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.
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?!
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
Montréal possède une incroyable communauté d’entrepreneurs ainsi que de nombreux évènements et réseaux d’organisations qui servent à promouvoir cet esprit entrepreneurial. Suite à notre participation au Startup Weekend édition FinTech à Montréal, nous avons constaté que lors de cet événement, de jeunes entrepreneurs peuvent se rencontrer et créer ensemble une richesse qui peut répondre à des besoins existants dans la société.
J’ai récemment eu l’honneur de mentorer les équipes du startup Weekend afin de leur apporter un soutien juridique dans la réalisation de leur projet.
Apporter sa touche particulière à cette communauté entrepreneuriale est vraiment gratifiant. Malgré la pression, le manque de temps, ces jeunes entrepreneurs étaient dotés d’une grande volonté de réussir. Ils avaient en eux la volonté d’innover, de s’associer et de s’exposer afin de réaliser leur projet.
BTK Avocats s’implique sans hésitation dans le monde des Startups. Beaucoup de nos clients sont des startups qu’on accompagne du stade embryonnaire jusqu’à la réalisation complète de leur projet. C’est pourquoi j’ai choisi de soutenir l’évènement du startup Weekend édition FinTech en offrant un prix aux équipes gagnantes ainsi qu’à tous les participants.
De plus, j’offre une promo spéciale pour les Startup de cinq ans et moins sur mes services ; c’est une façon pour moi de soutenir cet esprit de créativité et cette hargne d’innover.
Je remercie Startup Weekend et Startup Canada d’offrir une aussi belle opportunité aux jeunes entrepreneurs ainsi que d’avoir mis sur pied un tel évènement.
Au plaisir de revivre une telle expérience l’année prochaine.
Me Zineb Kouidri,
Avocate & Associée chez BTK Avocats
The 10th Startup Weekend in Ottawa is well under way! This is the largest startup weekend Ottawa has ever had with 110 participants and 17 teams. This event has worked several years to bridge enthusiastic and outspoken youth with resources such as developers, marketing specialists, and mentors to assist in actualizing their entrepreneurial goals. As you may know, four categories entitle these bright minds to what their idea may entail; assisting vulnerable communities, general, product making, and the internet of things. These categories asked a lot from the competitors, and the contestants sure did bring it!
Of the 110 participants, 17 groups were devised with the intention to create and develop an idea that would catapult their team into lateral success. From a program which would implement virtual reality audiences to assist people who have difficulty with public speaking, to databasing health records of those receiving medical treatment to facilitate the process of diagnosis and providing prescriptions, the ideas brought forth this weekend are quite impressive. Each having their own impassioned idea, a group of people determined to make a difference in the lives of others, and the support and advice of experienced startup attendees, our hope is that every initiative planted this weekend will bear fruit.
Below are details of the seventeen fantastic Startup initiatives:
Problem: “Many people fear the act of speaking in front of an audience. Some may consider this to be a huge impediment to their success, but have no outlet to harbour this skill without risk of humiliation.”
Goal: “Using VR technology, we would like to provide a real audience experience for people to practice speaking in public without pressure. The program would also include speech analysis.”
Currently working on: Creating the MVP and business model.
Problem: “There is currently no way to conveniently link local florists and potential clients in order to interact for pleasant and convenient customer experience.”
Goal: “Allow florists to access a larger consumer base in an efficient manner while providing better access for customers who want flowers through our central platform.”
Currently working on: Researching this particular market, building web-application, validating idea, and formulating the pitch.
Problem: “Individuals who are visually impaired are not able to independently distinguish objects by their colour. This may cause means for frustration in daily affairs, such as shopping.”
Goal: “Help the visually impaired distinguish between colours of objects, like clothes, or produce.”
Currently working on: Creating an app which can detect object colour and relay that information to an individual through audio.
Problem: “The amount of preventable deaths in emergency rooms due to staff neglect.”
Goal: “To develop an IOT-based smart service that passively monitors all patients waiting in the ER.”
Currently working on: Marketing strategy, developing the means for long-term sustainability.
Patient Outcome Measurement and Management (POMM)
Problem: “The inefficient, multidisciplinary care of complex patients.”
Goal: “To allow for rapid identification and prioritization of patient issues.”
