Archive for 'Code Factory'

Do you have the time to start something new?

This is a guest post by Chris Schmitt of

Believe it or not, there are only 24 hours in a day and 168 hours in a week. You should make sure you have the time to start a new business, or a user group, or a new hobby, or a tribe, or anything that’s “new” and you’re passionate about.

Last weekend I went through a very simple exercise to make sure I really had the time to work on my project. I made a list of all the important things that I need to allocate my time to: work, sleep, family, friends, chores, travel time, learning, rest and relaxation, meals, exercise, commuting etc. I concluded that I had 10 hours per week to spend on my project. I’ve been using Bubbletimer to test my assumptions.

Is ten hours a week enough time to start something new? David Heinemeier Hansson created Basecamp in 10 hours per week, and by the way, he also created the Ruby on Rails framework at the same time. Believe me, 10 hours per week is a lot if you’re focused.

There’s also “hidden time”. I plan and strategize while I run; I catch up on reading while I’m sitting on the bus; I listen to audio books; I listen to music or catch up on important family time while I’m in the car; I catch up on work while waiting in the airport terminal.

What if you’re on a team with 3 others and everyone is spending 10 hours a week on a project? That’s 40 hours per week – the equivalent of a full time employee. Actually, if you think about it it’s really more than the equivalent of a full time employee.

Your circumstances may be different. You may be a full time student. You may be starting a family. You may have a 60-hour work week. You may have other more important priorities.

Just trust me, go through this simple exercise: do you have 10 hours per week to do something that you are passionate about?

          By: Chris Schmitt




By Scott Lake

Startups: don’t waste money on an office

I was somehow mentioned on a new blog called “future offices” where I was quoted as saying that “executive suites” are a thing of the past (which I definitely believe!).  I’ve long believed that office space is unnecessary for startups.

Here are my (paraphrased) arguments:

  1. With modern, cheap, web-based tools and inexpensive services you can work from anywhere.
  2. Commuting is a time suck.
  3. The idea of trying to create a “professional image” through walls and a downtown address is half-baked – do it through accomplishments.
  4. Unnecessary overhead.
  5. If office spaces were “invented” today, I don’t think they would look like the half-wall cubicle (jail), fluorescent-lit, sterile environment of many executive offices I’ve seen (and most fortune-500 offices).

I think the exception (or answer) to this is communal, shared spaces where community and collaboration lies at the heart of the space – like I’ve seen at awesome co-working places like the Code Factory in Ottawa, Station C in Montreal, New Work City in Manhattan, Independents Hall in Philly, or Awesome Inc in Lexington, KY – all of which I’ve visited and love.

Still, I think too many entrepreneurs focus on getting space too early, and for the wrong reasons.

What do you think?

By Scott Annan

Another hot release from Overlay.TV

Here is some great news from Overlay.TV. Early this week they released Overlay.TV for Retail. Overlay.TV for Retail is an all-in-one eCommerce video solution with all the tools a business needs to provide its customers with an interactive shopping experience.   Essentially this new platform integrates into existing websites with custom branded players so users can click and shop directly form your inventory catalog right from the video.

By the way OTV also recently re-designed the Overlay website and it looks stunningly beautiful.  Faisal and the OTV crew did an amazing job.

By Scott Lake

Ottawa Startup Directory:


Company Name:


Description: "Corkboard is a free Web and mobile application that helps you keep track of the products, places, events and ideas you want to remember.

When you add something to your Corkboard, you can share it (or keep it private!), set a reminder, post it to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, organize it into Collections, see related Postings, go shopping (if it’s a product), and more. "


Contact: marcelo (at) corkboard (dot) it

By Luc Levesque

TeamCamp how to sessions on Web Startups

I met Chris Schmitt a couple of months ago over lunch at the Corner Grill and he told me about a cool web-based shopping list application that he was bootstrapping (or rather moonlighting). He was looking for developers and was hoping for introductions. We got into talking about cool new distributed development models, the “camp” movement, and the opportunities in Ottawa to bring people together around innovative ideas and cool technology.

Little did I know that it would lead to the birth of TeamCamp, a really cool concept that Chris has spearheaded with support from Ian Graham at the Codefactory.

I’ve seen Chris at several events around town since that first meeting and I’m constantly impressed with his dedication to the idea and the opportunities of TeamCamp.

