DemoCampGuelph Weathers Storm

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

Last night we hosted our 25th DemoCampGuelph event here in Guelph. The weather did it’s best to slow us down but we still ended up with a full house. Our invited speaker Ben Yoskovitz didn’t fair as well. After starting the drive from Toronto, he quickly made the right decision to turn back. We’ll get Ben out to our next event.

With no invited speaker, we improvised and hosted another founder panel. Sitting on our panel last night was Jim Estill, Steve Holub and John Mammoliti. We all had an opportunity to ask questions and pick their brains about getting started, what you need, what you don’t need, finding mentors and first customers and more.

We then jumped into a great night of demo’s including an unusual amount of DemoCampGuelph alumni. The Crowie award for crowd favourite demo of the night went to Owen Goss from Milkbag Games for his new game Photobomb.

It’s always humbling to host these events and see what a strong community we have in Guelph and surrounding area. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and joined us last night. We’ll see you next year at #26!

Guelph Tech Show and Tell Event

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

We’re hosting our 25th DemoCampGuelph next week. For those unfamiliar, it’s a highly social event where about six folks from our community will have the opportunity to demo some technology to the crowd. It may be something they’re working on or just a cool project they want to share. It’s a very casual event that is a great way to meet some other folks in our local tech scene.

RSVP now if you’re joining us on Wed Nov 19th.

We’ll start the evening off with our invited speaker. Most folks in the Canadian startup scene have heard of Ben Yoskovitz. They likely know him from his days helping to shape and grow the Montreal startup scene, including his role in the incubator Year One Labs. They’re surely heard about his recent tour of duty with GoInstant in Halifax and his new role at VarageSale in Toronto. What they may not know is that Ben was born and bred right here in the Royal City. So it’s a welcome home of sorts.

We’ll then jump into our demo’s for the evening. After our demo’s, we have live local music with AJ Johnson from Cuff the Duke and The Oddyears.

Please register if you’re able to join us. You do NOT have to demo to attend but if you’d like a demo spot, please submit your application asap!

Startup Train Wins $100K!

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

Long time no speak. We took the fall off but now that the NHL is back we figured it’s time to get back to it. I have a great story to share about this summer’s soldout Startup Train. End of day, it sums up what our train is attempting to do.

Last summer, in speaking to the folks at Shopify about sponsoring the train they mentioned that they’d like to sponsor some tickets for startups to attend. They purchased two tickets on our train which we gave away to two local startups.

One of those startups decided to pitch at the conference. By the time the dust settled and the conference was handing out their prizes, Susie Pan from Blynk had walked away with their top prize of $100K towards her startup. Talk about ROI!!

So, no the Startup Train didn’t exactly win $100K but it kinda sorta feels like we did. Honorable mention to another Startup Train company Redtree Robotics who won the FounderFuel Fall 2014 Cohort award.

Free Tickets on Startup Train

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

Thanks for Shopify, we gave away two tickets on next week’s Startup Train to International Startup Festival. We ran a twitter contest to award them. After a random draw from all entrants, our winners are Susie Pan and James Mclean…

Susie is a recent grad from business school and has chosen entrepreneurship over a traditional job. “I want to attend Startup Train to bring the youth perspective into the ecosystem and to engage in a creative non traditional setting of networking (eg. on a train). My current start up is a fashion mobile app that acts as your personal stylist.

James is a local designer who views the trip as a “good opportunity to learn via workshops and other startups that are trying to solve similar problems. We are always recruiting too – so I’ll be on the look out for those who cook and code.

Free Tickets on Ontario @StartupTrain!

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

Thanks to our sponsor Shopify, we’re giving away….

Two free startup tickets on this July’s Startup Train.

These tickets include your first class travel on the Startup Train to Montreal and full access to the International Startup Festival. You will only need a place to stay and a way home after the conference.shopify

We’re giving these tickets away using Twitter. To enter, simply post to twitter what value you would get out of the Startup Train, between now and June 23rd at 5pm. Be sure to include “@startupTrain” in your update or simply finish the twitter update “I’m on @startupTrain to

PS…This year’s train is almost soldout, and could sellout this week before this contest ends. If you can afford a ticket and want to be on the train, you may not wait until next week.

Fine Print

  • These tickets are intended for ‘starving startups’, who otherwise couldn’t afford the trip. If you’ve already purchased a ticket on the train, or to startup festival, then you’re ineligible.
  • The winners will be selected at random from all entries.
  • Contest closes Monday June 23rd at 5pm.
  • To qualify, you must post a meaningful answer for why you should attend. The response must be posted to twitter and include “@startuptrain” in the post.

Why Are You On The Startup Train?

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

We tried something new for last year’s Startup Train aimed at helping our passenger’s avoid the boondoggles. When you attend startup conferences, you can’t simply show up and send a report to your boss after. Unfortunately you’re on your own now and you need to decide what you’re hunting for and go find it!

To that end, we asked our Startup Train passengers to decide what their one metric of success was for coming on Startup Train. Then record and share it with the world. The goal being that by the time you board the train, we all know what you’re after and we can help you achieve it.

To add some fuel to the fire, submitting a video also entered our passengers into a draw for $1500 in travel vouchers from our sponsor VIA Rail. As well, this year our friend’s at Vimeo will be giving away a pro account worth $199 to their favourite video.

