Tag Archives: Startups

Montreal vs Silicon Valley: 8 Benefits of Working at a Montreal Startup

23 Sep

Busbud - Perks of being a Montreal developer

 

You can say that Silicon Valley is where startup dreams come true and more Canadians are heading south to find out. But did you know that the Mile End is the startup hub of Montreal? Not only is this neighbourhood located in a city often referred to as the Cultural Capital of Canada, but its small community provides the opportunity to build, create, and interact with a tight-knit network, as opposed to feeling like another drop in the bucket! Notable startups that have established themselves here include Frank & OakBreather, BonLookTransit App, Plot.ly and Provender among others.

Want to work as a developer here in Montreal? Busbud is hiring!

Why Montreal?

Montreal embodies a European joie de vivre mixed with the hustle and bustle of city life found in large metropolises like New York City. With an eco-friendly ethos, a lively art scene, and a multitude of international restaurants, breaking the 9 to 5 grind during your morning commute is easy – especially in the Mile End. Here at Busbud, 85% of employees either walk, bike, skate, or take public transportation to work.

Need more convincing? Canadians looking to move south of the border will definitely miss: Poutine, smoked meat, bagels, hockey season, the magic winter brings to the city, its bilingualism, and multiculturalism.

Montreal vs. Silicon Valley

Here is our infographic outlining the daily perks of being a dev in Montreal versus San Francisco’s Silicon Valley. Click here to view full size.

The Perks of Being a Montreal Dev

The Perks of Being a Montreal Developer

Illustrations by: Caroline Lavergne

My Summer Internship at Busbud: Marc-Olivier Alain

8 Sep

Being in my fourth and final year as Software Engineering student at Laval University, I was looking for an internship that would challenge me to get out of my comfort zone. Montreal’s startup community was an obvious choice to help me achieve this goal. At this time, I already knew a little bit about Busbud, and the more a learned about the startup, the more I felt it was the right fit for me. After going through a rigorous hiring process, I was finally hired as Web Developer Intern for the summer of 2014 – and it was amazing! Here are 10 reasons why.

The team playing soccer at our annual Busbud BBQ

Soccer match at our annual team BBQ

1. Being challenged on a daily basis
Everyday is different at Busbud. Evolving in a startup means moving fast – really fast. So everything you do challenges you, and in turn, you never stop learning. That’s probably why it’s very stimulating to work here. You never know what your next challenge is going to be; you just look forward to it!

2. Spontaneous soccer games
After a busy month of June where we were living the World Cup (we built a widget to help travelers in Brazil get to each World Cup match), we had a team BBQ to celebrate all our hard work. Inspired by this big sporting event, we improvised a 90-minute soccer game in the park between two Busbud Nations: The Old against the Young. Note: At Busbud, being over 27 means being member of the oldies!

3. Broadcasting the World Cup on our walls
One great thing about Busbud is that our team is made up of talented people from all around the world. In turn, everybody had a different team to cheer for. We decide to broadcast the games on a wall in our office and as you can imagine, it lead to some pretty intense and dramatic moments, along with some in-house rivalry!

4. Build-up to the announcement
July 9th was a very important date for us as we announced the closing of our Series A funding round. All the preparations, along with the anticipation, were amazing. We were all very proud of the work we had accomplished and sharing the big news with the rest of the world was very rewarding.

The team

The team

5. Hack Week
Every three months, we take our minds off usual business to work on a completely new project. In three days, we pitched our ideas, developed the best ones in small teams, and presented them. It was an amazing week because it gave us the chance to work and collaborate with different team members at a light speed pace.

6. Owning a feature
I really enjoyed the fact that each team member is given the responsibility to create and deliver something from point A to point B. It’s nice to have enough freedom to plan and decide how you are going to do something – especially for an intern. It’s the best way to learn new things and to get the most out of your experience in a company.

7. Epic ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
After being challenged by many members of the startup community, our three founders decided to participate in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Busbud is not like any other startup, so we decided to do it in style at the Gare d’autocars de Montréal armed with a big Orléans Express bus in the backdrop, many bags of ice, and a lot of fun.

8. All-hands
Our weekly all-hands meeting every Friday afternoon is something I find really cool here at Busbud. We talk about what is going on in the company, what we like, what we need, what we want to improve, etc. This is the best way for everybody to speak their minds and obviously, there are a lot of funny moments.

9. Releasing J3
The last days before delivering one of our new partners were pretty crazy. Almost everyone on the team put some work into this so it was a big win for all of us. It was a long but rewarding final week concluded with a themed drink on Friday to celebrate in style!

Busbud drinks turns into Busbud BBQ!

Busbud drinks turns into Busbud BBQ!

10. Busbud drinks
At the end of every Friday afternoon, we finish the week with a 5 à 7. Everybody chills around our picnic table over some beers – or really strong Caipirinhas – while playing an intense match of Ping-Pong!

As I mentioned earlier, there were several goals I wanted to accomplish at Busbud this summer. I can without a doubt say that I have now officially completed my internship and that every one of these goals has not only been reached, but exceeded. I’m proud to say that I was a member of the Busbud team and that I contributed to its success in my own way. My biggest memory will always be the fun we had as a team and that’s why I can say that this company has a very bright future.

My Summer Internship at Busbud: Daniel Macario

5 Sep

Hi, I’m Daniel. I am a third year software engineering student at McGill University and I just spent 10 incredible weeks working at Busbud. I worked at this startup through a program called The Fellowship, which was created by Montreal-based venture capital Real Ventures. The program’s goal is to foster talent in entrepreneurship by giving a group of developers, designers, and marketers the opportunity to work at a startup and to learn the ins and outs of entrepreneurship.

