Canadian Web Hosting Blog and News
23Nov/120

Startup Canada Blueprints Pop Up Press Conference in Vancouver on November 27, 2012

Last month, you might recall one of our recent posts on why B.C. stands out within the Startup Canada community and today, we’re continuing our support for our local, Vancouver (tech) startup community by sharing their upcoming event: Startup Canada Blueprints Pop Up Press Conference. Vancouver will be one out of the six cities in Canada to host this conference including Ottawa, Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, and Edmonton.

Please join Startup Canada's BC Community in announcing and celebrating the launch of the Startup Canada Blueprints and its plans for 2013 during this very special Pop Up Press Conference featuring some of the region's most dynamic entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial champions.

We’re days away from this exciting morning conference! Startup Canada will be on Tuesday, November 27th, 2012, from 10:00 to 11:00 PST, hosted down the street from our Vancouver Harbour Data Centre, at the Launch Academy in Gastown. You may view the full event details for more information.

If you are not familiar with this dynamic community, you may visit their official site, or find them on social media like Twitter or Facebook to name a few. We would also like to give a brief shout-out to Institute B for inviting us to participate virtually in helping them create a successful event next week.

About Startup Canada

Startup Canada is Canada’s first-ever, entrepreneur-led, national movement to enhance the nation’s competitiveness and prosperity by supporting and celebrating Canadian entrepreneurship.

Startup Canada is harnessing the collective energies of Canadian entrepreneurs and enterprise support communities from Coast to Coast with the goals of providing the entrepreneurship community with a strong voice, promoting a vibrant entrepreneurial culture and creating a unified brand that Canadians can rally around.

This unique effort will not only identify key challenges facing Canadian entrepreneurs, but will bring them together in a way they never have been before. It’s the beginning of a critical conversation and the first step in a new way of thinking.

Whether you are an individual who’s interested in startups or not, you can still benefit from their insightful blog containing recent interviews including key business tips. Here is a short compilation of their most recent posts in chronological order:

• Mentor Rock Star: Manu Sharma
• Mentor Rock Star: Erin Anderson
• Mentor Rock Star: Jim Marsh
• Mentor Rock Star: Cathy Kuzel

Are you planning to attend this sold out Startup Canada Blueprints Pop Up Press Conference in Vancouver? What are you most looking forward to? Please share your thoughts below with a comment.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

2Oct/120

Why B.C. Stands Out with its Startup Canada Involvement

The Startup Canada team, for six months, did a cross country trip, coast-to-coast, throughout various cities in Canada to gather Canadian entrepreneurs to join a movement. Startup Canada believes that the solution begins with a grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement to bring together Canada’s national entrepreneurship community to create a clear vision and strategy that leads to real change and action. Entrepreneurs are part of our circle, in the past, we shared useful insights on helpful organizations like the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs, tips for new small business owners, useful questions for new business owners, and even took part in the most recent Vancouver Startup Weekend. To say, the least, B.C. has a lot going on when it comes to startups and small businesses. A recent article from the Province states that B.C. is the hub for startups, with a nation leading 3.7% of the working population being part of a startup, and Alberta is second. B.C. stands out for leading the country in this area and we're proud of it.

startup, canada

Startup Canada

Social Innovation

During the "Social Impact Entrepreneurship" session, Nicole Stefenelli, president and CEO of Urban Impact, shared her own entrepreneurial story and her key emphasis was on innovation and the importance of being ahead of the curve in order to remain competitive. Attendees had the chance to mingle with the Startup Canada team in an intimate setting then, later, toured the recycling facility. Other social entrepreneurs shared their stories and the main theme surrounded real life problems being solved with innovative solutions using state-of-the-art technologies.

Entrepreneurial Defining Moments

During the middle of the week, the evening session "Aha! Defining moments" showcased lightning pitches from 20 great Vancouver tech startups answering the question: What was your aha! moment or turning point for your company? Some of the answers included wake-up call from accidents, being inspired by customers, wanting to build rather than being told what to do, desire to crowdsource opinions, making business tasks like bookkeeping more accessible, helping society become healthier and many more. They keynote was Rahim Fazal, CEO and co-founder of Involver, later sold to Oracle. Following the theme of the week, he also shared how he began, his past and his current projects, leaving the crowd with some entrepreneurial food for thought. His three main tips were to 1) join the world on your own terms, 2) be vulnerable, and finally, 3) if everything seems under control, you're not driving fast enough.

