Startup Weekend Kamloops is just a few weeks away and BCIC is once again a proud sponsor! It’s a great time to work in technology in British Columbia… The average annual salary of tech workers is at a new high of $75,000. This is far above the BC average of $45,000 according to the 2014 BC Tech Report Card.
And there are more than 9,000 established tech companies operating in BC today, offering more jobs than the mining, oil and gas, and forestry sectors combined! In other words, the tech industry is certainly an important economic driver in British Columbia.
What contributes to this growth? There’s an incredible network of individuals, industry group and institutions working together to strengthen BC’s tech ecosystem. At BCIC, we do our part by streamlining access to resources, mentors and important programs.
The BC Venture Acceleration Program has trained over 400 entrepreneurs who, since 2011, have attracted $62.9 million in investment and generated $18.9 million in revenue.
And there are dozens of initiatives to train, connect and support tech entrepreneurs like you stretching all across the province:
- The BCIC-New Ventures BC Competition
- Launch Academy
- Federal funding and knowledge transfer programs
- BC’s best startup accelerators
- Events like Startup Weekend and GROW, metabridge, C100, Interface and HTML500!
Thanks to hackers and tech enthusiasts like you, the tech sector in BC is becoming increasingly more dynamic, adaptable and forward-looking. Changes are happening as we speak; changes you probably are a part of!
- BC has hosted global technology and innovation conferences like SIGGRAPH and ‘30 Years of TED’ and continues to lead as a world-class location to do business.
- International giants like Facebook, Ericsson, IBM, Intel, Samsung, Cisco, Sony Imageworks and others also know the value of having a presence in BC. Our newest additions Microsoft, and Amazon opened their new offices in Vancouver in 2014.
- 3000 engineering and computer science professionals graduate every year from one of BC’s 25 public post-secondary institutions, including 11 universities and 3 technology institutes.
- The new Startup Visa has made it ever so easy for talented professionals to build their company in BC. Local founders get the benefit of competitively low taxes and a range of other financial incentives.
YOU are the secret ingredient! If you are a seasoned entrepreneur and would like to give back to the tech community, here is one way to do so – visit MentorshipBC and become a business mentor. And if you happen to hack a brilliant technology this Startup Weekend, connect to one of our programs and it will get your business off the ground!
Banks — careful, steady, conservative. Tech startups — frenetic, disruptive, edgy.
Can two such seemingly different cultures get along? TD Bank Financial Group thinks so.
“TD is proud of its strong culture of innovation,” says Jeff Martin, senior vice-president and chief information officer, direct channels technology solutions “We are continually looking for opportunities to improve our products, services and ultimately our customer experience.”
TD knows a thing or two about building businesses and balancing risk and growth. It has worked with entrepreneurs for 160 years, which is why its involvement in Startup Weekend Nov. 14-16 in five Canadian cities — Vancouver, Quebec City, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John’s — is such a great fit.
Held around the world, Startup Weekends bring together entrepreneurs for 54 hours of intense business development that concludes with a pitch to a panel of experienced executives. As part of its sponsorship, TD has a panelist in each of these five cities.
To kick off Startup Weekend, Jeff Martin talks about banking and startup cultures; and why Startup Weekend is such a fantastic opportunity for both.
Why is TD a Startup weekend sponsor?
TD has always encouraged innovation that will benefit banking and our customers. This forum is a great way to connect with the community and hear a lot of different ideas. We’re attracted to the high-energy/ high creativity environment – which is what Startup Weekend offers: a way to tap into that creativity to find ideas we may have not thought of using traditional methods.
What are some of the customer trends in banking that drive the interest in ideas at the startup level?
The biggest trend is mobilization. Take mobile deposit as an example. We just launched this capability at TD, and have already seen over 115,000 cheques deposited this way in just two weeks.
Startup Weekends give you a front seat on some really smart ideas from some really smart people. What do you think startup entrepreneurs can learn from TD?
Historically, startups had to go through a very long on-boarding process. Now we can work with them, to help them understand the needs of a bank while they mature that product more quickly, so we can launch it when customers are ready.
