Posted in export to .org, random

Choose Your Own Interview: Vancouver Entrepreneurs!

Remember those “Choose your own adventure” books when you were kids?

What could be better?

But seriously, I’ve been interviewing so many entrepreneurs &  I’d like to know which interviews people would like to hear! If you really want to see a specific interview (or if you are that person, *cough Parveen cough cough*), feel free to vote as many times as possible. It should send me the message! 😉

Some information about the entrepreneurs…

Jason Bailey Founder of Super Rewards. Top 4 tips on how he started his company with $0 in his East Van House and sold if for a rumoured $50 million
David Helliwell Co-Founder of Pulse Energy. How losing his job was the best thing that happened to him
Parveen Kaler Founder of Smartful Studios. How Parveen went from “working for the games industry man” to being recognized as the “iPhone dev guy” in Vancouver
Lyal Avery – Founder of Outcome3 Media. Doesn’t believe in secret formulas for successful entrepreneurs. At the end of the day it boils down to one thing…
James Sherrett – Founder of AdHack. The secret to finding a successful market/startup idea & how to practically implement it

Posted in Canadian, entrepreneurial, export to .org, personal, random, Vancouver

What’s the value of Community? (inspired by David Crow….)

I’ve been thinking a lot more about Vancouver’s startup community recently.

In the last week, I’ve met with a few genuine & hard-working entrepreneurs here in Vancouver. Two that come to mind  are Ashish Gurung (@AshishGurung), CEO of NuXD, and Ryan Holmes (@invoker), CEO of Inoke Media’s Hootsuite. Great people. If you haven’t met them yet, you should. Looking at them from the outside, there seems to be little connection between the two: One is relatively unknown in Vancouver and the other created an app used by large organizations like the White House & Disney.

But in my meetings with them I found one similar trait: they both genuinely cared. And not just about my questions on startups, but they really exuded a genuine desire to help without much in return for themselves. And this was in the midst of their rushed, busy schedules.

I often forget that in addition to just writing about it, building community takes people who actually care about other people. This has definitely challenged me to rethink the way I interact with people I network with.

However, many people I talk to don’t see the need in building community here in Vancouver. It’s not a direct statement (hey, we’re Canadians), but more of a subtle undertone in many of my conversations. For a while, I was quite discouraged. So you can imagine my catharsis at reading David Crow’s recent post where he addresses the very question & quotes Paul Graham’s What Startups Are Really Like. In particular, 17. The Value of Community:

“One of the most surprising things I saw was the willingness of people to help us. Even people who had nothing to gain went out of their way to help our startup succeed…The surprise for me was how accessible important and interesting people are. It’s amazing how easily you can reach out to people and get immediate feedback.” – comments on What Startups Are Really Like

David goes on to say:

I want a vibrant, connected, accessible community of founders, investors, advisors and others in Canada. And I’m not alone. There are great communities across the country in Ottawa, Montreal, Waterloo, Guelph, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver (and be sure to check out StartupDrinks).”

I had heard lots about David Crow’s community, but never knew if he was the real deal. I wish David was here in Vancouver. I would love to meet him.

Posted in export to .org, random

What Vancouver’s Startup Scene Needs (part 1): Real Community. Better PR

If you’re lazy like me, this pretty much sums it up….

“What I’m advocating is more stronger, open community between startup companies, tech associations & universities. Start to promote & get encouraged by what others are doing well & don’t be afraid to talk about your own successes or ideas! Attend each other’s events & get to know what others are doing in your technology space as well as out of it! Great companies like Bootup Entrepreneurial Society & TechVibes have already begun. Let’s join them and build a stronger Vancouver tech community!” – Jon Chui

Practical ways to get involved

But on to the original post:

Continue reading “What Vancouver’s Startup Scene Needs (part 1): Real Community. Better PR”

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Help me “help the needy get nerdy” this Christmas Eve with Free Geek Vancouver…

Update: Dec 25, 2009

Thanks to those who donated their computers, specifically to my friends at Microsoft & HEABC, as well as Vicki for helping me lug all these computers in the back of our car. That 22 inch CRT monitor must be the heaviest monitor I’ve ever carried in my entire life.

