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.

Growing successful companies


I am sick of hearing there is no money for #startups in Canada. BULLSHIT! It might be there is no money for YOUR startup in Canada.
@davidcrow
David Crow

Mark Evans (LinkedIn) wrote a blog post about my tweet. The blog post captures much of my sentiment and frustration around entrepreneurs. I commented about entrepreneurs learning about how to build a successful, high growth emerging technology companies. And there are lots of ways to learn what is considered a successful company. And a great way to learn is to learn from others that have been in the trenches. Debbie Landa (LinkedIn) and her team at Dealmaker Media have done most of the hard work for you.

GROWtalks

They have brought together a great event. Attending the event won’t bring you investment. It won’t make you a successful company. But it might increase the odds. They are bringing together an amazing set of entrepreneurs. And they are bringing them to Toronto and Montreal to share their experiences, stories about what worked and didn’t work for their companies.

Local Events Matter

You can and should get your ass on plane and head to New York City and San Francisco to attend events. But you don’t always have to. There are advantages to attending these events locally.

  1. Local connections can help you see The First Rule of Real Estate - you can find and connect with local talent. Whether that is for funding, moral support, hiring, etc. There will be people you do not know yet. Easy way to find them out.
  2. Travel costs are less for regional travel. If you live in Ottawa or Montreal or Halifax, you can make it to Toronto or Montreal by plane, train or automobile for a lot less than travelling elsewhere.
  3. Travel time is lessened. You can spend a day.

This all assumes that the event is providing amazing content that you would travel to consume.

World Class Content

The content that Debbie and team have assembled is unbelievable. If you don’t know who these people are, my advice is take a little bit of time and use the GOOG. These are entrepreneurs that have seen the ups and downs, the ins and outs of successful businesses.

Every single person is worthy of a keynote presentation at a larger conference. This is not a vanity presentation. They are on stage sharing information about their specific expertises in building successful businesses. It’s not Mark Organ talking about random things, which is fun, but Mark Organ talking about leveraging disruptive technology in fund raising. Holy crap! You want to learn how Mark used AngelList, LinkedIn and other tools to raise 2 of the most impressive rounds of capital in Canada…quickly.

Every single person speaking, every one, will be providing expertise about what they did to build a successful company.  Here is the list of presenters in Toronto:

You want more details, check out my first post. Do your homework. But this is an amazing opportunity.  The lineup is different in Montreal. It includes 2 of my close friends, but they are 2 of the best people in helping startups become successful. Mark MacLeod and Alistair Croll . Unbelievably kind and intelligent people, who beyond that know WTF it is startups need to do to become successful. They like the others are the best of the best.

Our Commitment to Successful Companies

There are initiatives like Startup Visa Canada and the Upside Foundation that we strongly support. And we’re committed to helping provide education to entrepreneurs to help them to build successful companies.

We’ve committed to provide a limited number of $100 discounts. I am not going to tell you how many. If you are building a successful startup, and you want to hear the tactics and advice of other entrepreneurs that have been massively successful in building their startups, sign up now and save $100 before the discount expires.

  • GrowTalks Montreal – February 19, 2013Register use promo code: startupnorth
  • GrowTalks Toronto – February 21, 2013Register use promo code: startupnorth

 

GROWtalks in Toronto Feb 21

GROWtalks

Debbie Landa, Clare Ryan and the Dealmaker Media team are part of the reason that I love GROWConf and GROWtalks. They put on amazing events by putting entrepreneurs first, foremost, and front and centre. They are bringing GROWtalks to Toronto (Feb 21) and Montreal (Feb 19). And we have a discount code at the end of the post.

“A hands-on playbook for creating startup success”

I like learning by example. It’s a mixture of seeing what worked for someone else, and then trying the appropriate tactics customized for my situation. The challenge is trying to do with more efficiently than 9 or 10 coffee meetings. GROWtalks brings together the best entrepreneurs, who are killing it, and has them present what is working for them. THis is what GROWtalks is, an event for entrepreneurs with entrepreneurs sharing their strategy, tactics, metrics and successes, even the failures. (Full disclosure: I am MCing the GROWtalks event, however, I am not being compensated for this, but I do get the opportunity to participate and learn).

Check out photos from the 2012 GROWtalks event in Vancouver:

It’s rare we get this many awesome startup founders all talking about the hard part of their business. I know that all of these folks will be around throughout the day, they’ll be hanging out, answering questions. It’s going to be a fantastic day. Check out the line up:

I might be biased. My employer is an investor in some of the presenters. My cofounder is one of the presenters. But I’m honestly stoked about the speakers. I’m really looking forward to hearing Beltzner, Rutter, Fitton and Morrill. The mix of product, early customer acquisition and understanding lifetime value are converations I have with almost every founder. I’m very curious to hear the opinons, experiences and thoughts of this group.

Part of my MCing was to request StartupNorth logo tattoos for all the speakers (we’ll see if that happens), and a discount code. Register before Februrary 1, 2013 and get 10% off (use promotional code: startupnorth). It reduces the ticket price from $195 to $175.50.

GROWtalks Toronto

February 21, 2013, 10am-4pm

Size: 200-300 people
Speakers: 9 Industry leaders
Time: 10am-4pm
Website: www.growtalks.com
Toronto: http://www.growtalks.com/events/toronto/

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

Topics Covered:

  • Customer Development
  • UX/UI Design
  • Growth Hacking
  • Customer Retention
  • Fundraising
  • Customer Engagement
  • Product Development