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Extreme Startups has announced the Demo Day for the first cohort of companies. We’ve written about Extreme Startups in the past, we’ve covered some of the cohort including Shoplocket, and we think a number of cohort qualifies as Hot Sh!t (Jeff Lawrence (LinkedIn, @datajeff) of Granify; Michael Curry (LinkedIn, @mikecurry) of Verelo and Andrew Louis (LinkedIn, @hyfen) of ShopLocket).
Companies presenting at Demo Day are:
Get a ticket or an invite
There are no shortage of events for startups in Toronto, ranging from the originator but currently offline DemoCamp to the reinvigorated SproutUpTO. But DemoDay is shaping up to be an exciting event, with a full house, I heard that there were over 400 confirmed attendees with a large number coming in from Montreal, New York, Boston and the Bay area.
The demos are happening on June 19, 2012 from 1-4pm. There is a post demo social happening starting at 8pm. StartupNorth is proud to be supporting both the demo event and the evening social.
On the trip home from a conference last year, it struck me how lonely it was. Yes I talked with people on the train. I had wifi and a phone but I didn’t have anyone who had shared the awesome conference experience I’d just been through, I wanted to keep it going. Returning to my city, I wanted to keep it the momentum rolling there as well.
I happened to have attended an amazing conference named BitNorth. In the case of the crap conferences, the travel back and forth is even more torturous. BitNorth is unique in that it really attempts to leverage what are typically considered the fringe elements of conferences.
All this left me wondering if we could make crappy conferences better and great conferences awesome by explicitly building up the fringes. We, at ThreeFortyNine, are taking our first shot at it this July. We’re cheating by starting with an amazing conference with The International Startup Festival in Montreal. We’re getting ourselves our own first class car on a Via train to travel to the conference and back from Toronto, Guelph, or Kitchener-Waterloo. We’re filling the car with founders, funders and startup junkies. For us this experience starts when we hop on the train and it doesn’t end when the conference ends. It won’t even end when we get off the train since you’ll be returning to your city with a group of friends who’ve shared this experience with you. We’ll conspire, plan, meet and keep the momentum going.
In the case of the best roadtrips of my youth, I can hardly recall what our destination was. It’s the getting there I remember. It’s the getting there that was the starting point of something bigger.
Join us this July as we bring the Ontario startup scene to Montreal and give them a peek at who we are and what we’re building. Clearly we have limited seats on our train car so when we sell out, we’re sold out for realz.
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Wattpad announced today a $17.3MM raise from Khosla Ventures, Golden Venture Partners, Union Square Ventures and Jerry Yang. This is huge.
“It has been recognized as highly significant due to having two top-tier US funds investing at this level in a Canadian-based consumer internet company.”
We are seeing Canadian entrepreneurs build companies and demonstrate global traction. The changes to foreign investment related to Section 116 changes in the Tax Act, have allowed Canadian companies to go big and stay home. The changes to Section 116, coupled with the desire of Canadian entrepreneurs to go big and stay home. Evidenced by Wattpad’s big raise, Wave Accounting’s $12MM series B from Social+Capital, Hootsuite’s $20MM round from OMERS (sure they’re not foreign capital but its a big round), Shopify’s $22MM ($7M series A + $15M series B from Bessemer), Beyond The Rack’s $36MM raise, Fixmo’s $23.4MM Series C from KPCB, Achievers’ $24.5MM Series C from Sequoia, and others. There are startups and there is capital. It’s possible to build a growth company in Canada and raise foreign capital. The game has changed for Canadian VCs, geography limitations can help these funds identify early but it potentially will relegate many to second tier status if they can not enable their startups beyond their geographies.
The great thing in talking with many of these entrepreneurs is that they want to build successful companies in Canada. Allen Lau, CEO of Wattpad, mentioned that his desire was to grow a large successful company in Toronto. He is not looking to move the company. The same is true of my conversations with Kirk Simpson at Wave Accounting, Tobi at Shopify, Mike at Freshbooks, etc. There are a lot of reasons to want to be way from the tensions and pulls the exist in the Bay Area. Canadian startups have access to great talent. While there is some pull between the different startups, many of these companies aren’t competing with each other for employees or mindshare. Just check out Shopify’s recruiting video and tell me why you wouldn’t choose to work for Harley and Tobi instead of a financial institution or a government organization.
It’s a great time to be an entrepreneur in Canada. It’s a great time to work for a startup. You should check out the opportunities on the StartupNorth job board.