors:

      To our awesome community and media sponsors, thank you for providing some awesome prizes and perks for our SWVan attendees:

      Lastly, huge thanks to Guayaki, SPUD, KIND Snacks, Whistler Water, and Red Bull who have graciously donated supplies for the event.

      Thank you again to all our amazing sponsors, and for more information on a complete list of all our awesome perks and prizes, be sure to check out our Big Basket of Prizes!




      The big basket of prizes

      Startup Weekend Vancouver is an action-packed weekend of entrepreneurial learning, execution, and fun. With such a short timeframe for teams to build a new idea, it’s amazing to see what they come out with.

      That said, Startup Weekend is still a competition to see who can create the best idea, MVP, and present the viable business in the short 54-hour period—and competitions aren’t competition without an awesome basket of prizes to be won. So let’s take a look at what’s up for grabs!

      Prizes for the Winning Team

      • 1-year MailChimp PRO account from MailChimp
      • 1-year Premium account from Todoist
      • 1-year account from Zapier
      • $3,000 of accounts services from Smythe
      • Coffee with Mobify Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer, Peter McLachlan
      • $2,500 worth of legal service (including incorporation) from MacPherson Leslie & Tyerman LLP
      • A month’s supply of free snacks for your office from SPUD
      • 1-year account from Unbounce
      • 1 free pass for a team member to attend the Lean Entrepreneruship Program from Launch Academy
      • 1-month of office space at the wantoo Lounge

      Total basket is worth over $10,000 in prizes!

      Second & Third Place

      • 1-year Premium account from Todoist
      • 1-year account from Zapier
      • $1,000 worth of legal service (including incorporation) from MLT (2nd place only)

      That’s not all, though. We also have some alternate prizes for teams that meet other criteria.

      Most Disruptive Idea

      PressReader is also offering the team with the “Most Disruptive Idea” a 1-year PressReader membership for the whole team.

      Best Impact

      Spring is also offering the team with the “Best Impact” one (1) scholarship to Spring’s Kick pre-accelerator program—a 4-week intensive to help you get from concept to clarity by emphasizing lean methodology, idea validation, and customer discovery. The “Best Impact” prize will be awarded to the most promising business concept that looks to create the biggest positive social or environmental change through technology.

      Global Startup Battle Prizes

      But wait! There’s more!

      As our Startup Weekend event is participating in Global Startup Battle, the top 3 teams will also be able to compete in the exclusive Champion’s Track against other winning startups from around the world for even more prizes!

      There are also addition tracks open to all teams that compete in Startup Weekend where you can still win some of the awesome prizes.

      There are still a small handful of tickets available to Startup Weekend Vancouver on Nov 20-22 so if you don’t have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for?




      Develop Your Startup Like Jukebox: A Successful Online Business Card Company

      Guest Post by Loredo Rucchin, Founder & CEO of JukeboxPrint.com.

      Loredo Rucchin Bio PictureAt Jukebox Print, we’ve experienced it all. As a successful e-commerce business serving customers in over 100 countries, most people don’t think of Jukebox Print as a startup, but in fact, Jukebox was once the very definition of a startup. Jukebox was created and managed by one person. That one person was the CSR, the designer, the packager, the shipper, the IT guy and the accountant. The “office” consisted of a bedroom with a desk and computer, and the product line consisted of only business cards. If any of this rings true to your current circumstances, keep reading. We’ve got some insight from our own personal experiences growing into a successful business. There will still be some challenges along the way, but with our help, you might just be ready to face them.

      You have a brilliant idea for your own e-commerce company; a product or service that stands out and meets an unmet demand. What you need before you launch is an effective name, and this should be given serious consideration. If we were called Loredo’s Print Shop, you would probably envision us as a small, plain, industrial shop offering the same old aqueous coating on everything. Instead, we’re called Jukebox Print – an offbeat, exciting, intriguing, stylish and memorable name that lets you know immediately we are not your average print shop. If you are not an overly creative person, enlist the help of someone who is. Test out your name ideas by judging the reactions they receive. The first general reaction to the name Jukebox, along with our bright pink branding, was shock and disbelief. The fact that people had such a strong reaction is what solidified the name as the right choice for us. It would give people something to talk about – and for 8 years, it has.

      Another main challenge you will face in your early stages is making the leap to expand outside of your basement or home office. Jukebox is an online business that has grown its customer base mainly through referrals, and although we serve an international customer base now, we grew locally first. Before you are known as a reputable business, people are going to want to meet with you, view samples in person and in general, get a feel for how professional your business is. This demands that you have a professional office space. A great option for today’s budding startups is a shared office or “co-work” space. You don’t need a large storefront, so focus on finding a small yet modern environment. Expand your team slowly by hiring one person at first, and don’t overlook the value of students or those with little experience – you can mould the right person into exactly what you need. Although it might be tempting, don’t hire your friends. The more professional you keep all aspects of your business, the more professional your reputation will be with your clients.

