October 24th, 2014
Victoria's First Video Game Startup Boot Camp! 

From the Desk of Codename Entertainment's CEO, Eric Jordan:

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to facilitate the first Video Game Start-Up Boot Camp in Victoria and I am thrilled to say that it was a rousing success!

The goal of the event was to provide a "free weekend workshop, delivered by Accelerate Tectoria and video game industry experts, to help teams and individuals put together a business plan from which to build a video game development company." Over the course of the weekend, local industry experts led numerous presentations and fireside chats for the attendees who were formed into teams for the duration of the Boot Camp to work through practical exercises aimed at putting their learnings into a potential actionable plan. Actively focusing topics on the subject of the business of video games as compared to the business of business allowed the information to be pointedly relevant to the attendees. As a result, it was hoped that participants would be able to make more significant progress of understanding their own business.

Initially planned for 20-25 participants, we received so much interest that we quickly doubled our numbers. We spent an intensive 47 hours working over the course of 2.5 days (including a few short breaks to sleep!) but we achieved the weekend's objective far beyond expectation!

Our initial theory had been that a voracious appetite for this kind of event existed and I was personally extremely pleased to see this theory confirmed. Based on the feedback we received, we more than fulfilled our core commitment to the participants: at the end of the weekend they felt confident that they knew dramatically more about the realities of the video game business than at the start of the weekend. Upon reflection, my two personal surprises from this weekend were that around 50% of the attendees were originally drawn to attend the event because they're interested in starting their own company, and that the quality of the group presentations by the end of the event was much higher than I had initially expected.

I'd like to take a quick moment to thank those who provided their support: VIATeC and Accelerate Tectoria were extremely helpful in pulling this off. Chris from IGDA was also a big help in putting together the event in terms of reaching the appropriate participants and Dan Jacobsen (Gas Lamp, Vancouver).

Alex helped us in the planning and adding Jason Delle Rocca (Execution Labs, Montreal) to our speaker list, creating great new connections in our community. We our fantastic panel of speakers also included Bren Gershkovitch (Silicon Sisters, Vancouver) and Jon Kimmich (ex-MSFT, Seattle). 

Finally, I would like to extended a big thanks to everyone who came together to make this event such a success!
October 9th, 2014
CNE Supports #LadiesLearningCode Victoria! 

Building a thriving community in the tech industry is something that happens over decades and Codename Entertainment is dedicated to doing all that we can to encourage growth in this sector. We are often involved in community initiatives to further this goal and recently had the opportunity to be a key sponsor of the first major Ladies Learning Code event in our hometown of Victoria, BC!

#LadiesLearningCode is a non-profit organization whose goal is to present opportunities for beginners to learn technical skills through mentorship, in a comfortable and social environment. There are 18 Chapters in cities across Canada and have had over eight thousand participants at events since the group's inception in 2011.

We first came across this fantastic group back in August, through our CEO's nightly Facebook meanderings. While looking through his news feed and pondering if he shouldn't be reading a book instead, Eric saw a link to a fundraising campaign for Ladies Learning Code Victoria. Appealing to him both because of the importance of promoting diversity in the tech industry as well as the proud father of a young and technically inclined daughter, Eric decided to learn more about the proposed event and quickly became one of the first supporters of their Tilt campaign. As a result of his research, the Victoria tech association, VIATeC (Victoria Advanced Technology Council, agreed to match donations up a total of $5,000. As a result, the LLCVic organizers were able to exceed their initial target of $1,000 and raised an amazing total of $5,825 before match!

The sold out event took place on 'National Learn to Code Day' (Sept 27) and Eric attended, coming away impressed by everything he saw. The event was packed with participants, mentors and organizers all passionately engaged with technology. As a result of the great success of this event, a follow-on event aimed at younger participants has already been confirmed for later this year. Eric is hoping he'll be able to convince his daughter to attend with him.

If you are curious in learning more, check out the photos and news stories at the Ladies Learning Code Victoria Facebook page! Want to find a local chapter elsewhere in Canada, or learn more about #LadiesLearningCode? Check out their website here!