Archive | February, 2013

Busbud Selected for Canada’s CTA @ NYC Program!

28 Feb
New York Road Sign

Next stop: New York City!

Busbud is pleased to announce that it has been selected to participate in the Government of Canada’s CTA@NYC program in New York City, in collaboration with the Consulate General of Canada in New York.

The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) Initiative aims to provide digital media entrepreneurs with access to unique resources and contacts to accelerate the growth of their start-up on a global scale.

As part of the program, Busbud CEO LP Maurice will be working from General Assembly, a startup community space in the heart of New York City, from March to June 2013.

Other participants include: Authintic (Toronto), Elevate (Toronto), Picatic (Saskatoon/Toronto), Shiny Ads (Toronto) and Viafoura (Toronto). Previously, the last companies from Quebec to participate in the program were e-commerce clothes retailer Frank & Oak and location-based marketing startup SweetIQ.

Busbud is very excited to participate in this program. In addition to being the most vibrant travel hub in the world, New York City is increasingly taking center-stage as a hot-bed for internet-based technology entrepreneurship.

Growtalks Montreal Recap

20 Feb
Growtalks conference Montreal - 2/19/2013

Growtalks conference Montreal – 2/19/2013

Busbud was at the Growtalks Montreal conference today!

GROWtalks is a one day conference focused on how to create simple, actionable metrics, and use them to make better product and marketing decisions. Industry experts share actionable advice on how to improve design, product and customer development, acquisition, retention, and more.

There were great presentations from author Brant CooperGreg Isenberg of Fiveby.tv, Kate Rutter of Luxr, Laura Fitton of Hubspot, Scott Kveton of Urban Airship, Dan Martell of Clarity, Alistair Croll of Solve for Interesting, and iNovia’s David Nault, who also performed double duty as MC for the event. Topics covered ranged from customer acquisition, lean UX, scalable business models, growth hacking and financing.

Allistair Croll at Growtalks Montreal

Alistair Croll at Growtalks Montreal

Personally, my favorite presentation was Alistair Croll’s, who gave us a preview of his upcoming book Lean Analytics. Interestingly, Alistair challenged the crowd to find the one key metric that matters for their business. He also gave a few interesting examples of Airbnb and other companies that use metrics to carry out experiments in order to better understand the key drivers in their business models. The Lean Analytics book, co-authored with Ben Yoskovitz, is scheduled to hit the (virtual) bookshelves in early March 2013.

The conference definitely gave audience members plenty of ideas to go back to their startups and “measure, test and try” towards product market fit.

Thanks to the organizers, presenters and sponsors. Lots of great content and it was great to see so many familiar faces at the event!

If you missed it, you can also catch the conference in Toronto on Feb 21st. Register here.

Busbud Joins E-180 Knowledge Market – Travel Edition

19 Feb
E-180 Knowledge Market - Travel Edition

E-180 Knowledge Market – Travel Edition

Busbud is happy to be joining forces with E-180 as an organizing partner for their upcoming Knowledge Market – Travel Edition on February 26, 2013 from 6 to 8pm at Café Matina in wonderfully chilly Montreal.

E-180 is a matchmaking website that allows you to connect and learn with like-minded people, face to face, in a cafe, bar or over lunch. Once you’ve found someone whose knowledge interests you, you can contact them via E-180’s message service and propose a place and date to meet.

Travelling soon? The Knowledge Market (Travel Edition) is a 6@8 of knowledge exchange with an international flavour where you can leave with practical advice from other participants and event partners, to plan your next getaway.

On the program, the venue will be organized in themed areas by continent, making it easy to meet participants with similar interests and special projects such as:

      • International Cooperation
      • Sailing
      • Work and study abroad
      • WOOOFing
      • Couchsurfing
      • Hitchhiking
      • Limited budget
      • Around the world

Members of the Busbud team will be there, doing our best to answer questions for travellers. Come say hi!

