Monthly Archives

May 2015

Social Venture Failure Wake speakers announced! Join us June 3rd at Backstage Lounge

By | Events, RADIUS Ventures, Social Innovation | No Comments

We’re excited to announce the four brave speakers who will be sharing their stories at next week’s Social Venture Failure Wake! Come out and join us in raising a glass to the efforts of those that took a chance to solve a meaningful challenge.


June 3rd
 – Backstage Lounge, Granville Island, 1585 Johnston St
Doors at 6pm, event starts at 6:30pm – Advance tickets by June 3rd, 3pm: $15 / $20 at the door
Your ticket includes your first drink

Jeremy Bell – Wattage

Jeremy was previously the CEO and co-founder of Wattage, a failed hardware startup that aimed to make custom electronics accessible to everyone. Prior to that, he was a Partner at Teehan+Lax, a design consultancy in Toronto that worked with clients such as Medium, Google, Bell Canada, and LG.

Myriam Steinberg – In The House Festival

Myriam was the brains and the brawn of the In The House Festival. For 11 years, she brought live performances of all kinds into people’s living rooms and backyards. Her passion for the arts in all its facets came through in the eclectic programming that could always be found both at the festival and in the year-round shows which, including haunted houses, dinner theatre shows, a monthly performance series and many community collaborations. She believes that it is very important to not only expose the vast and varied talents of Vancouver, but also to create and foster community while exposing that talent. This year, she was nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her work with “In the House.”

Thomas Kineshanko – Gridbid.com

Tom Kineshanko is a Canadian entrepreneur who uses technology to make the planet healthier. Tom founded Habitat Enterprises (a carbon reduction firm, partially acquired by Canada’s first publicly traded venture fund GreenAngel Energy), Gridbid.com (the world’s first roof auction for solar energy), Walkmore (an alternative credit scoring solution that allowed banks and insurance companies to reward their customers for healthy behaviour, acquired in 2014 by GTE Financial), and Klinch.co. Tom is a graduate of Simon Fraser University, the National University of Singapore, and Singularity University.

Mary Macintyre – Little Nest

Mary Macintyre is the former owner of Little Nest, a parent friendly Cafe that opened it’s doors in 2007 and closed them in 2014. Prior to starting her own business  Mary had worked in the restaurant industry for fifteen years. She worked in fine dining restaurants in Australia, the UK and in Vancouver at Lumiere. After taking a few years off to have kids she chose to re enter the workforce by starting a business of her own. As a parent she felt Vancouver was sorely lacking a good, independent child friendly Eatery. So she built one herself. Since Little Nest closed in 2014 Mary has worked as Enterprise Manager of JustCatering, a non profit catering company that provides meaningful employment to people with barriers to work.

Join us in celebrating these bold entrepreneurs!

In entrepreneurship, failure is the fertile soil in which new ventures grow. It’s the training ground for your next venture. It’s the master class in the school of entrepreneurship. And building from it lets the phoenix rise from the ashes. This event has been created to celebrate those that made audacious attempts, and to release their entrepreneurial spirit back into the community.

The evening will feature short stories of failure from brave entrepreneurs and an Irish Wake style celebration to help put these stories firmly behind them.

Check out more of last year’s photos and get your tickets! (Advance ticket sales close June 3rd at 3pm.)

Habit Building, a personal reflection

By | Fellows, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

Written by RADIUS Fellow Ashley Tanasiychuk. His bad habit is taking too many assignments for love and passion, rather than money. The proof is posted in his comprehensive CV.

It’s just a little habit

The habit I was trying to develop was a peculiar one. Especially to those who don’t know me, this habit would seem a bit weird and you’d wonder why I’d lose sleep over it.

My habit? Squeezing in time in every morning to update a spreadsheet with newly announced arts and culture events.

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The idea was to spend 15-30min compiling events first thing every morning. Before showering. Before breakfast.

This meant setting my alarm 30min earlier than usual. Not a big deal, right?

Wrong. It only took a couple weeks before I realized that as much as I have good energy in the morning, I also need sleep.

In the end, I had proven to myself — as I wrote in response to one of Cole and David’s weekly emails — that waking up an extra 30min early to complete my habit was not making me happy. The reward of more sleep prevailed over the reward of compiling events & updating my listing.

Introductions

Who are Cole and David? Why were they emailing me every week? And why was I torturing myself like this, anyway?

Me

My name is Ashley Tanasiychuk. I’m an arts event documenter and promoter. I believe in the community-building strength of the arts, and am working toward helping Vancouverites feel more connected to their city’s arts and culture.

