Canopy Undercover MAY-june 2017

Lead Story: Canopy ramps up expansion to Beijing and Lisbon

With spring in the air, Canopy City is branching out into exciting new territory: Beijing and Lisbon.

In April, Canopy Cofounder Matthew Hoey inked a significant partnership with Gongxin Zhichuang Technology Industry Development Co. to open up a new Canopy location in Beijing.

Gongxin Zhichuang was established under the guidance of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China with the mission of creating a vibrant information technology industry ecosystem. It serves as an incubator for new technologies, a source of finance investment and an accelerator for bringing products to market.

(Left) Joe Zhou of the Boston Angel Club with Gongxin Zhichuang Vice President Fengyan Zhang (Right) Canopy City Cofounder Matthew Hoey poses with Zhang.

"I could not be more excited about this new partnership between Canopy City and our new friends in Beijing," said Hoey. "In recent weeks we have made an aggressive effort to rapidly scale our international presence, from the launch of Canopy Lisbon and now Beijing. Our goal for the coming months is to finalize what will be the construction of the most vibrant pipeline connecting the Boston-area innovation ecosystem to China's leading innovation hubs. This pipeline will not only facilitate entrepreneurial exchanges, but those which are cultural and political."

Hoey continued, "In light of our current momentum and powerhouse network on the ground in China, I wholeheartedly believe that no other incubator or coworking space in the Boston area will come close to Canopy City in regard to accessing opportunities with trusted partners in China. We have cultivated a network that is simply unrivaled, consisting of China's top companies, entrepreneurs and investors."

Gongxin Zhichuang, the new home of Canopy Beijing

Gongxin Zhichuang focuses on intelligent information systems, which cover a broad range of fields, including cloud computing, big data, Internet of Things, integrated circuits, network equipment, electronic information equipment and energy and power equipment.

Its vision is to bring together universities, researchers, industry professionals and investors to foster a dynamic entrepreneurial community focused on solving our most pressing global and technological challenges.

"Our hope is that through educating young entrepreneurs and leveraging our network in support of their talents that we can create together a win-win model," said Gongxin Zhichuang Vice President Fengyan Zhang. "We will always be adhering to the 'work with intelligence, value the credibility' concept which means that we intend to provide an industrial ecosystem to the outstanding high-tech enterprises we work with by integrating resources, complementing each other’s advantages and collaborating for rapid growth and a shared future."

In April, Canopy also set anchor in Lisbon, occupying the second floor of a building adjacent to the ETIC School of Innovation and Creation Technologies. Canopy City Cofounder and International Voice Stewart Noakes is the driving force behind Canopy Lisbon. "Lisbon is undoubtedly emerging as one of the most vibrant startup communities in the world," said Noakes. "I have lived here for almost a year now and have chosen Lisbon as our third city to climb." Canopy also has a location in the British city of Exeter that Noakes launched.

Canopy Lisbon hosted a series of events leading up to its grand opening, including tech demo nights and community socials.

Canopy Lisbon celebrated its launch with a lively Demo Night.

Startup Session: The New Green Economy

Last month's Startup Session at Canopy Somerville focused on the "new green economy" that has recently cropped up after Massachusetts residents voted to legalize the sale and recreational use of marijuana. The event featured startups and government officials who are pioneering this uncharted territory by writing new policies to ensure that the marketplace is inclusive to innovators of all backgrounds, and by creating technologies that ensure that the drug is distributed safely.

Speakers included the founder of CannaKorp, which just raised $4.1 million for developing world's first single-use, pod-based cannabis vaporizing system, and the legislative director and general counsel for Somerville Sen. Pat Jehlen, who leads the senate side of the state's joint committee on marijuana policy.

Speakers at Canopy Somerville's latest Startup Session enjoyed a packed house as they shared cutting edge industry and policy insights.

Canopy at Night

From hustlers & hackers to citizen journalists, Canopy has been hopping with fun energy, collaboration and inspiration.

