C100 Selects December 48Hrs in the Valley Cohort

SAN FRANCISCO, October 26, 2016

After weeks of evaluating nearly 200 early-stage startup nominations from its Partners and Ambassadors, C100 has carefully selected 22 companies for the next 48Hrs in the Valley cohort in December in San Francisco.

This is C100’s most diverse cohort yet, representing industries from AI and healthcare, to EdTech and FinTech. These companies enable virtual e-visits by healthcare providers, allow brands to distribute samples to digitally-targeted consumers, and empower students to communicate with tutors 24/7. They help companies eliminate hiring mistakes, automate bookkeeping, manage employee payroll, secure valuable assets, and more. Collectively, these startups have already raised over USD $55 million (USD) in private funding to date and many are actively raising again, hoping that C100’s network will help increase participation in their upcoming round.

“This cohort is yet another indication of the increasing quality of the Canadian startup ecosystem,” said Terry Doyle, C100 Co-Chair. “As such, we believe that it will be able to take advantage of the substantial value of the C100 network.”

After a lengthy deliberation, the Selection Committee, comprised of investors, 48Hrs Alumni and C100 staff, welcomes the following 22 startups to join us for the next 48Hrs in the Valley:

Aimsio

AlayaCare

Blue J Legal

ChallengeU

Dozr

Eigen Innovations

FlashStock

Foursixty

GradeSlam

Hubdoc

Ideal.com

Instant Financial

Jiffy

Mavencare

MindBridge Analytics Inc.

Nudge Rewards

Pressboard

Sampler

Solink

Sweet Tooth

tealbook

Zighra

48Hrs in the Valley is C100’s signature program for mentoring, connecting and inspiring Canada’s most promising startup entrepreneurs. The program will take place on December 5th - 7th in San Francisco and will continue to reflect this year’s theme, “Capital Matters: Human. Financial. Social.” Guest speakers will focus on the three main principles that founders are encouraged to understand in relation to raising, growing and leveraging different forms of capital in order to succeed on the global stage. Many of C100’s Charter Members actively participate in the program, providing thought leadership, mentorship and for a select few, direct investment.

A recap of the Summer 2016 cohort can be found here. To learn more about the 48Hrs in the Valley Program, visit our program page. For the full list of 48Hrs Alumni companies, visit the alumni page.  

C100 would like to thank their volunteer Charter Members and Ambassadors who kindly nominated companies alongside C100 Partners. A special “thank you” goes to Premier Partners: RBC, BDC, D+H, KPMG, Manulife and CIBC.

About C100

C100 is a volunteer, non profit association of highly successful Canadians based in the Bay Area. These investors, senior corporate leaders and successful entrepreneurs form a dynamic group of patriots dedicated to giving back to the community and fostering the next generation of successful Canadian entrepreneurs and innovative companies. They do so through programs, such as CEO Summit and 48Hrs in the Valley, and consultation with corporate leaders and federal ministers to provide key insights so Canadians can build world class companies where we need them: in Canada. We bring “The Best of Silicon Valley to Accelerate Canada’s Innovation Economy”.

Media Contact:

Andee Gardiner

Marketing Manager, C100

AGardiner@thec100.org

 

 

Venture North draws top North American investors to Toronto during TIFF

TORONTO, September 14, 2016 – As celebrity-scouters flock the red carpet, top American venture capitalists will descend on the Toronto-Waterloo Region corridor today to scout promising Canadian technology at the Venture North conference.

Over two days, local startups founders will look to steal the spotlight, vying for face time with investors who have come up from Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston to experience Toronto during TIFF and meet local entrepreneurs.

In its second year, the region’s largest innovation hubs, MaRSCommunitechOneEleven and C100 have joined forces to organize the conference.

“This event has been so successful because it not only offers Canadian founders a rare audience with North America’s top investors, but it also allows those investors to interact with the robust support network that’s propelling our tech sector forward,” says Salim Teja, EVP of Ventures at MaRS Discovery District.

Working in fields ranging from digital health and fintech to cybersecurity, quantum computing and artificial intelligence, an impressive group of Canadian ventures will showcase their technologies to investors from over 20 firms, including Silicon Valley Bank, Venrock and Mithril Capital Management. These ventures include BioConnect, Borrowell, Figure 1, Hubba, Medella Health, Nudge Software, RateHub, Ritual and Wealthsimple, among many others.

“This is an opportunity for Ontario to showcase its cutting-edge technology startups to some of the world’s most active investors. The demand for access and the caliber of funds attending affirms that the Canadian tech ecosystem is creating a strong pull with investors from around the world,” says Bilal Khan, Managing Director of OneEleven.

Ontario Minister of Economic Development and Growth Brad Duguid and Ontario Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Albanese will make special appearances at the conference.

“Venture North showcases the depth and breadth of Ontario’s entrepreneurial ecosystem,” says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “Creating this cross-border networking opportunity is helping to connect Ontario’s innovative technology start-ups and ventures with leading global investors.”

As well this year, Venture North will also host a joint reception with NewCo Toronto which will include remarks by Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, City of Toronto Mayor John Tory, and John Battelle, Co-founder and CEO of NewCo.

This year’s Venture North sponsors include BDC Capital, Donaldson and James, Globalive Capital, Ideaboost, CFC, iGan Partners, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, OMERS Ventures, Real Ventures, Ryerson Futures, TMX and the Province of Ontario.

The full event itinerary can be found here.

About MaRS Discovery District

MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS supports promising young ventures that are tackling key challenges in the health, cleantech, finance and commerce, as well as work and learning sectors. In addition to helping startups launch, grow and scale, the MaRS community is dedicated to cross-disciplinary collaboration, commercialization of discoveries and driving ideas to impact.

About OneEleven

OneEleven is a post-seed technology accelerator. It is focused on helping Canada’s most promising, high-growth startups to commercialize their technologies and scale their operations. Its mission is to enable Canada’s best startups to relentlessly focus on value creation and business growth.

About Communitech

Communitech is a private-public innovation centre in Waterloo Region that supports a community ecosystem of more than 1,000 tech companies—from startups to rapidly growing mid-size companies and large global players. A member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, which is funded by the Ontario Government, Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed.

About C100

C100 is a volunteer, non profit association of highly successful Canadians based in the Bay Area. These investors, senior corporate leaders and successful entrepreneurs form a dynamic group of patriots dedicated to giving back to the community and fostering the next generation of successful Canadian entrepreneurs and innovative companies. They do so through programs, such as CEO Summit and 48Hrs in the Valley, and consultation with corporate leaders and federal ministers to provide key insights so Canadians can build world class companies where we need them: in Canada. We bring “The Best of Silicon Valley to Accelerate Canada’s Innovation Economy”.

Press Release Dated September 14th, 2016 via MaRS: https://www.marsdd.com/media-centre/venture-north-draws-top-north-american-investors-to-toronto-during-tiff/

C100 Announces 17 Startups Selected for the Next 48Hrs in the Valley

May 9, 2016, SAN FRANCISCO - 2016 looks to be the year of the Canadian startup ecosystem. According to Bloomberg, Q1 has set the record for Venture Capital raised nationwide, with over C$900 Million invested so far. With the new administration now firmly in place (not to mention two C100 Charter Members on Trudeau’s Advisory Council on Economic Growth), innovation and startup acceleration have become popular topics from the dinner table to the board room nationwide.

48Hrs in the Valley is C100’s signature program for mentoring, connecting and inspiring Canada’s most promising startup entrepreneurs. This year’s theme, “Capital Matters: Human. Financial. Social.” will focus on the three main principles founders are encouraged to understand in relation to raising, growing and leveraging different forms of capital in order to succeed on the global stage. Many of C100’s Charter Members actively participate in the program, providing thought leadership, mentorship and for a select few, direct investment.

“Our goal with the 48Hrs program is to help startups from across Canada understand just how high the bar is, in order to succeed in a competitive market like Silicon Valley,” said Terry Doyle, Co Chair of the C100. “We hope that we provide each 48Hrs cohort with the skills and connections to return to Canada and build world class companies.”

This year, C100 created its Ambassador Program in an effort to leverage Canadian connections with close ties to startup communities across the country. These individuals have referred the most promising companies from each major metropolitan region in addition to nominations from sponsors and partners. The 48Hrs selection committee, made up of a mix of investors and executives in operating roles at technology companies, met over the course of 6 weeks, to review each of the applicants for the program. Applicants came from industries ranging from gaming and VR to farming and “food tech”, addressing a wide variety of markets.  

