On Friday, March 27th Brad Feld cofounder of Foundry Group and Techstars, will tour Canada, hunting for the next big thing and chatting about his new book: Startup Opportunities: Know When to Quit Your Day Job. His last stop? Montreal!
A huge thanks to our portfolio companies for pooling together and making the Montreal stop possible. Breather, OMsignal, Vanilla Forums, Fabric Software Inc, Unbounce, Vanhawks, Algolux, Visible, SweetIQ, Immun.io & Seevibes.
In each city, Brad will sit down for a fireside chat with co-author Dr. Sean Wise—Professor of Entrepreneur-ship, host of The Naked Entrepreneur and Startup Canada’s 2014 “Mentor of the Year”—to discuss entrepreneurship, startups, and opportunities worth pursuing. Fun Fact – each attendee will receive a copy of the new book! At each stop, two teams will get to pitch their startup to Feld and Wise, Dragons’ Den style. The winning company, across the national competition, will win a $25,000 investment from Wise’s venture fund, Ryerson Futures. Interested in entering a chance to be up there pitching? Check out the details here.
Want to join the fun? Register here.
We sat down a picked Brad’s brain a little about his book – here’s what he had to say!
What was the thought process between your previous book, Startup Communities and this new one, Startup Opportunities?
I wrote a book between the two called Startup Boards: Getting the Most Out of Your Board of Directors. I took a break after Startup Boards but started to talk to Sean Wise about doing something with him after being interviewed with him for his Naked Entrepreneurs video series. I liked Sean a lot, loved his style, and realized that he was spending a lot of time thinking about and addressing a question I get every day from entrepreneurs and prospective entrepreneurs. I didn’t have a satisfying way to respond to the question “Is this a good idea?” I’d respond by suggesting the person read Eric Ries’s The Lean Startup which is one of my favorite startup books and the iconic beginning of the broad impact of the Lean Startup movement. The person would go away, read The Lean Startup, but then send me another email saying, “I read the Lean Startup. It was interesting, but I still want to know if this is a good idea.” So, Sean and I started working on a book that same before The Lean Startup that we could use to answer the question.
Reading the book description on Amazon, it almost seem like you guys are trying to discourage entrepreneurs. What do you know that makes you think future entrepreneurs should be warned?
Have “startups” jumped the shark? While I’ve said many times that “an idea isn’t valuable”, starting with a great idea dramatically increases the possibility of creating a successful business. Crummy ideas are still crummy ideas. In addition, the context around the idea – the product, the market, the team, and a bunch of other things, are important parts of “the idea.” So, with this book we try to broad the notion of “idea” to that of “opportunity” and build the context about what makes for a great opportunity. Our goal ultimately is not to discourage people from creating new companies, but to help them put things in place to dramatically improve their starting position.
Are book tours like marathons? 😉
Different but with one similar characteristic – they are both endurance events.
What’s your favourite thing about Montreal?
I’ve been to Montreal a number of times over the years and I love the city, the style of it, and the startup scene. I remember my first trip to Notman house and thought “yup – this is exactly right.” (see my blog post at http://www.startuprev.com/notman-house-montreal-co-working-space/). While I don’t have deep engagement in Montreal, I’m happy to have been able to be helpful in a few ways.