Tag Archives: Vancouver

Growing at GROW

Atlantic Canada Entrepreneurs @ GrowConf
Image by bmann via Flickr

I’m typing this blog post on my Dell Inspiron Mini on a West Jet flight some 40,000+ feet over the Canadian Prairies.

I don’t usually use this space to blog about my professional life. So I hope you don’t mind if I make an exception today.

This week I’m proud to represent thirdocean and XConnect at Canada’s top technology and start-up conference in Vancouver: GROW Conference.  If you’re a regular here you probably already know that I am a co-founder and partner of both thirdocean (which is a social media and community management agency) and XConnect (which we’re building into Canada’s top technology and new media resource).

Both companies are less than one year old. Which makes this trip all the more important from a business perspective.  Not only am I in attending GROW in order to learn from some of the top entrepreneurs and business minds across North America but I’m in Vancouver to network and solidify some professional relationships.  The goal, obviously, is to grow both of our businesses.

So I hope to be able to share some good news with everyone soon after I return from this trip.

For the rest of the week I’ll be blogging over at XConnect.  I’ll be sharing my thoughts on both what I’ve learned and whom I’ve met.  If you’re a fan of our XConnect Show (live every Wednesday at 11am EST) this week we’ll be chatting with Alyssa Richard and Matthew Slutsky.  Both Toronto-based entrepreneurs are disrupting the national real estate industry.  Rachel McConnell (our Community Manager) will be filling in for me as host of the show.  I hope you’re able to watch.

If you want to receive this blog post in your email click on the button on the right hand column that says sign me up under the Email Subscription header.  In the meantime, please feel free to register on our communications system.  You will be able to easily follow my journey here in Vancouver as well as everything else we’re doing at thirdocean and XConnect.

5 Questions with Sonia Ryan

In honour of Canada’s Vancouver Canucks making it into the Stanley Cup Finals, I thought we’d take the opportunity to highlight one of Vancouver’s stars: Sonia Ryan. Sonia Ryan is the Troublemaker at A Thinking Ape. Her vision for ATA is to be THE company recognized by developers as the place to work.  Often described as the “Social Glue” she is dedicated to creating an inspiring experience through creative and experimental initiatives. Prior to ATA, Sonia worked at Bootup and was responsible for organizing monthly mentor visits and workshop, Demo Days, Democamps and Launch Party for the Vancouver startup scene. Sonia can always be found with her iPhone and a smile that doesn’t quit.

What motivates you to do what you do on a daily basis?

My team. I am working at A Thinking Ape and my teams dedication and drive to complete tasks is impeccable. We are all working together to create a solid technology company here in Vancouver and it’s really exciting.

If you had 30 seconds to impart your wisdom on a classroom of soon-to-be graduates, what would you say?

Work at a startup. If you are intrinsically motivated this experience is invaluable because you have an opportunity to understand all aspects of the business.

In your opinion, what has been one of the most important technological developments over the past 12 months?

The tablet was one of the most anticipated gadgets of the year, whether it be the android tablet or highly covetable iPad. We saw these tablets turn into e-readers for our digital books, newspapers, and magazines, and Web TV. Geolocation was also huge and I’m talking beyond Foursquare and Gowalla. The creation of Geo APIs from companies such as Facebook and Simple Geo changed the game by adding rich layers of geo-related data to all sorts of apps.

If you had a crystal ball, what would you say will be the most important technological development over the next 12 months?

Mobile Social Photo apps continue to increase in popularity and I don’t see this slowing down. We have Path, Instagram, Color, Twitpic and I’m excited to see what other innovations occur in this space over the next year. Also, with Amazon and Google’s recent foray into streaming music it should be interesting to see how Apple and the major record labels will respond.

Who is one of Canada’s tech stars and why?

It’s hard for me to pinpoint one person in particular. Being in Vancouver, I will name a few key people I admire: Maura Rodgers, Danny Robinson, my Founders at A Thinking Ape – Kenshi Arasaki, Wilkins Chung, Eric Diep, Ryan Holmes and Boris Mann. I named these individuals because they have been an integral part of my life after joining a startup. I look to them for mentorship, feedback and know that they will always be there for me.