I am also one of the 20 people selected to be part of the first RADIUS Fellowship, a five month stint of personal, business, and networking growth in fields of social enterprise.

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VANDOCUMENT

For two years, I’ve been running the art organization VANDOCUMENT and our online publication vandocument.com, where we post our photos, videos, and write ups about Vancouver’s emerging artists, musicians, theatre makers, and contemporary dancers.

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It’s A LOT of work to keep on top of what’s happening in the city, but it needs to happen to keep our team in tune with, excited about, and ready to document our city’s events.

Cole, David, and The Habit Course

Cole Nakatani and David Kohler run The Habit Course, an “Immersive Course on How to Build and Maintain New Habits.” They were invited to present to the RADIUS Fellowship through two sessions.

Cole-HeadshotDavid-Headshot At the first session, we were introduced to the “habit loop:”

Cue -> Routine -> Reward -> (repeat)

Create-a-habitChange-a-habitBy the end of the session, we were asked to choose a positive habit and practice it every day for the next two weeks. This is when I chose to wake up early every day to update the Vancouver Events spreadsheet.

We were paired with an “accountability buddy;” we’d mutually help one another stick to our habits. We were encouraged to meet up once each week for an in-person check-in.

The emails

A few days later, we received an email from Cole and David. Titled “Habit Tracking and Resources,” it reminded us to meet with our accountability buddy, and was followed by questions such as:

  • How many times did you successfully complete your habit?
  • What worked when following through on your desired habit, and what prevented you from following through?

I responded: “Wake up early, spend 15-30min compiling local events into master spreadsheet. Cue: alarm. Routine: read emails/newsletters, data entry. Reward: relieving myself of the weight of doing it only 1/wk.” On this first one, though, I was already wondering whether the reward was strong enough.

The email also introduced the “Habit Scoreboard.” Type in “y” if you completed your habit, and it turned a “go/win” green, type in “n” if you didn’t, and your block turned a “stop/lose” red.

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Session number two

Two weeks later, we learned about the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that stores habits so that the remainder of the brain can rest while executing habits. This explains why things that were difficult when learning them (a child tying shoelaces) seem mindless once you’ve built the habit. You feel like you aren’t thinking because you truly aren’t!

There was a section on “energy management” in which Cole & David expressed the importance of gauging what uses or drains our energy versus what recovers or restores our energy. We were also asked to brainstorm values that define each of us, and to choose one as our “keystone value.”

Follow up: emails, scoreboard, new habits

Following this session, Cole and David updated the questions in the weekly email. They added:

  • How did your Keystone Value impact your habit practice this week?
  • Did you practice an energy recovery activity this past week? What was the impact?

I responded: “Keystone value is: connectivity. I value building connections with talented & driven people; connecting those people with other talented & driven people who could be help each other out.”

I had introduced the new habit to check my banking & update my finances every morning. Cue: after breakfast. Routine: check banking & update spreadsheet. Reward: reduced stress, feeling on top of finances.

Habit building, the evolution

I made a huge leap when I activated Cole & David’s suggestion that trigger begets trigger (which is corroborated by Benjamin Spall in his 99U article “Stacking Habits: How to Finally Stick to Your Morning Routine”). I started to string together a series of fairly low-brain activity, yet immensely important tasks. I also made a leap when I shifted this habit from before breakfast (with the need to wake up extra early) to immediately following breakfast (no need to wake up extra early = happier Ashley overall).

I’ve also removed any strict connection to time. The point is the doing. And the doing gets done, because one habit leads to another. And another. And another.

A month on, my habit had become a string of routines cued by the previous. The reward: feeling on top of the things that stress me out because they often aren’t managed sufficiently:

1) checking banking 2) updating Mint & sole proprietor spreadsheet 3) adding notes to ‘thank you’ list 4) update event listing (20mins) 5) check emails (30min)

This helped define my Keystone Value of connectivity: “I am remaining connected by staying on top of events; both personally and for the VANDOC team I’m not missing out. I’m staying connected by staying on top of emails. I am also continuing/building REAL connections by thanking people for things worth thanking, both big n’ small.”

Feedback & Critique

Cole & David

Cole and David are a great duo. David’s delivery is direct; Cole’s softer personality and softer voice counters in a complementary way.

Their intentions are great, too: they want to help people understand habits so that bad ones can be broken and good ones made.

The Scoreboard:

Although I completed all 9 weeks of the “Habit Scoreboard,” I didn’t update it daily. I usually returned to it when prompted by the weekly emails. My habit was nearly 100% successful on weekdays, when I have a regimented morning schedule, and usually fell to the side on weekends.