Register here (it’s free!): http://e180hastalavista.eventbrite.com/

Q&A with Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere on Photography and Bus Travel

16 Feb
Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere

Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere

As part of our goal to make life easier for bus travelers, we keep in touch with travelers who’ve had firsthand experiences around the world. Last time, we featured Miro & Lainie from Raising Miro. Today, we’re happy to feature Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere.

Gary Arndt sold his house in 2007 and have been traveling around the world ever since. He’s visited all 7 continents, over 116 countries and territories around the world, all 50 US states, 9/10 Canadian provinces, every Australian state and territory, over 125 US National Park Service sites and over 180 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In 2010, Time Magazine named Everything Everywhere one of the Top 25 Blogs in the World.

1. Where are you now, and what’s your next destination?

I am writing this in a bus station in Liberia, Costa Rica. I’ll be heading to San Jose in an hour and tomorrow I hope to visit my 192nd UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Talamanca mountain range.  Next week I’ll be heading to northern Canada to the Yukon.

2. You’ve traveled over 7 continents and visited over 116 countries. How do you keep travel interesting and exciting?

There is always something more to learn. You can spend your entire life traveling and never run out of new things to learn and experience. The Earth is much larger than any human lifetime.

3. You’ve got a great travel photography ebook that everyone should dowload. I was especially touched by the Red Shirt Protester in Bangkok, and the Kids in Canoe at Rennell Island. Can you share your photography process— do you set out to capture moments, or let them come to you spontaneously?

It all depends. Both of those images have interesting stories behind them.

Red Shirt protester in Bangkok

Red Shirt protester in Bangkok

The photo of the red shirt protester took place in Bangkok in 2010. There were huge political protests taking place in Bangkok while I was there. I went down to the main protest area several times to meet and photograph the protesters. One day they were going to hold a rally at the Prime Minister’s home which was only a block from where I was staying. I went down with my camera and was between about 10,000′s protesters and maybe 1,000 police in riot gear. It started to rain and all the other photographers took shelter. I had an umbrella with me, so I stood out in the middle of the street and took the photo of the single man standing in front of the police. It is one of my favorite images.

Kids in Canoe on Rennell Island

Kids in Canoe on Rennell Island

The photo I took on Rennell just happened. The Solomon Islands is a country which gets very few tourists. Rennell Island is off the main archipelago and gets maybe 100 tourists per year. East Rennell is a 20 mile drive from the airstrip (which is just grass) over coral. During that 20 mile trip we had 8 flat tires. At the end of the road is a large lake you then have to cross. I was told they get about 10 tourists a year in this part of the island. One day I visited one of the villages on the lake and the kids in the village had a blast following me around. When I left by boat, they hopped in a canoe to follow me, waving their arms the entire time. The photo I took was my parting shot of the kids as I left.

Great photos can happen at any time. Sometimes you can plan for it and sometimes they happen unexpectedly.

Underwater photography in the Great Barrier Reef

Underwater photography in the Great Barrier Reef

4. In yesterday’s blog post, you mentioned taking the bus in Costa Rica, and how confusing the bus system can be because there is no central bus depot. What do you think of Busbud’s mission, which is to gather the world’s bus travel information? Would this type of information help your readers in their travels?

Absolutely. In many countries such as Costa Rica and the Philippines, the bus system is very distributed. There are many different bus companies which run different routes from different places in each city. There isn’t necessarily a central bus station. There is also seldom any signage to tell you where to go.  The more information you have, the easier your life will be.

Bus in Queensland, Australia

Bus in Queensland, Australia

5. Can you share a memorable bus travel story with us?

I took a bus in Egypt from Luxor to Suez which went up along the Red Sea. The bus was so dilapidated that spent most of it sitting on a spare tire. I’ve never counted the number of countries I’ve traveled by bus in, but it is certainly a big number. Even in some countries with an extensive train system, I often end up taking a bus because it is cheaper and just as fast.