This increased reach, along with clear criteria to be considered to participate in the program, has resulted in an exceptional group of companies. The C100 is pleased to announce the following companies as the 48Hrs in the Valley 2016 Summer cohort:

Bioconnect (Toronto)

Cloud Diagnostics (Kitchener)

Control (Vancouver)

Datacratic (Montreal)

EZ-Robot (Calgary)

Flybits (Toronto)

Flytographer (Victoria)

Grow (Vancouver)

Karoleena (Okanagan Falls)

Matter and Form (Toronto)

Nudge (Toronto)

PageCloud (Ottawa)

Referral SaaSquatch (Victoria)

RentMoola (Vancouver)

Rumble (Toronto)

SportlogiQ (Montreal)

StackAdapt (Toronto)

Collectively, these companies have raised over C$75 million in private funding to date and employ an average of 20 employees per company.

C100 is generously supported by our partners, including our premier partners: BDC Capital, CIBC, D+H, KPMG, Manulife, and RBC. Thank you to the sponsors who participated in the nomination process, our incredible selection committee and our hosts in San Francisco: Bloomberg Tech and 500 Startups.

About C100: C100 is a non-profit, member driven organization built by successful Canadian investors, entrepreneurs and executives who live in or are connected to Silicon Valley. These individuals offer Canadian founders access to the venture capital, mentorship and knowledge necessary for growth at a global scale. Headquartered withinCanada House in downtown San Francisco, C100 is a home away from home for hundreds of Charter Members and alumni from various programs including 48Hrs in the ValleyCEO Summit and more.

Media Contact:

Andee Gardiner

Marketing Manager, C100

AGardiner@thec100.org

 

C100 OPENS NOMINATIONS FOR 48HRS IN THE VALLEY SUMMER COHORT

“The 48Hrs in the Valley event can be a defining moment for your company...This exposure continued the momentum that helped us land our $13M Series A.”- Casper Wong, 48Hrs alum and COO & Co-Founder of Financeit

March 28, 2016 – San Francisco, CA – Twice a year, C100 brings up to 20 promising Canadian companies to Silicon Valley for 48 hours of mentorship, networking opportunities, speaking engagements and investor meetings. “48Hrs in the Valley” has been a signature C100 program with over 200 alumni companies since 2010. These startups have collectively raised over $3.3 Billion USD in funding to date.

This year’s theme, “Capital Matters: Human. Financial. Social.”, is centered around the premise that founders from outside the Valley often find a steep learning curve in relation to the different types of capital required to scale at each stage of their company’s growth. The human capital track will focus on the importance of acquiring and retaining quality talent, the differences between doing so in Canada and in the Valley, and the challenges founders face in the process. The second track, financial capital, will highlight the specific ways that founders can expect to engage with investors when raising capital, Silicon Valley’s high standards, how they compare to different markets, and how to approach US VCs. Lastly, the Valley trades on “social capital”. Founders will learn what the term means, how to leverage it, introduction etiquette, and the advantages of building a robust network in the Valley.

“The 48Hrs in the Valley program has allowed C100 to connect high potential Canadian founders to the ecosystem in the Valley, introducing them to potential investors, and showing them the best practices that create world-class companies,” said Terry Doyle, Co-Chair of C100. “Through an open nomination process, in partnership with our sponsors and new C100 Ambassadors, we believe the program selection criteria will allow us to identify and help the next wave of successful Canadian entrepreneurs.”

To qualify for 48Hrs in the Valley, companies must pass what C100 refers to as the “Silicon Valley Bar”: they should have at least $1M in Seed funding or annual revenue to date, exhibit significant growth potential (~10% monthly growth in revenue or users), and have demonstrated market traction. Additionally, the C100 48Hrs Selection Committee looks for an exceptional founding team with at least one Canadian co-founder that can clearly benefit from getting better connected to Silicon Valley. Finally, all applicants must be nominated by a C100 Partner, Ambassador, Charter Member or 48Hrs Alumni. Nominations are now open and will be closing on April 15th. On May 9th, C100 will announce the selected companies who will visit San Francisco on June 22nd and 23rd, 2016.

About C100: C100 is a non-profit, member driven organization built by successful Canadian investors, entrepreneurs and executives who live in or are connected to Silicon Valley. These individuals offer Canadian founders access to the venture capital, mentorship and knowledge necessary for growth at a global scale. Headquartered within Canada House in downtown San Francisco, C100 is a home away from home for hundreds of Charter Members and alumni from various programs including 48Hrs in the Valley, CEO Summit and more.

 

Media Contact:

Andee Gardiner

Marketing Manager, C100

AGardiner@thec100.org

 

 

C100 Launches Ambassador Program in Canada

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- Nestled in Silicon Valley, C100 and it’s extended network of founders, Charter Members and community members, have access to the most promising Canadian entrepreneurs and leaders. In an effort to broaden its reach and provide more support in Canada, C100 has launched The Ambassador Program. The program is comprised of well-connected ambassadors residing in major Canadian cities who will effectively identify and engage the most promising startups in their respective regions.

 

“C100 has historically done an excellent job of selecting quality startups for their annual programs” said Harley Finkelstein, C100 Board Member and COO of Shopify. “However, being headquartered in San Francisco, we have relied on our partners to recommend companies. We’re excited to launch the Ambassador Program as an opportunity to activate C100 members in Canada, who can effectively analyze and refer the most impressive companies within their regions.”

 

During their 24-month term, ambassadors have agreed to be the eyes and ears of the C100 community across Canada and to offer founders mentorship and advice while granting them exclusive access to the extended C100 network. C100 has asked them to recommend and recruit the most promising startups for C100 programs such as 48Hrs in the Valley and CEO Summit. Further, they are dedicated to supporting local C100 events in their city in order to introduce and elevate the C100 brand in their community.  

 

Ambassadors:

 

Stephen Lake, Waterloo, ON: Co-Founder, CEO. A natural-born engineer, Stephen focused on hardware during his time at the University of Waterloo where he studied as a Loran Scholar, and on robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). He and his co-founders were named EY Ontario’s Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Young Entrepreneur category in 2015.

 

Dan Debow, Toronto, ON: Daniel Debow is an entrepreneur and angel investor. Most recently, he was SVP, Emerging Technologies at Salesforce where he was responsible for launching new wearable solutions. Previously, Daniel was the co-founder and co-CEO of Rypple, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2011 and rebranded as Work.com, a sales performance management platform. Prior to Rypple, Daniel was on the founding team of Workbrain, a workforce management software company. Daniel led Workbrain’s sale to Infor in 2007. Daniel has made over 40 angel investments and in 2015 was recognized as Canada's "Angel Investor of the Year". Currently, Daniel is the CEO of an early stage mobile software startup.  

Daniel holds a JD/MBA (Gold Medalist) from the University of Toronto and an LLM in Law, Science and Technology from Stanford University.  He is an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, Founding Partner of the Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management and serves on the advisory boards of Thalmic Labs, the Rotman School, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, OMERS Ventures and ScaleUp Ventures.  Daniel's views on technology have been featured in media such as Boomberg, the CBC, the Toronto Star, and Forbes. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.

 

Matt Switzer, Vancouver, BC: Matt has spent his career starting & growing companies as a technology investor, advisor and executive. Matt is currently Senior Vice President, Labs, Corporate & Business Development at Hootsuite, where he is responsible for new product innovation, partnerships, financings and strategic acquisitions. Hootsuite has grown to 800 people, raised $250 million, acquired 8 companies and built and launched 4 new products. Before Hootsuite, Matt worked in Venture Capital, advising & investing in early stage startups with a focus on technology and telecommunications. Matt got his start as an early employee at Workbrain, an enterprise software startup, which grew to 700 employees and went public in 2003. Matt went on to do Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch, working on more than $5 billion worth of acquisitions. Matt has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He currently sits on the board of the BC Technology Industry Association. Matt has lived and worked in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, and London and currently resides with his wife and two daughters in Vancouver.

 

Aydin Mirzaee, Ottawa, ON: Aydin Mirzaee co-founded Fluidware in 2008 which was responsible for running two very successful SaaS businesses: http://FluidSurveys.com & http://FluidReview.com. The company was bootstrapped and grew to $10M+ in sales and over 90 people in staff. After 6.5 years, Fluidware was acquired by SurveyMonkey (the world's leading online survey company). Aydin currently serves as General Manager of FluidReview within SurveyMonkey.

Aydin is also the co-founder of http://FreshFounders.com, a non-profit organization with the vision to create a community of young entrepreneurs in every city around the world.

 

Jevon MacDonald, Eastern Canada: Ex-Co-Founder & CEO, GoInstant Inc., Co-founder, StartupIndex.ca

Jevon was the General Manager of Salesforce.com and Co-Founder and CEO of GoInstant Inc., which was acquired by Salesforce.com. He’s the driving force behind Volta Labs, a not-for-profit startup house in Halifax, Nova Scotia which provides world-class mentorship, education, support and services to startups. He is also the Co-founder of StartupIndex.ca, founder and business developer of several software and services companies, and Co-founder of Startupnorth.ca Jevon has been involved in multiple start-ups at various stages of growth and is an active angel investor. Jevon has spent the last decade building high technology businesses as an entrepreneur and in senior roles at Dachis Corporation, Inc., the Renewal Consulting Group, and Argenus, Inc."