David Kohler made an interesting observation about the Scoreboard: “The people who continued to fill it out long-term did it as pairs of accountability buddies, which highlights for us once again the power and effectiveness of this structure.”

The habit, moving forward

I’m continuing with the stringing and stacking. This has been key in making positive habit-building stick (string, stack, stick)!

I’ve been trying to add tasks such as:

  • job searching & applying
  • move completed project files to NAS
  • setting aside creative time to work on video edits

but these haven’t been as consistently successful as my finance/events/email routine, likely because by the time I’m done that morning routine, I need a break. Even if it’s just a few minutes away, I return to the computer and don’t start the exact same thing every time.

Guess I’m on the hunt for new triggers…

ReSchool: Charles Tsai is our Day 2 keynote + check out our first 6 education innovation cases

By | Events, RADIUS Edu | No Comments

We’re delighted to announce that Charles Tsai will be our second keynote speaker, and that the following 6 cases will be part of ReSchool. We still have several cases to unveil, and there are still a few registration spots left – get your registration in ASAP!

DAY 2 KEYNOTE: CHARLES TSAI 

Charles Tsai

From Excellent Sheep to Motivated Elephants – A New Vision for Mass Education

Charles Tsai is an educator and champion of young social innovators. He started a democratic charity for youth and mentored hundreds of young changemakers through Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. He has developed social innovation tools for Ashoka, the World Bank, and Adobe’s Youth Voices. And he regularly facilitates workshops and bootcamps for schools, community organizations and foundations.

Charles is now working on launching a new type of secondary school that prepares young people to be self-directed lifelong learners. He was inspired by a program created by teenagers in Massachusetts, which he documented in the viral video, “If students designed their own schools…” His goal is to shift mainstream education away from the current industrial model to one that is driven by the learner’s own curiosity, passion, and sense of purpose.

Charles joins Quest University President David Helfand as a ReSchool keynote speaker.

CASES

Check out the first of ten case studies we’ll be working on at ReSchool! Each case represents a significant innovation in education and will be presented in 5 minutes before being workshopped by cross-cutting groups of participants.

Elaine Su – Compass Community School

Compass Community School is a disruptive new vision for community based primary school, deeply rooted in the belief that we owe it to children to expect more of them. Imagine a school that is mobile, active in the community, and that integrates high academic performance with real-life learning. Where twenty young learners ride around on bikes every day, heading out to their next learning adventure, and everyone who sees them waves because they know, respect, and cherish who they are. A non-profit, independent school, we are in the business of educating world-changing leaders of today and tomorrow.

Read More

BlastOff gives the 2nd Slingshot cohort a packed send-off at the Portside Pub

By | Events, RADIUS Ventures | No Comments
Last night, the Portside Pub was packed for BlastOff, a community celebration of the hard-working ventures in Slingshot 2, RADIUS Ventures’ flagship 6-month accelerator: Homesteader’s Emporium, LifeSpace Projects, New District, Riipen, Transformation Projects, Urban Stream, Youth in Development, and Ethelo. Huge thanks to Vancity and everyone else who has made this program a success.

June 3rd: RADIUS presents the 3rd annual Social Venture Failure Wake

By | Events, RADIUS Ventures, Social Innovation | No Comments

failure-phoenix poster-logos-small-2

June 3rd – Backstage Lounge, Granville Island, 1585 Johnston St

Doors at 6pm, event starts at 6:30pm

Advance tickets by June 3rd, 3pm: $15 / $20 at the door

The Social Venture Failure Wake is back to raise a glass to the efforts of those that took a chance to solve a meaningful challenge.

In entrepreneurship, failure is the fertile soil in which new ventures grow. It’s the training ground for your next venture. It’s the master class in the school of entrepreneurship. And building from it lets the phoenix rise from the ashes.

This event has been created to celebrate those that made audacious attempts, and to release their entrepreneurial spirit back into the community.

The evening will feature short stories of failure from brave entrepreneurs and an Irish Wake style celebration to help put these stories firmly behind them.

Join us to celebrate these bold entrepreneurs!

jeremybell - Failure Wake 2015 advance - resized

Jeremy Bell – Wattage

Jeremy was previously the CEO and co-founder of Wattage, a failed hardware startup that aimed to make custom electronics accessible to everyone. Prior to that, he was a Partner at Teehan+Lax, a design consultancy in Toronto that worked with clients such as Medium, Google, Bell Canada, and LG.

