C100: Love (and money!) for Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs

Promising Canadian cleantech entrepreneurs are about to get a boost from Silicon Valley-based non-profit group, C100.

What is C100? Comprising a select group of successful Canadians based primarily in Silicon Valley, it’s a non-profit, member-driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. Membership includes executives of leading technology companies, experienced startup entrepreneurs and venture capital investors.

Who does C100 love? Canadian entrepreneurs. C100 members use their collective experience, expertise and relationships to help mentor and grow new, successful, Canadian-led technology companies.

Why is this important to cleantech? C100 members are already known for their efforts in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, but they’ve recently expressed a new-found interest in the cleantech sector. They realize that Canada has great potential to become a global leader in this field and they want to be part of it, starting by ensuring that cleantech entrepreneurs have the appropriate resources to thrive in today’s global economy.

On November 17, the C100 launched their newest initiative, C100 CleanTech, with charter members promoting the start of the new division, and giving advice to up-and-coming cleantech companies.

We interviewed charter member Peter Polydor, who spoke about the benefits of C100 CleanTech for entrepreneurs: “Mentorship: collectively we have done over 100 cleantech deals, so we know cleantech and we know how to build a company. Capital: we have money! We want to invest in the leaders of tomorrow and we’ll continue to do so. Networks: nine times out of 10 we have provided connections with strategic partners. We know the people.”

How exactly will C100 CleanTech take on this task? As Canadians who live and work in Silicon Valley, C100 members offer the perfect combination for connecting Canadian entrepreneurs to key American investors. C100 helps these companies attain the skills and attributes required to make them appealing to the investment community in Silicon Valley.

Last week, MaRS’ very own Vive Crop Protection Inc. (formerly Vive Nano) began fostering a relationship with C100. The company has developed a high-efficacy water-based formulation that is safe and easy for growers in the crop industry to use in lieu of traditional pesticides. Vive’s process reformulates existing pesticides for the $46 billion crop protection industry, addressing issues the industry currently faces.

The company took part in C100’s 48 Hours in the Valley, a mentoring program that runs twice a year. Open to the best-of-the-best of high-potential Canadian clean technology entrepreneurs, the program features two days of mentorship, workshops, investor meetings, strategic partner visits and more. The chosen companies get to spend time with the Valley’s most successful entrepreneurs, investors and executives.

Keith Thomas, President and CEO of Vive, said, “The networking provided by the C100 and trade commissioners is extremely valuable and the candid mentoring even more so. But more importantly, it encourages you to expand your mind and dream bigger.”

Interested in learning more about how C100 CleanTech can help high potential Canadian Entrepreneurs? Visit their website at http://www.thec100.org/.