 

Dax Dasilva, Montreal, QC: Dax Dasilva is the creative mind behind Lightspeed's suite of retail, hospitality and eCommerce tools. Seeing the technological evolution of how people live and work, and the void in the market for cloud-based business platforms, he was ahead of the curve when he launched Lightspeed in 2005.

 

Under Dax's leadership, Lightspeed provides industry-leading omnichannel commerce tools that enable more than 36,000 small and medium businesses worldwide to thrive. His vision of blending the best of the digital and physical worlds continues to guide the company today.

 

In 2015, Dax also founded Never Apart, a non-profit organization that brings about social change and spiritual awareness through cultural programming.

 

About C100: C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. Since the inception of their signature program, 48Hrs in the

Valley, alums have collectively raised over $3.3B in funding to date.

C100 is comprised of a select group of Canadians based primarily in Silicon Valley, including executives of leading technology companies, experienced startup entrepreneurs and venture capital investors. C100 members are passionate about leveraging their collective experience, expertise and relationships to help mentor and grow a new generation of successful Canadian-led technology companies.

C100 Charter Members include startups CEOs, top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital.

 

Media Relations:

Andee Gardiner

Marketing Manager, C100

843-670-6854

agardiner@thec100.org

Q&Eh with Patrick Lor

     Today I had the pleasure of sitting down for a discussion with C100 Charter Member and Co-Founder of Dissolve, Patrick Lor. I originally met Patrick during our CEO Summit in October but never had the opportunity to learn about him during the event. So, I asked him to take a few minutes for a short discussion to kick off our new “Q&Eh” blog series. He happily agreed. 

As a resident of Calgary and a frequent visitor to Silicon Valley, Patrick has a great sense of the dramatic differences between the Valley and Canada. Naturally, our conversation began and circulated around three main topics that are frequently discussed within the C100 community:

1. Valley vs. Canada: The Attitude of Being a Canadian-Based Operation

2. Social Capital: How to Make an Impression

3. How to Raise Funding

 

The Attitude of Being a Canadian-Based Operation

Increasingly becoming a topic of interest is the idea that companies can build their Sales, Business Development and Corporate Development teams here in the U.S. while keeping engineering/development teams in Canada. Patrick urges companies to consider and potentially adopt this model, which we're seeing more and more of today. 

With regard to his advice for younger entrepreneurs, Patrick said, "When you go to the Valley, make sure you’re hustling on the marketing, BD and Sales fronts." Many young entrepreneurs that we meet at our monthly Valley 101 events truly believe that they have to build in Silicon Valley in order to be successful. Patrick believes this isn't true. "Trying to do marketing in Saskatoon can only take you so far," he added. Not to mention, it's expensive to find talent there. "Try to leverage the strengths in each the of geographies you operate in," he said. 

 

C100 encourages our 48Hrs in the Valley founders and extended network to visit Silicon Valley early and often. 

Here are a few notable methodologies to maximize the efficiency of your trip: 

·       Do your due diligence: Plan your meetings prior to leaving.

·       Remember that "Silicon Valley" and San Francisco are far from one another. Meetings at Apple in Sunnyvale will take a half-day, especially with traffic. 

·       Public transportation is not reliable. Uber and Lyft are excellent alternatives to trying to rent a car while visiting. 

·       For more details and tips for planning your trip, read 100 Hours in San Francisco.

 

Social Capital: How to Make an Impression

Silicon Valley trades on Social Capital. Understanding how to effectively leverage and make the most of the network you have as well as the one you're tapping into will be instrumental to your success in and outside of the Valley. 

When asked for a few pointers for visiting early-stage founders, Patrick said, "Come up with at least 5 people you want to meet, and ask your friends to help with introductions. When you ask for that help, send along killer pitch materials, so your friends can write you a strong recommendation.”

Our goal at C100 is to truly help the entrepreneur maximize their experience here and support them when they return home. It's important to understand the need for founders to explain the “why” when asking for introductions. 

 

Here are a few pointers in making a positive impression:

·       Explain who you are, what you're doing, why you're reaching out and why that person should be interested in meeting with or speaking to you. 

·       Do. Your. Research. If you're looking for an introduction to an investor for your fintech startup and this person exclusively invests in consumer technologies, not only will you lose the introduction, you'll lose credibility.

·       Understand the desire for others to talk about themselves. Appeal to this by continuing to do your research and developing an honest, genuine desire to learn more about them. Aim to hear their story before sharing your own. 

o   Read How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie if you haven't already. Or, read it again if you have. 

·       Ask the right questions. Learn from experienced founders. Patrick added, "Take advice and learn from the pain I experienced when I was a young entrepreneur." 

·       People here are willing to help. But, you have to be willing to give before you get. 

 

How to Raise Funding

Perhaps the most common of all topics discussed during our events is the ins and outs of raising funding and the differences between doing so here and abroad. 

On this topic, Patrick emphasizes the need for founders to understand that it takes time and patience to perfect the art of raising. "You don’t want your first hockey game to be in the NHL," he said. "Take some time and sharpen your game. Practice." In terms of it being a numbers game, it's important to remember that there's a very small ratio of startups getting funded. Anonymous Charter Member at a top 5 VC firm confided in me recently on this topic, stating that he held calls with or met over 2100 startups last year... resulting in 4 investments. Some firms are more publicly notorious for investing in one company per quarter.

 

Patrick advises founders to start with smaller investors that are experts in your sector, stating, "part of [raising capital] is social proof. The result is always better when there's credibility at the end of the intro." 

While raising capital in Silicon Valley is far from a science, just as investing is an art, there are a few pieces of advice that may prove helpful in the process. Here are a couple of them: 

·       Stop focusing on Celebrity VCs. Smart money doesn't have to come from Marc himself, NEA, or some other notorious acronym.

·       That being said, while many will say that "money is money", looks can be deceiving and every dime is different. Find investors who believe in you and what you're doing. 

·       Read the fine print. If the firm you're talking to is making unreasonable requests, walk away. $100K isn't worth it. $100M may be. 

·       Make sure your cap tables are clean. Document everything. A messy cap table will destroy a term sheet. 

·       Go with your gut. If it feels right, it's likely that everything will work out. If it feels sickening, say goodbye. 

 

 

In an effort to continue supporting Canadian entrepreneurs, C100 encourages you to participate in our series by providing feedback, suggesting topics or tweeting at us using the hashtag: #C100OpenBar and @thec100.

 

A huge thank you to Patrick Lor for joining us, the rest of our Charter Member network and Partners who support our mission, and to the entrepreneurs continuing to making us proud to support Canadian entrepreneurship.

 

If you’re interested in having a drink with us and contributing to the series, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  

 

- Andee Gardiner, Marketing Manager

BDC Capital launches IT Venture Fund II, a $150 million venture capital fund to help build global Canadian IT companies

Montreal, February 17, 2016 – BDC Capital is launching its IT Venture Fund II, a new $150 million venture capital fund for the Canadian information technology (IT) sector. This second fund brings the amount under management by the BDC Capital IT Venture Fund group to $300 million, all of which is helping to build and support a new generation of global Canadian IT market leaders.

“The fund focuses on direct mid-stage investments (also known as Series A and B financing) in more mature startups that have a product in market and are already generating revenues from customers,” said Robert Simon, Managing Partner of the BDC Capital IT Venture Fund. “We wanted to address the mid-stage funding gap, or “capital crunch”, now facing growing software companies in Canada.” The fund targets Canadian companies in the mobile, Internet, enterprise, cloud solutions and financial tech sectors who are disrupting existing industries or creating entirely new markets.

Investments have already begun

BDC Capital’s IT Venture Fund investing partners based out of Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver are now looking for investment candidates across the country. Eleven investments have already been made from the new fund into rapidly growing companies like Waterloo’s Axonify, Vancouver’s Cymax and Montreal’s Hopper. High performing Canadian IT companies who know they’ll be needing mid-stage financing soon, as well as early-stage investors who are looking for a financing partner for their portfolio companies, are also encouraged to get in touch directly. BDC Capital IT Venture Fund managers can be reached via BDC Capital’s website

BDC Capital’s IT Venture Fund typically leads the majority of its financing rounds, while making the connections with other leading Canadian and US co-investors to attract them to the current and subsequent rounds. “This is how we’ll do things with Fund II as well,” continued Robert Simon. “As a company grows, it is important to have relationships to bring in later stage investors for expansion.” Helping investees beyond direct funding is central to BDC Capital’s approach. The IT Venture Fund is active, for example, on the board of directors of most of its 43 portfolio companies across Canada.

