By: Rick Stomphorst
November saw a Startup Weekend Peel ReConnection and Silicon Peel unofficial launch event take place at Sheridan College Hazel McCallion Campus Mississauga. The event sparked conversation, introductions, and an ever growing awareness of the local tech community.
With over 40 people in attendance, we listened to the successes, challenges, and new questions from the Startup Weekend Peel startups. Of these returning startups, it was great to listen to their continued enthusiasm, ongoing progress, and accomplishments. A few notable quotes were:
- We got a provisional patent!
- We got two (non-disclosed) loans approved!
- Selected by (a technology) incubator!
- How do I protect my idea?
- How do I finance my projects (implementations)
Some of the winning team members from CardDrop told us how they went onto win Startup Weekend Toronto, where they launched yet another startup, GroupNotes. We didn’t know it then, but within 2-weeks, GroupNotes would win the 2012 Global Startup Battle Champion, winning over 1,000 other teams from over 137 events in more than 60 countries. Matthew of CardDrop praised Startup Weekend Peel for providing such a powerful learning experience for him.
Chris Herbert of Mi6 and Rick Stomphorst of SearchVelocity.ca described the launch of neighboring Silicon Halton, the huge positive impacts it’s having on the Halton tech community and its rapid growth to becoming the tech community in Halton. A number of Silicon Halton evangelists also came out to describe first-hand the impact which Silicon Halton has had on them, their business, and tried to capture in words the Silicon Halton experience (it’s hard).
Chris and Rick challenged the group to imagine what such a tech community in Peel could do for them? Imagine being able to identify the (likely) hundreds of startups that exist? Imagine being able to leverage the tech ecosystem resources in your own backyard? This could bring lasting solutions (read: jobs) to the Peel region.
A Silicon Peel is a fresh approach to the old dry tech association model. Silicon Peel would be powered by it’s members. As such, one member has created a Silicon Peel LinkedIn group [here] and Chris and Rick have scheduled the dedicated Silicon Peel Meetup [here] for January 2013. The first meetup will use an Open Space format to wrestle with the question (the night’s theme): What is needed to ignite a tech community in Peel?
Our plans are to continue to spark conversations and dialog within the Peel ICT community, until we ignite something in those that call Peel “home” and it burns on its own.
Rick Stomphorst is the Principal Consultant at SearchVelocity.ca, providing recruitment to technology companies to identify and acquire high-value technology staff. He brings 25+ years of broad experience with software companies, including five software start-ups, and IT professional consulting firms. Rick is also the co-founder of Silicon Halton.
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