I think the biggest thing the bank can offer is perspective. . . on what we think is important to bring to market, and the attributes of what they’re doing that we think are viable in our industry . . . They will definitely get value from working with a 160-year-old company that has gone through a lot of change, and is very stable and thoughtful about what it does.
What would you tell an entrepreneur about preparing for the Startup Weekend experience?
They should rest-up, and come with ideas that are well-formed, with an action plan about how to escalate them quickly. Always think about what’s in it for the customer. How does this benefit people? If they are always thinking about the benefit to the end-user, it will help to create viable products. That customer may be the bank; but ultimately, it is the bank serving its customers.
There is so much technology advancement happening today, I wouldn’t put limits around what we want to achieve. People are always inventing new ways to make banking more comfortable. We’re not at the end of it, that’s for sure
We are a group of mindful creatives who have come together to develop a crowdfunding platform designed to support collaborative artistry and activism – our fellow revolutionaries changing global consciousness. Our name, dana.io is a concept from ancient India at the time of the Buddha and is understood as the inspired support of generously sustaining a vision based on its value to society. Born from a love of service, dana is the practice of using one’s own freedom to support the freedom of others.
Our dream is to support other artists, activists, authors, and entrepreneurs in actualizing their dreams. We will provide a free, dana-driven crowdfunding model whereby there is NO mandatory fee to access our services. We want donors and campaigners to PayForward whatever they feel inspired to PayForward. This could be 10% of a donation, 90%, or 0%.
It’s your freedom to choose.
We provide a complete range of strategic wrongful dismissal labour and employment related negotiation and litigation services to employees and employers from our offices on False Creek in Vancouver, BC. Murray Tevlin and Dan Gleadle both have over 30 years experience as lawyers representing employees and employers at all levels of trial and appeal courts in British Columbia – right up to the Supreme Court of Canada. Working with an efficient team of specialist lawyers, staff and consultants, we offer our clients the full advantage of leading technology, and a project based selection of the appropriate professionals to achieve creative solutions to labour and employment matters – issues which are often sensitive and always important.
Blair Curtis, David McWhinnie, John Chesko, Martin Sheard and Chris Beneteau round out our team of lawyers and together, we bring the skills needed to resolve our client’s concerns, with maximum efficiency.
We have extensive experience in strategic planning, achieving real results for our clients in all of BC’s leading industries.
D&B Cloud Innovation Center
Dun & Bradstreet is the world’s leading source of commercial information and insight on businesses.
At the D&B Cloud Innovation Center, we make beautiful, smart and user-driven analytics software. With the largest B2B database in the world, we’re doing something big. We’re mobilizing data in new and better ways to deliver deeper insights for businesses around the globe. And of course, we’re 100% cloud.
The Center was founded in April 2014 following the acquisition of analytics startup Indicee.
Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fuelling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors.
Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of The Prince’s Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week.
IOT Design Shop
IoT Design Shop is an internal startup that has been challenged with managing the Internet of Things strategy for our parent company, Finger Food Studios.
The IoT Design Shop is an internal startup devoted entirely to pursuing the IoT. Our goal is to apply the same commitment to innovation and quality which has made our App business a massive success to hardware and physical device Engineering.
We’re actively building products that will disrupt a number of markets but are also available for consulting and development contracts on Internet of Things, Smart Devices, Sensors and Wearables projects. Using our Core technology we are capable of developing full ecosystems for connected devices.
Designmodo is one of the most popular Design and Web Development blogs in the world. It covers tutorials, design trends, blogging, coding, tips, freebies as well as inspirational posts. The blog is a great resource for both beginners and advanced designers looking to expand and improve their knowledge. The site is visited by companies and is used as a reference by many design and coding schools.
