Toronto's Unspace has been a strong presence in Toronto's Ruby and Rails community. Their monthly Rails Pub Nights have been a great place to meet other developers and entrepreneurs since 2005. Last year's sponsor-free RubyFringe conference was an awesome blast. They're also just plain great people.
Unspace has been busy - they're doing a new conference this summer: FutureRuby, which promises to be as great as RubyFringe. I was lucky enough to get an Early Bird ticket in the five hours before they sold out.
Pete also posted this thoughtful and insightful blog post of advice for starting a web development company today:
Even if your first days as a business are free-wheeling and informal, you owe it to your future self to make good decisions early on. Partnerships are incredibly difficult and often don’t end well; if you have the vision, then don’t be afraid to be a leader. That said, start small and only hire people when it’s absolutely necessary. Hire on personality first, and always check out their online presence. Better yet, ask trusted friends for leads and introductions. We like to hire musicians as they are generally creative, interesting and well-rounded. Keep in mind that people don’t start out as experts… sometimes you meet someone with raw talent that needs to be nurtured. Be that mentor to the right people and part ways with people that aren’t fitting in.