Vancouver Office Space

The Network Hub located in downtown Vancouver Canada offers various options to meet different working styles from coworking, private office, shared desk space, meeting room rental and virtual office. Our goal is to provide a calm inspiring work space where entrepreneurs can connect, create and collaborate on new and exciting opportunities.

The Network Hub is equipped with all the resources required to start and run a successful company. We offer mailbox rental service, phone answering services, faxing services in variety of packages.

Things to do in Vancouver: When you are snowed in…

So it’s snowpocalypse in Vancouver, you stored away your winter gears and is weary of motorists who freak out when we get a cm of snow so what to do? Here are some suggestions:

1. Get a blanket and curl up with that book you’ve been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to it

2. Curl up in front of the TV, turn to TVtropolis or channel 48 and watch reruns of old sitcoms – instead of a blast of cold breeze to your face get a blast from the past

3. Dust off those old board games – Yahtzee, Scrabble, Monopoly, or whatever you have stored away in the basement or in your attic because before the iPhone apps and web version, there were these with real board and real game pieces

4. If you can find a toque, pair of gloves and a nice warm jacket, stroll down to your neighborhood shops, restaurants or pubs. Revisit the old neighborhood haunts you have forgotten and on a cold day like today, I’m sure they would appreciate your business

5. Brew a cup of tea and plant yourself in front of a window to appreciate the winter wonderland. Admire the snow covered streets and trees, it’s a beautiful thing

Bonus: 6. Pull up your website and blog about things to do on a snowy day icon biggrin Things to do in Vancouver: When you are snowed in…

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Friend Friday: The Future of Social Gaming

thinkingape 300x221 Friend Friday: The Future of Social Gaming

I first met the cofounders of A Thinking Ape – Kenshi, Eric and Wilkins when they first moved into The Network Hub, literally within weeks after they moved Vancouver from Silicon Valley.   Unfortunately their explosive growth meant their time with us was short, they quickly outgrew our space within months of being here.  Their first game “Kingdoms at War” is consistently in the Top 10 grossing games in US.  Their latest releases Future Combat and Party in my Dorm are receiving the same reception as Kingdoms at War.

Meeting the cofounders, you can tell they are different from a lot of other people you meet – they live and breathe the company.   Their ambition is palpable, their vision is laser-focused and their drive is the same you find in people like Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs.  I was around for their first round of hiring, the people they brought on the team are incredibly intelligent young people and they let everyone on the team have amazing creative freedom.

Within a short year, they have built an impressive team of 18 people and 3 hyper-growth iPhone games.  They are far from done, in fact they are just getting started… the future of social gaming is in Vancouver.

It is amazing to have A Thinking Ape in Vancouver, they hire local talent and ensure we keep these brains in B.C., inspiring local entrepreneurs but also putting the spotlight in Vancouver as a viable place for hyper-growth startups.  For these reasons and more, you need to follow @athinkingape and if you haven’t tried their game, check it out right now, they’re free to download!

Did I mention they are hiring?  Did you know all new members of ATA engineering are equipped with a new Macbook Pro, an iPhone, and a high quality design notebook?  They are looking to add to their team – if you are an engineer looking to join an awesome startup or a new grad looking for a cool fun place to grow in, check out their job postings.

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Events in Vancouver: Lean Startup Conference

As some of you know, my cofounders and I all come from a technical background.  We use lean startup processes in our development work and we also apply it to  The Network Hub.  Lean startup is powered by three drivers –  use of platforms enabled by open source and free software, application of agile development, customer-centric rapid iteration.  A lot of people think it is for high tech only, I beg to differ.   We apply the same process to The Network Hub, lean startup is available to all entrepreneurs who is planning to start their business.

I highly encourage startup entrepreneurs checking out the conference, especially entrepreneurs in high tech.   You will learn why a startup successful and why another is unsuccessful.

This video will provide very compelling reasons why you should check out Lean Startup Conference 

If you are currently working for a startup or want to work for one and you haven’t heard of or understand lean startup – you definitely want to check out this conference.  Lean Startup Conference will be taking place in Richmond on May 5-6th at Hilton Vancouver Airport.

Who should attend? Anyone who is:

  • either working for or planning to work for a start-up
  • losing sleep because of having a brilliant idea and wanting to see it implemented
  • tasked with designing new features and wants to know how to validate ideas and business assumptions with customers
  • wanting to reduce waste and amplify learning
  • curious to know what all the excitement is about

There are some amazing speakers lined up for the event such as Ash Maurya, Rishi Dean, Rob Walling, Owen Rogers and Steven Jones

For more information, check out

This was the video that began our obsession with lean startup so I hope it gets you excited and wanting to check out Lean Startup Conference: 

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Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

Can I please gush about this place?

Let me set the stage, it is a Sunday night and as usual there is always people working at the office. By the time 8′clock came around, we realized well we are pretty hungry from working hard all day. We were split between Chambar and Bao Bei but after a bit of negotiation, we decided on Bao Bei. John (yes the REAL John Chow), Jaeny and Kevin (a friend from Winnipeg) left first to Bao Bei before we catch up to them. Well within a good 10 minutes, got 2 tweets that says the place is closed so we are heading to Campagnolo. Campagnolo?!? Where the heck is that and what kind of food do they serve? I somehow confused Campagnolo with some sort of social club so I had second thoughts about going but it wouldn’t be very nice to leave friends waiting so what the heck.