We were able to donate 3 monitors, 3 computers, a fax machine & some other electronic odds & ends.

A shout out also to Mack Flavelle, Brian Yan Muk, & VanCityBuzz for retweeting on twitter!  Please contact me if you have more computers to donate after the boxing day – if we have enough interest we can rent a van and go around Vancouver to pickup everyone’s computers!

Here’s the deal:

I’m donating a carload of old computers, monitors, & fax machines to Free Geek Vancouver this afternoon Dec 24, Christmas Eve, at around 1:30 pm. (that’s in about 1 hour – let’s see how “real-time” twitter really is! ;P )

Since I’m going anyways, I’m more than willing to pick up any donations on the way! 🙂

Why are you doing this?

  1. I love what the non-profit, community-powered Free Geek Vancouver is doing: “Ethical computer recycling” & “Helping the needy get nerdy”!
  2. It’s a great way to do good this Christmas, & much better than throwing them in a dumpster, landfill, or closet
  3. Because we all have extra, old computers & accessories lying around. Think of this like a free pickup service!

What Can I Donate?

  • Here’s a list of what computer parts they accept, but in general any working/non-working computer, monitor, fax machine, etc works!
  • If you want to support this great community-powered non-profit by non-perishable snacks or monetary donations, I can come pickup donations or you can donate online

Here’s a map of my route. If you’re a geek, you can add your location with the “edit” function. Otherwise, just call me @ (778)241-CHUI, leave a comment on this entry, or tweet me @jonchui

I’ve chatted with Free Geek and they’re open to doing this again later, but with their big van. So if you still have donations, but can’t get them by today @ 1:30 pm, just leave a comment so we know for next time!

Merry Christmas Vancouver! – Jon

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In less than 30 seconds: Vancouver’s passionate student entrepreneurs speak out!

For those who don’t know, my current passion revolves around revolutionizing Vancouver’s startup scene by getting more students passionate & adding real value to the World. This starts by bridging the gap between student entrepreneurship clubs on the same campuses as well as across campuses.

We hosted four first event this past Sunday to gather the champions, heroes & presidents of the entrepreneurial clubs & organizations this past month called IC4Students – Innovation Camp for Students.

Many people have asked me how it went, so I thought I’d let the student leaders tell you themselves in less than 3o seconds:

UPDATE: check out the newest post for the full video

Posted in Canadian, entrepreneurial, personal, random, Vancouver

How to create a hype with next to nothing: How we turned an empty table and 500 folders into 200 inspired students @ InnoVasion

What a long yet inspiring day!

If you don’t want to read the story, check out a quick summary video below or here. Apologies for the shaky camera.

And here’s what some students thought of us: Continue reading “How to create a hype with next to nothing: How we turned an empty table and 500 folders into 200 inspired students @ InnoVasion”

Posted in entrepreneurial, personal, random, tech, Vancouver

My Current Passion: Revolutionizing Vancouver’s Startup Scene


When I realized I wanted to be an entrepreneur at the end of University, it was pretty late in the game and I found it difficult to connect with other like-minded co-founders. I had just turned down a job offer as a PM at Microsoft, and, gauging the economic recession, was beginning to think I just shot myself in the foot. Continue reading “My Current Passion: Revolutionizing Vancouver’s Startup Scene”

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Best Buy (& other big box retailers) – make sure your ads work!!!!

I wrote a quick post about how a staples ad failed to deliver by a) showing me NO deals and b) not knowing that I was in Canada and not the US here.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight in seeing that the New York Times did indeed know I was in Canada. Not only that,  they even knew that I was in the Lower Mainland! Continue reading “Best Buy (& other big box retailers) – make sure your ads work!!!!”