Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


Founder Notes, EhList Coffee Jan 2020 Vancouver

Turns out I intend to blog some more in the Founder Notes category!

From my notes about Tam at CodeCast, I covered what #ehlist is:

EhList is a Canadian founders group, roughly organized by cities around the world, and its main interface is a shared Slack channel. In Vancouver Steve Lionais @slionais of Dr. Bill is the main coffee organizer, which meets roughly monthly, usually at Lost & Found Cafe on Hastings.

These are some rough notes about topics, links, and people that were discussed around the table. We usually invite people to talk about challenges, asks for help, or really help and feedback with anything that is on their mind.

This is roughly written up from my notes in third-person.

Ilya @ilyabrotzky, founder of VanHack, talked about working on delegating better. He’s looking for a part time finance / operations person, uses Quickbooks currently. Boris might have someone to intro.

Ilya also talked about moving to using Atlassian’s Confluence wiki from a collection of Google Docs. Everyone agrees that search in Google Drive is broken and completely mystifying.

Miranda @mirandal at Thinkific is going through this discussion about adopting something in this wiki category. There is a strong Notion vs. Confluence camp.

Lots of nods towards Notion, Confluence has better Slack integration and seems to be better for bigger / whole company usage.

Thinkific has roughly 40 open jobs, including looking for a VP of Product.

Steve @slionais mentioned using Codetree, a Kanban / project management tool on top of Github. Turns out, this is built by another EhList founder, @kareem.

Eesmyal @eesmyal, who among many other serial entrepreneur pursuits was the original founder of Vancouver’s Hive Social Impact Coworking, dropped by for the first time. He’s looking to connect and get peer feedback. He’s working on Quantified Citizen.

Boris announced that he’s going to run a peer pitch review at the end of February. Founders present their investment decks that they’re using to raise to other founders, advisors, and investors, and get broad feedback. By invitation only.

Mohsen @mossibat came to his first ehlist. He moved to Vancouver from London almost exactly a year ago. He previously worked in Venture Capital, knows Boris from attending Open Angel investment nights. Now building autonomous vehicle insurtech startup.

We ended up in the usual discussion about hire and pay and salary expectations going up in Vancouver.

Boris mentioned that he was annoyed by the Province of BC’s Chief Digital Officer Jaimie Boyd @jaimieboyd tweeting about Vancouver’s low wages:

Turns out, @evanwillms knows her, and we could potentially have some local tech founders meet with her and give feedback. Early march? Stay tuned!

Souishant @soushiant is originally from Vancouver, was living/working in UAE, and moved back a year ago. He is the founder of Swae.

Back to “Hiring is hard”. Steve shared that Dover was a useful tool that had seen success in top-of-funnel hiring prospects.

For customer lead gen on LinkedIn, Ilya shared Dux Soup, that could also be used for certain types of hiring.

Question: experience / feedback on working with Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)? Specifically: does taking a growth loan from them make sense?

“The easiest / cheapest / best terms on non-dilutive capital in Canada”. A “regular” bank loan is the only thing with better terms, although Canadian banks haven’t done much of this.

Steve founded Dr. Bill with funding from a small group of doctors, who. General discussion that there are lots of emerging non-dilutive funding options.

Boris mentioned a good post / discussion that was kicked off on LinkedIn by Maxine @mmcunnin from Pick My Brain on alternative funding / corporate structures where users can participate in ownership of companies:

Contact any of the founders mentioned here if you are a Canadian founder and would like to be part of #ehlist – they can nominate you to join the group.