Why AccelerateTO was impactful to Uberflip
As a fast growing technology company, we go to a lot of startup-oriented events - some closer to home than others. As an entrepreneur, these events offer an opportunity to network with other like-minded individuals, sometimes to pitch our business (Uberflip) and often to meet potential investors. At least that’s the intention. Often times I find these events offer little to no value at the end of the day.
What struck me about AccelerateTO was not only that it was well organized, located at a great venue, with great food and a kickass after-party, but more so the quality of individuals in attendance – both from the startup world and VC world.
Aside from Uberflip, there were 8 other companies pitching their product or service. All were exceptional in my opinion. This is the first time I’ve been to an event like this where I didn’t shake my head at any of the pitches. And not all had traction yet – some were brand new ideas, some quite established. It's a good sign that it wasn't just anyone thrown up on stage for the sake of filling up time.
Which made sense because the panel of “judges” who provided feedback was made up of representatives from top-tier Canadian and US based VC firms. I personally knew most of them through previous meetings in Toronto, Montreal and San Francisco, but had never seen them all in one room. How efficient!
Once the pitches came to a close, we had the pleasure of listening to a great presentation by Rahim Fazal on why entrepreneurs shouldn’t ignore the Enterprise - since Uberflip is an Enterprise focused platform, this was very topical for us, but also served as validation that we’re not crazy (phew).
The day then proceeded to round-table discussions where we all got the opportunity to contribute and listen to others on specific topics. For me personally, the highlight was an opportunity to learn more about Dan Martell (who I’m convinced has learned to clone himself because he seems to be everywhere). We learned about his experiences, and some of his values when it comes to running tech companies. He also offered some constructive criticism – in particular, when I mentioned our team size he reminded me that the size of your team can be translated to size of your burn rate. True for some, but FYI Dan - we’re cash-flow positive this year!
Finally, the event wrapped up with a drinks and appetizers at a swank rooftop in the heart of the city.
This was probably the most valuable part of the day. Here, I had the opportunity to meet people that wanted to learn from my experience, others that had incredible stories to share and of course a handful of VCs that wanted to catch up or learn more about Uberflip. When you bring such a high caliber of individuals together in a setting like that, magical things start to happen….
To sum it all up, I have to say I’m really impressed with the incredible value the C100 has brought to Canadian entrepreneurs, and the AccelerateTO event has so far been a shining star. If you have an opportunity, do your best to be a part of the next one. I’m sure I will.