Category Archives: Vancouver

Ontario House – Aug 14 @ The Portside Pub

Portside Pub

We’re on the official Grow Conference schedule. Together with Communitech, we are hosting a party. You can decide for yourself if these conferences are right for you or your business (need help, check out Kevin Swan’s piece for insight). But we’re going to be there. We are going to be highlighting Ontario startups (and investors). Who is coming so far?

We’re looking for startups to highlight, stories to tell, and connections to make. We need startups. We need sponsors. We need volunteers. If you’re coming to Grow Conference please feel free to join us on August 14 at The Portside Pub.

How about you? Are coming to Grow Conference?

Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, where is Montreal?

Startup Genome Ecosystem Ranking

The state of the Canadian cities in the StartupCompass Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 (Get the Report) is interesting. The Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 lists 3 Canadian cities:

  • Toronto # 8
  • Vancouver # 9
  • Waterloo # 16

It leaves Montreal out of the top 20, it might very well be # 21. But it is very hard to determine without the full report that is due out later in the year. I also find it very strange, given the strong Montreal supporters in the  ”Local startup ecosystem supporters” listed in the document:

The data reminds me of other analyst driven research companies (think GartnerAltimeter, etc.). The methodology leaves it open to bias. But it is a great stick in the sand based on our own community survey responses.

“The index is based on data from more than 50,000 startups around the world who are using the Startup Genome’s Startup Compass, an automated analyst in the cloud that helps businesses make better decisions via benchmarks and actionable recommendations.”

It will be interesting to continue to read the report and lessons for Canadian entrepreneurs.

Looking for a direct line to Silicon Valley

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Silva (LinkedIn, @marksilva), SVP Emerging Platforms at Anthem Worldwide. He was in attendance at GrowConf 2011. 

CC-BY-20 Some rights reserved by JD Hancock
Attribution Some rights reserved by JD Hancock

There’s a different business DNA here in Silicon Valley and there’s no other start-up ecosystem like it anywhere in the world.  We are the descendants of miners, pioneers, and manifest destiny. We’re comfortable crafting real value from the clay of chaos. In the 49er days you weren’t a failure if your mine went dry, only if you quit and that attitude persists here today. I always tell startups, if they’re serious, they need to come to Silicon Valley.  It’s tough enough to start a business. Why not start with an unfair advantage and remove some of those obstacles you face with an ecosystem that can help solve your biggest and smallest issues?

GrowConf Aug 22-24, 2012 in VancouverThat being said, you’re not doomed if you decide to start a business somewhere else.  Events like the GROW Conference in Vancouver have made the Silicon Valley ecosystem mobile and if only for a few days, you can have the Valley brought to you.  Between the speakers, mentors, investors, companies, and accelerators, GROW Week is like a high speed rail to Silicon Valley with exclusive access to the right players.

As we all know, there’s a serious echo chamber in Silicon Valley, and the chance to get out of our caves and be in new places is healthy and promotes good ideas.  I find that when I attend a good conference or event, I end up having more in depth conversations over the course of a few days with people I care about than I do in any other situation.

Some of the highlights for me from GROW last year were getting to know Vy Le, CEO of Rudy’s Barbershop, spending time with top Silicon Valley VCs like Chris Redlitz, Jeff Clavier and Rob Hayes, and networking with fellow mentors like Matt Galligan and Lane Becker from Get Satisfaction.  How awesome is that!?

GROW is the closest thing to a “Valley” experience outside of the Valley, and Vancouver is one of the most beautiful backdrops to inspire collaboration, discussion and innovation. I’ve never met a Canadian I didn’t like, and I’ll put that challenge to the test when I return to GROW in August!

Join Mark Silva, Julia Hartz, Sean Ellis, Dave McClure, David Cancel and others at GROW August 22-24th in Vancouver, BC

Register for GROW with a $100 discount using the promotional code “SN” at http://growconf.eventbrite.com/

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Mark Silva (LinkedIn, @marksilva), SVP Emerging Platforms at Anthem Worldwide. He was in attendance at GrowConf 2011.