Sunday, February 24, 2013

In the Swim of Things

There is an awesome startup in Santa Monica called At the Pool (ATP). It encourages people to connect, and then meet in person (in other words, to take the Facebook experience offline). It introduces you to one new person a day, and usually you have a lot of things in common, such as geography, a love of sushi, etc. Through the social network, I've met with ATP's CEO, as well as others in the Silicon Beach community. It's perfect for someone, like me, who's new to town. The social network's reach is far and wide, though, so feel free to join from anywhere today!

Since I understand the importance of networking, and I encourage others to do the same, I was excited to find this gem of an article on Entrepreneur: "Meeting New Clients and Contacts Through Networking." It provides some great tips for effective networking. I certainly employed several of the suggested tips at the two events I attended this week: Pay it Forward for Business February Party and the 8th SiliconBeachLA Unwind at the Shangri-La.

The bLife team has been extremely busy, focusing on our new app that will be launched on Wednesday. Our Co-Founders/Co-CEOs were also in San Francisco this week at Wisdom 2.0, connecting with like-minded businesses and individuals. Below, you can watch a clip of Arianna Huffington onstage at the conference, where she talked about our GPS for the Soul app.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


It feels like the world is going startup crazy! My alma mater McGill University will be holding a Startup Career Fair in a few days. In fact, I've heard that the Silicon Beach community has a startup career event in the works, too. I'm looking forward to getting more details!

I am happy to say that I am officially a Community Ambassador for SiliconBeachLA, with my specialties listed as events and female entrepreneurship. You can see the link here. Though I have not yet received any questions about Silicon Beach, I did receive a LinkedIn message today from a newly admitted HEC Montreal MBA student. He mentioned that he discovered my blog through a Google search, and then proceeded to read about my journey from the very beginning to the present. I was so honored by his comments and feedback, and I'm so happy to hear that he found my blog helpful.

This Friday, at the 7th SiliconBeachLA Unwind I was giving demos of the bLife GPS for the Soul app. It was a great way for me to educate the local community about bLife and to spread the word about our newly released free iPhone app. We have been really busy at work on our next project, though, so stay tuned for more on that in a few days! In the meantime, below is a photo from last week's SiliconBeachLA Unwind.

My friend Jim (a fellow New Jersey native) and me at the 6th SiliconBeachLA Unwind

I also wanted to share a lovely short film from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) called Matrioska. Since I both worked with the NFB on my Supervised Consulting Project and visited Russia during my MBA, I thought this would be a perfect place to post the film. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Startup Central

As I suspected I would be, I was exhausted from a week packed with events, but it was worth it! On Tuesday, I worked the registration desk on behalf of Media Leaders at a Business Wire Santa Monica PR & Social Media Panel Discussion (see photo below).

On Wednesday, I attended a General Assembly LA event called Press Coverage for Startups: A Tech Journalist's Perspective. It was great to finally meet Lori Kozlowski there, after she and I had sent so many emails back and forth for bLife's recent article "Getting America to Check In With Itself."

Then, on Thursday, I saw my friend Espree Devora interview Clay Collins during a TechZulu Fireside Chat. Espree did a great job of making the event interactive, getting clear points across, and uncovering useful insight from Clay.

And of course, last night I went to the SiliconBeachLA Unwind, my favorite of all Silicon Beach events. In related news, Inc. just released "4 International 'Start-Up Cities' to Watch." Since I've been to two out of the four and I live in the heart of another "startup city," I found this article particularly interesting. As a dual American-Canadian citizen, I'm particularly curious to see how the startup community in Canada will evolve.

Though Canada may be learning from the US regarding startups, it seems that the US is copying Canada when it comes to postal service. The US Postal Service (USPS) recently announced that it will end Saturday mail delivery. I had gotten used to the lack of mail during the weekend in Canada, so this is really no big deal for me. I just wonder what ideas the US will borrow from Canada next. Healthcare? Subsidized education? Only time will tell!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Hot Off the Press

My friend threw an amazing party a couple weeks ago. The theme? New girlfriends! She invited over a bunch of girls that she had met only within the past three months. It was a lot of fun and quite a change from all the techie events I attend. Here's a photo from the party:

It was also dineLA Restaurant Week which gave me a great excuse to get out and try a sampling of local restaurants. I ended up trying four different menus (Boa, Zinc @ Shade, La Vecchia Cucina, and Border Grill) and all were good choices!

Work has also been very busy, with several projects on the horizon. I am happy to say that bLife was recently featured in Forbes, with an article entitled "Getting America To Check In With Itself." Interestingly, the journalist (Lori Kozlowski) who wrote the story will be on the panel for an event this week (Press Coverage for Startups: A Tech Journalist's Perspective). I am hoping to make it to the event, so I have a chance to meet her in person.

In fact, my calendar this week is already packed with events since two of my friends will be interviewing onstage. I'm looking forward to attending the MediaLeaders Social Media & PR Panel Discussion and the TechZulu Fireside Chat: Build a Profitable and Bootstrapped SAAS Startup so I can see my friends in action!

Finally, I am excited to announce that one of my HEC Montreal MBA professors is an Economist Intelligence Unit Business Professor of the Year Award finalist! Not only was Johanne Brunet my Marketing Management professor, she was also my team's supervising professor for the Supervised Consulting Project in P8. I am looking forward to hearing the final results on March 14!