It has been an amazing few months, and we are so excited to give you an update on where we’re at with Startup Community. We finished filming in early September, and since then our post-production team has been working tirelessly to put together something really incredible.
The filming process itself was amazing. We spoke with some of the most influential community builders, people that have built billion dollar companies from the ground up, as well as some that are just starting out – but we know will be the next “big thing” in coming years. We’ve been so inspired by these people and we know you will be too, which is why we’re so excited to share another glimpse in to the filming process with our new trailer.
Getting on to business, we know you’re all wondering “When will Startup Community be released?!”. We are currently on track for a February release, and we couldn’t be any more excited. After we received our first round of funding we realized that this isn’t just a side project, this is something that thousands of people are counting on to put Waterloo Region and our Startup Community on the map, and we won’t let you down.
For those of you who have funded and offered your continued support of Startup Community – thank you so much! Because of you we were able to secure some of the best film crew in the industry, we have gained international perspectives on Waterloo Region, and we will be able to share the story of our community with the world. We’re working hard to make you proud, and can’t wait to pull back the curtain in the new year to reveal what we think will be an inspiring film.
Welcome to Life Here,
Taylor & Lindsay
Today was an absolutely crazy day. As we come to the (near) end of our filming, we are shocked every day that each person we interview continues to inspire us more and more. You might think that after interviewing mayors, CEOs, investors, and some brand new up-and-coming startups that they would all start to sound the same. Today was a perfect example of why that is never true, and why the Startup Community in Waterloo Region is guaranteed to never disappoint.
The day started off with an early interview with Peter Schwartz at a local café, Seven Shores. Peter told us about Communitech and why he’s so invested in this community.
Next we spoke to Charles Fraresso, the Senior Manager of Research and Innovation at Christie Digital about the amazing and collaborative things Christie is doing both within our region and globally.
After our meeting with Charles, we had the opportunity to speak with Jim Moss, the Chief Happiness Officer at The Smile Epidemic, an incredible startup out of the Accelerator Centre in the David Johnston Research + Technology Park & Hyperdrive that is changing he way we think about Positive Psychology – encouraging individuals and businesses to practice gratitude in order to increase overall mental health and well-being.
We visited the Accelerator Centre and spoke with CEO Tim Ellis, who has helped so many startups in our community.
We also spoke with Canvas Labs, a unique solution to displaying your photos in your home through the use of social platforms and a really exciting software that is smart enough to know what types of photos you’d want to see and when. This team knows exactly what hard work is, and has a really unique perspective on what makes Waterloo the place for entrepreneurs. This is a startup you’ll want to follow, trust us.
Lastly, we spoke with Kite, only an hour after they earned their second round of funding from Jump Start at the Accelerator Centre. Our first encounter with Kite was at the Velocity Venture Funding event at the University of Waterloo when they were awarded $25,000. We are really excited to see where they’re going, after being in “business” for only a month and a half, we’re sure Kite is going to have a very prominent presence in the software development world in the coming years.
We’re off to San Francisco to chat with some Waterloo-based startups, some investors that have travelled from California to invest in our community, and some entrepreneurs with interesting perspectives on the global Startup Community.
We are so excited to share the film with you, we’re getting really close!
Welcome to life here.
Taylor & Lindsay
Here are a few other frames of who to expect in Startup Community
Wow, what a week it has been.
On Monday at 10 am we shared Startup Community with the world. We gave ourselves 60 days to raise $10,000, and within 60 hours we had blown past our goal.
First of all, we need to say thank you to our community. From the individuals that have given us $8, to the organizations that have made large contributions, you are what are making this project happen. We truly could not tell this story without you.
The support of our community lets us know that we really are on the right track, and that our region truly is as collaborative as we thought.
We owe a huge thank you to our partners:
University of Waterloo
David Johnston Research + Technology Park
City of Waterloo
Canada’s Technology Triangle
City of Kitchener
Waterloo Region Small Business Centre
And special thanks to:
We would also like to say a big thank you to our media partners who have shared our story:
Our next step is to continue to involve incredible partners. We want to tell the story of Startup Community as far and wide as possible, so if this documentary can benefit you or your organization please visit our Get Involved page and send us a message. Involvement can be anything from financial support to simply sharing a story, so please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Let’s continue this momentum. Please post, tweet, and share the story of Waterloo Region’s Startup Community.
