This evening I'll be providing live coverage of StartUp Drinks Byward Market. This is a networking event for Ottawa entrepreneurs
It's being held from 5-8:30 pm at the Aulde Dubliner Pourhouse in the Byward Market. The Eventbrite description invites attendees to "Come and network in a relaxed format, no name badges or speeches just good conversation and drinks overlooking George Street."
A mix of about 50 men and women are mingling in the pub's upstairs area. Business casual seems to be the dress code of the evening
Organizer Greg O'Donnell says this event has been happening for about a year. "We get all kinds of entrepreneurs from different industries - software, construction, training companies"
Most attendees come to the event to meet other entrepreneurs or to find potential partners or financiers, says O'Donnell
Jeffrey Slater works for Smart & Biggar/Fetherstonehaugh, a law firm that specializes in intellectual property and technology law. He says he's here in the hopes of meeting entrepreneurs with tech start-ups. He wants to talk to them about the importance of protecting their company's property from day one.
Kyrillos Mallity is a third year Carleton student. He's started his own business, Armada Marketing, a year ago. He says he's here hoping to find potential investors for his company
Paul Vallee is founder and CEO of Pythian, a global IT services company. According the Greg O'Donnell, the event organizer, he's the most influential man in the room
Vallee says the most important thing to notice about this event is the lack of women present. Most of the women that are here, he says, are service providers for other companies, not entrepreneurs. He says this is worrisome
Vallee says the start up sector will suffer if it doesn't find a way to attract more women.
The crowd is starting to thin quickly. There are about 12 people left.
Organizer Greg O'Donnell introduces the few people remaining to one another. They discuss their various enterprises while others finish their drinks, pay up, and leave
By 8 pm the event has finished. O'Donnell says he's happy with the turn out. The next StartUp Drinks will be in late October or early November.