Digital Media People to Watch in BC in 2010

One of the benefits of blogging about technology in BC is the opportunity to meet and interact with innovative technology leaders and evangelists every day. During 2009, we had the pleasure of covering some great people, startups, and events and are excited about what 2010 promises.

As we have for the past two years (2008 list and 2009 list), here are a selection of British Columbians in the Digital Media space that we think are worth watching in 2010.

Ian Bell – AppSocial – Bell’s AppSocial was chosen first runner-up for “Best In Show” by investors attending Vancouver’s Fusion Forum in November – the second time in three years that Bell had won the award (he won for Something Simpler in 2007).

Bell will be bringing his Silicon Valley experience into Bootup Labs this year as AppSocial was a late selection for the January 2010 cohort.

Michael Bidu – DigiBC (formerly WINBC & New Media BC) – Wireless Innovation Network of BC Executive Director Bidu is set to take over the newly formed DigiBC – a merger of WINBC and New Media BC.

Look for the new DigiBC website to launch next month but in the meantime check out WINBC’s Wireless and New Media Showcase and Service that promises to put BC’s innovative wireless and new media technologies on the radar for Olympic visitors in February.

Stewart Butterfield – TinySpeck – Hey. I know it’s an easy pick but Flickr Co-Founder Butterfield is back in Vancouver working on his social gaming startup TinySpeck and 2010 should be a big year.

Butterfield has the vision. He was working on a similar project titled Game Neverending when he stumbled upon what turned out to be everyone’s favorite photo-sharing site. Except now he has the capital to hire the best.

Harry Chemko – Elastic Path Software – Two years ago Chemko’s Elastic Path Software was named the e-commerce engine behind the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics online store.

Despite the recession since, Elastic Path has been hiring and winning new business for their e-commerce platform. In the Spring TELUS Communications chose it for their redesigned site and last Fall Virgin Media selected its platform for it online sales channels.

Business accolades continue as well: #25 on the PROFIT 100 list and BCTIA’s Emerging Company of the Year. And word on the street is that Elastic Path will be acquired in 2010.

Ryan Holmes – & Invoke Media – Holmes has been organically incubating business ideas within his Interactive Agency for years and in 2009 HootSuite emerged as his shining star.

Originally named BrightKit, HootSuite has evolved into the ultimate Twitter toolbox and I’m not the only one that thinks so. HootSuite won a PopVox award for Best Social Media Application, a Canadian New Media Award for Best Use of Social Media, and most recently an the Mashable Open Web Award for Best Twitter App

Now that Holmes has a money making iPhone App, look for HootSuite to be spun off, raise money, and/or be acquired in 2010.

Alan Juristovski & Milun Tesovic – Metroleap Media & MetroLyrics – Co-Founders Juristovski and Tesovic had a huge year in 2009. While staying atop the Vancouver Startup Index throughout the year, they also inked partnerships with AOL Music, Winamp, and Google.

Of course they did this while CTO Tesovic attended Simon Fraser University and was named the Global Student Entrepreneur Champ in November and one of Business in Vancouver’s Forty under 40 last week. Look out for much more from MetroLyrics in 2010.

Owen Matthews – Wesley Clover – Matthews is the Executive VP for Wesley Clover and is intricately involved in the strategic and business development activities around Wesley Clover holdings, both domestically and internationally.

This now includes $5 Million that Wesley Clover received from Todd Tessier’s B.C. Renaissance Capital fund – dollars that have to be invested in BC tech startups.

Angel Pui – My Wedding Match – Pui’s My Wedding Watch was chosen second runner-up for “Best in Show” by the investors attending Vancouver’s Fusion Forum in November. Which wasn’t a surprise for anyone taking in all twenty presentations as Pui’s pitch skills were top-notch (check out her elevator pitch from Launch Party Vancouver 8 in September).

While Pui is tackling the crowded wedding planning niche with My Wedding Match, she knows a thing or two about the industry already. In 2004, Pui established The Wedding Notebook which is dedicated to delivering the best in wedding designs.

Maura Rodgers – Bootup Entrepreneurial Society – Rodgers along with partner Danny Robinson founded video competition site Strutta in 2008. Fast Forward to 2010 and former Yahoo-exec Ben Pickering has been hired to take the Strutta reins while Robinson heads up startup accelerator Bootup Labs and Rodgers leads the non-profit Bootup Entrepreneurial Society (BES).

BES is dedicated to to expanding the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Vancouver and Executive Director Rodgers will lead the way. Rodgers is responsible for the successful Launch Party Vancouver series of events and has plenty more planned for 2010.

Kyle Vucko – IndoChino – In 2009 CEO Vucko took his upstart online clothier startup half way around the world to Shanghai and back. In 2010, he and his growing team will call Vancouver home.

Probably a good thing as former Yahoo President Jeff Mallett is now invested in IndoChino and should be spending more time North of the border keeping an eye on his Vancouver Whitecaps investment.