IT Venture Fund II was entirely allocated from proceeds of previous IT Venture Fund investments and other earnings from BDC and BDC Capital. In recent years, the IT Venture Fund group has realized a number of sizeable exits. It earned the Canadian Venture Capital Association’s (CVCA) “Deal of the Year” award in 2011, 2012 and 2014 for its exits from Radian6 (sold to Salesforce), Q1Labs (sold to IBM) and Layer7 (sold to CA Technologies). The IT Venture Fund team also includes Managing Partner Ron Warburton, Partners Steven Abrams, Andrew Lugsdin and Peter Misek, as well as Associate Director, Matt Roberts. 

About BDC Capital

A subsidiary of the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), BDC Capital offers a full spectrum of specialized financing and investment solutions to help Canadian entrepreneurs achieve their full growth potential. With more than $1.6 billion under management, BDC Capital takes a strategic, patient approach to nurture companies’ development over the long term.

From venture capital and equity, to growth and transition capital, our team of over 100 experienced, local professionals partner with entrepreneurs to identify and meet their needs on flexible terms. Some of the sectors in which we specialize include IT, industrial/clean/energy technology, and healthcare. For more information, please visit www.bdccapital.ca or follow us on Twitter at @BDC_Capital.

Information

Maria Constantinescu
mediainfo@bdc.ca
1-844-625-8321
 

100 Hours in San Francisco

 In light of Superbowl 50 this week, an article highlighting things to do in 50 Hours in San Francisco recently came across my desk. It offers some well-known, Travelocity-like tourist spots but most people visiting SF for the Superbowl will be here for longer than two days, not to mention part of which will be occupied by the game itself. That being said, I have to vehemently disagree that 50 hours is anywhere near a sufficient amount of time to see, taste, and do everything this incredible city has to offer. Further, there are so many attractions outside of the confines of the city itself, from Napa Valley wineries to the cliffs of Big Sur to enjoying the magnificent ski season Tahoe is finally experiencing this winter. Without deep-diving into these potential half-day and day-long excursions, this is a first-timer's guide to spending 4 full days in San Francisco, including local favorites, options for all ages and tips to making the trip as seamless as possible. 

 

Day 1

Stay in an airbnb. Trust me. Avoid the Tenderloin at all costs. Actually, try to stay in a real SF neighborhood - not at a hotel in SoMa. If you prefer quaint, quiet and family friendly areas, look at Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Russian Hill, and the Marina. Looking for trendy spots with a little bit of an edge and excellent food/shopping? Try to find accommodations in the Mission, the Haight, Hayes Valley or the Castro. North Beach and Fisherman's Wharf will be touristy. But if you're into that kind of thing, there are tons of options for hotels and Italian or seafood restaurants in both neighborhoods. Try Scoma's or L'Osteria del Forno (cash-only).

 

Public transportation in San Francisco is less than ideal. However, one of the selling points of Silicon Valley is its abundance of venture-backed startups catering to every human need. Most attractions are walkable but take an Uber Pool or Lyft Line to save a little dough while trekking across town. Alternatively, renting a car is a great way to see a lot of the city in a short period of time. I suggest using the app Getaround. Keep in mind that parking can and will be an expensive challenge. 

 

Ocean Beach is a great spot to take a walk (fully clothed - bring a jacket and scarf! This isn't Southern California). The Japanese Tea Garden inside Golden Gate Park is a perfect, family-friendly or romantic date spot option. This is a great way to start the day before heading toward the trendy Mission neighborhood for the afternoon. 

 

Lunch: 

Unless you've been to Mexico (or perhaps San Diego), you haven't really experienced excellent Mexican food until you've dined in the Mission. One of the best spots in the city is La Taqueria (2889 Mission Street). Take your burrito to Dolores park, bring a blanket and a portable speaker and relax amongst the thousands of locals enjoying music, picnics, Frisbee and friends. Post-park, walk over to the famous BiRite Creamery for a scoop of the best of ice cream you'll ever refuse to share. If you're feeling adventurous, BiRite Market around the corner offers a plethora of high quality baked goods, produce and artisanal sandwiches. This local favorite is a popular stop for park staples such as StumpTown cold brew, fresh blueberries and La Marca Prosecco.  

 

Dinner:

Make a reservation far in advance for dinner at Foreign Cinema. You'll thank me later. (For a vegan alternative, try Gracias Madre.) 

Day 2

 

“If we want to better other peoples’ days as customers, we as individuals have to be better. We have to be happy outside and inside,” @JacobJaber - CEO of @Philz Coffee

 

Looking for the perfect “cup of love” to start your day? Try the iced Mint Mojito at Philz Coffee. This popular SF coffee staple is now venture-backed (notably with Snoop Dogg as an investor) and is expanding to the east coast this year. Once you've had your fix, head to the famous Ferry Building and catch a boat to beautiful Sausalito (~30 minute cruise, passing Alcatraz with gorgeous views of Golden Gate and Bay Bridges). Stop at Bar Bocce for brunch on the water, relax and enjoy excellent pizza with a view. If you're stuck with a wait, which is likely, the town of Sausalito offers magnificent views of the city, quaint boutiques and plenty of souvenirs. There's also a Philz here in case you were in a rush earlier.. 

 

Return to the city in the afternoon full, refreshed and ready to explore. If you’re an art buff, head to the de Young museum located in Golden Gate Park. Or, if you plan to visit after may 2016, check out the newly reopened SF Museum of Modern Art. If you’re more interested in science, visit the California Academy of Sciences, also located in Golden Gate Park, which houses an aquarium, natural history museum and planetarium under one roof.

 

Dinner:

On the quest for the perfect wine and pasta pairing, SPQR offers a delightful culinary experience in a low-key, romantic setting in the city’s Pacific Heights neighborhood. Reservations fill up far in advance but if you can get a table, I recommend the 5 course pasta tasting. If you’d like something a little more casual, Fresca’s down the street is an excellent Peruvian restaurant with delicious paella and ceviche in a slightly more bustling, vibrant atmosphere.

Evening:

Leave this night open for popular attractions such as The Exploratorium, a Giants game, a visit to the Symphony, The San Francisco Zoo, or be on the lookout for performances at Yerba Buena. Check The Fillmore or Audio for their lineup of shows or stop into famous SF Giants bar Harry’s for a refreshing Moscow Mule.

 

Day 3:

Morning: 

The urge (almost pressure) to be outdoors is one of the most common characteristics shared by San Franciscans. Urban hikes are a popular way to start the day – particularly in the summer months. Grab your trainers and your Philz and take a walk around the neighborhood. The Lyon Street Steps are an excellent workout and visiting famous Lombard Street is always fun (though, admittedly it’s even more fun to ask your Uber driver to drive down the windy street prior to stopping for a photo opp at the bottom.) Take a walk down to the Marina Green Park or visit the Presidio for breathtaking views of Golden Gate Bridge. On the way, stop into Davids Tea on Chestnut and take a stroll past local boutiques, restaurants and bakeries (for the indulgent, grab a mini cupcake at Susie Cakes. For the healthy at heart, stop into Salt and Seed for the best gluten-free chocolate chip cookie in the world.) 

Afternoon:

Take a Hike! While urban hikes are wonderful for exploring different neighborhoods, getting out of the city for a short daytime hike is the best excuse for fresh air and quality time with friends. Go to Twin Peaks or Bernal Heights for a short stroll with a great view. If you have more time to plan, skip your morning hike and make it a full day outdoors. Head to the Coastal trail across Golden Gate bridge or drive a little further to Mount Tam for a more strenuous hike through the woods down to Stinson Beach

 

Evening: 

Dinner and a movie doesn't get better than the newly opened Alamo Drafthouse in the Mission. Enjoy an Old Fashioned and a full meal while watching a blockbuster film. Don’t skip dessert – their truffle parmesan popcorn and milkshakes are unforgettable. 

 

Day 4 

Morning:

If you’re dying to see what all the fuss is about, take a boat to Alcatraz for a tour around the island. This will take a sufficient portion of your day, so be sure to plan ahead.

Brunch: Should you choose to skip Alacatraz, go to North Beach's famous Mama's on Washington Square. If you're lucky, the line will be short. If you're not, it may still be worth it. Take a trip up to Coit Tower for breathtaking 360 degree views of the city. 