      As you grow, your challenges will change dramatically. If you are operating your business mostly or even partially online, you need a good IT team (yes, you need to hire multiple people) to keep your website stable, secure and operating smoothly.

      Once your website is backed up by a great IT team, you can start to focus on international expansion. Shipping and payments will be your biggest challenges. Choose your business partners wisely from the beginning. We are thrilled to offer UPS shipping and Paypal during check-out, company names that are trusted all over the world. This has had a direct increase on our international sales.

      Grow your international customer base further by having a strong social media presence, and by tailoring your marketing approach to the specific location you are targeting. The products that are a hit in North America may not be new or exciting in France or Australia. This will be the case with any product or service you offer, as worldwide customers will have different appreciations and expectations of service. It might seem obvious, but don’t forget that an exotic Bamboo business card isn’t so exotic in China. Communication can also be a difficult barrier you may face. When hiring, start to look past the obvious talents and put more value into multi-lingual capabilities. This will be a huge asset to your company, as one employee can help you connect with a whole new market.

      Lastly, never forget the power of aesthetic attraction. Our branding is something our customers compliment us on the most. Something as simple as a beautifully wrapped box can be the motivation your customer needs to share photos online or recommend you to everyone they know. This can be as simple as branding your packaging using a custom stamp of your logo at first, evolving into using a fully customized set of branded tissue paper, boxes, wrapping paper and product tags. And we happen to know the perfect place for you to get them printed.

      About the Author: Loredo Rucchin is a successful entrepreneur – his company, Jukebox Print, recently made Profit’s top 100 list, with five-year growth of 4,331%. Jukeboxprint.com offers high quality business card products and the latest, most innovative print products. Learn more about Jukebox Print.




      How to Prepare for a Hackathon or Startup Weekend

      Guest blog post by #SWVan coach, Tony Gui

      Challenged accepted.

      All-star teams formed.

      Adrenaline is the fuel for ideas.

      Post-its, pivots, and coding, OH MY!

      Hungry, Sleepless, and Determined.

      All for the experience to pitch the next greatest idea or startup over a weekend.

      TonyGui-Blog

      Millennials are replacing their weekends for the opportunity to solve some bold and badass challenges to design better futures. Hackathons and Startup Weekends are being curated globally to bring together passionate leaders and entrepreneurs with diverse skills to design innovative solutions. Even NASA has seen the value of hosting their own Hackathon, providing access to their open source data to teams of technologist, developers, artists, designers, and entrepreneurs across the globe.

      Whether you are a seasoned hacker/startup guru or a virgin curious about the experience, these weekends are full of adrenaline, excitement, frustration, emotion, and new learning. Come Sunday, it’s celebration of what your team has designed!

      Having had experience in these events as both a participant and mentor, I’d love to share some key tips:

      1 — Fall in love with the problem not the idea. Don’t trust anyone who thinks they have the next greatest idea. All ideas are crap and are based on assumptions. Get out of the building and test your ideas with real people who are having the problem you are designing for.

      2 — Build Team Understanding. Chances are everyone on your team is coming from a different background. It may feel as though everyone is speaking a different language. As a team, understand everyone’s skills — some might be great at coding, visual design, or strategy. Visualizing the problem and process will make sure everyone is speaking the same language and feels heard.

      3 — How Might We is an innovator’s most powerful weapon. As you unpack various problems along the weekend, keep asking How Might We. This secret will help uncover fresh ideas and insights.

      4 — Visualize Everything! The one that picks up the pen solves the problem.

      5 — The new 4 Ps: Prototype, prototype, prototype, and prototype.Design is not about building beautiful things. Design is about triggering the right responses. Build prototypes that can be tested on people to learn whether or not you are triggering the responses you want.

      6 — Business Model Canvas. Learn to use the Business Model Canvas, this will help you visualize whether or not your startup makes any sense. How will you make money? Who are your customers? What is your promise to your customer? How will they know about it?

      7 — Pitch! Show and Tell time. Make us resonate to the problem you are solving — what is! Show us how you can relieve that pain point for us — what could be!


      *This was a guest blog post by Startup Weekend Vancouver 2015 coach, Tony Gui.

      Tony Gui is a design strategist and creative hustler who splits his life between San Francisco and Vancouver.  He has founded two startups and is currently bringing the third to life. Kreatives will be a design and strategy lab working with investors and businesses to sustain innovation and launch new ventures globally.  Tony has taught design thinking around the world, mentored at NASA’s International Space App’s Challenge in New York, and is a finalist in the 2015 Fast Company Innovation by Design Awards. He is passionate about working with entrepreneurs and businesses to design meaningful futures.




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