CVCA, #FFdemoday and AccelerateMTL

Chris Arsenault (LinkedIn, AngelList, @chrisarsenault) sent me a message yesterday about writing about the CVCA conference. And I was looking at the conference trying to figure out why as an entrepreneur that I might want to attend this event. It is “the premiere networking and professional development event for Canada’s venture capital and private equity industry”. Well I don’t work in venture capital or the private equity industry, and the professional development I can get that at Ladies Learning Code or Udemy or O’Reilly. So why should I care? Maybe a “free Blackberry Playbook” would get me to pay for the registration. Disclosure: RIM is a sponsor of StartupNorth, though we don’t have any free Playbooks. 

Then it struck me.

  1. FounderFuel DemoDay
  2. AccelerateMTL
  3. CVCA

My goodness, this is an incredible opportunity for Canadian entrepreneurs. If you plan this correctly, you can connect with investors, other founders, folks form NYC, Boston, the Bay area. While the specific sessions at CVCA aren’t necessarily my cup of tea, you could sit in the lobby at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth and meet every investor in one shot.

CVCA attendees will have a “free Blackberry Playbook” . Just like LinkedIn, I’d be building an HTML5 optimized version of my application and making sure as hell it works like gold on a Playbook (which has a great implementation of WebKit browser). You could call the Fairmont and set up an espresso stand and give away coffee to everyone that demos your application. Hell if nothing else a big sign with “Free Latte” for all of the hung over CVCA attendees and have a student running to a local coffee shop for fulfillment. Great opportunity to get out and hustle.

On top of all of this you get to see some brilliant demos at Founder Fuel. This is going to be a killer event, and you could make it a very interesting opportunity to get in front of potential investors, partners and folks from outside Canada for relatively little cost.

FounderFuel cohort explodes onto the scene

Disclosure: I am a mentor at FounderFuel, and I traveled  to Montreal in August 2011 to see most of these companies during the mentor matching. I’ve also mentored Willet as part of my role as Entrepreneur-in-Residence (EiR) at Velocity (@UWVelocity) in Waterloo. 

CC-BY-NC-SA Some rights reserved by Stuck in Customs
AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Stuck in Customs

I am/was impressed with the teams accepted into the 12 week FounderFuel program. Today is #FFDemoDay where after the past 12 weeks the companies get a chance to show the world what they’ve been working on. I love the art of the demo, it is so different than the pitch. I met all of the companies in August 2011 at the Mentor Matching Day, unfortunately I wasn’t able to travel to Montreal to see the demos today. It looks like the team at Founder Fuel is continuing Montreal Startup Up’s great track record of identifying and growing very early stage ventures.

I’m apparently having a bromance for the Real Ventures team.  John Stokes (@iamjohnstokes), JS Cournoyer (@jscournoyer), Mark MacLeod (@startupcfo), Allan MacIntosh and Ian Jeffrey (@ianjeffrey) are putting together programs and the funding to support a strong early stage technology ecosystem in Montreal. Keep up the phenomenal work guys.

The 2011 FounderFuel Cohort includes:

  • Playerize
    Playerize grows social and mobile games by providing player installs from diverse channels at huge scale.
    A mobile platform that helps students take control of their college life by powering the events, conversations and deals on campus.
  • Willet
    Willet is the missing step from social browsing into shopping, and converts the mindsets of people without intent to buy into paying customers.
  • Vuru
    Vuru takes complex financial statements and distills them down into clear, transparent reports that show investors the fundamentals that matter.
  • Seevibes
    The TV Ratings For Social Media Audience – measures engaged audience to provide relevant data that media and advertising industry need.
  • BlameStella
    Is your Internet contrivance up to snuff? Find out with BlameStella, the future of Web Monitoring .
  • PlayerTakesAll
    A viral campaign & referral management platform that enables advertisers to extend the reach of their marketing efforts by 50%.
  • Wavo is the easiest way to collect, manage and play the music and videos being shared on your social networks.
  • Editola
    Editola uses the community to build the most accurate view of every news story. The best articles, videos and opinions, all in one place.

Apply for FounderFuel 2012

The spring 2012 FounderFuel session is scheduled to start on February 20th 2012, and applicants may apply directly online at until January 7th 2012. An early review of candidates will begin on December 12th 2011.

FounderFuel DemoDay #FFDemoDay by deniszgonjanin
Photo by deniszgonjanin