Afternoon:

Being that this is your last day, being a tourist for a few hours isn’t a bad idea. If you haven’t already visited the playful sea lions Pier 39, you should. While you’re there, visit the Ghirardelli factorh and stock up on chocolate squares. If you love museums and think those little red cable cars are adorable, visit the Cable Car Museum and ride one down California St or through Union Square. While you're there, slip into the park for ice skating in the winter or slip onto the patio above Macy's for a slice of cheesecake with a view. Enjoy a famous Sushirrito in SoMa for lunch. Walk through the oldest and largest Chinatown in North America and buy things you won’t find anywhere else. Take a photo in front of the Full House house (often confused with the quaint yellow one among the Painted Ladies).

 

Evening:

Enjoy a spectacular sunset and have a cocktail at the Top of the Mark or the View Lounge at the Marriott Marquis. Have a nightcap at the understated Bourbon and Branch speakeasy in the Tenderloin (only time I’d recommend visiting here – take an Uber). 

There are thousands of opportunities to make the most out of your stay in San Francisco from museums and parks to speakeasies and music venues. But you’ll find that the most incredible part of San Francisco is its culture. The people here are welcoming, inclusive, interesting and creative. Have a conversation with your Lyft driver or a stranger at the coffee shop and you’ll understand pretty quickly how easy it is to fall in love with this little town.

Check out our resources page for more detailed info on transportation, accommodations, etc. 

 

Article by Andee Gardiner, Marketing Manager @ C100

 

 

2015 C100 Recap

C100 had an incredible 2015! Along with adding a short list of new programs including Valley 101 & Funding $eries, the Dock Challenge, and Venture North, we grew by adding 5 new team members and we've recently moved to our new home, Canada House, in San Francisco! 

Catch up on a few highlights from the year below:

February: 

May:

June:  

July: 

August: 

September:

Venture North was the first event of its kind to host 30 Silicon Valley investors in Toronto during the Toronto International Film Festival, including a Startup Challenge, 30 featured startups, investor introductions, private film screenings, networking opportunities, and more.

- New Sponsor: FinTech Leader D+H Becomes Sponsor of the C100

October:

  • Our Annual CEO Summit brought together nearly 100 corporate and growth-stage CEOs for 2 days of sessions discussing the importance of a culture of innovation, the culture in Silicon Valley, talent acquisition, globalization, scaling capital, and other topics pertinent to Canadian CEO's.
  • What you Missed at C100's CEO Summit via C100

November:

December:

 

The C100 Welcomes Anastasia Crew to the Team as Events Manager!

The C100 is continuing to grow! We're thrilled to announce that we've welcomed an experienced Events Manager to our team.  Anastasia Crew will be dedicated to our signature events - 48Hrs in the Valley, CEO Summit, TechWomen Canada, along with providing much needed support around our monthly events like Canadians in Tech Meetups, Valley 101, Funding $eries and our Charter Member dinners. 

Anastasia joins us with a lot of experience executing successful industry gatherings, fundraisers, C-level private dinners and speaking engagements, both nationally and internationally.  A native Russian, she has been living in the U.S. for over eight years, six of which she has resided in San Francisco. She originally came to the United States as an exchange student and then permanently moved to San Francisco for her MBA. After successfully graduating, she decided to stay and pursue her career organizing events in the Bay Area. 

Prior to joining C100 Association, Anastasia spent four years working as an External Affairs and Special Events Coordinator in the Office of the CEO at Apollo Education Group, an S&P 400 corporation based in Phoenix, AZ, that through its subsidiaries owns several for-profit educational institutions worldwide. As a part of the Office of the CEO team, she had great opportunities to execute various high-level exclusive events, including creating a private hospitality and entertainment hub for the Fortune 500 CEO's and VIP guests at Super Bowl XLIX in Phoenix, AZ.

Earlier in her career, Anastasia helped organizing events for College of Business at San Francisco State University and for a futsal club "MFK VIZ-Sinara", based in Yekaterinburg, Russia. She holds a BA in International Relations from Ural Federal University (former known as Ural State University) and an MBA from San Francisco State University.

When she's not planning yet another event, Anastasia loves traveling the world, volunteering for a good cause, learning a new foreign language or burning off some steam in the boxing ring.

"I am very excited to be joining the C100 team as their new Events Manager and look forward to taking their events to a whole new level -- not to mention keeping with the C100 mandate of '50 % Better' every time. I take each event as a challenge and love to see how everything is getting transformed while moving through different event stages. I like to think about each project as a flower seed - the more you water it and take care of it the more it grows and blooms. I think outside of the box and bring a creative and fresh approach to each project while still being very detail-oriented and organized."

In her very first week, Anastasia jumped into one of our signature bi-annual events, 48Hrs in the Valley, and was instrumental to its success. As an organized problem-solver, Anastasia was able to roll up her sleeves with very little information and provide support through the event. We're so excited to begin our journey working with Anastasia and look forward to a full year of events ahead! 

C100 48 Hrs in the Valley December 2015

48 Hrs in the Valley - December 2015 Cohort 

48 Hrs in the Valley - December 2015 Cohort 

December 22nd, 2015, San Francisco

by Andee Gardiner

Since the Steve Jobs - Apple era, startups have been flocking to Silicon Valley to raise funding, grow their network, and spend their daylight hours building startups out of iconic Palo Alto garages. 48Hrs in the Valley is an opportunity to tap into this incredible ecosystem, build lasting relationships through the C100’s Charter Member network, and learn more about what it takes to succeed on the global stage. 

Every year, C100 carefully selects up to 20 impressive, growing startups to visit Silicon Valley for “48 hours in the Valley”, our signature program that emphasizes the necessity for Canadian entrepreneurs to think bigger, move faster and form meaningful connections in the Bay Area. On December 6th, thirty founders from the 16 companies selected descended on San Francisco to participate in our 11th 48Hrs in the Valley, and by their own account, it was time well spent. 

In previous years, founders have suggested that more be done to allow the cohort to get to know one another prior to kicking off the event. In response, we held a prep session & cohort-only dinner in Toronto during the week of CIX and invited the companies to San Francisco days before the program for some “cohort bonding” activities. 

When the founders arrived Sunday afternoon they were quickly sent off on a city-wide scavenger hunt as a way to get to know one another while enjoying the sights, sounds and tastes of this magnificent city. Founders were instructed to search for specific items, take photos for proof and upload them to a cohort-wide Slack channel. In addition to being natural-born competitors, these team members are also quite savvy and creative. We saw everything from a team of five making their way into the frigid Bay waters for 20 extra bonus points...to a team LOSING one teammate before quickly finding him and their way to a bar, where they spent the remaining hours drinking beer and superimposing their faces onto photos uploaded to Slack (which could have been cause for disqualification) .... another team found the porta-potties where Bruce Lee was born (inside joke) .... finally, a teams created a human pyramid --- and one was the first (and only) team to return on time and be hailed the winner! #OnlyInSanFrancisco .... #YourPrizeIsOnItsWay Team VanFloIn (Hongwei, Brandon and Steve).

Scavenger Hunt in San Francisco

Scavenger Hunt in San Francisco

In addition to their first day of exploration and adventure, founders were invited to a cohort-only dinner at the Vestry in San Francisco’s Mission district – taking uberPOOL to and from the restaurant, fitting seamlessly into the ride-sharing craze that San Francisco loves (and almost every Canadian city is rebelling against - #sad). On Monday the cohort attend an ad-hoc mini Sales Growth boot-camp put on by Oleg Rogynskyy. That night at our Premier Partner VIP reception, one founder said, “If I go home tomorrow, that session by Oleg made my whole trip worthwhile.” So I guess we’ll invite Oleg back!

Day One of 48Hrs in the Valley began at the beautiful New Relic offices (hosted graciously by Charter Member Lew Cirne).  After our network breakfast hosted by Rogers Communications, Charter Member Jonathan Ehrlich took the stage. Known for his passion and desire to make sure that every Canadian doesn’t “settle for 8th place” Jonathan, partner at Foundation Capital, discussed the importance of “getting things done, even when it’s not perfect.” Engaging the entire audience, Jonathan urged the founders to not “hire the person who just wants to make the playoffs,” rather, “...hire someone who wants to win! Someone who's not afraid."

Jonathan Ehrlich, Partner at Foundation Capital 

Jonathan Ehrlich, Partner at Foundation Capital 

Following his talk, Daniel Saks and Kevin Swan, (AppDirect's founder and VP of Corporate Development, respectively) took the stage for a fireside chat entitled "Throw Out The Startup Playbook", reiterating that there's no specific, measurable formula for success, but rather a series of decisions supported by a great idea, capable talent, a strong culture, and an unwavering flexibility to adapt and evolve over time. Daniel revealed the five pillars supporting their culture at AppDirect: "The idea of True North, ownership, intensity, positivity, and humility." He urged the audience to always have "conviction in your vision" and to "never let people change your idea." When asked about the bridge between Canada and Silicon Valley, he recommended that founders visit the Valley to grow and learn as frequently as possible, but on the contrary felt that "this is probably the first year I would say that it's a good time to start a company in Canada”. Given the economic forces naturally preventing founders from being able to afford to build and live in the Bay Area, "the cost of moving here is astronomical - people can't even recruit an engineer for $150K”. 