Producer and director Jen Myronuk (second from right) launched the Kickstarter kickoff for her new film Humanity Needs Dreamers about the life of Marie Curie with a special screening at Canopy Somerville. The event also included a talk with a scientist from MIT.

Myronuk leveraged technology to facilitate a fascinating discussion between audience members and the actress who plays Marie Curie in the film.

Each month, Canopy hosts the Hustlers & Hackers meetup.

Hustlers & Hackers brings together software engineers, coders, hardware experts, designers, architects, and/or general tech geeks who are looking to meet business-minded partners.

Who this meetup is NOT for: Close-minded thinkers.

The Boston Hassle, an arts and music organization, met at Canopy Somerville to brainstorm their latest edition of Boston Compass, a curated list of happenings in the local arts scene.

MuckRock, a nonprofit, collaborative news site that aims to make politics more transparent and democracies more informed led a workshop at Canopy Somerville on filing public record requests.

When worlds collide: An incubee of Canopy's youth entrepreneurship program provided a spontaneous pitch for some Turnup Tuesday guests as he was waiting to be picked up by his mom.

Filmmaker and Guggenheim Fellow Kenneth Eng, whose film My Life in China was broadcast nationally on PBS, dropped in for Turn Up Tuesday while he was visiting from Los Angeles.

Community News: The Canopy family is growing

Thanks to a partnership with Hult International Business School in Cambridge, Canopy Somerville has added a team of six new MBA candidates who will be assisting in marketing, events, partnerships, sponsorships, international expansion, community engagement and day-to-day operations. This talented team hails from six different countries and speaks six different languages!

The A-Team. Canopy Somerville is so excited to welcome these Hult MBA candidates to help further our mission while they launch their careers.

Featured Event: Supporting the community from the ground up

On April 7, Canopy hosted urban gardening nonprofit Groundwork Somerville's 17th Anniversary Fundraising & Volunteer Appreciation Gala. Groundwork creates jobs, food, green space, and leadership opportunities through programs that address healthy education, green jobs and sustainable communities.

Groundwork staff and volunteers collaborate with children and teachers, including in ten garden classrooms across every elementary school in Somerville. They also provide jobs and leadership training to low-income and under-served youth.

Groundwork Somerville's youth ambassadors shared their message of food justice with Grow Gala attendees.

Check out the video Athena Wang, Canopy's Director of Communications, captured of this special night when the Groundwork community cleans off the dirt to get dressed up, eat, drink, and dance!

Our partnership with the City of Somerville: Spurring innovation with youth entrepreneurship

Canopy City is proud to collaborate with the the City of Somerville and its FabLab at Somerville High School in the creation and implementation of a youth entrepreneurship program in its space. Since February, Canopy Somerville has been incubating two teams of local young innovators, ages 7 to 14, as they launch their own startups.

Students have been working in small teams to create a “startup” that will lay the groundwork for making meaningful connections within the local community, learning technical skills, and applying the skills needed to solve real-world problems.

"The BuildCorps Incubator at Canopy is an important part of Somerville's growing economy," said Ben Sommer, an economic development specialist with the City of Somerville, who is working with Canopy to implement this cutting edge program. "These young people are learning the business, technology, and most importantly, creative problem solving skills that will make them leaders in Somerville, not just in the tech industry but in community life as well."

Canopy community members have enjoyed mentoring our BuildCorps incubees on topics such as visioning, marketing, social enterprise, writing a business plan and coding. Throughout the process, our young entrepreneurs have engaged authentically in many aspects of #startuplife, such as creating logos and branding kits for their companies, establishing a social media following and eating copious amounts of pizza.

One of the startups, Tidy Earth, is a mobile app that is described as "like Pokemon GO but for trash" by its founders. The other startup, Voting School, is a web-based platform with the mission of amplifying the voices of those who do not have the right to vote by engaging policy makers and kids in two-way communication about issues that matter. You can follow them on Twitter @VotingSchool.