We are based in New York, NY and Republic of Moldova
There’s always something about catching up with friends we haven’t seen in a while that gets us excited, whether it’s to trade stories, reminisce good times or simply have a good conversation. My meeting was with Jesse Heaslip, one of the most proactive members of Vancouver’s startup community. I’ve known Jesse since 2011 and co-organized Startup Weekend with him in 2012, so when I found out he was mentoring at this year’s Startup Weekend, I contacted him for an interview. I haven’t seen Jesse in over a year and half, and anticipated him sharing his passion about his new startup Bex.io and involvement in the bitcoin market and imparting sagely advice to aspiring entrepreneurs. I was not disappointed.
How did Jesse come to create startup in the bitcoin space? Two years prior to the founding of Bex.io, Jesse was introduced to the bitcoin market at a meetup group. Prices for a single bitcoin had doubled from $3 to $6 in a span of two months he was strongly encouraged to invest savings into the market. Being a veteran in the startup scene, Jesse had seen tech fads come and go, “bitcoin” sounded like a online pyramid scheme, too good to be true, or was it? Using an entrepreneur’s innate curiosity, time and research skills, he dug for more information.
What he was told about bitcoin at the meetup had been true. The combination of decentralized authority and public ledger had eliminated the need for a third party to mediate transactions resulting in significant decrease of service fees. Jesse was unsure whether his findings were accurate and objective at first so he had enlisted his peers to take a second look at his findings. Even the most skeptical of his startup colleagues had agreed his research on cryptocurrency had been unbiased when they delved into the information he had given them and agreed the bitcoin had a lot of potential.
It was after having pulled off a very successful Startup Weekend during late August of 2012 that Jesse would find an opportunity to start his venture in the bitcoin marketplace. After pursuing a handful of opportunities during the fall of 2012, Jesse partnered with a couple individuals on a project in the bitcoin space in January 2013; that project became what is known as Bex.io today.
Just what is Bex.io? In Jesse’s own words: “It’s a bitcoin brokerage platform that empowers individuals and companies alike around the world to start their own bitcoin exchange. We provide technology and networks within the banking and regulatory fields. This allows our clients to focus on their business.”
To establish relationships in bitcoin, banking and regulations fields across the globe, Jesse travelled to cities such as Buenos Aires, Singapore, Dublin, Amsterdam, New York, San Francisco, Berlin and Ljubljana, Slovenia to speak and participate in bitcoin conferences and meetups as well as network with people working in the banking and regulations industry. Since its inception 2013, Bex.io has received 800 partnership applications from 57 countries and grown from a team of 3 to 7 people. To Jesse and the team at Bex.io, the growth of the company and travels across the world has validated their business idea and the bitcoin market as a world wide phenomenon.
So what advice does he have for Startup Weekend participants? “Startup weekend is about more than just trying to launch a company in 54 hours.” Jesse said. “Focus on the process of building something worthwhile, focus on having a great time and bonding with other participants.” For those who are adamant about creating a startup? “Success depends on the founders follow through and execution day after day month after month and year after year. At the same time founders have to be objective enough to see the flaws of the idea and be receptive to input. While many people will put stock on a founders IQ, EQ is just as if not more critical to the startup’s success” Jesse emphasized.
Using his own experience with Bex.io, Jesse warns us: “Media, be it online articles or movies have given people a romantic and even glamorous view of what launching a startup is like. Creating an internet startup or a small technology company can be incredibly difficult in terms it’s process and toll it takes on your mind. Founders may have to deal with challenges like having the team fallout, not finding investors or having customers disappear. For Bex.io, we have lost customers due to a shift in regulations and other external factors which we had no control over. Participants must realize that creating a tech startup is risky business as it’s an evolving space where the only constant is change.” So if not for the romanticised vision why create a startup? “While the monetary factor of a big exit sounds enticing, if anyone asked a thriving startup its founder his reasons for creating the company, it’s never the money but the potential impact the startup can have on the society, in other words, vision.”
Mobify helps global retailers and brands deliver exceptional mobile shopping experiences.
Mobify is a mobile commerce platform used by leading brands and retailers to drive hundreds of millions of dollars in mobile revenue every year.
