Venture North Conference showcases Toronto-Waterloo talent to U.S. Investors
TORONTO, September 15, 2015 – Seven of Toronto-Waterloo’s most promising startups kicked off the two-day Venture North conference today at MaRS, facing off in front of industry VIP judges during the first-ever C100 Startup Competition. Bridgit came out on top with their communication platform engineered for today’s construction team.
They shared the spotlight with other founders from Statflo, SparkGig, Suncayr, Sampler, Medella Health and Plooto. There was more at stake than the $15K, with a select group of US investors up from the Valley, New York and Boston to experience Toronto during TIFF and meet entrepreneurs in the fast growing Canadian scene.
“We’re thrilled to have won the C100 Startup Competition,” says Mallorie Brodie, presenter and co-founder of Bridgit. “It was an amazing opportunity to take part in, and the exposure from an event like this is invaluable.”
“By bringing U.S. investors to Venture North we are creating better access for Canadian startups like Bridgit to innovation financing,” says Salim Teja, EVP Ventures for MaRS. “There is great opportunity in Canada for both investors and entrepreneurs, and the time is now to capitalize on our potential.”
The C100 Association and the Government of Ontario, along with MaRS, Communitech, OneEleven and other industry partners, launched this inaugural north-meets-south conference to promote the innovative Toronto-Waterloo ecosystem and showcase some of Canada’s most promising startups.
“Innovation plays a significant role in the success of the Canadian economy, and the Toronto-Waterloo corridor is an important ecosystem driving our innovation sector north of the border,” says Scott Bonham, co-founder of GGV Capital and C100 co-chair. “We need to ensure these home-grown companies have the support they need to succeed, and become global players.”
Throughout the conference there are special appearances by Minister Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. On day two, the competing founders and other promising entrepreneurs will learn from established Canadian growth companies, including Kik’s Ted Livingston and Eloqua’s Steve Woods, as well as U.S. firms like Mithril Capital and Spark Capital.
Venture North partners include MaRS, Communitech, OneEleven, Waterloo, the University of Toronto, Silicon Valley Bank, CIBC, Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, KPMG, RBC and Rogers.
C100 is a non-profit member-driven association that provides a bridge between Canadian startup founders and innovative corporations, and the highly influential Silicon Valley network.
Through various programs the C100 provides access to innovative companies, potential partnerships, investors and mentors. C100 Charter Members include some of the most successful Canadians working in some of the most important tech companies in the Silicon Valley, 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. They are dedicated to giving back to the community and fostering the next generation of successful Canadian entrepreneurs and innovative companies.
About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) in Toronto is the one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs supporting a new generation of makers and innovators who aim to make the world a better place by creating solutions that address key societal challenges. It is a community that encourages entrepreneurial thinking through education programs and events, and helps startups launch, grow and scale. MaRS supports over 1,000 ventures that, in turn, employ over 5,000 people. In the last three years, MaRS ventures have raised $1.3 billion in capital and earned $640 million in revenue.
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MaRS Discovery District