Currently working on: Creating a collaborative e-health app.
Problem: “No means of acquiring immediate access to a tutor anywhere, at any time.”
Goal: “Create a mobile app that will deliver a nearby tutor to a student in need by request.”
Currently working on: Developing official prototype.
Problem: “Citizens and cities have poor dialogue when it comes to issues which affect everybody in the constituency.”
Goal: “Utilize citizen-created data to facilitate problem identification, location, and resolution while enhancing both civic engagement and bilateral communication.”
Currently working on: Designing an app to connect citizens and community stakeholders in order to implement changes in the city.
Problem: “Institutionalized education (reading textbooks, attending lectures) is boring.”
Goal: “Empower students by making learning fun, engaging, and conducive to an increased passion for knowledge.”
Currently working on: Market penetration.
Problem: “People who have experienced setbacks are not able to find meaningful employment”.
Goal: “Help low-income or marginalized people get back on their feet by teaching them valuable skills.”
Currently working on: Revamping business model after a recent pivot.
Problem: “Firms with wait lines that require a ticket/queue system force you to waste time in a waiting room, possibly while in adverse conditions to receive attention.”
Goal: “Implement a solution where you can track your queue online or the the convenience of a mobile app.”
Currently working on: Business model, prototype.
Problem: “Distracted, impaired, drunk or drowsy drivers.”
Goal: “Make roads safer for everyone through monitoring driver’s level of focus, with the feature of warning a driver when they are not remaining within lines, or becoming distracted.”
Currently working on: Customer validation & design.
Problem: “Skill development through formal means is costly, difficult to find, impersonable.”
Goal: “Building relationships through an exchange of skills.”
Currently working on: An application that matches skilled people willing to teach or hoping to learn.
Problem: “Mental health deficiencies cause people to stop seeking the help they need, not allowing them to receive proper emotional support.”
Goal: Connect patients with each other to harbour
Currently working on: building a strong business plan.
Problem: ”Homeless and unemployed people lack access to proper employment.”
Goal: “Providing a platform for low-committment employment at easy
Currently working on: Building mvp and working on validation.
Problem: “Current software to 3D print MRI scans is too difficult to use for doctors.”
Goal: “Build a better software product that simplifies the process.”
Currently working on: Customer Validation, software prototype.
Problem: “People with the most knowledge on a crisis situation are also those with the least opportunity to implement positive change for it.”
Goal: “Provide hope for people within conflict zones who may have a skillset that is unharboured or feel hopeless due to the condition of their environment through funding and sponsorship.”
Currently working on: seeking refugee entrepreneurs to put on our peer-to-peer mobile payment platform.
Problem: “Lack of available and sustainable fresh food in refugee camps.”
Goal: “Create a social enterprise that focuses on building a community around accessibility of fresh food through the means of hydroponics.”
Currently working on: Validating and looking for NGOs to partner with.
The Startup Weekend judging criteria is broken up into three sections. Teams are judged according to the following 3 criteria (weighted equally):
- Business Model
- How does the team plan on making this a successful business? Have they thought about (either solved or identified problems) competition, how to scale, acquiring customers, their revenue model etc?
- Customer Validation
- Are teams building something that people actually want? How well does the team understand their customer and their customer’s needs. Did the team get out and talk to customers? What is the value proposition to customers?
- Execution & Design
- Have they established a “Minimal Viable Product” for the weekend (software, hardware, etc.)? *Note: an MVP is the minimum set of features to be able to start collecting data. Does it deliver a compelling and captivating user experience? Were they able to demo something functional?
- What’s the worst thing that has happened this weekend?
- What’s the most impressive thing you have achieved this weekend?
- Where is the rocket science here? What is your secret sauce?
- Why did you pick this idea to work on?
- Why do the reluctant users hold back?
- Who would you hire or how would you add to your team?
- What problems/hurdles are you anticipating?
- Who is “the boss”?
- What is the next step with the product evolution?
- What obstacles will you face and how will you overcome them?
- Who needs what you’re making?
- How does your product work in more detail?
- What are you going to do next?
- What do you understand that others don’t?
- Where do new users come from?
- How big an opportunity is there?
- Six months from now, what’s going to be your biggest problem?
- What’s the funniest thing that has happened to you this weekend?