Founded in 2007, Mobify has grown into a global technology company, with headquarters in Vancouver, Canada, and a wide network of implementation partners in North America, Brazil, Australia and Japan.
Microsoft BizSpark is a global program that helps software startups succeed by giving them access to Microsoft software development tools, connecting them with key industry players, including investors, and providing marketing visibility to help entrepreneurs starting a business.
We are a group of forward-thinking lawyers who have built a progressive business law firm based on a more passionate & personal way of practising commercial law.
What makes us different? We like to challenge the legal status quo. We promise value, and guarantee it. We believe you should like your lawyer. We seek clients we believe in. And we are passionate about our work.
Vancouver is home to some of today’s most innovative entrepreneurs, and we act for many of them. We’re not just talking tech, either – this practice group also includes inventive clients in the fitness, publishing, food and fashion industries (to name a few). Some turn to us for our affordably priced STARTUP Package, others seek our expertise when it comes time to raise capital, grow their revenues or sell their business to industry giants.
Launch Academy is a pre¬accelerator program that helps entrepreneurs execute on their startups through education, mentorship, lean metrics and networking opportunities. Launch Academy has established an environment where ideas are vetted, business models are tested and successes are celebrated.
Founded on the values of innovation, opportunities and accountability, Launch Academy addresses the lack of startup education and resources affecting Vancouver entrepreneurs. Launch Academy aims to build a vibrant startup ecosystem and a prosperous economy where new jobs are created and new markets are discovered.
In just over a year Launch Academy has grown from 12 desks in a shared office with GrowLab to a beautiful 12,000 sq. ft office in the heart of Gastown, dubbed The Centre for Entrepreneurship in Vancouver. Launch Academy houses over 70 startups and 150 entrepreneurs. The Centre for Entrepreneurship is also home to Vancouver’s largest accelerator¬ GrowLab, Microsoft’s new Windows Apps Lab, Garibaldi Capital, BDC Venture Capital, Lighthouse Labs, Strutta, Perch, and more.
To date, Launch Academy has helped over 180 entrepreneurs build their teams, raise seed rounds, get accepted into accelerator programs, form new strategic partnerships, acquire new customers, hire their first employee and, most importantly, fail fast and pivot.
Boast Capital is a team of engineers and finance professionals with over 20 years experience helping companies in Canada and the U.S. successfully claim and maximize R&D tax credits. We specialize in the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) program, Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC) program and the US R&D Tax Credit program.
We have offices in Calgary, Vancouver and Silicon Valley.
Spring is about activating growth, breaking out, movement upward and forward: big step changes, actions, and decisions that can and should happen at every stage. It’s all about getting unstuck. We roll up our sleeves to work right alongside founding teams, increasing the probability of success for entrepreneurs.
We know that combining profit and social impact can lead to success in the most fulfilling and complete sense of the word. We partner with purpose-driven, for-profit startups and empower them to create positive change. We believe in 360 degree superior returns. That is, superior returns for not only investors and customers, but also for employees, supply chain vendors, the community, the environment, and beyond. When all stakeholders are treated with respect, everyone thrives.
The Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) works to strengthen the city’s economic future by supporting existing businesses, attracting foreign investment and promoting international trade. The VEC positions Vancouver as a globally recognised city for innovative, creative and sustainable business.
The VEC is on the ground helping startups grow, access capital, attract talent and leverage the city’s accelerator programs. Throughout Startup Week and Startup Weekend, the VEC wants to facilitate entrepreneurial exchange in Vancouver’s growing start-up community and promote Vancouver as a hotbed for talent, capital and innovation.
Small Business B.C
Small Business BC is British Columbia’s premiere resource centre for knowledge-based business products and services.
Our core activities are supported by funds from Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training. Through our ongoing operations and private sector partnerships, we’re able to offer additional products and services to the small business community.
Small Business BC’s innovative approach and programs have been recognized by several national and international awards, solidifying our reputation as an exceptional business resource.
BCIC encourages the development and application of advanced or innovative technologies to meet the needs of industry in BC. We accelerate technology commercialization by supporting startups and developing entrepreneurs.
