It’s been an awesome two weeks, jam-packed with events, new people, and excitement, just like when you start school! :) To give you an idea of how intense it was, let’s go through the most important things that have happened so far:
- On January 22nd, a few days before the official start of the program, Mircea went to a “How To Pitch” session organised by the Canadian Financing Forum. Writing an effective pitch for investors is a critical part of a startup, so it was great to be exposed to this early-on.
- January 25th was kick-off day! We got to meet all the Bootup crew and all the teams from the January cohort. We’re in damn good company here! :) These guys are really talented and experienced, some with very unusual life stories: an ex-marine turned programmer and entrepreneur, a professional chef, a professional soccer player, a physicist, etc. We are honored to be working alongside these guys, and we have a lot of things to learn from each other!
- On January 26th we did something a bit more on the fun side. Boris had the idea of bringing Dave Shea to design beer labels for the January teams. Consequently, we ended up with our own ReadFu Export Lager beer label. Now, we only need the beer! And yes, we WILL brew it!
- January 27th was the day we’ve all been waiting for: Guy Kawasaki comes to visit Bootup Labs! Cristian warmed him up with our elevator pitch, we exchanged some questions, he schooled us a bit, and we got a chance to demo our product at the end. He likes what we’re up to, which is a rather encouraging appreciation for us.
- On January 28th Silviu went to Bootup Demo Days and saw all the companies from the previous cohorts “graduate” by pitching to VCs. This was a great networking opportunity for us as well.
- On February 2nd we had lunch with Lucian Savluc, a Romanian guy working as a web marketing specialist in Vancouver. He is well known as the founder of eLiberatica, one of the top technology conferences in Romania. He was very supportive of us, both as entrepreneurs and as fellow Romanians, just off the boat in Vancouver. Thanks, man!
- Startups are fun but every now and then you have to sit down and do some serious business. On February 3rd we met with our awesome lawyer Shahrooz Nabavi from Fasken Martineau to setup all the details of incorporating in Canada. And by the way, Canada is a great place to start a company! (Hint: You get tons of government benefits!)
- Our second week was deemed “the homework week.” To get us in the right mindset and have us think really hard about our business, Boris gave us a bunch of stuff to do: an executive summary (you use it when you pitch to investors or customers), a set of milestones, a budget, events plan (what events/conferences do we want to go to), and a hiring plan. Lots of hard work, but we pulled it off and we now have a much clearer picture of our business and product.
- The Vancouver startup scene is very active. To get a sense of the events that are happening you can check Meetup. On February 4th we went to such an event, the Vancouver iPhone Developers Meetup. Funny enough, the speaker was Andrei Iancu, a Romanian. We learned a bunch iPhone development stuff and we met new people. For instance, we met the guys at XOMO, the company behind the official 2010 Olympics iPhone App.
- On Friday, February 5th we finished our very intensive two weeks by having a few beers with our newfound friend Igor, from Russia. He’s the CEO of Mobify, a great startup from Vancouver. We had a good time!
This is pretty much it. We think the experience here is amazing! If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur we recommend you to apply to Bootup Labs. It’s awesome!
So, what do you think of our first two weeks of school? Want us to get into more details on a specific event? Share your thoughts in the comments!