Founders & Funders An Update

I think Jevon and Jonas and Karthik are getting sick of running events with me. Before StartupEmpire back in 2008, I ended up in the Emergency Room at Toronto General for another look at my ticker. This week I ended up in the Emergency Room at Toronto General as we are planning Founders & Funders. I’m ok, I was both times but it does complicate the event planning and invitation process.

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better…stronger…faster.” Wikipedia

So if you feel like you only got your invitation very recently, i.e., today. It’s my fault, I am sorry, I have been out of commission. It’s a reminder that you should do a startup before you need a body replacement.

Founders & Funders

Here is the update on Founders & Funders. It has been almost 2 years since we ran the last Founders & Funders (thanks for noticing William ;-). We are 7 days from the event and we have 35 remaining spots. Unlike past events, we are over inviting and over selling the event, i.e., first come first served. So if you got an invite but were waiting that might be a bad plan…

How to get an invitation?

“Fortune favors the connected entrepreneur.” @jcal7 #trueuniversity via @hnshah

We’re looking for “interesting” founders. Often this means people that we’ve met at other events, as Founders & Funders are relatively small social gatherings. That doesn’t mean it is just our friends, as I’ve been often accused. But it is entrepreneurs that we’ve met, that are building interesting companies, that have interesting traction. Get someone that we think is awesome to refer you. It’s a social hack (just like me).

Connect with other founders

Daniel Debow

We have also decided to include a brief fireside chat with Daniel Debow at this dinner. We rarely do this sort of thing at a Founders and Funders but 2011 was such a great year we thought it would be fun to look back on the ups and downs of Rypple through the years and how they got to their eventual exit, some of which was written about in Forbes this week.

What’s the point?

Jonas, Jevon and I are founders. We are not an event company. We are not a media company. We have been trying to write content on StartupNorth that is relevant to us as founders. Whether we are raising money, connecting with other where we live, finding talent, or growing a business. We generally charge very close to the cost of the ticket, i.e., there are some slight over head costs but we are not collecting salaries or generating revenues. This is an unfortunate hobby. But I know there are world-class founders and companies across Canada and while there are government supported organizations and purported lobby groups, we are just a bunch of founders trying to do the things that we find useful in building our companies.

Founders & Funders is a social event. It is designed to connect with the people writing cheques and making investments on a social level. To talk about startups and technologies and business models without the constraints of a pitch. Will there be pitches, definitely (How do you know when an entrepreneur is dead? They stop pitching). The goal is to have a highly edited dinner party with “interesting founders” and get them out of their usual pitch oriented conversation with VCs.

Whether this works or not is questionable, but it does bring together founders and funders in a social context.

Founders and Funders Toronto – February 16th, 2012

The last Founders and Funders dinner in Toronto was almost exactly two years ago. A lot has happened in that time and we thought it was time to sit down and break bread together again.

The Founders and Funders dinners are a series of invitation-only dinners that are held across Canada several times a year. They are a sort of summit on the state of each community and we do our best to make sure that the best startups possible have a chance to meet the most respected and active investors who are doing deals in those cities. There is always a mix of locals and people who come in for the event as a way to get connected.

We believe that if you cannot sit down and have dinner with someone, then you probably shouldn’t invest in or take investment from them. This is a great chance to apply a social filter to the dealflow in any one place.

What is it?: An invitation-only 3 course dinner. Cocktails before, cocktails after….

Who is coming?: The top investment-ready startups and active investors in Canada.

Where is it?: Downtown Toronto

When?: February 16th, 2012 at 6:30pm

How much is it?: Tickets range from $125 (startups) to $500 (service providers)

We are now accepting requests for invitations and the first round of invitations will go out this week.

To apply please use this form >>

We have also decided to include a brief fireside chat with Daniel Debow at this dinner. We rarely do this sort of thing at a Founders and Funders but 2011 was such a great year we thought it would be fun to look back on the ups and downs of Rypple through the years and how they got to their eventual exit, some of which was written about in Forbes this week.

Daniel and Rypple have also been a big part of the Canadian startup community and he has also been an active angel investor recently.

We are excited to hear what he has to say about how we can help build more great Canadian companies and how to build awareness in Silicon Valley when your HQ is back here in Canada.

We hope you will join us as we kick off another great year for the Toronto and Canadian startup community.

We will be announcing Founders and Funders dinners in other cities soon as well.


Founders & Funders – Feb 15, 2010

founders and funders Logo It’s time to for another Founders & Funders event in Toronto. I can’t believe it’s been 18 months since the last event in June 2008. The next event is scheduled for Februrary 15, 2010 in downtown Toronto. We’re looknig for a few good startups and a few good investors. We’ll be sending out invitations early in the new year, but we want to start with an open call for participation.

What is Founders & Funders?

Founders & Funders is an invitation only social event for people that start high potential growth companies and the people that fund them. This means entrepreneurs. This means angel investors. This means venture capitalists. This means government funders. It is a curated dinner party. The idea is to get stuck at a table with others interested in emerging technology, growth companies. Have meaningful conversations beyond the usual conference hallway chatter or pitch sessions. The goal is to create stronger, more relevant connections between individuals in this community.

Who should attend?

Founders of high potential growth companies. This means companies that are at varying stages of corporate development, ranging from the very new to the more established. Digital media. Internet. Software applications. Enterprise applications. Infrastructure. Data centre automation. Mobile. Clean tech. Yes, you should consider attending. However, you should be looking to raise capital in near future.

Funders of high potential growth companies. Venture capitalists in Ontario, Quebec, New York, Boston, California, and around the globe. There are attendees that are actively seeking capital, with outstanding track records and attractive valuations. Angel investors, definitely. You’re the backbone of Canadian deal. We’re reaching out separately to National Angel Capital Organization and to Maple Leaf Angels to invite investors (by active I mean that you’ve written an investment cheque in the past 18 months).

How can I participate?

We’re asking everyone interested in participating complete an application. The goal is to gather enough details that we can share with others, i.e., founders details will be compiled and shared with investors, investor details will be shared with founders. (Yes, I know that form doesn’t specify this use of the data, each invited attendee will be asked this question and given the opportunity to revise their details. If we don’t invite you, the information will be purged after the event).