UBC Entrepreneurs

October 27, 2009

I have been working with a team at The University of  British Columbia in forming and launching a first of its kind program in entrepreneurship.

Open to all UBC students and, eventually, all members of the UBC family, entrepreneurship@UBC” will provide student entrepreneurs with time (workshops, fireside chats, mentorship), talent (for credit courses in entrepreneurship, venture investing and company building) and, most interestingly, treasure (an equity fund created specifically to fund UBC student companies).

While I’ll write more on entrepreneurship@UBC later, this post is about a new student led company called “Clinicbook”.  Clinicbook, founded by UBC Applied Sciences undergraduate students Robin McFee and Winnie Lai, is a web-based tool for medical clinics to publish their waiting times in real-time.  So, when a patient is looking for a walk-in clinic they can now visit http://www.clinicbook.ca, locate nearby clinics and, most importantly, determine waiting times updated in real-time.

I have enjoyed getting to know Robin and Winnie as they have gone through the formation of this company. I have been wholly impressed.  I have watched as these founders:

(1) Identified a market pain both for the doctors, their administrative and front office staff and, indeed, patients.

(2) Recruited a team to help them create Clinicbook’s current beta.

(3) Undertook business development and landed over sixty clinics and several major pharmacies as clients (before launch, no less!)

(4) Revised the product based on input from advisors, customers and clinics, and

(5) Launched their beta this week.

I have no doubt that Clinicbook has found a very interesting market space.  I just hope Robin and Winnie will come back and mentor some UBC students once they’ve sold Clinicbook and retired!

And for a bit of fun

October 17, 2009

I hope that regular readers of this blog will allow this indulgence.

We own a one year old Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier named Cobalt (“Coby”).  We don’t often come across other Wheaten Terriers, so when we do it’s lots of fun for our dog and for us too.

This video is of Coby playing with three other Wheatens on our beautiful British Columbia coast.

Irish eyes are smiling

October 4, 2009

Those of you who follow Canadian politics will remember the Mulroney/Reagan rendition of “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”, the Chretien “fisticuff” and George W. Bush’s less than flattering proclivity for breaking into dance.

This weekend Canada’s current Prime Minister took part in an impromptu performance at the National Arts Centre’s annual gala with Yo Yo Ma.  You can see the video here:

I think this was a masterstroke on the part of Harper’s handlers.  Here in Canada Prime Minister Harper is viewed as a bit distant, cold and calculating.  This performance, an admirable one, shows his human side.  It also won’t hurt with Canada’s arts community.