With our partners, BCIC delivers programs and initiatives that promote company growth, resulting in jobs, increased revenue and economic development in BC.
Providing opportunities in BC and beyond
BCIC programs provide technology entrepreneurs with the tools, resources and expert guidance they need to build successful companies.
Through valuable partnerships and the support of key industry events, BCIC creates opportunities for BC technology companies to grow their businesses beyond Canada’s borders.
We also help raise awareness of our province as a world-class destination for international companies to work and invest.
BC Jobs Plan
Technology is one of the 8 key sectors identified in the BC Jobs Plan. BCIC’s role in developing technology entrepreneurs and accelerating the commercialization of technology is important because technology supports the other sectors through product and service innovations, job creation and economic development.
The sectors in which BC has a competitive advantage and that hold most promise for job creation include: Agrifoods, Natural Gas, International Education, Tourism,Technology, Transportation, Mining and Forestry.
BCIC is a Crown Agency of the Province of British Columbia.
Wistia is a video hosting company for businesses. With detailed analytics, including engagement graphs and individual viewer heatmaps, the Wistia application can help you measure and improve your video efforts. Wistia also allows you to fully customize your video player, so that you can control how it looks, feels, and functions on your website. Lastly, Wistia provides you with post and pre-roll calls to action, video SEO tools, closed captioning, social sharing options, and other features that will drive traffic to your business’s website.
They support Startup Weekend because of their love to help entrepreneurs get new ventures off the ground. They’ve seen how powerful video marketing can be to startups. Wistia wants to help new people get comfortable with video. As part of this effort, they are offering the startups of Vancouver an extended trial of Wistia by visiting http://wistia.com/trials/new/vancouverSW.
Colliers is not only the longest established commercial real estate firm in Vancouver, we are also the leading provider of commercial real estate services in Canada.
Colliers Vancouver offers fully integrated commercial real estate services including sales and leasing in the office, industrial and retail asset classes; multifamily, residential land and building sales; project marketing; property management; project management; valuation; and consulting services. We add value through our specialization, service excellence and local flexibility within a global platform.
To us, that means empowering our service teams to partner with you, truly listen to your unique business needs and design an integrated service offering. Our goal is to make your property a competitive business advantage and ensure your entire range of property needs are met.
Colliers has been a long-term partner in growing Vancouver’s tech industry, as an advisor, board member and real estate partner.
We are very excited to sponsor Startup Weekend and look forward to meeting Vancouver’s next generation of entrepreneurs!
Smythe Ratcliffe LLP is a Vancouver-based accounting firm recognized for exceptional work in the areas of assurance, taxation and business advisory services. They have a team of experienced professionals dedicated to advising our tech clients in software development, electronic manufacturing, telecommunications, digital media and wireless, life sciences and other related areas.
They value the innovation and talent the tech industry brings to BC and recognize that it is one of the fastest growing industries in the province. They’re committed to providing the advisory services to help guide startups through an increasingly competitive business environment. They also strive to extend their support for the tech community beyond professional services by continually sponsoring and partnering with many tech organizations including Startup Weekend, BCTIA, DigiBC, Plug and Play, Spring and more. Your focus is growth; their focus is your growth
Decentral Vancouver is a disruptive community incubator / shared workspace inspired by the ideas behind Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is said to be, on a socioeconomic level, one of the most significant inventions in human history. Because of this, the industry behind Bitcoin is booming, with millions in capital being invested, come find out why Dapps (decentralized applications) are becoming the next “big” thing. www.decentralvancouver.com
Saftonhouse Consulting Group is western Canada’s premier cryptocurrency experts. Our solutions help clients leverage Bitcoin in ways that preserve and promote their existing culture. We have advised businesses, governmental departments, post secondary institutions, nonprofits, and individuals. Our mission is to make innovations like Bitcoin accessible, practical, and attractive to everyday people. To find out more about what we do and some of our past clients, please visit www.Saftonhouse.com.
