When we first conceived of Miso, we knew we wanted it to be a place for Toronto’s independent creative tech workers to gather and get to work. We are 100% behind the people that make this city overflow with talent and ideas.
So, in late December, a month before officially opening our doors, we began looking for ways we could put our resources where our ideals are. By looking to existing communities for support and direction, we’ve gotten to meet some really great people pulling off some incredible stuff. We are super honored to have been able to support these three recent initiatives:
Dames Making Games
We came across Zoe Quinn and Cecily Carver at the TIFF Nexus Women in Film, Games and New Media Conference on Dec. 9, 2011. As panelists at the unveiling of the Difference Engine Initiative games, Zoe and Cecily announced that they’d been so inspired by the initiative, they’d decided to form their own organization to support more women wanting to learn to make games. Dames Making Games' first project launched January 1—#JAMuary, a month-long game jam with 14 women making games for the first time. We jumped at the chance to host them at Miso!
We want Miso to be welcoming and comfortable for anyone and everyone—but especially those in under-represented groups in technology, such as women—who wants to learn and get work done in a collaborative environment. Providing a place for mentors to share space and time with eager learners is extremely exciting for us and beneficial to the community forming here.
Our first four weekends at Miso have been filled with bleeps and bloops, enthusiastic cheers at every breakthrough, and truly supportive teachers spending their free time passing on their knowledge and experience. We couldn’t have asked for a better group to break in Miso!
Lean Startup Machine
Carolyn Van, founder of thirdocean, is a mover, a shaker, and a connector. She picked up on the connection between what we do at Bento Box (build businesses), at Bento Miso (provide a space for ideas to grow), and the nascent interest in applying Lean principles to startup strategy. A few long conversations at Miso (and brief ones over Twitter) later, and we were signed on to sponsor a lunch workshop at Lean Startup Machine Toronto, a weekend crash-course in implementing Lean Startup principles.
Individuals pitched ideas, formed teams, validated their ideas, and built MVPs. We are advocates of the test-your-assumptions, create-no-waste way of building Web-based businesses, and are proud to support others willing to commit to being disciplined about turning ideas and energy into sustainable businesses.
To give teams a fighting chance beyond the competition, we’ve offered 10 individuals keen to further develop their business free access to Miso for one month following the event.
Global Game Jam Toronto
We can’t think of a better city in the world to be an indie game developer. This community is creatively diverse, supportive, energetic, and smart.
In December, Zoe introduced us to Troy Morrissey of Darc Productions. Troy, an interactive audio designer, had recently taken the helm of the local edition of the Global Game Jam worldwide event. We tripped over ourselves to provide energy-sustaining snack packs for the jammers during the 48-hour gamemaking intensive.
We understand the multi-disciplinary creativity required to take your idea from spark to playable (and enjoyable!) game. We want to support any #GGJTo-ers who want to take their game to the next level and turn their efforts and ideas into something bigger. We’re offering all participants 50% off their first three months as Miso members.