Hammock over water in Caye Caulker, Belize

Hammock over water in Caye Caulker, Belize

6. Finally, there are many random facts about you that people are surprised to discover, like the fact that you are a part owner of an NFL franchise, and you also have a huge collection of magazines and DVDS. For Busbud readers who hesitate to take on a long-term travel trip because they’d be leaving behind so much “stuff”, what advice would you give them?

Stuff can be replaced. The actual act of getting rid of much of your stuff is actually a rather therapeutic experience. Once you spend an extended amount of time living out of a bag, you realize just how little you need to actually get by. Most of what you need can be put into storage and it will be waiting for you when you get back.

Thanks Gary! You can get in touch with him on Twitter and Facebook.  Follow Gary Arndt’s adventures on Everything Everywhere.

Photos by Gary Arndt at Everything Everywhere

Come Meet Busbud Feb 22nd at McGill University Career Fair

14 Feb
McGill University in Winter

McGill University in Winter

Busbud will be present at the McGill Entrepreneurship Society career fair on February 22nd 2013 from 11ham to 3pm.

We’ll be looking to meet talented students in Computer Science, Engineering, Marketing and Finance. International focus is a plus.

We have various open positions in business development, engineering and sales/marketing. We will also offer internships for Summer 2013 and part-time/full-time positions all year.

Management Undergraduate Society Entrepreneurs(MUSE), aka McGill Entrepreneurs’ Society, is a student-run club dedicated to promote and celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit in McGill community and Montreal.

MUSE Career Fair

Come meet the team!

Photo credit: Tmab2003

Startup Weekend Montreal 2013 Recap

11 Feb

Startup Weekend Montreal Masthead

It has been my pleasure this weekend to serve as a mentor at the 2013 edition of Startup Weekend Montreal. The event, held at the HEC Montreal business school, allows budding entrepreneurs to pitch ideas and work on startups during an exhilarating 54 hours.

Busbud is proud to help support the local entrepreneurship system and to contribute to this event. Events such as Startup Weekend help foster connections amongst members of our startup community, and hopefully give rise to innovative new products that make the world a better place.

Startup Weekend Montreal 2013 local sponsors (including Busbud!)

Startup Weekend Montreal 2013 local sponsors (including Busbud!)

The Startup Weekend organization is a global network of passionate leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individuals, teams and communities. Participants come share ideas, form teams, and launch startups. Created in USA in 2007, there have been more than 672 events organized in more than 320 cities and 90 different countries.

The event in Montreal kicked off Friday with Pitch fire, where every entrepreneur gets 60 seconds to pitch an idea. The best ideas make it through to the next round. On Saturday, the teams brainstormed and started producing early prototypes to implement their idea, even working into the late hours of the night. On Sunday, the teams got their pitches ready for the judges. All of this happens in a fun, fast-paced environment where entrepreneurs work feverishly to get the most done before their final pitch.

The teams in action

The teams in action (source: Startup Weekend Montreal)

To get an even better feel of the event, check out the cool recap video our own Alain Wong had made for the 2012 edition:

That said, for the 2013 edition, the winning team on Sunday night was CrowdMedia, a platform allowing users to sell eye-witness photos to media outlets instantly. Congrats also to runners-up Dashbook and Smartalyzer, as well as all the teams who poured their passion into their pitches.

SW 2013 participants - the big group pic!

SW 2013 participants – the big group pic!

Thanks again to other local sponsors like Fasken MartineauBDCReal Ventures, iNovia CapitalSAJECEIMGoogle MontrealGithubFounder FuelGrowtalksAnges QuebecRho VenturesTandem LaunchTP1F & CoExecution LabsFrank and OakStartup Academie and others.

A big shout out goes to amazing organizers Julie-Anne Larose, Komary Ly and Marc-Antoine Baril for investing time and energy to make this event happen for our local startup community.

Startup Weekend: you were great, see you next year!

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