BDC Venture Capital becomes Startup Weekend Canada’s first national partner

Montreal and Toronto, Canada, November 8, 2012 – BDC Venture Capital has concluded an agreement with Startup Weekend, an international not-for-profit organization based in Seattle, Washington, to become the first-ever nationwide partner for Startup Weekend events taking place in Canada. BDC VC’s financial support will enable Startup Weekend Canada to hold a greater number of events across the country than previously possible. The announcement comes on the eve of five Startup Weekend events taking place in Canada November 9-11 as a kickoff to Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 12 to 18).

Startup Weekends are intensive 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products and launch startups, mostly in the web and software sectors. The home office in Seattle, which is funded by The Kauffman Foundation, Microsoft, Google and others, provides the framework as well as assistance to local volunteer organisers around the world. Since the movement started in 2007, over 650 Startup Weekends have gone on worldwide. In the past two years, there have been 18 Startup Weekends in Canada.

Up to 22 Startup Weekends in Canada in 2012-13 alone
BDC Venture Capital and Startup Weekend count on seeing that number grow over the next twelve months. BDC VC has taken the engagement to support up to 22 Startup Weekends across the country during the coming year. “Individuals events should also be bigger and better than ever”, says Chris Eben, Startup Weekend Canada’s Director and Lead Organizer of Startup Weekend Toronto.

Chris Eben also calls on fellow local organizers across Canada to take notice, as well as everyone else who’s played with the idea of organizing a Startup Weekend in their area: “The time has never been better for a Startup Weekend. I want to see BDC Venture Capital’s support utilized to its fullest.”

Part of BDC Venture Capital’s strategy
“The partnership with Startup Weekend is strongly aligned with our efforts to ensure a healthy and vibrant early stage ecosystem in Canada,” explains Senia Rapisarda, Vice President of Strategic Investments and Initiatives, the group which oversees such early startup support at BDC Venture Capital.

BDC VC backs a number of projects that aim to train would-be tech entrepreneurs and create networking opportunities between potential partners, mentors and investors, with the ultimate goal of leading to fruitful business ventures. The partnership with Startup Weekend is as strategic as it is natural.

Startup Weekend has established itself as a valuable and respected partner in the development of local and national startup ecosystems. Successful companies like Zaarly, Foodspotting, Launchrock and Memolane were all born out of Startup Weekends. In Canada, these events have yielded many active and vibrant startups. In Toronto alone, Venngage, Wash.ly and Ven.io are up and coming companies that all began this way.

More partners welcome
BDC VC’s national support is meant to complement local sources of financing for individual events. “It will be good for Canada if there are more and bigger Startup Weekends taking place all over the country and we hope even more organizations will get involved at the local level. We’d also be more than pleased to welcome other national partners. There’s no exclusivity when it comes to supporting our startup sector,” adds Senia Rapisarda of BDC VC.

Startup Weekends are taking place November 9th to the 11th in Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto and Ottawa. Those who would like to organize a Startup Weekend event in their area can submit their proposal at startupweekend.org.

About BDC Venture Capital
At BDC Venture Capital, we help great ideas become great companies. With more than $1 billion in current and planned investments and over 25 years of experience in venture capital, we focus on innovative IT, health and energy/clean technology companies with high growth potential. We work with entrepreneurs and other investors in the public and private sectors to build outstanding Canadian companies, and are involved at every stage of the development cycle, from seed through expansion to exit. Our goal is to deliver excellent return on our investments, while working to create a sound financial ecosystem for Canadian technology ventures.








Startup Weekend and Microsoft = Mega

Startup Weekend is pleased to announce a new partnership with Microsoft focusing on Windows 8, made possible through the Microsoft BizSpark program.

Claire Lee from Microsoft outlines what this enhanced partnership means:

Microsoft is a proud partner of Startup Weekend right from the beginning. Startup Weekend was one of the original Network Partners of our Microsoft BizSpark program launched in November 2008, to support startups around the world with software, support and visibility.

In Spring 2012, Startup Weekend became one of select launch partners of BizSpark Plus, enabling high growth startups at leading accelerators avail of $60,000 worth of free Windows Azure services.

Now, we are going bigger and better!

This new partnership provides even more resources for entrepreneurs: teams formed at Startup Weekend can expect more hands-on education and training on the next largest opportunity for designers, developers and entrepreneurs.

Within the next six months, our collaboration means at least 50 major cities worldwide will host Windows 8 ‘bootcamps’. These take place prior to Startup Weekend events. At bootcamps, mentors work closely with designers and developers to give inside access and educate them on Windows 8 technology, with the goal of putting the learning into practice to build products during Startup Weekend.