I drive by Main Street by Terminal more than 10 times a week to get from Commercial Drive to The Network Hub but I have never noticed Campagnolo, either that or I get incredibly distracted by its more flamboyant neighbors – Balmoral Hotel and Ivanhoe Hotel. The exterior of the restaurant is very subtle, the signage is downright polite compared to the ginormous red Ivanhoe Hotel signage I like to call a billboard.  Once I opened the door, I was floored how open but yet warm and inviting the Campagnolo is. IMG 20110220 00048 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

IMG 20110220 00049 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

While we were getting settled in, I took a quick look at their take-home menu instead of in-restaurant menu and my mouth dropped to the floor.  Conde Nast Traveller Magazine named  Campagnolo as one of the 50 Hottest New Restaurants in the World, Vancouver Magazine Award in 2010 named Campagnolo gold in Best New Restaurant, Silver in Best New Design and Silver in Casual Italian.  Now I am excited but I’m trying to not expect too much.  I’ve been to a few “award-winning” restaurants that definitely let me down.

John was selling to us the Polderside Chicken because Polderside Farms raise their poultry in low density, stress-free environment and they are fed a natural diet of grains and vegetables.   John stood behind the Polderside Chicken so strongly that half of our party ordered chicken, I ordered Linguine, Kevin ordered Slopping Hill Pork and Jaeny ordered a vegetarian pizza.  I figured since half of the table got chicken, I might as well try something else and take a nib from others.

The appetizers came out first, the highlight of the appetizers was the Seared Octopus which was AMAZING!!! I couldn’t control my fork, it kept visiting my neighbor’s plate and they were nice enough to let me keep picking at the Seared Octopus I wish I had more adjectives in my food vocabulary to describe the experience but goodness, it was soooooooo good!  My appetizer was a Peasant Chicken Soup and it was such a comforting and hearty soup.

IMG 20110220 00052 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

IMG 20110220 00051 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

I am so excited for my main course because the appetizers definitely set the tone of what is to come – oodles of deliciousness!!! And I wasn’t disappointed, the Polderside Chicken was sooo tender and so juicy at the same time.  My Linguini was simple but oh my goodness probably the best Linguini I have ever had so far!

IMG 20110220 00055 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

IMG 20110220 00056 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

I wanted more and was very curious about how amazing this place is.  A lot of restaurants shine for their food and fall flat when it comes to dessert or vice versa.  Of course when the waitress said they have a dessert sampler – I was sold.   The appetizers were amazing, the main courses were divine but the desserts really put it over the top.   In the sampler is a salted caramel dessert wrapped in waxy parchment like an old school taffy candy and let me just tell you, I had to reordered for a couple more.

IMG 20110220 00059 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

IMG 20110220 00060 Places to eat in Vancouver: Campagnolo

Here is the kicker my bill after ordering:  a cranberry juice, one large hearty chunky and rustic Peasant Chicken Soup, one Linguini and a generous dessert sample with a reordering of the salted caramel dessert was well under $40!!!!  Seriously! I’ve paid more eating at regular chain restaurants without the same quality of service or food.

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Tool Tuesdays: How not to forget ever again… well almost never

Have you ever read an email or suddenly remember someone’s name but you don’t know how you know them?  You search your emails but if you are like me, sometimes your emails provide more confusions than clarity, especially if your email thread is a continuation of something discussed in person.  I host a monthly networking event for Vancouver Entrepreneurs with between 100-160 people attending each events on top of the numerous events I attend monthly, it is very difficult to remember every one I cross path with.   But I believe very strongly in making an effort to remember people’s name, what they do, how we met, where they meet and any other information they were kind enough to share with me.

Before it was writing notes behind every one’s business cards the specifics of the meeting and whatever I think is important for me to remember about the encounter.  NOW, Greplin is in my life.  Greplin is my very own social search engine.  No I’m serious, my very own because it is linked to my Google Apps Mail, Google Apps Calendar, Google Apps Docs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Twitter with BaseCamp, Google Reader, Salesforce are coming soon.

Right now, Greplin has indexed about 273, 258 documents that I have produced in term of emails, status updates and calendar entry. All you have to do is type in a name, a place or bits of information that you can remember in the search bar.   You can filter the information to files, places, events, messages, or narrow down to the channel of communication – gmail, facebook, linkedin, etc.

greplin Tool Tuesdays: How not to forget ever again… well almost never

The powerful thing about Greplin is that it also fills in the gap of information about the person, place and events with also search engine results – this is where all the search engines want to go except they can’t because we value our privacy too much to give it up.  If you feel uneasy about what Greplin will do with your data – read their simplified privacy policy.  I went through it and I feel very comfortable allowing Greplin to  index my information but that’s me, you have to do your due diligence.   It has helped me connect the dot and helped me put the best foot forward in the next meeting.   I was one of the fortunate few that got to be an beta tester last year but since February 17, 2011.  It is now open to everyone.   Give it a try after doing your own due dilligence and I hope it will help you too!

If you have used Greplin, let me know about your experience with it.  Otherwise, leave any questions or suggestions you have in the comment section, thanks!

Note: These are tools I have used for a substantial amount of time (> 2 wks) and have found useful for me, this is not a paid post and paid is defined as money, swags, free dinner, t-shirts, pens, free coffee, gift certificate… absolutely nothing!

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