Join me in my hometown for Founder Friday Vancouver's Launch on September 21!
By Shaherose Charania (Co-Founder & CEO, Women 2.0)
“I’m coming, home, coming home, tell the world that I’m coming home.” Perfect theme song, thanks P.Diddy for that perfect rain reference!
I am thrilled (so thrilled!) to announce that we are launching Women 2.0’s Founder Friday in Vancouver on September 21, 2012 with the support of Mozilla. This is the first city in Canada to launch our Founder Friday event series.
I’ve been living outside of my hometown for 10 years (in Toronto, Barcelona, and San Francisco), and finally, the time is right… and I’m bringing with me a bit of the company I co-founded in the Silicon Valley – Women 2.0 – to Vancouver.
My passion for technology and business began when I read the book The Cluetrain Manifesto 10 years ago, predicting what we see today because of the Internet - uber connectedness, true transparency, immediate access to information.
My interest in this, then emerging, wave of change was further grown with a few co-ops (work placements) that further encouraged me to be part of the technology ecosystem. Namely, my first summer work placement with the now Founder of Canada’s Techcrunch, Techvibes, Rob Lewis.
Rob, now a friend and mentor, was starting up a non-profit to enable local small businesses to leverage the web. We were basically writing guides on how to set up a simple HTML landing page with your company's info (nothing more) and how to set up an email address! Oh yes, the good ol’ days. All this before the days of Wordpress, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook and simple e-commerce!
I was still in University then and started to globe trot in my third year to find like-minded people who believed in a future of technology driven by the Internet. I ended up discovering Silicon Valley and with an empty bank account, moved to California where every person I knew and know today is in technology and I love it.
Things are different now – not just in Vancouver but globally. Innovative cities are learning from Silicon Valley and creating their own ecosystems. This is why growing Founder Friday globally is so exciting – we get to be part of the early stages of building an integrated, technology ecosystem in global cities.
Vancouver is becoming the Silicon Valley of the north, with it’s own flavour (notice the “u”). On the Skytrain to downtown Vancouver, I overheard conversations that make me smile: “yeah he was the first engineer at xyz company.” …. “I just got back from the valley, eh”….”she designed a killer mobile app that…”
There aren’t just people talking, there are people doing. There are budding startups being created, funded and exiting. Some you know like Hootsuite, PlentyofFish (your most welcome for that awesome date ;)), Unbounce, Club Penguin, Summify and many others… Made in Canada? Yep, and specifically made in Vancouver. Awesome.
So the truth is you don’t have to leave your hometown today to be part of the ecosystem of innovation – it’s here, in the rain, in Vancouver.
In the end, it’s a pleasant surprise to find my hometown growing vibrantly with an innovative ecosystem while I’ve been gone.
For all of my friends who have known me from elementary school, high school, university, volunteering and just the good old days in Burnaby, do join me on September 21 for Founder Friday Vancouver at Mozilla and of course, share this with others you know in Vancouver! Please RSVP here as space is limited.
Photo credit: Christopher Policarpio on Flickr. About the guest blogger: Shaherose Charania is the Co-Founder and CEO of Women 2.0. She is passionate about open innovation in mobile and telephony startups. She is currently running Founder Labs a pre-team, pre-idea incubator for new mobile startups. Follow her on Twitter at @shaherose.