VEF’s popularity at an all-time high

Last summer I wrote about the Vancouver Enterprise Forum’s new initiative aimed at connecting with the next generation of young entrepreneurs. VEF Momentum burst on to the scene with plenty of energy and has successfully hosted a couple of networking events that have drawn a completely new audience for the VEF.

Independant of this initiative to appeal to younger entrepreneurs, it looks like the VEF has got their mojo back and has plenty of momentum on their own. Anybody that regularly attends VEF events will have noticed that more and more people are showing up and they’re selling out weeks in advance.

While the general consensus is that that Canadian Venture Capital market is in the dumps, you wouldn’t know it from attending a VEF event in 2009.  Over the 2007/2008 winter season, VEF events averaged just over 200 attendees whereas January’s Venture Capital Outlook event and February’s Social Networking for BusDev event were both standing room only with 300 attendees.

This doesn’t come as much of a surpise to me considering the compostion of VEF’s Board of Directors has morphed over the past year to include six entrepreneurs as opposed to one lone wolf entrepreneur – Dick Hardt – a year ago. Their Board roster now includes more than a handful of very successful entrepreneurs including Strangeloop Networks’ Jonathan Bixby, Alea Software’s David Rivers and Chrysalix’ Richard MacKellar.

Congrats to the everyone involved in the VEF and Executive Director Catherine Crucil.