“With Windows 8, we’re excited to create more opportunities and programs to directly support grassroots entrepreneurs and teams around the world via targeted educational programs, hands on training, exclusive access to new technology, and ongoing support from Microsoft experts. Through its Bizspark program, Microsoft provides comprehensive support for anyone looking to start a business, and now we’re packaging that value together with access to the best Microsoft evangelist teams globally, for Startup Weekend teams to take advantage of, and build on.”
– Marc Nager, CEO of Startup Weekend

“Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows from the chipset to the Start screen and was created with entrepreneurs in mind. We want to give startups around the world the opportunity to create long lasting businesses on Windows 8 and we see a natural fit working with Startup Weekend to do that. We look forward to seeing new app ideas coming to market and introduced by Startup Weekend teams.”
– John Richards, Senior Director, Windows Division, Microsoft Corporation

Of course, as a global partner, you’ll see Microsoft at 500+ Startup Weekends around the world, in the coming months. Now, you’ll also have the chance to meet Windows 8 at 50 of these events.








Startup Weekend Opens Regional Offices in London and Mexico City

Startup Weekend – a nonprofit that delivers hands-on entrepreneurship education to teach people how to develop the skills, connections and confidence needed to launch a company – is opening its first regional headquarters, with offices in London and Mexico City. The Seattle-based organization is on track to organize more than 500 Startup Weekend events this year, with 65 percent of them occurring internationally.

“The most important thing we could be doing for society, our economies, and the world right now is helping more people become successful entrepreneurs,” explained CEO Marc Nager. “We’ve had demand for more than 2,000 events this year in over 100 different countries. Regional operations will allow us to scale faster and continue to feed a fundamental shift in communities that are trying to create more vibrant startup ecosystems.”

Startup Weekend’s 20-person staff works with thousands of organizers across the globe to put on 54-hour educational events. The goal is to increase the quantity and quality of entrepreneurs by delivering intense learning experiences that show participants how to build teams, validate ideas and learn how to actually take the first steps in launching a business.

Highlighting the need for a bigger global presence, Startup Weekend is already providing a launching pad for many innovative ideas and companies such as:

Zaarly is a mobile marketplace that lets individuals buy and sell services with people nearby
Eventup connects people who are looking to find and book the perfect venue for their event with venue owners who are looking to rent out their space
Launchrock’s social landing pages help businesses build momentum and excitement around upcoming launches
Look.io, a mobile chat platform, was recently acquired by LivePerson

The regional offices in London and Mexico City are just the beginning of Startup Weekend’s global expansion. According to Nager, the organization is considering expansions into India, China and Brazil in the near future.








(Startup) Weekend Reading 3/23/2012








Featured Startups 3/21/2012

Startup About SW Event Origin

Analytics engine for online games. Learn More.

3/2/2012 Dublin

Mobile application that allows freelancers and small business owners to connect with the intent to barter professional services. Learn More.

2/17/2012 Colombus

An independent game developer focusing on multiplatform, free-to-play games. Learn More.

2/17/2012 Detroit

StarCall is a platform where fans can bid for a chance to have a 1-to-1 video call with their favorite celebrities and help charities. Learn More.

3/09/2012 Singapore







(Startup) Weekend Reading 3/16/2012








Featured Startups 3/14/2012

Startup About SW Event Origin
Time Badger allows users to easily add a badge to their profile to show support for a cause. Businesses can create campaigns to build their following by offering promotions to their supporters.  Learn More. 3/2/2012 Okanagan
RoboRoast is a home coffee roasting machine that is designed to be completely automated from beans to coffee, use raw coffee beans to guarantee freshness, and as simple as the push of a button. Learn More. 3/2/2012 San Francisco 3D

Sending the brands’ messages with the help of average drivers, around communities. Learn More. 3/2/2012 Des Moines

E-Harmony for entrepreneurs. We use proprietary algorithms and predictive indexing to match entrepreneurs with like minded individuals to launch new businesses. Learn More. 2/24/2012 Los Angeles







Upcoming Events 3/16/2012 – 3/23/2012

From San Francisco to Dubai, Startup Weekend has you covered for events in your area:

Event Venue Date
Cordoba 3/16/2012 Register
Pittsburgh 3/23/2012 Register
Halifax 3/23/2012 Register
Orlando 3/23/2012 Register
Des Moines 3/2/2012 Register
Oslo 3/23/2012 Register
London 3/23/2012 Register
Copenhagen Mobility 3/23/2012 Register
Charlottesville 3/23/2012 Register
Rouen 3/23/2012 Register
Martinique 3/23/2012 Register
Trento 3/23/2012 Register







(Startup) Weekend Reading 3/9/2012








Featured Startups 3/7/2012

Startup About SW Event Origin
Senseii Globalize your education. We are a start-up based in Boston that brings together teachers and students to share resources from different educational systems around the world. Learn More. 2/24/2012 Boston
Social Takeuot  Social Takeout allows you to have a coherent & consistent presence on the social web with one click. Learn More. 2/24/2012 Los Angeles

Donatelia

We help individuals raise money for charities through personalized web pages. We help those charities raise awareness and funding for their causes. Learn More. 2/24/2012 Galicia

Get It Fixed

“get it fixed” is effortless property management. It solves the gap in communication between the tenant and the tradesman, keeping the property manager in the loop and producing a paper trail for the owner. Learn More. 2/24/2012 Christchurch