Visiting Silicon Valley with the Top 20 most promising startups in Canada

June 23rd, 2012 by Chris Hogg 1 comment »

Digital Journal is en route to the heart of the tech and investment world: Silicon Valley. As many of you saw in our announcement last month, Digital Journal has been hand-picked from hundreds of companies across Canada and named one of the 20 most promising startups by The C100, an organization representing accomplished Canadian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Twice a year, the C100 holds an event called 48 Hours in the Valley that offers 20 of Canada’s most promising startup companies two days of mentorship, workshops, investor meetings, strategic partner visits and networking.

We are humbled and honoured to be among some really amazing talent, as we’ll join 19 other Canadian startups who have been called the “best-of-the-best of Canadian entrepreneurship.”

The C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization whose focus is to support Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. The organization is made up of a select group of people based primarily in Silicon Valley, including startups CEOs, top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital.

The event kicks off Monday night in San Francisco with a private welcome reception with the C100 48 hours companies, C100 Board members and C100 partners. Then we dive into two jam-packed days of networking, mentoring, investor pitches and workshops.

I am eager and excited to see what comes of the week, and for those of you who would like to follow along I’ll be blogging about my experiences here on Digital Journalon my own blog on Twitteron Facebook and on the C100 blog after the event.

My goal with covering the trip will be to give everyone an inside view of what it’s like to experience The C100 48 Hours event, and do my best to summarize and recap the advice we get as a way to help out other entrepreneurs.

As Digital Journal has grown, I’ve been fortunate enough to have countless startups, entrepreneurs and big media execs approach me for advice. I have also been lucky to be in some amazing company with a Board of Advisers who have helped us navigate the often unclear roads of startup life. And on top of all that amazing conversation, I have a very unique source of talent behind me: the Digital Journal community, which is a group of incredible and amazing people, many of whom have been with us for years as we transitioned from a printed magazine into a global media network.

And that is why we are here today, and why we are heading to the Valley with 19 other rockstar Canadian entrepreneurs. In the process of building Digital Journal, I have learned the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is surround himself/herself with top talent and do everything possible to learn from them. It’s critical that you know what you don’t know, and the only way to do that is to reach out and start talking to people.

We haven’t even left for the Valley yet, and the response and offers to help have already been incredible. We’ve had some really brilliant entrepreneurs/mentors contact us to ask how they can help (thanks Jeremy and Michael); we’ve had long-standing friends of Digital Journal reach out to offer to make our trip to San Francisco more enjoyable (thanks Chris, Kelly and Doug); and we’ve been humbled to see very big businesses approach us to help us get to where we are today (a very special thanks to the Four Seasons San Francisco and Dell Canada for being so supportive). We’ll be introducing you to several more people and businesses over the next few days, so thanks to everyone who has reached out so far.

So as we head to the Valley, I will cover 48 Hours in as much detail as possible to let you know about what we’re doing and seeing, and I’ll attempt to pass along all the great advice we get in an effort to help other entrepreneurs learn from some of the biggest and brightest minds in North America. If you are an entrepreneur (or hope to be one day), I encourage you to contact me on Twitter and let me know what kinds of things are on your mind. I will seek out interviews, try to answer questions and extend my network to you this week so we can all learn from this experience.

Digital Journal among Top 20 most promising startups in Canada, invited to C100 event in Silicon Valley

May 22nd, 2012 by Chris Hogg 1 comment »

So happy to announce this — my company has been hand-picked from hundreds of companies across Canada as one of the 20 most promising startups by the C100, an organization representing accomplished Canadian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley. Press release below:

Twice a year, the C100 holds an event called 48 Hours in the Valley designed to offer 20 of Canada’s most promising startup companies a chance to visit Silicon Valley for two days of mentorship, workshops, investor meetings, strategic partner visits and networking.

Digital Journal is happy to say it has been recognized along with 19 other Canadian startups as “best-of-the-best of Canadian entrepreneurship” and the company has been invited to Silicon Valley for the exclusive 48 Hours in the Valley event in June that caters to Canada’s best-in-class companies.

