Early bird pricing for StartupFest


Early bird pricing for tickets to International Startup Festival end on June 1, 2013.

CC-BY-SA-20  Some rights reserved by Michael Lewkowitz

We can all gripe about why founders and startups should not attend events, and they should get down to figuring out  if there is quantified market demand for their product.

But lets face it, summer feels like it is here in Toronto (it’s hot). And we all need to blow off some steam. So why not take some 2-3 days and connect in Montreal (or Vancouver more on that soon). Startup Festival early bird tickets sales end tomorrow (June 1, 2013). There is an amazing lineup full of local, national and international recognizable talent. Come to Montreal. Be prepared to listen to amazing stories from real founders and investors about how they figured out traction for their companies.

Folks I’m looking forward to hearing stories from:

Dulcie MaddenDulcie Madden

Co-founder of Rest Devices, Inc.

Joe_ChernovJoe Chernov

VP Marketing at Kinvey

Fred DestinFred Destin

Early Stage VC at Atlas Venture

Jen van der Meer picJen van der Meer

Advisor, Luminary Labs

Michael BaumMichael Baum

Founder of Splunk, Venture Partner at Rembrandt Venture Partners

The part that I look forward to the most, is the part where I hang out with folks from Toronto (and beyond) because we’re all too busy with companies, family and kids. So I get to hang out with my friends Zak Homuth , Mark MacLeod , April Dunford , Harley Finkelstein , Ben Yoskovitz, Roger Chabra , Andrew D’Souza , Brydon Gilliss
and Ken Seto .

I’m going for the opportunity to learn from other people’s experiences. I’m going to connect with folks I’d otherwise have to travel to multiple places to connect with. And probably most importantly, I’m looking forward to strengthening the connections I have with folks I already know.

Register Now


Image attribution: AttributionShare Alike Some rights reserved by Michael Lewkowitz


Wanted: Startups for a research study


Our friends at Microsoft are looking to Toronto as a hot bed of startup activity. Don’t take my work for it, the Startup Compass folks ranked Toronto number 8 on their Startup Genome report for startup activity. The study is being conducted by our friend Sam Ladner (LinkedIn), a Senior User Researcher in Microsoft’s Office Envisioning team. Sam is ex-Toronto, she joined Microsoft six months ago in Redmond. She researches trends in the future of work, and helps builds prototype productivity technology based on that research.

She is looking for participants for this study to help Microsoft learn more about how startups organize themselves, choose technology tools, and their organizational culture. The data will be used to build technology for the next generation of Microsoft products.

About the Study

Participants would need to sit down with a researcher and possibly a note-taker for a 1-hour interview, but for observation they would go about their work day as normal. The researcher and note-taker would stay out of the way and simply observe and take notes.

The researcher would take handwritten notes and some audio recording. With participants’ permission, the researcher would also record video and take still photographs.

All data collected during the research would be used internally at Microsoft. The data would be held on a secure server that sits behind Microsoft’s firewall. This server is only accessible with valid Microsoft employee credentials.  Raw data such as photographs, fieldnotes, audio recordings and unedited video will only be accessible to the immediate research team. Edited video and/or photo slideshows will be shared with other Microsoft employees. The research report will not be published publicly, though the researchers may refer to the aggregated and anonymous findings in professional conferences or symposia. Participants may opt to have video of their offices and themselves to be included in these conferences or symposia, but by default their identities will only be known to internal Microsoft employees.

We will build prototype technologies, based on these findings. We hope to build the next generation of tools that startups themselves need.

Participate in the Study

Microsoft is currently recruiting for an ethnographic study of startups and freelancers. The belief is the number of these workers will continue to grow, and Microsoft wants to know more about how self-employed information workers use technology. If you are a startup founder, Microsoft wants to meet you. The study involves face-to-face interviewing and some job shadowing. Microsoft offer a cash or software incentive in appreciation of your participation.

Fieldwork will take place in early July.

If you want to participate or would like additional information, please complete the form below:



What’s happening at Volta?