So when he emailed me about a series of “how to” meetings on web-based startups he was coordinating, I was immediately excited.

Here are some of the topics:

  • Defining your product or service
  • Picking the right business model
  • Sales, marketing and distribution Channels
  • Competition/Competitive analysis
  • Market research
  • Starting your business
  • Patents, trademarks, licensing and intellectual property
  • Building your business – how to find people, keep your people and make steady progress

Chris’s plan is to bring in local entrepreneurs with some battle scars to talk to these points (and no doubt those opportunists at Labarge Weinstein for the legal session!) which I think is a fantastic idea.

You can learn more about the session on the TeamCamp website and I encourage you to contact Chris for more information.

Chris – is there somewhere we can signup?

By Scott Annan

New coworking spot in Ottawa

Rumor (twitter) has it that a new coworking facility is opening in Ottawa in 2009.  The details are sketchy, and the organization behind it is all cloak and daggers, which makes it both intriguing and super creepy.

With the code factory not even a year old, there may be question if Ottawa can really handle another coworking spot.  I say go for it.  I think Ian’s got a great facility that helps companies act like grown-ups; it has all the amenities you need to run a serious business.  I think there’s opportunity for a more “grunge” scene for startups, but it would have to be run more like a club you want to “hang at” instead of a grown-up office building, and I don’t know how you make money doing that.

At any rate, there may soon be an influx of new startups in Ottawa, and the more coworking spaces the better (no offense Birdgehead).

I don’t know what their plans are with the new space, but my “underground” vote would be to go bare-bone industrial.

You can find the dark knights on twitter here: @coworkinottawa

By Scott Annan

Upcoming Code Factory Events…

There is some great stuff coming up at the Code Factory this coming week including a Team Camp meeting and a Startup Studio session with Shopify CEO – Tobi Lütke. 

UPCOMING EVENING EVENTS (6:00 – 8:00pm unless otherwise noted)

Tuesday, Dec. 2nd – FUN for Tech Women, Don’t Dread the Wine List! (6:30 – 8:30pm)

You’re hosting a business dinner at a restaurant and somehow the wine list seems scarier than the CEO. This situation is something that should be FUN to turn around! We’d all love to walk into a restaurant knowing we can choose the right wine with confidence! It’s great for friends and important for client meetings. And we’d like to help you get there. Join us for a season red and white-filled FUN event. We’ll taste some wine together, have fun getting to know each other better, and leave you with a sure-fire tool to help you order the right wine no matter what the occasion.

For more information and online registration:

Don’t Dread The Wine List!


Thursday, Dec. 4th – TeamCamp, Turning Ideas into Startups


is a series of events aimed at forming like-minded individuals into teams for the purpose of turning smart ideas into startups. Twice a month, a team of entrepreneurs and up-and-coming business people meet to exchange ideas about potential new companies and products.
Attendees of TeamCamp include:

  • Those with ideas for a web or software business;
  • Full-time employees looking for part-time experience running a startup;
  • Students looking for experience in being part of a startup;
  • Experienced entrepreneurs willing to share advice and lend a hand.

Unless otherwise noted, TeamCamp is held every 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month.

For more information, contact Chris: chrisjschmitt[@]gmail[dot]com or Ian Graham: info[at]thecodefactory[dot]ca.


Wednesday, Dec. 10th – The Ottawa Network (TON), 3 x 10 panel, Start-up Funding – Financing Options for Entrepreneurs Part III

The Ottawa Network (TON)’s 3 x 10 panel is a monthly event focussed on entrepreneurial aspects of the technology community. Each panel features 3 speakers presenting for 10 minutes each. This month’s speakers are Raymond Luk from Flow Ventures, BDC (to be confirm), and EDC (to be confirmed).
Flow Ventures

is a tech start-up accelerator that provides seed capital and hands-on operational support to early-stage ventures. Flow uses a unique model which combines financing, strategy and hands-on operational services designed to grow new ventures quickly and efficiently. By operating key areas of your startup including finance, software development, HR, business development and administration, Flow allows entrepreneurs to focus on their products and their customers rather than building infrastructure and capacity. Raymond Luk is the founder and managing director of Flow Ventures. He has been building and managing startups for over a decade in the capacity of CEO, fundraiser, investor, turnaround specialist and consultant.