Innovating Differently

Finally, one of the last sessions was "Innovating Differently: Women, Entrepreneurship & Technology" which consisted of four panels exploring: 1) Innovating Differently: Why women are critical to innovation, engineering and technology, 2) Launching a Start-Up: Lessons Learned from Successes and Failures, 3) The New Economy: How technology is enabling a thriving culture of startups out of the home, 4) Financing Start-Ups: Incubating, Accelerating, Funding– What’s working, what’s not, what’s hot. Lots of insights came out of all of these panels. Innovation could just be a spark. Any failures were just missed opportunities. The hot debate between stay-at-home moms vs. stay-at-home dads came up. Communication and trust between an open partnership were emphasized. Thinking about distribution from the start was another important component. Also, one of the panelists stressed the importance of hiring the right sales force at the right time.

Affordable and Easy Access to Technology

The comment during Startup Canada that we related to the most was how affordable and fast it has become nowadays to launch your own business online and in this day in age, businesses must have an online presence. With the rise in entrepreneurship, here, at Canadian Web Hosting, we're always ready to help you and your business succeed. So, what are you waiting for? You can leave us a comment, tweet us at @cawebhosting or connect with us on Facebook to let us know how we can support you.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

21Aug/120

Vancouver Startup Weekend Recap: Top Three Winners and More

Last week, we shared an exciting event, Vancouver Startup Weekend and as expected, after attending, it was a very full 54-hours of creativity, innovation, collaboration and a whole lot of hustle that occurred at Emily Carr University of Art + Design on Granville Island in Vancouver, including 150 participants plus a group of facilitators, organizers and many volunteers on site, this past weekend.

Vancouver Startup Weekend - August 17-19, 2012

On Friday night, Joey Aquino and Brett Nakatsu from Startup Weekend kicked off the event, with a room buzzing; you could tell that every single person was ready to get going with pitching and working on their fresh ideas. Following their introductions, two keynote speakers took the stage including Thomas Lewis, Principal Technical Evangelist of Microsoft, and Matt Mickiewicz, co-Founder of SitePoint, 99designs and Flippa. Both shared their personal journeys and how they got started in the startup world along with providing some key tips such as spending time with your spouse in order not to neglect the important relationship in your lives, continuing to exercise to stay healthy, to name a few. That evening, Matt tweeted a recent article on Why The Next Big Thing Won't Come From A Fortune 500 Company. Matt touched on similar ideas during his talk similarly to this article, "Questioning the status quo, cutting costs, eliminating hassles, bypassing middle-men, and removing fees certainly go a long way. But being naïve, clueless or wildly--and perhaps inappropriately--ambitious also helps." After two more ice breakers, 63 participants had a chance to pitch their ideas within a 60-second alloted time. 17 ideas were chosen by the attendees using sticky notes as a voting process. Whichever had the most got picked.

John Gray, one of the main organizers and a Techvibes writer, summarizes Saturday and Sunday thoroughly in his latest article, by saying that "all of Saturday and Sunday until 4pm, it was heads down, coding, designing, creating, validating, discovering, listening, pivoting and re-positioning. Original ideas were blown up, some teams blew up, people merged and migrated, and through it all everyone was having a blast."

By the end of Sunday, the judges had to pick the top three teams in front of a full crowd after every team's pitch. Each 5-minute pitch was followed by a quick question-and-answer that often brought out much laughter from the rest of the attendees. In the end, the third place was Rent2Play which was a idea that would make it easier for anyone to secure online recreational equipment rentals. The second place was 7PM Tickets which highlighted the fact that most ticket sellers don't sell their tickets until the day of and that this idea would help these event organizers to help do a final push to sell tickets and for consumers to be able to buy cheaper tickets right before an event. Finally, the first place went to Route Captain, an app that would build a route optimization for the courier industry. Marc Kuo, the leader of this team, mentioned his favourite part of the event on Tech Cocktail stating "[Vancouver Startup Weekend] allowed me to conceptualize this idea that’s been playing in my head for years, ever since I graduated, and actually form a really solid team around it."

In conclusion, Vancouver Startup Weekend was yet another great success for the Startup Weekend family and if you have an idea and you're ready to hustle (developers, designers, marketers, etc), you should definitely check out the next one that will happen in November or by checking the main website to find out about events near you. Otherwise, if you attended this event, you may find more visual content through their official site on Vancouver Startup Weekend 2012 in Photos. We'd be more than glad to help you get started with your hosting needs as well over at http://www.canadianwebhosting.com/.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

14Aug/120

Vancouver Startup Weekend on August 17-19

If you're into the startup scene, you most likely have heard of Startup Weekend. In less than a week, Vancouver is holding its own Startup Weekend this coming weekend on August 17-19 at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. For those of you who aren't familiar, these Startup Weekends are always very jam packed and exciting for anyone with a startup idea all around the world.