“Being named in the Top 20 is a badge of honour for Digital Journal,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, “especially given the fact that media companies never show up on a Top 20 list of technology companies. It really speaks to our unique business advantage in the media space, the power of our platform and our ability to execute.”

The C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization whose focus is to support Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. The organization is made up of a select group of people based primarily in Silicon Valley, including startups CEOs, top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital.”

Digital Journal has an exceptional management team who has built a company and product from the ground up, and we are looking forward to playing a big role in the future of media,” said Hogg. “We are also very fortunate to be backed by some of the most talented Digital Journalists in the space and we look forward to moving ahead to the next stage with them and bringing more opportunities to content creators everywhere.”

More information on Digital Journal, the team, its product and the company’s technology, can be found here. Digital Journal also hosts an annual speaker series called Future of Media dedicated to following the evolution of journalism, news and media. Past speakers include executives from Facebook, BBC, Globe and Mail, Global News, CBC, CTV, Rogers, blogTO, Polar Mobile, National Post and more.

Video: Inside Foxconn, the iPad factory in China

April 12th, 2012 by Chris Hogg 1 comment »

A lot of headline ink has been spilled on the issue of Foxconn building iPads for Apple in China. Some believe the workers are exploited, making $14/day, while others argue the working conditions and pay is much better than anywhere else.

Here is a quick video I stumbled upon today that offers a look inside the factory. Pretty interesting stuff:

PandoDaily’s Sarah Lacy on journalism and startups

April 11th, 2012 by Chris Hogg No comments »

I’m a fan of Sarah Lacy and what she is building at PandoDaily. Funded by $2.5M, Lacy aims to cover the startup world and be the “site-of-record for the startup root-system and everything that springs up from it…”

She delivers great tech journalism and covers startups well, and PandoDaily’s original voice and analysis is refreshing.

I wanted to share a quick clip of Lacy’s interview with Howard Kurtz, where she and Howard discussed tech journalism, her business and the startup world.

One of the discussion points in this interview focuses on Randi Zuckerberg’s decision to co-produce a show called Silicon Valley, a “reality show” that will air on Bravo. The show claims it will be all about San Fran’s tech scene. If you have been following Lacy, you know she is not a fan. At all. And of course, Zuckerberg defends the show.

Lacy offers some great perspective on the state of tech journalism and how TV shows like this can undermine a real journalist’s job in flushing out the stories behind startups.

Digital Journal publishes March ‘Power User’ list in ongoing crowdsourcing project

April 3rd, 2012 by Chris Hogg No comments »

My company issued this press release today:

Digital Journal today published a list of the 20 most active contributors on its network in March. The Top 20 list is published each month to report how Digital Journalists, bloggers and citizen journalists interact in an online media network.

“Gamification is going to be a pillar in the future for media organizations,” said Digital Journal CEO, Chris Hogg. “Having and using data in conjunction with a media offering positions a company like Digital Journal to be able to do things that have never before been possible. We can measure, track and report very granular data that has never before been accessible, and we are proud to be able to use that data to show off some of most talented media people in the world.”

Digital Journal publishes a Top 20 list in recognition of top performers from the company’s massive gamification project that tracks and reports activity of contributors across the Digital Journal network. Recording actions such as quantity of articles published, frequency of visit and how engaged members are, Digital Journal rewards points and badges to individual contributors based on the amount of their activity. The members who stay the most active in the month are then rewarded with a “Power Users” badge.

In addition to creating incentive for contributors to participate in the social news network, Digital Journal aims to showcase talent and create a level of transparency that gives an open look at how people interact with a news organization and how user-generated content is valuable in the wider news ecosystem.

“Digital Journal is seeing continued growth from contributors making their mark in social news media,” said David Silverberg, Managing Editor of Digital Journal. “Our focus on gamification has produced another excellent crop of informative journalism gaining attention with readers and publishers across the world.”

In no particular order, Digital Journal’s March 2012 Power Users include:

Digital Journal compiles data on a monthly basis and resets the points at the beginning of each month when a new competition begins. More info on Digital Journal’s gamification project can be found here.