Myriam Steinberg - resized
Myriam Steinberg – In The House Festival

 Myriam was the brains and the brawn of the In The House Festival. For 11 years, she brought live performances of all kinds into people’s living rooms and backyards. Her passion for the arts in all its facets came through in the eclectic programming that could always be found both at the festival and in the year-round shows which, including haunted houses, dinner theatre shows, a monthly performance series and many community collaborations. She believes that it is very important to not only expose the vast and varied talents of Vancouver, but also to create and foster community while exposing that talent. This year, she was nominated for the YWCA Women of Distinction Award for her work with “In the House.”

Tom Kineshanko headshot - resized
Thomas Kineshanko – Gridbid.com

Tom Kineshanko is a Canadian entrepreneur who uses technology to make the planet healthier. Tom founded Habitat Enterprises (a carbon reduction firm, partially acquired by Canada’s first publicly traded venture fund GreenAngel Energy), Gridbid.com (the world’s first roof auction for solar energy), Walkmore (an alternative credit scoring solution that allowed banks and insurance companies to reward their customers for healthy behaviour, acquired in 2014 by GTE Financial), and Klinch.co. Tom is a graduate of Simon Fraser University, the National University of Singapore, and Singularity University.

Mary Macintyre - resized

Mary Macintyre – Little Nest

Mary Macintyre is the former owner of Little Nest, a parent friendly Cafe that opened it’s doors in 2007 and closed them in 2014. Prior to starting her own business  Mary had worked in the restaurant industry for fifteen years. She worked in fine dining restaurants in Australia, the UK and in Vancouver at Lumiere. After taking a few years off to have kids she chose to re enter the workforce by starting a business of her own. As a parent she felt Vancouver was sorely lacking a good, independent child friendly Eatery. So she built one herself. Since Little Nest closed in 2014 Mary has worked as Enterprise Manager of JustCatering, a non profit catering company that provides meaningful employment to people with barriers to work.

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Starting your own social impact business? Apply by May 22nd to Trampoline 2

By | Accelerator, RADIUS Ventures, Social Innovation | No Comments

Thank you for all applications submitted – the application period is now closed. 

Starting to build a business with a social purpose? Got a great idea and want some experienced mentorship to guide you in developing and testing your business plan? Want to join a network of other social entrepreneurs as you tackle the challenges of starting up?

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Applications are now open for our next Trampoline incubator cohort. We’re looking for social entrepreneurs seeking to use their venture to address a real community, social, or environmental need. We welcome applications from first time social entrepreneurs, SFU students with a successful student social impact project to validate, early stage social ventures, and existing social ventures with a new product/service offering to test.

A successful social venture marries three elements:

  • it has a meaningful purpose and impact;
  • it feeds the passions of the entrepreneur; and
  • it has a viable, sustainable business model.

Trampoline works with early stage social ventures to determine if they have these elements.

The program will focus on:

  • Introduction to design thinking and human-centred design methods
  • Designing a venture for purpose and impact
  • Introduction to lean start-up and Business Model Canvas, particularly value proposition and customer/channel acquisition
  • Personal and team leadership
  • Cost accounting and financial modeling
  • Introduction to start-up financing tools and sources

What you’ll leave with:

  • The confidence and clarity to move quickly and make it happen
  • A complete and customer-tested Business Model Canvas
  • An action plan with your next steps to a Minimum Viable Product or Service
  • Prioritized sales channels, customer types, and revenue opportunities
  • New and lasting connections with like-minded and local entrepreneurs
  • Frameworks and processes you can continue to use going forward
  • Exposure through RADIUS communications channels and networks

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Program Leaders

Donovan Woollard is a proven impact entrepreneur and the Director of RADIUS Ventures.  He has successfully built and run a number of ventures and is a well-regarded mentor, trainer,  and venture development partner.

Mike Rowlands is an accomplished entrepreneur, consultant and advisor who is engaged by mission-based organizations around the world to craft distinctive strategies and support visionary entrepreneurs and leaders.

Dates: Trampoline will run June 2nd-25th, meeting Tuesday and Thursday evenings

Location: RADIUS HQ at The AMP, #90-425 Carrall St (Gastown/Chinatown)

Cost: $1,200 per entrepreneur or $1,600 per team of two.
Applicants in need of funding may wish to apply for a Canada-BC jobs grant (which could cover 2/3 of the training costs up to $10k per person per fiscal year, where the business or self-employed person pays the other 1/3). Applications must be submitted before training begins and decisions take approximately 30 days. Businesses registered or operating in BC can apply for funding for their current or future employees. Please see the Canada-BC jobs grant website for further details.

Apply here by May 22nd at 11:59pm. Applications will be reviewed as received. We may begin pre-work with companies as soon as accepted, so apply early!

Questions? Please email Donovan Woollard at dwoollard@radiussfu.com.

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