Screen Shot 2013-05-24 at 9.02.36 PM

Things are in full swing at Volta in Halifax. We just had our opening party and announced our new in-house $50m venture fund.

Here is what is coming up in the next few weeks:

We have a new company at Volta: ModestTree

The Modest Tree Suite of eLearning software represents a revolutionary method of creating 3D interactive courseware that will significantly reduce the amount of time and cost to create quality, interactive 3D training.

The suite of authoring tools provided by Modest Tree can be used directly by experts across many different fields to produce realistic simulations and walk-throughs of complex procedures and tasks, greatly simplifying the process of creating interactive lessons for training.

Bits of Knowledge: Scaling

Join us for lunch (sandwiches and pop provided) and over 30 minutes learn
what it takes to successfully scale a web service and what to think about
when you are building a product that needs to scale quickly.If you plan to
attend, please register at: http://bok-scaling.eventbrite.ca
Who is giving a talk on this: Tim Chipman 
When is it: 4th of June 2013 from 12PM to 12:45 PM

CTO Peer 2 Peer Meetup

Tech CTOs from start-up to mid sized companies come together to
talk frankly about common issues. Topics include how to manage
growth, evaluate technologies, best implementation practices,
how retain and motivate technical talent etc. Moderated by
GoInstant CTO Gavin Uhma
Who: CTO’s and Lead Developers
When: 6 June 2013 from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Where: Volta Event space

Lunch and Learn: Git

Today, developers everywhere are migrating in droves to the
exciting Git platform. Users reference its blistering
performance, usage flexibility, offline capabilities, and
collaboration features as their motivation for switching from
Subversion and CVS. Let’s get started with Git. You’ll be using
it like a master in no time at all.
When: 11th of June from Noon to 1 PM
Where: Volta Event Space
Who: Volta Network Members interested to
learn more about Git and best repo management practices

Marketing Peer 2 Peer Meetup

Share ideas and best practices or partake in roundtable discussions
on topics of relevance such as branding, advertising, promotions,
publications, metrics, social media and public relations and hot
issues for a rapidly evolving global tech startup. Moderated by
TitanFile’s Greg Poirier (ex. Radian6, Empire Theaters..)
When: 13th of June at 5 PM
Where: McInessCooper Boardroom
Who: Marketing execs, Metrics zealots and
lean startup practitioners looking to get the most out of their
marketing buck.
Moderator: Greg Poirier

Design Peer 2 Peer Meetup

Come together to learn about best practices in product and web design
and to discuss current trends as well as disect and analyze each
other’s design work. Moderated by 26ones Brian
JeffcockWho: Designers and geeks interested in design,
visual identity & typography. Where: Volta
Event space When: 19th of June 5 PM to 6 PM

LSTS (Learn Something, Teach Something)

Take 5 minutes to teach others something from your experience (results
of a split test, good design pattern, a neat trick) or share a short
educational story. If you have something to share (and I hope you will)
send the summary in the following format to milan@voltaeffect.com (or just reply to this
email).Name: (eg. Patrick Hankison) Topic: (eg. “What not to do in A/B
testing”) Have slides: (eg. No)Slides are optional.
When is it: 22nd of June 2013 from
to 6 PM

Ladies Learning Code: Introduction to Python

Python is a great language for beginners. Its beautiful and
clean-looking syntax means you’ll spend less time being confused (it
looks sort of like English!), and more time understanding and applying
the fundamentals of programming. Plus, even as a beginner, you can do
fun things with Python, like make games and draw shapes!
In this Introduction to Python workshop, you will create an app that
sells tickets, a “Guess the Number” game (Price is Right, anyone?) and
as part of your final project, you’ll re-create the schoolyard classic,
Where: Volta Event space When: 22nd of June
 from 10
 to 5 PM

More details and tickets at: http://llchalifaxintropythonjune22.eventbrite.ca


Introhive is looking for a San Francisco based BD pro and a Halifax
based inside sales person. Know anyone? ow.ly/lh8iu