The moment I heard about the fellowship I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my summer. The program brought together the two things that I had been craving to learn since high school: Startups and entrepreneurship. The startups that were part of the fellowship were all funded by Real Ventures, and as part of the application process I was asked which one interested me the most, so I began reading about the challenges and problems they were each solving.

The fellows and I at Busbud

The Real Ventures fellows and I at Busbud

Some of the startups I knew beforehand, like Frank and Oak and Breather, were both interesting places with ideas that I found very appealing. And then there where others that I had never heard of before, like Busbud. As I went through Busbud’s website, the first thing I did was type ‘Caracas to Valencia’ in the search bar, which is a popular route in Venezuela, where I am from originally. Seeing the route show up when I clicked ‘search’ blew my mind! I couldn’t believe how simple it was for a traveler to book a bus ticket connecting two cities in a remote country in South America.

I became really interested in Busbud’s huge vision: Unifying the fragmented bus industry through a web platform. This massive problem was something that I wanted to understand and that I knew would push my technical skills even further. So I submitted my application, and after interviews with both Real Ventures and Busbud CEO and co-founder LP Maurice, I was accepted! After 10 awesome weeks, here are 10 reasons why my internship at Busbud was memorable.

1. The team
Each and every one of the people building Busbud is extremely talented and unique. I still remember the days when I was getting to know the engineering and business teams. Everyone was open, friendly, and helped me when I felt unsure about how to approach a problem. It was awesome to have a two-minute chat with someone and completely shift my way of thinking about a problem.

2. The software stack
It was great to expand my technical skills working with technologies that I didn’t have much experience with before joining Busbud. Getting to know cutting-edge stuff like Node and Express really opened my mind to different styles of programming. I also got to build some cool features for the frontend using backbone.

3. The office
The office is a huge open space with a lounge area, kitchen, Ping-Pong table, standing desks, and spacious working areas. It beats any of the places I saw during the fellowship; and trust me, I visited a lot of startups.

4. Team lunch
Each Wednesday, the entire team enjoys a catered lunch together. It is a great time to get to know everyone better and learn more about the fields others have experience in, like product management and business development.

Team lunch

Team lunch

5. Code reviews
At Busbud, code is pushed to production pretty much on a daily basis. As part of this process, every new feature is peer reviewed by other developers. This feedback process allowed me to learn a lot from looking at code written by others, and to improve my own standards by having others look at my work.

6. The World Cup
It was a lot of fun to watch many of the World Cup games here at the office and to see the Brazil Bus Finder feature go live. This happened at the beginning of my fellowship, and I thought it was awesome to see how creative the feature was, along with all the buzz it generated on social media.

7. The timeline
In 10 weeks, I saw Busbud publicly announce their 9M series A round of funding, launch bus routes in Brazil and Spain, grow the size of the team, and adopt a new organizational structure more suitable for a later-stage startup. I can’t state how valuable it was to see all these events and changes take place; it really complemented everything I learned about entrepreneurship from the fellowship.

8. The meaningful work
Everything I worked on during my internship felt tangible and relevant to the development of the product. It feels great to push features that I know brought some value to the startup as a whole.

9. How everything ties together
The business team, the data-science team, and the engineering team all work closely together on tasks that continuously allow Busbud to expand its coverage and serve an increasingly better product. It is inspiring to see everyone work hard to meet the next big challenge.

10. The coffee machine
I forgot to mention they have a coffee machine the size of a mini fridge. If you are into coffee, this is where you’ll want to work!

I got so much out of my time here. Busbud offers an incredible environment fuelled by passionate people that are looking to learn, grow, and create. If you think this is an environment you’d enjoy being a part of, don’t hesitate reaching out – they’re always hiring!

 

 

Busbud Hosts 1st Startup Grind Montreal

11 Nov

Startup Grind photo

Busbud is very happy to host the first edition of Startup Grind Montreal. The inaugural event will be held at Busbud office on November 21st at 6pm.

Startup Grind is a global startup community designed to educate, inspire, and connect entrepreneurs. It is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs. It hosts monthly events in more than 50 cities and 15 countries featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

In the past, Startup Grind has featured interviews with George Zachary (Charles River Ventures)Matt Rogers (Nest)Dave McClure (500 Startups)Steve Blank (Author)Ben Silbermann (Pinterest)Mike Abbott (KPCB)Charles Huang (Guitar Hero) and 150 more.

The speaker for the Montreal event is Greg Isenberg, founder and CEO of 5By, a video concerge service that scours the internet for the best videos and hand-delivers the ones you want to watch. The company was recently acquired by Silicon Valley company StumbleUpon. The Montreal Chapter Director of Startup Grind is Rami Sayar.

Learn more about the Montreal event on Betakit. Get tickets on Eventbrite.

You can also join the Startup Grind Montreal meetup.com community or like their Facebook page.

Startup Grind logo

Busbud Selected for Accelerate C100 Event

11 Jun

Accelerate Montreal Logo

Busbud was selected as one of the “10 hottest startups in Montreal” and invited to pitch as last week’s Accelerate Montreal event hosted by the C100.

AccelerateMTL celebrates and showcases the technology entrepreneur community. It’s where the hottest technology companies in Montreal come together with leading Canadian and Silicon Valley investors and influencers to further accelerate the development of the Canadian start-up community.

The C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization that supports Canadian technology entrepreneurship through mentorship, partnership and investment.

Here are a few pictures from the event:

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Want to join a great team working on challenging projects? We’re hiring!

Photo credit: Eva Blue

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.

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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