This morning, Bootup Entrepreneurial Society had their first Mentor Speed Dating event. Graciously hosted by Clark Wilson, LLP, the event took place at the ungodly hour of 7:30am… although the finance guys and lawyers seemed to think it was a late start, us technology folk weren’t nearly as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Plenty of coffee and food to be had more than perked me up though (a big thank you to the Clark Wilson folks for that!)
Ten Mentors were on one side of the table, with about thirty visiting entrepreneurs from fifteen companies looking for wisdom. As one of the ten mentors, it was really thrilling for me to see so many early startups looking to showcase their five-minute pitch.
The particular entrepreneurs will give a much better version, but the 140-character summary pitch of the companies I had a chance to speak with are:
- Scallable – A quality/location/other-metric based brokerage system for medium-sized VOIP providers.
- CompassEngine – A geolocation platform service for mobile developers in the gaming space.
- FoodTree – A directory service providing point of purchase information on the ethics and other consideration of food providers.
- InnovationCamp – A consulting service providing guidance and training in the area of personal expertise for departments in business organizations.
- Viira – A Getting Things Done consolidation application for the Blackberry, spanning projects through contact management.
- SpottedDoing – A middleware component for mobile cause marketing.
- ReadFu – A link preview system to provide a summary of a link’s destination on roll over without having to leave the linking page.
- Redrovr – Helps artists and speakers book more gigs by connecting them directly with their audiences through an auction system.
- Contextual Search Inc – An innovative search model that “brings the content to you.”
- Bitmain Studios – Pointkit is half Unfuddle, half Freshbooks – a project management tool with invoicing built in.
Unfortunately, due to time constraints, I didn’t have a chance to meet with all of the entrepreneurs, but if they were anything like the eleven I did get to meet with, I’m sure they were fantastic.
Overall, the event was a huge success. I believe the structure as presented was really clear – particularly the overall session question of “What are the 3 things you need help with.” Both the mentors and potential mentees I surveyed after-wards had a fantastic time. The good news is that this event will likely be happening again in a few months. In the interim, there’s a social networking site built around the topic that is anything but static. If you’re a mentor looking to talk to early stage entrepreneurs, or a founder looking for business advice or support, register at mentors.bootup.ca and start connecting!