About Startup Weekend

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events where developers, designers, marketers, product managers and startup enthusiasts come together to share ideas, form teams, build products, and launch startups!

Startup Weekends are weekend-long, hands-on experiences where entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs can find out if startup ideas are viable.  On average, half of Startup Weekend’s attendees have technical or design backgrounds, the other half have business backgrounds.

Beginning with open mic pitches on Friday, attendees bring their best ideas and inspire others to join their team. Over Saturday and Sunday teams focus on customer development, validating their ideas, practicing LEAN Startup Methodologies and building a minimal viable product. On Sunday evening teams demo their prototypes and receive valuable feedback from a panel of experts.

This 16-minute video below showcases the format, and highlights some of the past startup ideas like an icecream mobile app that have come about from the beginning of the event through the end. It's very informational and it gives you a sense of what you'll expect during the weekend if you're new to this. Every attendee goes for a different purpose, but in the end, you'll see that a lot of teamwork and collaboration occur, new relationships will flourish, and a lot of activity will be shipped around the clock with the bulk of it happening on Saturday.

To give you a sense of the leadership team and some of the insights that they're providing the startup community around here, we've compiled a short list of some interesting articles from their online feeds to share with you in no particular order:

This weekend, you can follow the event live on Twitter by searching the official hashtag #vanstartup, connect with their official handle @VanStartup and you could even tag us @cawebhosting with your own personal inquiries since we'll be on site among hundreds of other participants. If you're planning to attend Vancouver Startup Weekend, what are you most excited about? For those of you who missed out this time, the next event is planned for this coming November, so stay tuned and it might be a good idea to get on their waiting list now if you're interested at all by checking out their website.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru

20Sep/110

3 Startup Day Reflections on Community

Over 15 years ago, our co-founders, Tony Chu and Kevin Liang, decided that they would make the leap into the scary, yet exciting startup world. Over the weekend, as the newly appointed online community manager who’s interested in this new “world,” I attended my first Startup Day (Twitter: @startupday) in Seattle, WA, where I had the opportunity to hear 16 amazing 20-minute talks from extremely bright entrepreneurs including the keynote speaker, Eric Ries (On Twitter: @ericries), author of the new entrepreneur book called The Lean Start Up: How Today’s Entrepreneur Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses (2011). Eric is also known for his popular blog Startup Lessons Learned. He’s a great, charismatic guy and I even got my signed copy:

While I could spend my time going back through my own hashtag that day over at #startupday, I’d like to focus my article on a topic that’s always on top of mind here at Canadian Web Hosting Ltd.: community.

What made this event so interesting? In my opinion, it revolves around three main areas related to community:

1) People
The people are everything whether you’re looking internally within your company or externally to your peers or even competitors. This event gathered like-minded folks who either were thinking of starting their own startups or were already in business for themselves. There are already multiple commonalities that are left unsaid. Going into this event, you already know that these people are natural leaders. Let me explain: they’re extremely driven by a true passion for helping customers and solving every day problems. They don’t do it for money, they do it because they care about the end users. We care about you. Startups create and ship products every day with this hardcore mentality that the more you put in, the more rewards you’ll get it and the more your customers will appreciate it. You could feel the energy flying around the room; everyone there was so bright, sharp and intelligent – there was no doubt about that. The hundreds of attendees were restless to make a change, eager to come up with the next big idea, but also ready to help one another which brings us to our next point.

2) Peer Support
One of the benefits of attending this event as a startupper was: the advisor’s sessions. In these sessions, you could sign up for 20 quick minutes with a community leader to get more information concerning your current concerns with your already-created or soon-to-be startup. I had the chance to sit in with Berry Zimmerman, a true connector in the Pacific Northwest. He recommended a book called The Entrepreneur Equation by Carol Roth and mentioned that if you weren’t ready for the leap, you must read this book to uncover that answer. This book is it! It was almost endearing to see how supportive each leader were to openly give advice the way they did. It’s remarkable!

3) Common Goals
In the end, no matter what each startup is trying to focus on. Their products are created to help our society. This common drive in the room was apparent , not only in the lobby but even on stage, the content among side conversations or being taught to us were invaluable in understanding the do’s and don’ts when creating or leverage a startup.

GeekWire, a famous tech blog in the Seattle area, ran some great interviews asking two very blunt questions as they put it in their recent article. “What’s the biggest hurdle you face as an entrepreneur?” And: "Why did you decide to take the startup plunge?" A few entrepreneurs shared their views on camera for 20 minutes each.

To show our support to this vibrant tech startup community, we are offering discounts to any of the Startup Day attendees. This offer ends at the end of September by reaching me directly at felice@canadianwebhosting.com.

Kevin Liang
CTO / SEO Guru