Wednesday, Dec. 3rd – Start-up Studio, Speaker: Tobias Lütke, CEO and co-founder of Shopify

Shopify is a hosted application used to set up user-friendly and professional-looking online stores and sell goods. Shopify allows users to organize their products, customize their storefront, accept credit card payments, and track and respond to orders — all without the hassle of running a physical store.

Tobias Lütke, CEO and co-founder of Shopify, has served on the core team of the Ruby on Rails framework and has created many popular open source libraries such as the Typo weblog engine, Liquid and Active Merchant. As an internationally invited speaker, Tobi has spoken on diverse topics such as startups, crowd-sourcing, and large server cluster optimization. He also maintains a popular tech weblog at too-biased.
Start-up Studio

is much like "Inside the Actors Studio" hosted by James Lipton, however, Keith Cameron (aka Cameron) from Lang Michener will be acting as the host and moderator and the topic is start-ups and entrepreneurship rather than acting. The intent of the Start-up studio is to provide aspiring entrepreneurs and start-ups with an opportunity to get up close and personal with successful local entrepreneurs and to learn from their expertise.

By Scott Lake

CodeFeed #8 – Code Factory Events

Upcoming Events

  • October 2nd, Lunch and Learn, Featured Entrepreneur; Nikhil Adnani, founder and ceo thinkRF: SIGN UP
  • October 8th, TON (the Ottawa Network) 3 x 10 Seed Funding Part I
  • October 9th, Lunch and Learn, Featured Entrepreneur; Fred Farsi, founder, president and ceo Pikaia Systems: SIGN UP
  • October 9th, Team Camp (see announcement below)
  • October 21st, CAPCHI, have an exciting event with guest speaker Derek Featherstone

Lunch and Learns; (12pm – 1pm)

October is hardware month at theCodeFactory and our featured entrepreneurs are all starting hardware based businesses that have unique challenges particuarly in the current economic environmrnt. Please feel free to drop by and learn from our featured entrepreneurs. These sessions are relaxed, informal and interactive with participation from the attendees strongly encouraged. Stay tuned for future session announcements.

The Ottawa Network 3 x 10 Seed Funding Part I: (6pm – 8pm)
This is the second in a series of 3 x 10 sessions (3 speakers 10 minutes each) on financing options for early stage businesses in Ottawa. The criteria for the event are that the presenters have or are associated with active funding sources for early stage businesses in the Ottawa area. We are pleased to present at this week’s session; Shirley Speakman, from Ontario’s Ministry of Research and Innovation, Investment Accelerator Fund (IAF); Matt Williams from IPeak commenting on the entrepreneurs perspective of the IAF and Paul Dalawabi from Garage Ventures in Montreal. This promises to be a great opportunity for early stage Ottawa start-ups interested in seed funding options.

The first Team Camp meeting:
Date:     Thursday, 9th October, 2008
Time:     6pm to 8pm
Where:    @ TheCodeFactory (246 Queen Street)
What:      Brainstroming Session

Who should attend?

  • Everyone is welcome,
  • Just curious and want to check it out,
  • Someone with an idea that you would like to turn into a web or software business,
  • Working full time but, wanting to take the start-up plunge part-time before the BIG leap,
  • A student looking for start-up experience,
  • You have experience with start-ups and just want to lend a hand

Looking Back,
Lunch and Learn with Scott Lake and Aydin Mirzaee
Great sessions with Aydin and Scott, thanks so much for dropping by and sharing your insights. Thank you as well to Cameron for sponsoring the lunches and to the atendees for their participation.

IDGA Meeting.
In a word WOW! An incredible turn out and amazing presenters a great kick off session to start the IDGA chapter on a bang. Thank you to Kate Underhill from Magmic for the opportunity to host such a cool event.


Ian Graham

By Scott Lake

Code Factory Newsletter…

Below is the Code Factory Newsletter, it is so packed with info, I decided to repost it here….