C100 Charter Member Terry Doyle and long-time friend Jasper Malcolmson (former Co-Founder and CEO of Bloomspot and current SVP of Solutions and Innovation at Chase) led a conversation on taking a pragmatic approach to fundraising, the difference between an investor and a partner, and the importance of remembering the economic realities that affect the process. While most would argue that the founder's approach to raising capital is generally an art, Jasper's specific and strategic advice seemed to be more of a science, noting that, "A VC fund’s behavior is driven by where they are in their financing round.” He went on to instruct, "all activities pivot around the goal of getting a term sheet," and that founders should make a list of targeted firms, categorized into tiers, prior to pursuing them. The audience appreciated the straightforward, measurable and actionable advice given that almost every 48Hrs founder was currently going through this exact process as he spoke. 

The largest panel of the day was a fireside chat made up of four panelists including Matt Wyndowe (Head of Products and Partnerships at Uber), Matt MacInnis (Founder and CEO of Inkling), Larry Gadea (CEO and Engineering lead at Envoy) and Mark Organ (CEO at Influitive). While much of the conversation was and will remain off the record, the chat discussed the CEO's Journey: tales of funding, product/market fit, growth, and the decision to exit or double down. It was an open, honest account of the realities of raising capital and what happens when a company completely changes its trajectory. With respect to fundraising, Matt MacInnis said, “It’s important to remember that funding is completely irrelevant until you have customers.” Larry closed the conversation stating, "We like to take boring problems and make them sexy... and you do that with technology." And while Larry’s advice was to be “nice” to everyone, we all got a laugh when Mark countered that with his own version - that you have to be respectful but that doesn’t always mean you need to be “nice”. And that is a good reminder that we all have to uncover (sometimes by trial and error) the way to lead and inspire our teams based on our own personalities and those of our team. 

Following a networking lunch hosted by KPMG, the afternoon sessions were made up of short 5-minute presentations by the startups, explaining their company, what they're looking for and most importantly, how the C100 community can help. We concluded the day with Charter Members, partners and invited guests for our closing networking reception (if there is one thing we do well at the C100, it’s bring quality people together and enjoy California wine – always generously donated by our wonderful partner, Silicon Valley Bank).

Dan Holowack, CEO and Co-Founder of Crowdriff 

Dan Holowack, CEO and Co-Founder of Crowdriff 

Wednesday morning the cohort met bright and early to board a bus and head down to the Cooley offices in Palo Alto. The second day of the program was comprised of back-to-back investor meetings with local VCs. And whilst the goal of 48Hrs is not about fundraising, it does appear that the investor meetings have already resulted in some very strong investment interest. During lunch, C100 Co-Chair and Andreessen Horowitz Partner, Angela Strange, interviewed David Baga, Chief Sales Officer at Lyft for a discussion on how to effectively build a sales team. David encouraged founders to “Create fearlessly ... If it hasn’t been invented, don’t stop yourself. 'UpLyft' others." He went on to emphasize the importance of hiring people who know how to roll up their sleeves. “Startups have be careful to avoid hiring people who are too junior, as well as hiring people who come from too large of an organization ... Look for the up-and-coming employee," he said. 

David Baga, Chief Sales Officer at Lyft and Angela Strange, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz 

David Baga, Chief Sales Officer at Lyft and Angela Strange, Partner at Andreessen Horowitz 

The rest of the afternoon was packed with pre-scheduled mentor meetings with the C100 network, followed by a closing reception hosted by Cooley LLP. Founders were asked for honest and constructive feedback so the C100 can achieve our goal of #50_Percent_Better for the next 48Hrs in the Valley. JPG from CareGuide admitted to being skeptical about joining the cohort prior to the trip, but told us that he "grew to be quite proud to be amongst these companies". Hongwei, founder of MappedIn said that he remembered someone saying, "Silicon Valley is a very tall ladder with the small rungs missing. C100 fills in the small rungs." He added, "Every person I met was of top quality." Mark of Storybird told the group, "You don't get the richness of the network until you're here." Consequently, everyone agreed that they plan to spend significantly more time in Silicon Valley after their experience. 

C100 invites 48Hrs alums and partners to recommend and nominate startups for future cohorts and encourages them to give back by offering mentorship and advice as to when is the right time for a company to take advantage of the Valley. Nominations will open this Spring for the summer 2016 cohort.

More than ever before, Canada is making an impact in the global startup ecosystem and has seen some very impressive valuations including well-known unicorns such as Kik, Shopify and Hootsuite. The purpose of running a program incorporating mentorship, investor meetings and “think big” sessions is to create a cohort of founders that leave with the strong beginnings of a new network and the relentless drive to be the best in the world. "The best outcome from our program is for Canadian founders to learn what Silicon Valley does well and take the DNA back home to help build an even stronger tech ecosystem in Canada." says Executive Director Joanne Fedeyko.

Thank you to the entire cohort for joining us and making us all proud of the ideas, people and companies being built in Canada ... and to our Charter Members for providing us with your most precious commodity: your time. 

A creative message from Team Discovery Challenge

A creative message from Team Discovery Challenge


What You Missed at CEO Summit 2015

October 20, 2015, Silicon Valley: Familiar faces filled the halls of the iconic Rosewood Sand Hill Resort in Menlo Park as CEOs and executives of Canadian growth-stage startups descended upon Silicon Valley and mingled with the leaders of some of Canada’s most successful corporations during the annual CEO Summit conference. One of the most exclusive events hosted by the C100, this conference brings CEOs from across Canada to the Valley for two days alongside C100 Charter Members and partners for intimate and informative fireside chats, sharing their stories and experiences in hopes to answer, "How do we grow, scale and innovate in Canada?"

The central theme of the CEO Summit is that Canada has all of the resources it needs to be a global powerhouse of innovation and that it’s extremely important to become a part of and fully understand the expectations, culture and mindset of Silicon Valley. The C100 is dedicated to helping Canadian corporate executives and growth-stage CEOs make the connections in the Valley that amplify traction, aid in scaling and provide support along the way.

All conversations during the conference centered around 5 main topics:

·              Acquiring and maintaining talent

·              Raising capital at different stages and if/when/why/how to go public

·              The importance of a culture of innovation

·              Growth and globalization strategies

·              The need to understand, visit and build a robust network in Silicon Valley

The first evening began with a private dinner reception in the Rosewood courtyard where C100 members and partners welcomed speakers, growth-stage founders, and corporate CEOs. The following day opened with a fireside chat between Shawn Price, SVP of Oracle Cloud and Todd Bradley, President of TIBCO, discussing talent acquisition, globalization and growth strategies. Shawn Price noted that Oracle has over 137,000 employees worldwide and went on to offer advice on hiring by focusing on skill sets that will withstand economic tribulation. "We have to be willing to disrupt ourselves," he says. "The skill sets that made [Oracle] successful have to be transferable to the new world." His message to growth-stage CEOs included an emphasis on listening to employees, particularly millennials. Their input on your company's culture and practices is imperative to scaling in our current economic climate. Many millennials are leaving companies within 6 months for a number of reasons including their desire to affect change, learn continuously, remain engaged, work in an autonomous environment, collaborate within a team and clearly observe room for growth and advancement. Retaining great talent is difficult but it starts with listening to employees, hiring people who have the soft skills necessary to scale, along with the ability to apply their knowledge and experience in order to fill in the gaps. "The winners and losers in our respective markets will be defined in the next 18 to 24 months," he added. "You'll either have a business that will be around in a decade or you'll be irrelevant."  

Todd Bradley elaborated upon the differences in hiring in Silicon Valley as opposed to anywhere else. "When people come to the Valley, they work for the Valley. Not HP, not Workspace, but the Valley," he said. "When you know your business, you know intuitively if a person is a fit or not.... Someone that has done 'ok' in a hard situation is far more interesting to me than someone who has done well in an easy situation." He emphasized the importance of creating an environment that's collaborative, focused on growth, challenging and stimulating for employees who are passionate about the mission of their organization.  

In respect to globalization, Todd told founders, "Your consideration for going global is all around customers, having customer demand and in some ways, customer pull... you have to ask, 'when is that customer demand going to be strong enough to support the infrastructure?'" While many companies are enamored by the thought of globalization, he emphasizes the importance of understanding the complexity and diversity of the markets you're pursuing. The question is less, "how do we break into China", for example, and more, "how do we become a Chinese company?" 

Following their talk, Harley Finklestein (CPO) and Tobias Lutke (CEO), of Shopify took the stage with Pete Flint, Founder of Trulia, in a closed-door fireside chat entitled, the Journey to an IPO. 

