DFAIT Technology Growth Initiative Business Bootcamps

Departement of Foreign Affairs and International TradeDFAIT is sponsoring the Technology Growth Initiative (TGI) Business Bootcamps Spring 2011 to help Canadian companies go-to-market in specific US markets (BostonDenverLos AngelesNew YorkPalo AltoSan DiegoSan Francisco/Silicon Valley and others). The program provides startups with access to webinars, a one day bootcamp session and direct connections with VCs and local entrepreneurs to share experiences and find funding.

The one day bootcamps are being help in April and May 2011 from Halifax to London. The bootcamps are interesting, they provide entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch and get feedback from trusted experts (yeah right I think I served as an “expert” in 2009 ;-). But it is a great opportunity to get a different set of eyes on your pitch. And it plays to the old adage, “how do you know when an entrepreneur is dead? he stops pitching”.

Registration for One Day Business Bootcamp

  • Halifax: April 27th, 2011 – Cleantech and ICT
  • Quebec City: April 28th, 2011 – ICT
  • London: April 29th, 2011 – Cleantech, ICT, Life Sciences
  • Toronto: May 2nd, 2011 – Cleantech, ICT, Life Sciences
  • Ottawa: May 3rd, 2011 – Cleantech, ICT, Life Sciences

There is also the upcoming April 6th, 2011 11:30EST seminar with Mike Grandinetti (he’s also a TechStars mentor) focusing on “Lean and Mean Startups”.

April 6th: 11:30 EST (Upcoming Webinar – Soon)

  1. Lean and Mean Start-ups – Presented by: Mike Grandinetti, Managing Director, Southboro Capital, Boston.
  2. So you think you are ready? – 10 things you need to know before presentation day – A candid talk on presentations gone horribly wrong and how you avoid that – Presented by: Coby Schneider – Miller Thomson & Others.

These are great opportunities to learn about expanding into specific US markets. The DFAIT team brings key players to local markets and makes it easy to establish relationships that allow companies to grow. There are lots of opportunity to criticize some of the efforts, but the team at DFAIT have run this program for the past few years with varied success. It’s worth the time of startups actively looking to expand their customer base (this means that you’re beyond seed stage, you probably have customers, you have a product, you’re looking for a scalable business model) to explore how DFAIT can help.

The event is co-hosted by our sponsors and friends at KPMG are corporate partners helping DFAIT and startups. There are a lot of cross-border issues concerning corporate structure, financing, taxation and other where KPMG can leverage their experience to help early and growth stage companies.

Real Ventures closes

Real VenturesThis is great news for Canada, well at least Quebec until additional funds close. Real Ventures has launched today. With both JS Cournoyer and Mark MacLeod writing about the close of approximately $40MM of money that must be invested in Quebec. They are actively looking for seed investments in Quebec software, SaaS and Internet deals.

“We are seed investors in software startups based primarily in Quebec, though we will do deals in other markets. We like to be 1st money in and like to lead. We can do seed rounds in the six figures to get a product in market and can participate in series A follow ons for those companies that are hitting the gas pedal.” – Mark MacLeod

The great part about Real Ventures is the pedigree. The team is: John Stokes, JS Cournoyer, Mark MacLeod and Austin Hill. These are world class investors, entrepreneurs, executives and people who have had a hand in shaping policy, companies and entrepreneurs over the past few years.

“For those of you who don’t know, Montreal Startup is a $5M seed fund that was founded by John StokesDaniel DrouetAlan MacIntoshAustin Hill, and yours trulyMark MacLeod has since joined the team for Real Ventures. We invested in 15 web, mobile and software companies between February 2008 and March 2010, including Beyond The RackStatus.netWhatsnexxVanilla Forums,RecosetmConciergeOneeko and SocialGrapes. For the majority of our investments, we were the first money in, acting as the lead investor. We hold board seats in most companies.” – JS Cournoyer

Real Ventures is the real deal. Any entrepreneur in Quebec looking to raise a seed round should be talking to Real Ventures.

Congratulations guys, here’s to closing some money that can be deployed in Ontario.