We Should Be Building Empires

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Last chance to get your tickets to this incredible event!

We don’t build a lot of empires around here.

Empires are big, they grow fast, and they use momentum to determine where to apply resources. Empires don’t respond, they set the new rules.

Carnegie. Rockefeller. Gates. Zuckerberg.

Lutke. McDerment. Baker.

We’ve had empires come and go, but we haven’t built the sort that stick around for 100 or 1,000 years.

We need to startup building empires.

In 2008 we held a conference in Toronto. Some of you might remember it. We were going to call it something like StartupNation, StartupConf or something else,. but we decided to call it StartupEmpire. Why?

We thought it was important to put a stake in the ground about the kinds of companies Toronto startups needed to think about building: Bigger, badder and more resilient.

Next week we are re-doing it. StartupEmpire is taking place in Halifax this time, a startup community that is in much the state that Toronto’s was 5+ years ago. It’s time to focus our gaze out in to the world and to say ‘”I’m coming for you.”

You can hear from some of the most ambitious and experienced entrepreneurs in Canada right now including April Dunford, John Baker, Dan Martell, Bala Kamallakharan and a lot more.

Get your tickets now, there are only about a dozen left!

Ontario Startups…On A Train

[Editor's note: This is a guest post by Brydon Gilliss. Brydon has held a number of roles but most recently he is the driving force behind lots of awesome in Guelph including a coworking space, ThreeFortyNine; a personal accelerator, Startupify.me; events, DemoCampGuelph; and a startup, 20Skaters.] 

Have you ever wished for just another minute or two for that elevator pitch you delivered? What if, instead of an elevator ride, you were locked on a train with that investor?

Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide!

For the third year running, the Ontario Startup Train is back on July 9th. We will have several private, chartered cars on a VIA train with first class service and our own bar car where we’ll host our on-train events. We pack the train with startups, investors, and various players in our startup community and travel together to attend The International Startup Festival in Montreal.

The concentration of the opportunities and discussions on the train blew me away. By the time we got to Montreal, referrals were flying.” Lloyd Longfield

Tickets include first class travel to Montreal from Toronto, our on-train activities, full conference access, and time in our Ontario Startup Tent at the festival to showcase your startup. If you already have your festival ticket, we do have train-only tickets.

Get your ticket now before the train sells out, again.

Hardware Workshop: May 2-3

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Step 1. Start a hardware company.
Step 2. ?
Step 3. Profit.

If it were only that easy. You can ask  PebbleInteraXonThalmic, Bionym, PUSH Strength, Kiwi WearablesClearPath Robotics among others about the challenges of designing, testing, manufacturing and distributing a hardware-based company. There are a lot of subtle , unexpected complexity in moving from bits to atoms. And one of the best ways to learn about complexity is from operators made mistakes and found a way to do it.

There is a Toronto based event happening called the Hardware Workshop happening May 2-3, 2014. The event is hosted by Marc Barros (Moment) and organized locally by Katherine Hague (Shoplocket) and Zak Homuth (Upverter). It features an amazing set of people with real world experience in all aspects of building hardware-based businesses, including:

It looks like a great workshop at an amazing price. Looks like the workshop costs are covering the out-of-pocket expense of the organizers for food to allow participants to focus on the content and learning opportunity. (Seriously, do the math $75 * 75 = $5,625 barely covers the catering costs).

“What makes this workshop unique is the quality of the content, the deep operational experience of the teachers, and the long term connections you will make. Hand curated, each teacher covers a unique topic that falls within the startup’s life cycle from an idea to reaching market fit.”

If you’re interested in learning about building a hardware startup and about the mistakes that others have made (so you can avoid them). This should be a fun 2 days. Apply to attend.

[Disclosure: I am an investor in Upverter. ]