C100 Charter Member and partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners, Arif Janmohammed, joined Sanjay Beri, CEO of Netskope, and fellow Charter Member Michelle Zatlyn, Co-Founder of CloudFlare, to lead a discussion on "Scaling Capital and Traction Expectations when Raising Funding at Later Stages." With over $300 million raised between the two founders, the talk focused on best practices for raising funding, remaining relevant in the Valley, hiring and going public.  

For Michelle, timing and intuition are everything when scaling. While reflecting on CloudFlare's first round of funding, she noted, "The best time to start a company is in down economic environments." She added that there are times when a founder should turn away capital or take a lower valuation if the investor isn't the right fit. "Not all VCs are created equal," she said. "Your job is to find an investor that gets what you're doing and has a shared vision." 

According to Zatlyn, "There are two ways to raise money: based on a story or based on results." She mentioned that their last round of $110M was based on results: metrics, customers, etc. CloudFlare's list of prominent investors includes Venrock, NEA, Fidelity, Baidu (China), Microsoft, Google and Qualcomm. Their last round was the first round of funding that Google and Microsoft have done together. When asked about the future and the prospect of an eventual IPO, noting that there are currently no set plans, she said, "there's a bit of a divide: to go public or not to go public. At some point you have to grow up and if you're a real company, it may be inevitable." 

Sanjay Beri led the conversation on the importance of relying on and empowering people who fit the company's culture and operate in a way that supports it, especially when scaling geographically. He went on to talk about the importance of innovation, R&D and competing with Valley companies. "The movement to the cloud has made legacy vendors very vulnerable," he said. "It has made a lot of their technology irrelevant." Investing in R&D is extremely important to Netskope. "I must have the best product. I'm not going to spend the capital to get in front of a customer and lose because our product isn’t hands down delivering the better value to the customer.”

Adam Devine, Workfusion VP of Marketing, joined us from New York to discuss "The Automation of Work" during the first corporate breakout session of the day. He began with a statement of the problem that machine learning can solve: the $10 trillion dollars of human productivity spent on predictable information processes. Adam then provided cases of how machine learning is transforming knowledge within banking and drew a parallel between the training of machines to perform data categorization and extraction and how cars have learned to navigate not only streets but complex, unpredictable situations. His key point was that humans and machines working together provide a limitless knowledge processes capability to enterprise businesses in every data intensive industry. With regard to the concern that machines will ultimately replace knowledge workers, he reminded the audience that "machines have a long history of elevating human capability," liberating field workers into factory workers, and then factory workers into office workers. Adam looks forward to watching WorkFusion customers find new ways to deploy human cognition and creativity and believes AI will have a profoundly positive impact on the economy and the overall wellbeing of mankind.

The afternoon sessions began with Salim Ismail, Founding Executive Director of Singularity University discussing exponential growth and building companies applicable to worldwide problems. Perhaps the funniest of the sessions, Salim discussed driverless cars, glowing cats and drones that move medicine in Haiti. 

He mentioned Mohr's law of computation and its application to present-day technologies such as 3D printing, AI, neuroscience, biotech, etc., and notes that there's a chance that in our lifetime we could see an abundance of clean water, education, healthcare, energy, etc. driven by this pace of change. 

Salim went on to briefly discuss the mission of Singularity University, stating, "We live in a time when we can effectively apply cutting edge technologies to global challenges." Based in Silicon Valley, Singularity hosts some of the brightest entrepreneurs for programs lasting between one week and an entire summer, during which students are mentored and encouraged to ponder global innovation and their impact upon it. He added, "We challenge our students to form a team and come up with an idea that will impact a billion people positively within ten years."

David Ulevitch, former CEO of OpenDNS and presently VP at Cisco, led a closed-door discussion on "How Large Corporates are Responding to the Threat & Opportunity of Technology".

In a closed-door fireside chat, C100 Board Member Katherine Barr interviewed Chris O’Neill, the now 90-day CEO of popular Saas startup Evernote, discussing his recruiting strategies, the importance of being able to connect with individuals, how to measure success and why he joined the company.

Much of the conversation focused on how to build a really great team. “I often have young people ask for career advice and I really believe that you should start in retail or in a restaurant because you learn about customer service in a way that is really helpful for your career... It all comes down to being able to connect with people and being a servant leader," he stated. Chris went on to discuss the importance of narrowing in on what your organization does well, focusing on what makes it successful and consistently executing against it. “I don’t care what kind of company you are, if you’re trying to do too many things at once you’re not going to do them well,” he said. Chris also touched on the importance of being authentic in order to gain credibility with his team. “Culture starts with the leadership team," he added. There is a lot of value placed on the intersection between the culture, the brand, and the individual's connection to a mission. He continued the conversation specifically related to Evernote, adding, “We’re helping people be more productive in what they do and that’s certainly a mission people easily connect to.” 

Chris encouraged the audience to spend more time in the Valley, noting that the mindset and attitudes of the area is extremely unique. He mentioned, "One of the things that the C100 has done an amazing job of is inspiring leaders in corporate Canada to get down here and/or bring entrepreneurs to Canada to encourage a cross-pollination…Let’s not aim to just be the best in Canada but to be the best in the world. We have the talent, access to capital and certainly the ability to mentor one another to become great.”

Scott Bonham, Founder of GVV Capital and C100 Co-Chair interviewed Andreessen Horowitz General Partner, Lars Dalgaard in a closed-door fireside chat on Scaling to a Billion Dollars. In addition, they discussed the prevalence of unicorns in the Valley, investing internationally, education, characteristics Lars looks for in a founder, and building companies that have the potential to be transformational on a global scale. When asked how important it is to have roots in the Valley, he said, “If you want oranges, you go to Florida. If you want hockey, you go to Canada. If you want startups, you go to Silicon Valley.” Attendees were pleased and encouraged by the authenticity and authority in his message along with his sound, straight-forward advice to growth-stage founders. He emphasized the fact that Silicon Valley cannot be ignored if you're building a company here or abroad, stating, “The majority of the things that everybody uses in technology is made within 30 miles of where we are sitting right now and it continues to be so.”

With regard to culture and attitudes in the Valley, he noted, “Nobody here talks about anything else…. When everyone is talking about it all the time it’s like your blood… your energy… your air... there’s nothing else on anyone’s minds. Everyone you hire [here] is at a completely different competitive level.” This attitude is simply not as prevalent in the rest of the world. The area is made up of extremely intelligent individuals hyper-focused on innovating across all industries with the primary goal of changing the world. 

CEO Summit concluded with Idris Mootie, CEO of Idea Couture closed the Summit with a private presentation on "Design Thinking for Strategic Innovation", followed by closing comments by Harley Finkelstein and C100 Co-Chairs Scott Bonham and Angela Strange. Following their remarks, guests were shuttled to the nearby home of Charter Member Don Listwin, founder of the Canary Foundation and longtime friend of the C100 who graciously invited attendees to enjoy a reception under Canadian flags and iconic California redwoods. 

Thank you to everyone who joined us in making CEO Summit a truly unforgettable event. We look forward to seeing all of you again next year! 

 

~ Andee Gardiner, C100 Marketing Manager

48 Hours in the Valley Companies Selected for December Cohort

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During my time as Executive Director of the C100, I have realized that one of the only things better than doing what you love is having the ability to help others to do the same. Twice a year, the C100 hand-selects a small group of the most impressive Canadian startups for a program that builds a bridge between their home and, arguably, the most innovative technologically driven ecosystem on earth – Silicon Valley. 

Silicon Valley has historically been known as the best place to build companies, disrupt technologies and scale rapidly. The C100 provides the selected Canadian startups exclusive access to its rich network of extremely successful Canadian Ex-pats who will ensure that the startups receive all of the necessary tools they need to build a world-class organization.

The 48 Hours in the Valley program is about more than introductions, networking, mentorship and investor meetings. While these are valuable and instrumental to offering the insights and resources exclusive to Silicon Valley, this program is designed to allow the C100 to introduce the world to what makes Canadian entrepreneurs so unique. At a time when Canada is making a greater impact than ever before with massive billion-dollar valuations, IPOs, and game-changing companies, 48 Hours in the Valley allows us to help build the world's next wave of Canada’s elite startups.

“The startup community is an ecosystem and the C100 gives you access to an amazing group of minds. The 48hrs in the Valley event can be a defining moment for your company – it certainly changed things for us.”Casper Wong, COO, Financit

After over five years and 200 successful alumni companies, it is with great pride that I introduce 17 more of the most innovative and exciting Canadian startups to join us in December and become a part of this member-driven community.

