All roads lead to Toronto

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Regardless of where we fall in arbitrary rankings, Toronto is an amazing city. And it seems that all roads lead to Toronto. With the amazing teams from both StartupFest and GrowConf arriving in the dead of winter.

StartupFest Elevator Tour

Check out the crazy awesome pitches and feedback from StartupFestival in Montreal.

Just look at it this way. Here is an amazing chance to get to hang out with entrepreneurs, founders, investors and other crazies in our ecosystem at the top of the CN Tower. Let me repeat that, at the top of the CN Tower. Before you do the math about how much fun this is going to be, just realize that a ticket to ride up the tower is $23.99 + HST. For essentially the price of the ride up, you get an event focused on entrepreneurs. I do some basic math, you add a drink and some h’orderves  and your at break even. Great chance to have some fun, make some meaningful connections, and potential generation press and relationships that pay off.

GrowTalks

GROWtalksGROWtalks is happening in Toronto and Montreal. I know that Clare, Debbie and team are bringing some amazing entrepreneurs to share and educate. Just like they for GROWtalks at GrowConf 2012 in Vancouer.

GROWtalks is a one day conference focused on how to create actionable metrics, and use them to make better product and marketing decisions for startup success. Industry experts share advice to startup teams on how to improve design, product and customer development, acquisition, retention, and more.

I hear that the list of speakers is set to include the likes of Brant Cooper, Dan Martell, Rand Fishkin and other amazing speakers. This is a great one day event at a reasonable price point, I’m hearing $199 for entrepreneurs, so get access to entrepreneurs and experiences.

 

We’ll have more on both of these events. Get your tickets early!

Lean Startup Day @ MaRSDD on Dec 3, 2012

Lean Startup Day Toronto - Dec 3

The team at MaRS and JoltCo are providing local access to The Lean Startup Conference Livestream. Sure they’ve been crazy enough to invite me to host the event and a panel, but that shouldn’t keep you from attending. This is a full day event, it starts early (because we’re EST) and continues late (because the conference is PST).

The event is divided into 2 streams:

  1. Stream 1 – Hands on stories, workshops and discussion with people in the local ecosystem
  2. Stream 2 – Livestream of the conference from California and the program looks outstanding with Matt Brezina, Danny Kim, Jocelyn Wyatt, Stephanie Hay as well as the usual luminaries (Eric Reis, Steve Blank, etc.)

Great opportunity to connect with other founders and entrepreneurs. Talk about what is working, what hasn’t worked, and what else you can try. The benefit of having a strong community like we do in Toronto, is that we can get together and share. The community is not an end in of itself, it is a means to an end. And while entrepreneurship can be lonely, there is an accessible community of other entrepreneurs, mentors and others that can help.

First, you need to put yourself in a path for these unexpectedly good things. Second, you have to be able to see these serendipitous events — you have to make the connections. And third, you have to be able to act them. The definition of luck is that you were willing to do something.” Lane Becker

Toronto, Vancouver, Waterloo, where is Montreal?

Startup Genome Ecosystem Ranking

The state of the Canadian cities in the StartupCompass Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 (Get the Report) is interesting. The Startup Ecosystem Report 2012 lists 3 Canadian cities:

  • Toronto # 8
  • Vancouver # 9
  • Waterloo # 16

It leaves Montreal out of the top 20, it might very well be # 21. But it is very hard to determine without the full report that is due out later in the year. I also find it very strange, given the strong Montreal supporters in the  “Local startup ecosystem supporters” listed in the document:

The data reminds me of other analyst driven research companies (think GartnerAltimeter, etc.). The methodology leaves it open to bias. But it is a great stick in the sand based on our own community survey responses.

“The index is based on data from more than 50,000 startups around the world who are using the Startup Genome’s Startup Compass, an automated analyst in the cloud that helps businesses make better decisions via benchmarks and actionable recommendations.”

It will be interesting to continue to read the report and lessons for Canadian entrepreneurs.