You can see some of our video’s from last year here. As this year’s passengers record their videos, we’ll share them on twitter with you.

We’re well over halfway soldout for this year’s train and expect to sellout for the 3rd year so make sure to get your ticket shortly if you’re joining us!

We Need Your Startup Founder Questions?

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

For better or worse, we’re doing this Founder Interview deal tonight at DemoCampGuelph. The event starts at 6:30pm in downtown Guelph at The Ebar. We’ll have three startup founders who are at various stages of startup’iness. What do you want to ask them??

3330166423_c8ee8ee1e1_mPost your questions to the twitterz today and we’ll do our best to work them in. Just click this link, then add your question after the “my founder question @demoCampGuelph…” part. We’ll watch and gather them today and do our best to incorporate them this evening.

Some examples to prime the pump…

“All-in? When do you stop working on other side projects, quit your 9-5, invest 100% into your startup?

when is it over? and how difficult is it to: a) be objective in that assessment and, b) deal with the aftermath from a personal standpoint?

Knowing what you know now, what would you have done differently? What could you have done to have known this beforehand?

Founder Interviews at DemoCampGuelph

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

At previous DemoCampGuelph events, we’ve had some awesome invited speakers. Yes, some name dropping here…Rob Hyndman, Mike Litt, Tara Hunt, Mike McDerment, Jay Goldman and many more have made the trek into the heart of Guelph to speak at our wee event. We’ve been fortunate to hear from experienced heavyweights who’ve been there, done that.

Clearly experience counts but what I’ve learned from our ThreeFortyNine Founders’ Club events is that we can learn as much, or more, from the folks we work with everyday.

So, it’s time to mix things up for this week’s DemoCampGuelph. I’d like to introduce you to…..

Founder Interviews @DemoCampGuelph

1275188911_ebc291d8f4_zHere’s the way this is going to work (I hope). I’m going to interview three people about a startup related theme. Those three people will include:

The Rookie: Someone who is chomping at the bit to launch their first startup.

The Vet: Someone who is currently in the deep end and working away on a startup of their own.

The Retired Vet: They’ve been there, done that and are taking a breather.

To make this work, I need your help in one, or all, of the following ways:

  1. Attend the event this Wed night, please register if you haven’t already.
  2. Apply for a demo spot.
  3. Volunteer to be interviewed. Email me directly, letting me know which of the above you are.
  4. Help us pick a theme for the interviews to focus on.
  5. Oh, and as always, share, share, share! Tell others that DemoCampGuelph is this Wednesday night and help us fill the room!!

 

Get Your Demo On…In Guelph

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

One week from today is our 24th rendering of DemoCampGuelph. It’s cool that this event is old enough to drink but we’re creeping up on 30 now. I’m not sure how I feel about that. If you haven’t been, here are a few key points about the event….

534872012_e8ccac2459_zFree to Attend

It’s free and you do NOT have to demo to attend. Ultimately this is a chance for all of us in the Guelph, and surrounding, tech scene to get together, meet, share a pint and maybe even work together.

Demo!

Having said that, you really should apply to demo! You do not have to demo something that you built, it can simply be something that you think the crowd needs to know about.

Stay for music…

Live music is a big part of Guelph. We do our best to have a local musician play some live music after we wrap up. If you have some friends who are not in tech, have them stop by just for the tunes! We’re very luck to have Nathan Coles playing for us next week.

The Rewards of Failure

Brydon

I work on 20Skaters, ThreeFortyNine, DemoCampGuelph and a few others. My vanity site is brydon.me.

Failure. It seems we talk about it more than success in the startup world. Mark Evans suggested that in “Canada, unfortunately, failure is a four-letter word”. Our fear of failing here prevents us from reaching, from leaping, from succeeding.

Some other guy suggests that safety nets are for failing. The idea that allowing yourself the space for failure becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

So which is it? We’re too skeered of failing or we’re too prepared to fail?

3564244382_cb57a92511_mHere’s the rub. Until you accept that failure is a possibility, you’ll get nothing started but until you decide that failure is no longer an option, you’ll never succeed.

Step 1: Accept that failure is a likely and very real possibility. Focus on squeezing every last drip of learning out of every misstep.

Step 2: Decide that failure is no longer an option.

Another rub. There are very real rewards to failing that are attractive and appealing. Yes, rewards. Their appeal is strong, Dorthea Brande calls it the Will to Fail. For starters, having tried and failed allows to spend the rest of your days saying you tried…

“I had that idea”…..”Ya I had a startup but the timing wasn’t quite right”…..”I took a shot at it but I had the wrong cofounder”

Trying and failing keeps you from having to see what your idea looks like when executed on. Executing on a idea is ugly. It’s no longer a pretty, puffy dream with dollar signs, friendly customers and investors. It’s a real business that you had to white knuckle into submission. Chances are it was not pretty and it changed you as a person, not always in a good way. The difference between the finished work and that idea you had is often massive. Not having to ever see that difference is appealing. Leave me to my dreams please!

There are other rewards to failing, the point is that failure isn’t necessarily this ugly endpoint that you naturally navigate away from. It’s important that you consider what’s appealing to you in failing and what may actually attract you to it. You will never succeed until you choose that failure is impossible. Yes, it often is just that simple.