Congratulations to BONE Structure, CareGuide, Community Sift, CrowdRiff, Flatbook, Foko, Graphite Software, LoginRadius, MappedIn, PostBeyond, Roadmunk, Sensibill, Sharethebus, Statflo, StorybirdThinkData Works and Vantage.

Welcome to the C100!  We can’t wait to be a part of your journey and help in any way we can to connect you with the people and resources who will make your dreams a reality. Our goal is to support the next generation of successful Canadian entrepreneurs and to help you as you build your startup into a global company. In order to do so, we rely on the input, support and generosity of the people who have already realized the potential of this profoundly rich ecosystem. 

The Silicon Valley bar is quite high, as is the caliber of the startups selected to be a part of this curated program. The C100 wouldn’t exist today if it weren’t for the people who make all of this possible. If you’re a current Charter Member, we remain dependent upon your dedication to further the Canadian entrepreneurial ecosystem. If you’re a partner of the C100, you allow us to make these founder’s dreams a reality. If you’re an entrepreneur, well, without you we wouldn’t have a reason to be here at all. 

48 Hours in the Valley will be held December 8th & 9th in San Francisco at New Relic, and at Cooley LLP in Palo Alto. 

See the full list with company descriptions at http://www.thec100.org/48hours-december-15

C100 Association is generously supported by many partners including our Premier Partners: RBC, KPMG Canada, BDC Capital, Rogers Communications and D+H.

The C100 Welcomes Linette Ho as Marketing Co-op!

The C100 continues to grow with hiring our first Canadian Co-op student! Linette Ho will be taking on the role of Marketing and Events Co-op at the C100. Linette is from Vancouver and studies at the Sauder School of Business from the University of British Columbia.

At school, Linette has worn all sorts of hats - Blogger, Editor, Event Planner, Teaching Assistant and Corporate Relations Director. Linette was involved in her school community – from running her faculty newspaper executing web and print editorial work, “The Cavalier” as the Editor-in-Chief, to taking on the Corporate Relations Funding for the Commerce Undergraduate Society, which is the largest business school organization in Canada. She also kick started the “Humans of Sauder” campaign, inspired by the original Humans of New York. The campaign includes a collection of portraits showcasing the many faces and stories of her faculty.  

During her first Co-op work term this past summer, she worked at Left of the Dot Media as a Business Analyst. She created video content as well as worked with funding initiatives within the company. This introduction to the world of Canadian technology start-ups and venture capitalists kick-started her interest and curiosity of the industry.

Linette is an artist who loves to create through her photography, painting, and baking. She can also be found trekking up a mountain or running through trails. Linette is excited to jump into anything that San Francisco offers, and to cross the bridge from Canadian startup to The C100 Association.

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The C100 Welcomes Julia Hesselroth as Partnership Manager!

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The C100 has seen tremendous growth within our sponsorship program this past year and Julia will be at the forefront of this activity, managing all of our sponsor relationships and onsite event activation. Julia will also work with C100 Board Member, Mark Relph, to help support the development of a more robust Charter Membership program. Julia will also launch our new NextGen membership program, designed to help founders and local tech professionals gain access to our community to help grow their business and network. 

Julia grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. Julia has a background in project management, international marketing and event planning. Julia worked at Bain & Company, supporting VPs and Manager level consultants and planning Bain client relations events. As a member of the recruiting team at Google in Mountain View, Julia learned the rigorous hiring practices of a prestigious tech company.Julia's latest role was as the program manager for the international creative team at Bare Escentuals. During her three years at Bare, Julia streamlined processes and learned the art of managing relationships with business partners located all around the world. Julia has an inherent curiosity about the people and things around her and a natural ability to connect with others - qualities that have helped her build a very robust network in and around Silicon Valley. 

When she is not working, Julia enjoys running, tennis, crosswords, reading The Economist and spending time with her nephews.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the C100 as its new Partnership Manager. I can't wait to support our Sponsors and Charter Members to ensure they are getting the most out of their relationship with the C100. I already feel that my self-deprecating, irreverent humor will be well received by the Canadian startup ecosystem."

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C100 Welcomes Andee Gardiner as New Marketing Manager

The C100 team is growing!  We are very excited to welcome Andee Gardiner as our new Marketing Manager. Andee brings a wealth of knowledge in community building and public relations to the organization, not to mention a huge passion for startups.

Andee has a strong background in consulting, working with technical teams and helping startups and small companies accelerate and scale with ease. She gained experience in promotions and global marketing while completing part of her undergraduate studies in Paris. Upon graduation she moved to Washington D.C. to work at LivingSocial, where she worked extensively with small businesses to develop strategic marketing plans to raise brand awareness and drive revenue.

Andee has since become fully immersed into the tech scene in New York, D.C. and Silicon Valley. When she’s not attending tech-related events or traveling, you’ll likely find her doing yoga somewhere in San Francisco or cooking dinner with her friends.

Beginning day one, Andee began tackling some of our most visible and important projects for the C100, drawing from her past experience and creative thinking. Andee has already proven that she does not shy away from a daunting task, and that will come in handy with the number of programs and new initiatives that are under development and underway!

Andee lives by the principle that she is always in permanent “beta”, with room for improvement and an unending desire to learn, grow and give back. “I believe that people are innately good and that great people surround themselves with other genuine, wonderful human beings. I find fulfillment in connecting with those people, constantly improving and evaluating every moment in life is imperative in order to find long-term happiness.”

In 2014, Andee started an organization called Menteed, built on the belief that mentorship and community should be developed purposefully and that genuine relationships are created organically through experience. She is very excited to offer Silicon Valley-based support and guidance to Canadian entrepreneurs and startup founders. Her passion for mentorship, startups, technology and marketing align perfectly with the C100 vision and she’s thrilled to give back and help the organization and Canadian entrepreneurs thrive.

Andee is responsible for C100 media relations and press inquiries. Email her @ agardiner@thec100.org for any marketing/PR requests. 

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How 48hrs in the Valley led us to a $13M series A

DECEMBER 3, 2013 CASPER WONG

In 2010, our company was at a crossroads; either we needed to pivot and raise funds from the U.S. or we needed to call it a day. In the end, my co-founder, Michael Garrity, and I decided to refocus and raise venture capital, which marked the beginning of Financeit and our relationship with the C100.

Michael and I had met with what felt like every single investor in Canada who was willing to hear our pitch. We managed to complete a small bridge round with an angel investor - which bought us some runway - but our goal was to raise a venture round to help us grow. We were also in a tough situation in the Canadian startup space: in between early-stage and growth-stage funding requirements.

Meeting the C100

 It was around this time that I discovered the C100. I submitted an application right away for the C100's annual conference, 48hrs in the Valley. The next thing I knew Michael and I were in San Francisco at the 48hrs kick off session.

With open minds and no expectations, we met our cohort and the friendly C100 team. We were about to receive a much needed reality check. 

The great thing about 48hrs is you get to meet Canadian entrepreneurs and VCs who have made an impact in the startup world. People who have helped build billion dollar companies. As an entrepreneur, this experience is invaluable and the common theme is Canadians think too small.

For our mentoring sessions, we were fortunate enough to be paired with Michael Buhr, former CEO of StumbleUpon and head of Corporate Development for eBay. He basically told us that US VCs want to know you've opened a US office and relocated before they'll even consider giving you money.

Key lesson: think bigger

 We needed to be more aggressive and sell a bigger concept - our old pitch wasn't going to cut it. The majority of Canadian investors we had met were focused on when we would be profitable; while in the US the idea was more important.

You have to be able to explain why your idea is meaningful, and paint a picture on how you're going to build the next billion-dollar company.

Before going down to the Valley for 48hrs, we set up a few meetings on our own with some big name VC firms. Our pitches weren’t well received; it was an extremely painful experience.

 Michael and I didn't speak much on the return trip to our hotel and that evening we spent the entire night reworking our pitch for the final 48hrs event on Sand Hill Road, Demo Day. This was the final day where companies could pitch their business to any number of VCs that showed up.

 After a "trial by fire", our Demo Day pitch started to hit the right notes after we incorporated the feedback from our first meetings and the 48hrs mentors. We were later approached by several interested VCs who had come specifically to learn more about Financeit.

A new direction 

This was the beginning of a new direction. One which ultimately lead us to focusing on U.S. investors and showcasing our product at Finovate, a conference dedicated to financial services innovation. This exposure continued the momentum that helped us land the $13M Series A round we announced in mid-November.

If you’re lucky enough to get into the C100, take it.

The startup community is an ecosystem and the C100 gives you access to an amazing group of minds. The 48hrs in the Valley event can be a defining moment for your company - it certainly changed things for us.

 

 About the author: Casper Wong (@wongcasper) is the COO and Co-Founder of Toronto based FinanceitFinanceit includes everything you need to offer and approve loans at the point of sale. Follow @financeit on twitter