Our incubees visited the Somerville-based 3D printing company Formlabs for a field trip. More field trips are planned, including to Pilot Studio in Boston, which designs the packaging for the Star Wars franchise. Eliza Margolin, Formlabs product marketer, also visited Canopy to help prototype the hardware component to Tidy Earth's concept.

The incubees not only learn entrepreneurial and technical skills, but also how to collaborate as a team. They are using MIT's App Inventor to code their mobile apps. They also have been conducting research and engaging in analysis about their competition and their target markets.

All of this work will culminate in a pitch event in June, where students will showcase their ideas.

Somerville BuildCorps Incubees at Canopy are working hard to solve problems in their communities through using technology and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Community Spotlight: Cullen Schwarz, Cofounder of DoneGood

Recently, the Canopy team sat down to interview Cullen Schwarz, cofounder of DoneGood, which is a browser extension that helps online shoppers find ethically sourced products.

Upcoming Events

Click on the links below to register for our upcoming events.

Entrepreneurs Breakfast | Workshop: 3 Keys to Loving Your Marketing | May 9, 9:30-11:00AM

Join us on May 9th, here at Canopy City for our monthly Entrepreneurs Breakfast. While enjoying the camaraderie, take in our workshop titled: "Marketing for People Who Don’t Like Marketing" presented by Christina Frei - Generosity Practice who is a Wellesley-educated marketing strategist that has been featured on Today Show and NBC News. She has also advised leading corporations such as Cisco and Sun Microsystems.

Panel Discussion | What to Know about Outsourcing to Fuel Startup and Small Business Growth | May 9, 6:00pm

Outsourcing can yield a range of benefits including operational excellence, cost savings, and business agility. However, leaders must understand when, how and what to outsource to make the right decisions for their firm based on their objectives, stage and unique requirements. The goal of this session is to help you better understand the advantages and considerations of outsourcing and give you a chance to network with like-minded professionals.

Turn Up Tuesday | Effective storytelling through film and video | May 16th | 5:30-7:30PM

Join indieMEDIA's founder and executive producer, Amy DePaola, to learn the tools for inspiration, development, production and distribution when considering film and video as a method for delivering your story.

UMA Somerville Gathering: Making, Scaling & Inclusion | May 18, 2:30pm - 4:45pm

The Gathering's theme is "Making, Scaling and Inclusion," and we invite attendees to discuss the growth opportunities and challenges faced by makers and manufacturers looking to scale in cities.

We will examine a range of issues—from contracting and support services to workforce and real estate needs—and how those issues cut across different industry clusters. Through facilitated discussions and other interactive activities, our aim is to better understand the types of support available from both the public and private sector to make scaling of manufacturers not only possible, but more inclusive.

Canopy Startup Session | Self Empowerment Panel | May 23 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Register now for our May 23rd Startup Session on Self Empowerment. Our brilliant presenters Dr. Teri Baydar, Eva Leung, Katia Powell, Eve Sullivan and Malia Lazu will discuss strategies for taking control of your life, setting goals, and making positive choices. The aim of this event is help attendees identify ways to better understand their strengths and weaknesses in an effort to boost belief in oneself--one of the greatest challenges facing entrepreneurs! Beer, wine, pizza and munchies will be served.

Fun Night | Housing Design Workshop and Somerville Stories | May 24, 6-9pm

We're really psyched to be hosting the next Indivisible Somerville gathering, here at Canopy City. Register via EventBrite and be entered to win lunch for two at the award winning Tasting Counter restaurant, located just downstairs from Canopy City!

Workshop | Tips and Tricks to Deliver a Kick-Butt Presentation | May 30, 6:30-8:00pm

Do you find the idea of presenting overwhelming? Does the thought of getting up and speaking in front of people make your palms sweaty and your knees weak?

Join marketing expert Andrea Spector and Speech coach Celia Slattery to take the mystery out of preparing and presenting so that you will leave your audience wanting more!

Credits:

Created with images by walter688 - "the scenery beijing nest"

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