Where’s Waldo?

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I’ve written about CIX Top 20 Follow @CIXCommunity in 2008200920102011 and 2012. To follow my pattern here is my post for 2013. Full disclosure: I sit on the Advisory Board for CIX. 

There are 3 core events in the Canadian startup calendar:

There are other happenings and gatherings ranging from NxNE to HPX Digital to Mesh to the C100 events. If you need a reminder about the state of the Toronto startup ecosystem, make sure you check out my now 14 month old but still relevant post, Don’t Panic.

Each of the above events is optimized for different audience needs. CIX brings the  viewpoint of Canadian investors (if you care). The advisory board is primarily venture capitalists (a few lawyers, a couple of CEOs and  one evangelist):

  • Roger Chabra, Rho Ventures
  • Boris Wertz, Version One Ventures
  • Mark MacLeod, Freshbooks (recovering VC)
  • Barry Gekiere, IAF
  • Joe Catalfamo, Summerhill VP
  • Justin LaFayette, Georgian Partners

The advisory board is 44 people big. And approximately 30 are doing some form of investment. It’s almost 70% are actively making investments in technology companies. There is very strong Canadian VC and investor representation in the group that advise and plan the conference content.

And it shows in the content, of the 67 scheduled speakers (as of Nov 14), 19 of the speakers are from the advisory board – that’s 28% of the content. (It’s even higher if you include partners and others from firms of advisory board members). If you want to know what Canadian VCs and investors are thinking, this is the best way to see what is important. They define this conference. They provide the content and the voices at the conference.

So why go?

CIX gives you insight in to the types of companies, IP and traction that Canadian investors are currently looking for. It is the barometer of the “high potential growth technology companies” in Canada. It will be interesting to see what everyone thinks are the hot companies and trends. The panels and policy discussions are the things that Canadian investors are grasping and struggling with. It will be interesting to hear the conversations.

You might argue that as an entrepreneur you don’t care about these conversations. They don’t help you grow your business, build your product, or acquire customers. But they do provide you insight into the mind set of the people you are trying to raise money from. That might be the thing that gives you an unfair advantage in understanding their decision making process this year.

I love that 2 of my personal investments Upverter and OpenCare made the Top 20. Full disclosure: My employer, OMERS Ventures, is an investor in 360 incentives. I’m also excited to check in on Breather, Bionym, AxonifyHubba and others. The CIX Top 20 has turned out some of the best companies in the past 5 years.

It is possible to make your luck at CIX (just remember the preferred method of connecting).

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Fireside Chat with Albert Wenger – Oct. 23rd

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 5.00.12 PMWe’re very excited to host Albert Wenger of Union Square Ventures on Wednesday October 23rd 2013 in Toronto, at the spanking new OneEleven Accelerator, from 5:30pm to 8:00pm.

William Mougayar, founder of Startup Management will interview Albert on stage, and there will be a Q&A period with the audience. We will talk Network Effects, the changing landscape in venture capital, advice to entrepreneurs, government and technology, privacy and security, raising money from U.S. VCs, and anything you’ll be asking him. This is a unique event, not to be missed by any one involved in a Tech Startup or ecosystem.

Albert Wenger is a partner at Union Square Ventures (USV), a New York-based early stage VC firm focused on investing in disruptive networks. USV portfolio companies include:TwitterTumblrFoursquareEtsyKickstarterWattpad,Kik and Shapeways
Before joining USV, Albert was the president of del.icio.us through the company’s sale to Yahoo. He previously founded or co-founded five companies, including a management consulting firm (in Germany), a hosted data analytics company, a technology subsidiary for Telebanc (now E*Tradebank), an early stage investment firm, and most recently (with his wife), DailyLit, a service for reading books by email or RSS. His wife is also the co-founder of Ziggeo.

Albert is on the Board of EdmodoShapewaysHeyzapTwillioFoursquareAMEECovestor10genWattpad,
FirebaseSift Science and Tumblr (prior to its sale to Yahoo). Albert graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College in economics and computer science, and holds a Ph.D. in Information Technology from MIT.

Location

OneEleven, 111 Richmond Street West, 5th Floor, Toronto. OneEleven is Toronto’s newest accelerator. It’s your chance to visit this brand new 15,000 square feet facility, dedicated to accelerate the commercialization of cutting edge research and development for the economic prosperity of the region.

Buy your ticket

This event is organized by Startup Management and hosted by OneEleven. It was made possible due to the generous Patronage of Wattpad, Sponsorship of OMERS Ventures, and Support of Ryerson Futures.

SUM Logo Horizontal                       Wattpad logo_200

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Startup Management is a knowledge resource for growing, scaling-up and managing startups.

Wattpad is the world’s largest community for reading and sharing stories.

OMERS Ventures invests in companies with significant growth potential and market opportunities, seeking partners with a shared vision of building a vibrant knowledge economy.

Ryerson Futures is an accelerator for early stage companies connected to the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University, and manages a seed fund.

OneEleven is a unique centre for commercialization that will create the talent and technologies that shape our future in ‘Big Data’.

Eventbrite - A Conversation with Albert Wenger, Union Square Ventures

Make stuff

Maker Faire

I’m really looking forward to Maker Faire Toronto. It is happening Saturday and Sunday, September 21-22, 2013 at the Wychwood Barns. This is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the Maker Movement. I’m excited to see the inventions, the creativity, the resourcefulness of people to solve problems, to inspire. To be proud of the things they’ve built.

“That is, no matter what the thing is you’re building, it’s deeply gratifying and incredibly educational to perform the act of creating something, anything.” — Christopher O’Brien

I am really excited about the opportunity to bring my kids. I’m excited to teach them about entrepreneurship. But even more importantly, I’m excited to provide them access to learn and to explore technology. My friends Tara Brown and Sean Bonner opened LA Makerspace focused on providing a kid-friendly space. My kids have asked me about building robots, making candy and taking apart their toys.  The eldest is now 6 years old, and her problem solving skills and attention are developing where this will be a transformational experience.

“We are making the tools for passion. When I look around, I don’t see any apathy here.” — Nolan Bushnell

Much of the DIY culture emerged out of the Homebrew Computer Club in Silicon Valley. And while not directly responsible for the success of many of the companies that emerged, it seeded a culture and the connections between folks that started Apple Computer, Osbourne Computer and others. This is the ground floor, the Mechatronics department at UWaterloo accepted their first class in 2003.  Bufferbox was started in 2011 and sold to Google in 2012. This is a very interesting space if you look at the emergence of other area startups like InteraXon, Thalmic LabsUpverterMatterform, Bionym and others. 

Bring your kids. These are very interesting times indeed.