Friendly neighbourhood reminder that tomorrow, June 30, 2010, is StartupDrinks (well tonight in Saskatoon & Regina). On June 30, 2010 you can join entrepretreneurs in:
Jevon is going to be hanging out in Halifax. Ray is going to be in Montreal. Jonas, Bryan and I are planning on being at Grace O’Malleys (aka Granuaile), 14 Duncan St, Toronto, ON.
It’s a great opportunity to get out of the office. To be social. To connect with others that are struggling building companies like you. What will we be talking about? We’ll be talking about “How to grow your traffic from 1k to 35k on $0” and other things. What do you want to talk about?
Rick Segal is going on tour. The idea? Get the message out there about what he, and other VCs, are looking for when they evaluate new opportunities, and help entrepreneurs get a better understanding of what VCs try to do. He will also be providing some useful tools, like sample term sheets.
This comes as there has been more publicity about the performance of private Venture Capital funds in Canada, and a significant amount of discussion about whether or not it is a good idea to start a company in Canada.
There is definitely a perception out there of VCs in ivory towers who expect everything to come to them. This is in stark contrast to the attitude that most entrepreneurs encounter when in the valley or elsewhere with a strong VC ecosystem. You get used to seeing VCs out at practically every community event, listening closely and watching as entrepreneurs grow. Those traits are rare here. As someone said to me recently “In any other business, if you complained you had no customers, everyone would tell you you are an idiot. We need to get out there an hustle, we need to find those customers.”
What Rick is doing is an example of how you can get out of your tower and start mingling with the plebs. The fact is, Canadian VCs aren’t poaching all sorts of great deals from other places, instead they rely on Canada to produce investible startups, and the best way to recognize that is to get involved and to take a long-term view. Venture Capital is only one piece of a big picture, but it is critical that VCs begin to mature along with our Angels and Entrepreneurs.
There has been a significant amount of anti-VC sentiment in the Canadian startup community and it is probably more related to a feeling of VCs being an unknown than anything else.
Here are the dates that are set up so far, starting on the east coast
- April 14th Morning – Halifax NS
- April 14th Evening – Moncton NB
- April 15th Evening – St John’s NF
If you want to register, email rick at jlaventures dot com with “VC Roundtable” in the subject.
MeshEast is the latest entrant on to the Canadian Startup blog scene. I was excited to get an email from Lisa Rousseau, who is also working on her own startup, to see that the east coast would finally have a local startup blog. Lisa is going to have some work to do in finding and profiling those elusive east-coast startups, but my guess is that she will find more than enough to get started in her home province of New Brunswick.
So please, head over to MeshEast and subscribe. We have been covering some of the bigger happenings on the east coast, but there are always a lot of things we just can’t cover. We are working on our own profile of what is going on in Atlantic Canada, and so far I have been excited about what I have seen.
We have been trying to do as much as we can to encourage local blogs that will cover smaller regions in more detail. Montreal is the luckiest with MontrealTechWatch, which is run by Heri (who might be the hardest working blogger in Canada these days), and Ottawa has StartupOttawa, which is really starting to pick up steam. There are some gaps to fill, so if you are passionate about startups then it is time to get off your butt and step up to the place. I can think of dozens of local blogs I would love to see: Waterloo, Calgary, Vancouver, Victoria, and the Prairies all come to mind as the biggest gaps out there.
So get started, and get in touch. We want to help!