Vesa-Matti (photo - featured right)
The MoMo Story
The MoMo phenomenon started almost by accident in Helsinki, Finland in Autumn, 2000. Vesa-Matti ‘Vesku’ Paananen, a well-known Finnish mobile visionary, invited more than 50 mobile innovators to an Irish pub for an informal get-together and a warming drink. Oddly, the only suitable time was a Monday evening. After meeting many new faces and discussing the latest in mobility, the group decided to continue the meeting on the first Monday of each month – and MobileMonday
The first chapters to start the worldwide phenomenon outside of Finland were Tokyo and Silicon Valley in 2004. By 2006, the movement spawned 20 chapters around the world including Toronto.
The birth of the Toronto chapter came as a result of the very informal, virtual and friendly nature of the movement. At the time, Alexander S. Bosika and Jim Brown, its co-founders, came together as a result of an introduction from the NY Chapter’s co-founder, Lubna Dhanji, one of the industry’s most influential female mobile professionals. The connection between the co-founders came by way of an inquiry that Mr. Bosika made to the NY group mailing list. Ms. Dhanji was quick to respond and indicated that another individual in Toronto was interested in starting the chapter as well. With this knowledge, Lubna was able to make an introduction connecting the co-founders.
Within one week, Jim and Alex met at the Swan and Firkin pub in Bloor West Village to map out the goals for the Toronto chapter. However, in this first meeting, it was soon discovered that Jim’s company had a solution for Alex’s company which led to some business development opportunities for Jim and value-add solutions for Alex’s product pipeline. This very meeting defined the relative importance for such a chapter in Toronto as the ‘community’ was the missing piece of the puzzle to drive momentum for the mobile eco-system in the GTA. This was in November 2005. Toronto officially launched its first chapter meeting at the Fort York Armory in June 2006 with its first guest speaker, Michael O’Farrell, from the dotMobi Advisory Group. In May 2006 on short notice, the Helsinki chapter asked for Toronto representation and Mr. Bosika suited up to represent the chapter with a newly-minted business card, no chapter location, no community or members, and no website. In front of 1500 attendees, Mr. Bosika introduced Toronto as one of the newest chapters. The 2006 global summit (held annually and organized by the Helsinki chapter) was a smashing success with 1500 attendees, innovative Peer Award entrants, 20 chapter co-founders, and lead sponsorship from Nokia, Fujitsu, HP and Informa.
Jari Tammisto, CEO, MobileMonday Oy stated the following at the 2006 Global Summit, “The MobileMonday concept is a kind of ‘open source forum’, a counter-force to other existing organizations. Most industry associations drive very important industry initiatives. But their challenge is how to interact those initiatives with the community beyond their member representatives. Individuals participating in our events and discussion groups do so because of their personal interest and not because it is their duty as a company representative. That is why the meetings are more informal, fun and also valuable on a personal level. Even after some 55 MoMo events in Helsinki, we still seem to gets tens of new faces coming to each event.”
The Helsinki chapter can be found at www.mobilemonday.net. Since its early days, the MoMo network has grown into an extremely influential industry force without shooting for that goal. Instead, its co-founders and industry members simply enjoy the energy which the network has brought to the industry locally and internationally. Today, the MobileMonday community has grown to include 70 chapters worldwide. Considering the 20 chapters that existed a short three years ago, it is safe to assume that the MoMo movement is growing at an extremely fast pace.
The Toronto chapter can be found at www.mobilemondaytoronto.com and was co-founded by Alexander S. Bosika and Jim Brown, successful executives within the GTA’s mobile community.