Long time no write

Just realised it’s been over 6 months since the last time I posted here.

Nothing special happened in the meantime, except that my elder son has been accepted to a master program in Carnegie Mellon and I am taking him there in early August. I am very happy and proud.

Yesterday I’ve been to Camaraderie  [re]Launch Party. Camaraderie is a coworking space that used to be in the east part of the Toronto downtown. Now they have moved to a nice place on Roncesvalles, just a few minutes’ walk from Dundas West subway station. Here’s their website: http://camaraderie.ca. They have a nice collection of books on business on premises (together with a coffee-maker and other things vital for business), and, since I am moving into a smaller apartment, I decided to donate my collection of business books to them. However my hoarding instinct cannot tolerate me parting with the books, so maybe I should give each of them one final reading and review them here. Stay with me for updates on great books such as The Whuffie Factor by Tara Hunt.

 

Pan Am Toronto 2015 – information for would-be vendors

Learn more about business opportunities with the Pan Am Toronto 2015 games at http://www.toronto2015.org/. $300 million will be spent on suppliers ranging from cleaning, uniforms, food and furnishings, etc. There are opportunities for suppliers
Involvement resulting in a greater impact in the games. Learn how to apply for procurement opportunities at http://bit.ly/qGBk53.

2012 YOU Innovate Canada Tournament Deadline for sign up: October 15, 2012

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF) is pleased to announce that the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of State (Small Business and Tourism), has announced the YOU Innovate Canada secret everyday household object in Ottawa and already generating a lot of social media buzz. The 2012 YOU Innovate Canada tournament object is……an egg carton.
Participants are asked to turn an egg carton into something valuable for the chance to win a share of $10,000 in cash awards and a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brasil to attend the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Congress. Winners will be announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 12-18, 2012. Full details can be found on the website: www.cybf.ca/youinnovate
Sign up for the tournament today at:  https://yitc.myreviewroom.com

Upcoming ENTERPRISE TORONTO EVENTS

FEATURE EVENTS
Innovation Camp 2011 “Growing Green”
North York Civic Centre, Council Chamber
9 am – 4:30 pm
Tues., May 17
Learn how simple green strategies can attract more customers, increase sales and reduce your business costs!
Hear from and speak to successful business founders and CEOs. Learn about sustainable business strategies and practices and meet leading experts in financing, marketing and management. Find out how the government can help your business. Make valuable
business contacts.
View full program at http://bit.ly/eTk1EW. Admission is FREE but registration is required at www.enterprisetoronto.com or telephone at (416) 395-7416.

LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
ENTERPRISE TORONTO SEMINARS
MORNING SEMINAR SERIES (MAY)
10 – 11:30 a.m.
Topics include: The Power of Email and Social Media; How to Get the Attention of a Buyer in a BIG Company; Managing Your Cash Flow; How to Market Your Business in the Changing World of Media. Read the rest of this entry »

Entrepreneurship 101 – free courses by CIBC and MaRS

Interested in learning more about entrepreneurship? Looking to start a new venture? Look no further! Entrepreneurship 101 is a free, non-credit introductory course about entrepreneurship offered by MaRS. Over 29 weeks, Entrepreneurship 101 takes you through all the steps of building a successful business.

In this lecture, get a sense of the scope of the course and how it applies to your start-up. Future lecture topics include financing, business modelling, defining markets, hiring teams, protecting intellectual property and raising capital.

Part of CIBC Presents Entrepreneurship 101

Register on MaRS webpage

My article for Blog Idol contest: Resources for technology-related startups in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This article contains some useful information that I inevitably accumulated over the past few years, as a SR&ED consultant and as someone who has recently started a business. It might save you some time that took me to figure out all this. Good luck with your startup!

Various camps, startup drinks, green drinks

Startup entrepreneurs and people who has been there and done that regularly meet to have a drink, exchange battle stories, get a sound advice and find a potential business partner or even an angel investor. Startup Drinks is a simple concept: a grassroots effort to make sure startup folks get in touch and stay in touch.

The same refers to Green Drinks which is a casual, monthly forum for environmentally-oriented individuals to have a few drinks, mingle and toss around ideas.

By the way, the next Green Drinks together with Startup Drinks will happen on May 26 at Grace O’Malleys – 14 Duncan Street, Toronto, from 5:45 to 9:00.

Various camps are also held in Toronto every month. See the description of some in this article. The admission to them is affordable or free. (Some impose a nominal fee to ensure that people who register do indeed show up, and your admission pays for your first drink.) Among other nice get-togethers, I should mention Product Camp and Girl Geeks Dinner.