- Tell us something surprising you have done this weekend?
- Who are your competitors?
- What’s new about what you make?
- How many users do you have?
- Why isn’t someone already doing this?
- What are the top things users want?
- How do you know customers need what you’re making?
- What domain expertise do you have?
- What, exactly, makes you different from existing options?
- What’s the conversion rate?
- What systems have you hacked?
- Who would use your product?
- How will customers and/or users find out about you?
- Why did your team get together?
- In what ways are you resourceful?
- What is your distribution strategy?
- What has surprised you about user behaviour?
- What part of your project are you going to build first?
- What resistance will they have to trying you and how will you overcome it?
- How are you understanding customer needs?
- What’s the biggest mistake you have made this weekend?
- Who might become competitors?
- What do you understand about your users?
- What is your user growth rate?
- What are the key things about your field that outsiders don’t understand?
- Who is going to be your first paying customer?
- If your startup succeeds, what additional areas might you be able to expand into?
- Who would be your next hire?
- How do you know people want this?
- What do you know about this space/product others don’t know?
- How much money could you make per year?
- How long can you go before funding?
- How will you make money?
- Will your team stick at this?
- How much does customer acquisition cost?
- How did your team meet?
- Who in your team does what?
- How are you meeting customers?
- How many users are paying?
- How is your product different?
- Are you open to changing your idea?
- What makes new users try you?
- What competition do you fear most?
- 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
- 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…
It’s been a year and a half in the making but they did it. TopFeed co-founders and Startup Weekend PEI alumni Vaughn Murphy and Rafael Aguirre proudly launched their first product two weeks ago, a feat they never anticipated when they first met at the event.
Startup Weekend attendees sign up for a variety of reasons. While Vaughn planned on making a pitch, he had no idea what it was going to be until he arrived that night and started meeting new people. Rafael, on the other hand, wanted to participate as a way to recover some of the knowledge he gained studying business administration at UPEI a few years earlier. He had recently begun considering entering the world of entrepreneurship, and thought Startup Weekend PEI would be a good place to start.
Inspired to develop a marketing platform for food producers different from what is currently available, Vaughn did end up pitching an idea – a platform where producers compete for the top of a social feed in a fun and competitive way through reviews and social media. Three other participants, including Rafael, liked the idea and joined his team. As is the norm, the idea changed several times throughout the weekend.
Just a few days after they launched, we sat down with Vaughn and Rafael to talk about their journey into entrepreneurship and the how Startup Weekend PEI made it happen.
Did you think you’d launch a business?
Rafael: “I thought it’d be educational, but didn’t expect to launch anything from the event. We realized pretty quickly we were moving into a very competitive space trying to be a marketing firm on PEI. It started to really come together after being introduced to tools like the lean canvas early on, and having the support of mentors to help accelerate a simple idea into something bigger.”
At what moment during Startup Weekend did you think, “This could be something”?
Rafael: “(During Market Research) when we were talking to different producers about an online marketplace, a lot of producers were very positive about it. Most (local) producers don’t have any online sales channels or don’t know how to promote themselves online so they liked the idea and saw potential.”
Vaughn: “We asked producers what is important to them. Producers wanted to sell their products to customers off PEI. Many felt like they were established in the PEI market and wanted to attract other customers, but there was nothing set up for them to do it easily.”
What was your biggest take away?
Rafael: “The first idea you have is never going to be exactly the same at the end. Most of the time ideas changed into something completely different. You need to be prepared to change.”
Vaughn: “I took away the power of collaboration. I went in with no idea of what I would pitch or talk about and was literally thinking about what kind of theme the weekend was and thought “I should pitch something to do with farm and food.” To see the support of a complete stranger who thinks “this could have legs” and two days later have started a business and the confidence to keep going. We didn’t even talk about whether or not we would keep going (after the weekend), we just kept working and set milestones and deadlines for certain things to be done.”
Since you two didn’t know each other before the weekend started, could you tell us how your relationship evolved?
Vaughn: “From the very beginning we saw each other as equals, which has helped us stay level- headed and able to work with each other. We talk about everything about where we’ll take the business.”
Rafael: “We keep each other grounded, and help keep expectations realistic but have a vision to walk towards.”