This is our Startup Community. Welcome to Life here.
Startup Community is a film about what makes Kitchener-Waterloo different. We’re talking to local entrepreneurs and finding out how our region made them succeed in a way that no other place could have.
We’re talking to people that have helped local non-profits make their first $10,000, built multi-million dollar businesses from their parents’ basements, as well as the people behind 60 million hit YouTube videos.
Welcome to life here.
“Twenty years ago, no one would have believed the Kitchener-Waterloo area would blossom into the most vibrant technology start-up community in Canada”
- USA Today
“It comes down to good entrepreneurs, good ideas and the support of the community,”
- Jim Balsillie, Co-Founder of BlackBerry
“Tech in Waterloo Region has grown to a $30-billion industry.”
- Iain Klugman, CEO of Communitech
Who’s making this
Taylor Jackson (@taylorjackson) (pictured above) is an accomplished photographer and filmmaker. His photos helped create the brand for American Idol, he has photographed crazy pop groups in Tokyo, and shoots the occasional hot dog photo at his favourite pub in Waterloo.
Lindsay Coulter has worked for the University of Waterloo Research + Technology Park, Sustainable Waterloo Region, started her first business at 17, and is the current Miss Oktoberfest. Lindsay studied Sustainable Local Economic Development at the University of Waterloo.
Nicole McCallum is a Sessional Lecturer at University of Guelph and co-founder of http://greenrocket.ca/
Tech businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo are different. It’s a place where business isn’t a competition, it’s a compilation of ideas. We collaborate and inspire each other – and we all get excited to watch each other succeed.
This short documentary (approximately 30 minutes) goes behind the scenes of the local tech community and shows the world why we’re different.
indiegogo backers screen it first!
The film will be completed by September to meet film festival deadlines, but those festivals don’t premiere until 2014.
For only $8, each backer will get to screen the film at least three months before film festival audiences. Plus, everyone that backs this film for $8 or more gets their name in the credits for helping us produce this film.
The cost of production is only around $6,000, but in order for us to properly share the story of Waterloo Region with the world we need to raise $15,000. If you or your company would like to support the project, please visit our fundraising page. You can be part of something amazing for as low as $8! http://igg.me/at/
Where the money goes
Well, here’s where it doesn’t go. You’re not paying for any new camera gear. We already have all the equipment we need to shoot and create this film. The biggest expense is going to be getting this film out into the world. This film will be the proof that Waterloo Region is one of Canada’s fastest growing economic regions. For businesses looking to recruit world class talent, for politicians wanting to continue to build a vibrant and sustainable society, and for those wanting to show off what an incredible region we live in, this film will help tell a story you could never tell in a 30 minute conversation.
One of the ways we’d like to share our story is through entering film festivals, and fees range from $40-80 per festival submission. Beyond that, we need to hire some talented people to help us spread it even further than we can do on our own. While basic production of this film will only cost around $6000, we need at least another $9000 in marketing dollars to help us put our film, and Kitchener-Waterloo in front of more eyes all over the world.
Backer Reward Levels
For as little as $8, all backers will be able to download and screen the film in October 2013, at least 3 months before film festival audiences. Plus all backers get their name in the credits.
If you want to help out even more check out the rest of the rewards. DVDs and film posters as well as Associate Producer, and Executive Producer credits.
We also have levels for local companies and organizations to get involved. The more money that comes in, the more exposure this project is going to get. We need some large support to help us make something bigger than just us.
Thank you so much!
We’re really excited to tell this story. Everyone on our journey has been collaborative and supportive, and this project couldn’t happen without the collective support of our community. So thank you.
If you have a great KW tech or startup story email us!
Risks and Challenges
Creating a documentary is about being flexible. We’ve already encountered most challenges with this project and have found creative solutions to push past them.
This film will be made. If anything delays the production backers will still get to see it first.
If this film interests you, please share it on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn. The more interest we have the better the film is going to be, and the more impact it will have when the world finally sees it for the first time. Thank you so much for any support!
If you’d like to help out financially, please visit our campaign: here: http://igg.me/at/
Thank you for helping us tell the world about Kitchener-Waterloo.