Democamps

Democamps are such an important feature in the life of Toronto technology scene that it is worth a separate mention. An evening of beer, cocktails and tech demos for designers, developers & marketers, Democamp became quite an institution. It was conceived in Toronto, but now there are democamps in other cities and towns, too.

http://democamp.com/

Creative spaces for independent entrepreneurs

When you work from home, it is very difficult to concentrate! Independent business owners know that better than anyone. Besides, sitting between the four walls tends to get lonely. Because of that, several creative spaces opened in Toronto. Their founders, entrepreneurs themselves, formed a community of like-minded people and opened spaces downtown, offering reasonable monthly rates in a comfortable space. Born from the feeling of collaboration and connection found at events such as BarCamp and tech conferences, coworking is the social interaction of independent entrepreneurs, consultants, freelancers, developers, and writers out of their homes and cafes and into a creative space. A coworking facility is the shared office space for these individuals, where they can work independently in a social way. Rachel Young and Wayne Lee cofounded Camaraderie. Tonya Surman founded Centre for Social Innovation at 215 Spadina, and CSI recently acquired another building in the Annex to expand their space.

(Read more at BlogIdol website…)

Product Camp Toronto: the schedule is now available

Tentative agenda for Product Camp Toronto – Sunday May 30, 2010 has been determined. Each session will consist of 3 or 4 individual talks or presentations.

    9:00am Registration, continental breakfast
    10:00am Welcome
    10:15am – 11:00 am Session 1
    11:15am – 12:00pm Session 2
    12:00pm – 1:00pm Box lunch & networking, sponsor tables
    1:15pm – 2:00 pm Session 3
    2:15pm – 3:00pm Session 4
    3:15pm – 4:00pm Session 5
    4:00pm – 5:00pm Wrap up, feedback, networking, giveaways etc.

You can still vote for sessions here.

Based on the final online voting results, morning sessions will be selected and posted 2 days prior to the event.  Sessions for the afternoon will be picked by attendee voting at the event.

More details

My article for Blog Idol contest: Cloudcamp 1. The unpanel

A Cloudcamp was held in Toronto on April 6, 2010. For those of you who are not familiar with the concept of a camp, it is usually an unconference: there is little or no traditional presentations (one active presenter vs. a more or less passive audience). Instead of that, most camps are unconferences where people just come face-to-face and share their knowledge. These notes are a somewhat shortened record of what was being said that day. (See the links for the sound files in the end of this article.)

In Toronto, we have camps for everything. There is a BarCamp, a BookCamp, a PodCamp, a ProductCamp and even a CupcakeCamp (I am not kidding! Definitely worth a visit if you have a sweet tooth). So, the CloudCamp was about cloud computing. (Wikipedia defines cloud computing as “Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand, like a public utility”.)

For the unpanel, the facilitator (Dave Nielsen) asked the crowd who they thought were cloud experts and then invited these experts to sit in front of everybody as the panelists.  People came up with the list of questions and the panelists got to choose a question and had one minute to answer it.

Now, most people just aren’t very far along the cloud deployment route. People are still trying to figure out things like security, lifecycle management, ROI, types of cloud, vendor lock-in, future of cloud, etc. The camp attendees varied from seasoned “clouders” like Reuven Cohen of Enomaly to complete newbies. Those are the questions that were offered by the audience:

  1. How do I do App Monitoring?
  2. How should I change how I design my app?
  3. How does Cloud affect the performance of my app?
  4. How do we bring Cloud to the mainstream?
  5. How do I address management concerns about security?
  6. How do I do automated provisioning?
  7. What are the key ROI measurements?
  8. How is software licensing different and is it possible to be non-compliant
  9. Are there standards for cloud?
  10. How do I start to take advantage?
  11. What is the future of Cloud Computing

Not all of them got answered but some certainly did, and the answers given were very interesting.

(Read more at BlogIdol website…)

Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit – Tom Rand’s book and talk

Tom Rand of MaRS just published a book: Kick the Fossil Fuel Habit, 10 Clean Technologies to Save Our World.

It’s 240 pages (hard-cover) of accessible text and stunning photography. Great to flip through, but with solid, fleshed-out analysis. Out now in Canada (in Chapters on April 15th), in about a month in the US.

There’s also a short video “trailer”, both funny and hard-hitting. Designed to go viral!

This project is advocacy, pure and simple. It’s timely, important – and something Tom is very passionate about. His goal is to educate the public about our options and why it’s important to consider them carefully.

If you’re in the Toronto region on April 15th, Tom will be giving a “book launch” talk at MaRS at 6 pm in the main auditorium. It’s free, but space is limited and registration is required.

It would be wonderful if you could support this effort by:


Tom is also looking for corporate sponsors to distribute the book internally, or to sponsor a print run for schools/libraries. Got any suggestions or contacts?

You’ll find everything you need at www.kickthefossilfuelhabit.org (video, link to buy the book, publisher info, etc.).

ProductCamp Toronto Spring 2010

The time and date for the next ProductCamp Toronto  has been set.

The Date: Sunday May 30, 2010

The Location: Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management in downtown Toronto.

For those using Twitter, keep watching the  #pct3 hashtag.