How did the role of the mentors contribute to your Startup Weekend experience?
Rafael: “Extremely important, especially if you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s great to have a mentor who’s been through it, it can really help morale-wise to encourage you and offer insight.”
Vaughn: “We still talk with the mentors who were there! The mentors’ suggestions and input pivoted us to close to what we are today. It was their ideas and input that brought us to better and better places.”
Any parting words of wisdom for future Startup Weekend PEI participants?
Vaughn: “If nothing came out of the weekend, it still felt pretty good because we saw what it took to get a business together in a short amount of time. One year later, we’re still digesting that information.”
Rafael: “Putting an idea out there and coming up with a business is manageable, it’s not as complex as you initially think it is. It isn’t easy, but it’s something the average person can see through if they just push on. You can get a lot more done than you think you could do.”
Be sure to check out TopFeed’s website to sign up for their signature snack pack and see new product offerings in the coming weeks!
If you’ve ever dreamed of being an entrepreneur, Startup Weekend could give you the support you need to get an idea off the ground! Register today for Startup Weekend PEI, happening November 18th-20th at Startup Zone in Charlottetown!
Taking a page out of Alisha from Lancaster, PA’s books for this post. Reposted with permission, original here.
So. Startup Weekend is a 54 hour event where you can get a crash-course on being an entrepreneur. But how are you going to participate in Startup Weekend? There are a variety of ways anyone can participate. I had an interesting experience where I signed up to be a designer but had reservations on designing when I arrived. It was fine – I still played a part as a Project Manager and assisted with some design decisions. In other words – whatever ticket you choose, while it is very important, there are so many more ways to participate in Startup Weekend.
But that doesn’t necessarily help you decide which way you’ll sign up to participate, does it? Never fear. I’ve pulled together a little guidance on each role at Startup Weekend: Developer, Designer, and Non-technical! Also, remember, if you’re a student select “STUDENT” and pay just $50. You will be required to show Student ID at the door.
This ticket type applies to software engineers/coders/developers – in short, anybody who can and will write code.
Honestly – that description is pretty perfect. What can you expect to do at Startup Weekend, though, if you sign up as a Developer? You might start witha pitch. And then you might work with the non-technical and designer to ensure your concept is effective for completion in 54-hours and then start to code. Or maybe you don’t have an idea to pitch. Or you might pitch an idea that doesn’t make the cut Friday night. You can still join another team and work with that team to complete the idea and code during the weekend either alone or with another developer (or two)!
This ticket type applies to anybody with a background in design (graphics, UX/UI, etc.)
Again, the ticket definition hits it spot-on. Know anything about design? Great! This ticket is for you. You might spend your time creating a logo or elements of an online-tool (like buttons, etc) or even laying out pages on a site. Or creating the many graphics needed for a site. If you have some coding knowledge for design, that’s great! If you know a bit about UX/UI but can’t complete everything for it – this is the ticket for you, too! And your time to learn more about creating the best experience online. If you’d like to read more about this unique way to participate. A fellow Startup Weekend Organizer, (she’s worked on PHLSW and HEALTHPHL),Melissa Morris Ivone, wrote a great blog post on The Role of Design in Startup Weekend.
This ticket type applies to business, marketing & PR, and anyone with a non-technical background.
I love this ticket type description. It really can serve so many purposes because there are so many things to be done at Startup Weekend. It takes a great team to pull off creating a business in 54 hours. Are you a great marketer? This ticket type is for you. Do you know a lot about running a business? Or starting one, at least? This ticket type is for you. Are you a great writer? You might also make a great blogger or copywriter for a website or tool. This ticket type can also be for you! Also – don’t forget – you can pitch an idea Friday night, too. Maybe that’s what you think you’re coming with – just an idea for a business. And that’s fine. You can watch your idea unfold in 54 hours and learn the many different things you need to get that started with a great team while helping each developer, designer, marketer to get this accomplished.
Whichever ticket type you choose, there are so many ways to participate at Startup Weekend. From Friday Night through Sunday evening. It can be as much or as little as you like – but you’ll get the experience of watching a business start faster than any other situation.
Still have questions about what ticket to buy? Or just want to say hi? Just email us at pei (at) startupweekend (dot) org (or you can click the contact button on our home page).
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.