A Startup for All Seasons

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Is it me, or does it feel like there are 2 distinct seasons of activity in the startup community?

  • Post Christmas Pre-Summer (aka golf season) Holiday
  • Post First of School and Pre American Thanksgiving

Whether it is reality or bad cliche, it feels like there are 3-4 months of the year where nothing gets done. But no more!

Thanks to events like Startup Festival and Grow Conf, the summer season for Canadian startups is getting stronger and more important. There are localized opportunities to connect with investors, strategic partners, and potential customers at events like the aforementioned Startup Festival and Grow Conf plus Jolt Demo FestAtlantic Venture Forum, Metabridge and others. (You could go to CVCA in Banff, and golf with the Canadian VC landscape, that might up your chances of raising funding).

Things for Startups To Do

  1. Apply to pitch at StartupFest. Startups get access to press, investors, and a chance at a $50k investment prize from the organizing committee.
    Deadline: Friday, May 10, 2013 5pm EDT.
  2. Apply to be one of the 45 Canadian startups at the Metabridge retreat. You’ll get access to investors, advisors and a great cultural event.
    Deadline: Friday, May 10, 2013 5pm PDT.
  3. Apply to throwdown at the Smackdown at GrowConf. Winners will get access to press and investors. Plus more Debbie Landa.
    Deadline: Tuesday, August 13, 2013

There are a lot of opportunities for Canadian startups to get access to both local and foreign capital, corporate development folks and press by participating in these events. Take a bit of time, and figure out which ones you benefit from attending. Plus it’s a great excuse to get out of the office and hustle.


Good companions can ease the journey

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Q: “How do you know when an entrepreneur is dead?”
A: They stop pitching.

Ba, dum, dum. It might be cliche, a tad kitschy. But it will be an amazing event. And it will help connect entrepreneurs with others.

Charlie Crystle (LinkedIn, ) is an entrepreneur based in Lancaster, PA. He is also behind Startup Lancaster. Startup Lancaster is a bit smaller than StartupNorth, (the group has 46 members) but they come together monthly to:

“swap war stories and advice and to gain inspiration for the next stage of their efforts”

It is events like the one hosted by Philippe Telio (LinkedIn, ) and the Startup Festival team, that continue to help connect local entrepreneurs. On the surface it might seem a bit cliche, startups doing elevator pitches in the elevator at the CN Tower. It’s a little glib. But it is an amazing opportunity to spend an evening with other entrepreneurs and those that contribute to high growth, emerging technology companies. It is a chance to experience the CN Tower and connect socially with other entrepreneurs in Toronto. And “having some good companions can ease the journey” is exactly why these events happen.

If you are an entrepreneur, consider pitching. You might do it for practice, you might do it for the chance to win “free passes and paid travel to attend the International Startup Festival in Montréal”, you might just do it for a free trip up the CN Tower (it will save you approximately $30). Use this as a way to find others and connect socially. It doesn’t matter why you do it. But in the words of a sporting brand, just do it!

All roads lead to Toronto

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Regardless of where we fall in arbitrary rankings, Toronto is an amazing city. And it seems that all roads lead to Toronto. With the amazing teams from both StartupFest and GrowConf arriving in the dead of winter.

StartupFest Elevator Tour

Check out the crazy awesome pitches and feedback from StartupFestival in Montreal.

Just look at it this way. Here is an amazing chance to get to hang out with entrepreneurs, founders, investors and other crazies in our ecosystem at the top of the CN Tower. Let me repeat that, at the top of the CN Tower. Before you do the math about how much fun this is going to be, just realize that a ticket to ride up the tower is $23.99 + HST. For essentially the price of the ride up, you get an event focused on entrepreneurs. I do some basic math, you add a drink and some h’orderves  and your at break even. Great chance to have some fun, make some meaningful connections, and potential generation press and relationships that pay off.


GROWtalksGROWtalks is happening in Toronto and Montreal. I know that Clare, Debbie and team are bringing some amazing entrepreneurs to share and educate. Just like they for GROWtalks at GrowConf 2012 in Vancouer.

GROWtalks is a one day conference focused on how to create actionable metrics, and use them to make better product and marketing decisions for startup success. Industry experts share advice to startup teams on how to improve design, product and customer development, acquisition, retention, and more.

I hear that the list of speakers is set to include the likes of Brant Cooper, Dan Martell, Rand Fishkin and other amazing speakers. This is a great one day event at a reasonable price point, I’m hearing $199 for entrepreneurs, so get access to entrepreneurs and experiences.


We’ll have more on both of these events. Get your tickets early!