I attended the Vancouver Enterprise Forum tonight for the first time.
It’s a bunch of people who are related to the technology, venture capital, and entrepreneurial worlds who get together every month around different topics. This month was cleantech, or green energy. Not really my specialty, but the speakers were interesting. They included Jeff Moris, a particularly clueful representive in the Washington state legislature, Kirk Washington, who, in addition to having a cool name and being one of the people in at the ground floor of Ballard Power Systems, is a venture capitalist, and a really smart young venture capitalist, Christine Bergeron, who should really get that ‘Miss’ taken off her puff page at her current employer’s site, Chrysalix.
The coolest part, though, as usual, was schmoozing with all kinds of interesting people before and after the speakers.
I met the CFO of Actenum, Peiter Dorsman. Actenum is a high-end scheduling firm with several PhD’s on staff, who you’d really do well to talk to you if you need to solve the stereotypical travelling salesman problem, or if you have 700 trucks in your fleet, and need to figure out the most efficient way to get them all the places they need to go. Pieter is the only CFO I know (not that I know an incredible number of CFOs) who is also an amateur astronomer, which is kinda cool.
I met Thomas Dowad of BeforeTechnologyLimited, who is a veteran programmer working on ways of making smart embedded systems programmable by mere mortals for mere pennies. Very cool.
And I met a bunch of really smart grad students from UBC and SFU who were working on all kinds of cool stuff: alcohol-based fuel cells, automation and robotics control systems, you name it.
All in all, a well-spent evening. Hopefully next month’s topic will be just a little bit more up my alley: web application development.