All posts by Jevon MacDonald

About Jevon MacDonald

co-founder of

Get them out of the building: Travel support from Volta

Graffiti at VoltaWhen Ben Yoskovitz moved to Halifax to join us at GoInstant he left the growing Montreal community and brought a lot of fresh perspective to what needs to happen in Nova Scotia to grow the startup ecosystem.

The #1 thing he noticed was the successful startups were the ones getting out of the building and on to a plane. Spending significant amounts of time in San Francisco, New York or wherever you need to be is an important part of growing your network of people you can rely on to build your business.

Today Volta is announcing a travel support program for startups. You have to be small (<10 employees) and young (<3 years old).

This hits home for me. When I was living in Charlottetown and 19 years old I had my first attempt at a product startup, it was called Blogtrack. It had what seemed like an insane number of daily active users at the time, just under 10,000, and I had no idea what I was doing (still working on that). I also had no money really, certainly not enough to blow on a trip to Boston for Bloggercon. A guy named Lee Brammer at what is now called “Innovation PEI” offered to help cover some of the costs for the trip, which meant it was (just barely) affordable. It was, for me, an eye opening trip, eating dinner at a table for 4 with Dave Wiener, Betsy Devine and Dan Bricklin just about blew my mind.

Anyway, the point is that sometimes you really need to get out there and just do something you might not have otherwise. Good things almost always come from it and the truth is that it can be hard to make up for sitting across the table from someone and really getting to know them.

Atlantic House @ Grow next week in Vancouver


The buzz has been awesome about the GROW conference next week. Just a few weeks after Startup Fest in Montreal. The summer season is moving quickly…

A Startupnorth we’ve helped organize the Ontario House along with Communitech and the Waterloo community, and now we are announcing that along with Volta we are organizing the Atlantic Canada House.

In this case Reza Kazemipour the San Francisco based CEO of Oris4, a Halifax company, has stepped up and personally funded the house. Amazing to see such commitment from the local community.

The Diamond on Powell street and if you are around, stop by between 6 PM and 10 PM for a drink and see what Atlantic Canadian Entrepreneurs are working on.

We still have a few tables available and if you are Atlantic Canadian company looking to showcase your product to West Coast Entrepreneurs and Investors, apply to Milan @ Volta ([email protected]) and he will hook you up with a table.

Currently, from our neck of the woods we will have Compilr, topLog, DraftCam, EmailOpened, ModestTree and Oris4 with few others to be added to the list shortly.

DemoCamp Halifax 3 – David Crow edition

logoGreat news. Democamp is going back to its roots (it is happening at a bar this time) and Milan has lined up David Crow to speak. He will be in town because he is working with The Next Phase on some stuff so it seemed like a great time to put him to work.

David is the co-founder of StartupNorth, founder of DemoCamp, co-founder of Nakama (ask him about this one… a wee bit ahead of its time), co-founder of Influitive and is currently in residence at OMERS Ventures. He has a better pulse on the Canadian Venture and Startup community than anyone else. He’s also a father to two of the sweetest little girls you will ever meet.

This Democamp is going to be kept small and 100% focused on great demos from high potential startups. It will be a lot of fun. Think of it less as a conference and more like a chance to hang out with some friends. We are calling it Mini because we are getting rid of the frills but I promise the startups and their demos will be as BIG as ever.

The event is free for Entrepreneurs and Students. We could use a few sponsors to cover costs, so please get in touch with Milan if you can help out. These sponsorships are a great value because they are just meant to keep the event out of the red.

You can register on Eventbrite.