We are very excited to announce that more fabulous artwork is on its way. To date, we have received artwork from travelling Israeli students and we have been in touch with Francesco from IPO Gallery. We have since been in touch with Anne-Lise (thank you Lisa Wall), who will be providing her gorgeous black and white photos to be displayed in the front lounge, as well as Maciek, whose beautiful paintings we are hoping to display in the co-working space.
Jocelyn Kartes

September Events
Lunch and Learn Series of Events (for booking details contact
We are very excited to announce three lunch and learn streams that will run through the fall of 2008. These sessions will be held in the extended meeting room (capacity 15) of theCodeFactory. This is an opportunity to get up close and personal in an intimate setting with many leaders in the Ottawa start-up community. Spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis, announced first in our newsletter and following shortly afterwards posted to the Start-up Ottawa blog. The three streams are entitled:
"Am there doing that"
"Been there done that"
"Monks from Away"
The first two streams (“Am there doing that” and “Been there done that”) are dedicated to providing insights and advice to budding entrepreneurs and start-ups. The premise is that the best people to offer thoughts and insights to start-ups in Ottawa today are those that are currently doing it or those that have successfully grown a business in the past three years. As you may have guessed "Am there doing that" are entrepreneurs in the process of building a start-up today and "Been there done that" are entrepreneurs with a history of success.
There is an eastern proverb that says “the monk from away knows more than the monk at home.” Ottawa has a very rich pool of talented individuals that speak at conferences and are recognized worldwide for excellence. However, many of these individuals are better known outside the Ottawa area than they are in their hometown. This series of events highlights some of the exceptional talent we have locally.
Here are the lunch and learn presenters for September:
Tuesday, September 9th, “Am there doing that” Matt Roberts – JohnyVoIP
Thursday, September 11th, “Been there done that” Greg Bell Lumenera
Wednesday, September 17th, “Monks from away” Mark Blevis – Electric Sky
Tuesday, September 23rd, “Am there doing that” Aydin Mirzaee –
Thursday, September 25th, “Been there done that” Scott Lake – Shopify, Start-up Ottawa

Students and Start-ups
Date:     September 9, 2008
Time:     6:30pm to 9:00pm.
Location: Common Area
Sign Up:  Invite only
TheCodeFactory and Carleton University are putting on the first, in what will likely become a regular event, known as Students and Start-ups. The event is based on the premise that students and recent graduates want meaningful and relevant employment and start-ups want enthusiastic and motivated employees. Putting the two groups together in a fun and interactive way seems like a no brainer. The first event is invite only, however, stay tuned for the October edition of Students and Start-ups.
The Ottawa Network – Real financing for Entrepreneurs – MicroFinancing
Date:     September 10, 2008
Time:     6pm to 8pm.
Location: Common Area
Sign Up:  TBD
The Ottawa Network will be hosting an event at TheCodeFactory on the second Wednesday of each month. The fall season will be dedicated to real financing options for entrepreneurs. The premier editions is microfinancing with George Brown from the Ottawa Community Loan Fund, Paul Lem microAngel and one other microAngel TBD. Perhaps the biggest challenge facing start-ups today is financing operating capital and our presenters each provide small loans to entrepreneurs for oeprating capital.

Stay tuned, our next newsletter will have more details on the rest of the September line up.

Ian Graham

By Scott Lake

August Events @ theCodeFactory

Technology Innovation Management -& OS Ecosystem
Date:     August 14, 2008
Time:     6pm to 8pm.
Location: Common Area at TheCodeFactory
Sign Up: please sign up if you would like to attend

TheCodeFactory and Ontario’s Talent First Network agreed to support 10 qualified applicants to attend Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) program. Assistantships and scholarships which cover tuition costs in-full or in-part will be made available to selected applicants. In addition,  support to establish new businesses will be provided.

If you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has an Engineering degree or Bachelor of Computer Science with a minimum grade of B+ and 2 yrs industry experience. This event will be of interest to you. Tony Bailetti, will provide a presentation on the open source ecosystem with networking before and after.

The OCLUG   (Ottawa Canada Linux Users Group) meeting
Date:       August 21, 2008
Time:       6pm to 8pm.
Location:   Common Area at TheCodeFactory
More Info:

OSBOOTCAMP – YOW8 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Date:       August 28, 2008
Time:       6pm to 9pm.
Location:   Common Area at TheCodeFactory
Theme: Interpreted programming languages
Talks: Perl, Python, and Bourne shell programming.
More Info:
I wanted to thank Scott Lake and the Start-up Ottawa blog team for the opportunity to post, much appreciated.

September Events schedule coming in late August.

By Scott Lake