Canadian innovation steals the spotlight at Venture North

C100 Startup Competition showcases Toronto-Waterloo talent to U.S. Investors

TORONTO, September 14, 2015 – North meets south at the two-day Venture North conference, kicking off tomorrow with the first-ever C100 Startup Competition emceed by Amber Mac and Bruce Croxon. Seven of Toronto-Waterloo’s most promising startups are competing to prove themselves to industry VIP judges, and there’s more at stake than the $15K prize. A select group of US investors have come up from the Valley, New York and Boston to experience Toronto during TIFF and meet entrepreneurs in the fast growing Canadian scene.

“By bringing U.S. investors to Venture North we are creating better access for Canadian startups to innovation financing,” says Scott Bonham, co-founder of GGV Capital and C100 co-chair. “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 Discovery District, Communitech and OneEleven (and other industry partners), are launching this inaugural conference to promote the innovative Toronto-Waterloo ecosystem and showcase some of Canada’s most promising startups (the seven competing founders are Statflo, SparkGig, Suncayr, Sampler, Bridgit, Medella Health and Plooto).

“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 Joanne Fedeyko, The C100 executive director. “We need to ensure these home-grown companies have the support they need to succeed, and become global players.”

Throughout the conference there will be special appearances by Minister Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, Toronto Mayor John Tory and Waterloo Mayor Dave Jaworsky. 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.

Learn More

About C100
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.

For more information, contact:
Lara Torvi
MaRS Discovery District