Vanbex is a Bitcoin strategy firm specializing in digital currency, blockchain protocols, and decentralized technology. Our specialities include grassroots marketing, Bitcoin PR, and FUD management. To date, we have helped launch some of the most innovative projects in the Bitcoin space today such as Swarm, Storj, Trucoin, Gems, and Factom.
We’re a voluntary and inclusive association of individuals united by a shared interest in Bitcoin, a revolutionary new digital currency and payment technology. We organize presentations, discussions, pub nights, parties, and other creative outings to foster a community of people and businesses interested in learning about and creating a new economy.We facilitate in-person, peer-to-peer exchange of bitcoins to and from Canadian dollars. We help businesses accept Bitcoin payments in their brick and mortar locations and online. We provide one-on-one tutoring and consultation to help people learn how Bitcoin works. Our members enjoy the support of experienced professionals in software and finance, as well as PR and media resources.As a registered co-operative association in the province of British Columbia, we have an open membership structure and adhere to the Co-op Principles. Members can vote on resolutions at our meetings and participate in elections of our board of directors and have a say in how we prioritize our projects and finances. Come to one of our many meetups to get to know us and learn how you can get involved!
Founded in 2013, Bex.io is a bitcoin brokerage platform that empowers individuals and companies alike around the world to start their own bitcoin exchange. We provide technology and networks within the banking and regulatory fields. This allows our clients to focus on their business.
Startup Weekend 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
- $3,000 worth of in-kind accounting services from Smythe Ratcliffe
- Legal services including incorporation and company set-up from Miller Titerle
- Spot to pitch your idea at Cascadia Summit, including a demo table to show off your stuff
- A one-year Wistia team account valued at $1,200
- One-year worth of Unbounce services valued at $1,200
- A membership package to The Profile Coworking Business Club including meeting space
- Startup Framework and UI Kit for building your company website from the good folks at Designmodo
- Two tickets to the Startup Weekend NEXT program in San Francisco
- A spot in an upcoming Capital Raising for Entrepreneurs workshop presented by Spring.is
- Complementary courses and seminars on small business from Small Business BC
- 3-months team membership to Launch Academy
That’s not all though. We also have some alternate prizes for teams that meet other criteria.
Best Purpose-Driven Idea
Spring.is is also offering the team with the “Best Purpose-Driven Idea” a full scholarship to their next Kick accelerator cohort, plus a seat to an upcoming Capital Raising for Entrepreneurs workshop.
Best Use of Crypto-Currency or Decentralized Tech
The team that demonstrates the best use of crypto-currency, decentralized technology, and/or gift economy will be awarded the Decentralized Technology Prize. The prize consists of a 3-month membership at Decentral Vancouver for the entire team. This includes a choice of either a drop-in or premium membership. Included in this package are write ups and tweets in the crypto-spaces most influential blogs and their Startup Bitcoin Launch Pack to help get you better set-up in the crypto space.
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 14-16 so if you don’t have your ticket yet, what are you waiting for?
November 14-16, 2014
Ever wonder how great companies like Zapier or myBestHelper got started?
Startup Weekend brings together great minds and talents turning ideas into functional businesses throughout the course of a weekend. This year we are expecting over 100 professionals coming together forming groups and taking great ideas and turning them into startups. In order to make this possible, we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers who are interested in putting this together.
Those interested in computer science, business, event planning, and hospitality are welcomed to sign up and volunteer for this event.
Website:Startup Weekend Vancouver 2014
Location: The Profile co-working space in Gastown (above Steamworks)
Date: Friday Nov 14th to Nov 16th with a mandatory orientation on Thursday evening, Nov 13th.
Note: You must have a passion for volunteerism as the event runs from early morning to late night and all volunteers will be required to partake in cleanup.
Volunteer shifts: Volunteers are encouraged to stay throughout the weekend as it will maximize their exposure to the startup creation process and concepts such as ideation, customer validation, and customer discovery. Each day of the event is split into 3 shifts: 7am-Noon, 11:30am-5pm, and 4:30pm-Close. The event will need volunteers to sign up to at least 2 shifts.