Mark your calendars: Events this month for startups and small businesses

Our team at Venture Accelerator Partners believes the following list of events to be the most useful for startups and small businesses this month.

As always, there are many great events for startups happening at MaRS. For details, see the MaRS Events calendar. In the list below, I’ve supplemented the MaRS calendar with events occurring in Toronto and beyond—the GTA, Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, Niagara, Halton, St. Catharines and Hamilton.


Startup Drinks

Startup Drinks provides an open space for entrepreneurs and small business owners to connect and share ideas. There are no presentations or pitches, just conversation and networking. This is a great event to attend if you’re keen to meet some of the up-and-coming people in the startup community. These events are held in a number of locations, including Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo.

Featured Event: Startup Drinks Waterloo When: Tuesday Feb. 7, 2012 @ 6:00 p.m. Where: Chainsaw, 28 King Street North, Waterloo Featured Event: Startup Drinks Hamilton When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 @ 6:00 p.m. Where: The Winking Judge, 25 Augusta Street, Hamilton


Innovation Guelph

Innovation Guelph is an organization that provides programs, events and services to help entrepreneurs, community organizations, researchers and business leaders develop their ideas. Their advisors will also help you with business development.

Featured Event: Pitch It Program When: Friday, Feb. 3, 2012 (The 60-second Pitch) @ 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2012 (The B2B Sales Process) @ 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Where: Innovation Guelph, 111 Farquhar Street, 3rd floor, Guelph Cost: $50


Golden Horseshoe Venture Forum

The main goal of events hosted by GHVF is to help startups connect with potential investors and service providers in the Burlington area. Breakfast events are hosted five times a year in Burlington and feature presentations from three firms, followed by a guest speaker who presents on a chosen topic of interest. The GHVF is a great event for making valuable connections.

Featured Event: Breakfast Session with Derek Burleton, Deputy Chief Economist Topic: Where are we REALLY with respect to the economic and financial environment in Ontario? When: Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012 @ 7:15 to 10:00 a.m. Where: Burlington Golf and Country Club, 422 North Shore Boulevard East, Burlington Cost: $40–general public



DemoCamp hosts events that cater towards designers, developers and marketers. Attend these events to interact with professionals and gain insight from speakers about your industry. These events are held every couple of months in Toronto, Hamilton and Guelph.

Featured Event: Demo camp Hamilton When: Thursday, Feb. 9, 2012 @ 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Where: The Arnie Student Pub @ Mohawk College–135 Fennell Avenue West, Hamilton


Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory facilitates the discussion of new ideas and discovery between business, science and academia. Their events are beneficial whether you work at a startup or at a multinational corporation. Innovation Factory offers events for both networking and learning, along with the support of their experienced advisors. These events run in the region of Hamilton.

Featured Event: Café iF Lead Generation When: Friday, Feb. 10, 2012 @ 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. Where: The Atrium at McMaster Innovation Park, 175 Longwood Road South, Hamilton


Silicon Halton

Silicon Halton organizes a number of events throughout the year in Burlington, Oakville, and Milton. Their monthly meetups and Peer2Peer events include three main components: a keynote presentation; a get-to-know-a-member presentation; and time for networking. These events cater to anyone at a startup (especially in the tech industry) who is looking to learn more about business practices.

Featured Event: Meetup #28: Top 10 Government Tax Credits & Incentives Your Tech Business Needs to Know About When: Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 @ 7:00 p.m. Where: Ned Devines, 575 Ontario Street, South Milton



Events at HalTech target startup businesses in the technology industry that are looking to develop new ideas, establish their business or continue to grow it. These events are held in the region of Halton and provide training for entrepreneurs as well as a chance to network.

Featured Event: The MarCom Toolkit When: Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 @ 8:30 a.m. Where: Sheridan Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, SPARK Research & Innovation Centre Boardroom, J Wing, Seminar Room J103H, 1430 Trafalgar Road, Oakville


Social Media Week

Social Media Week in Toronto offers a number of engaging events. This event will focus on how to use social media applications like LinkedIn and Twitter to increase sales opportunities and closings. This presentation will encompass both the strategic and tactical side of social media and sales.

Featured Event: Leveraging Social Media in the B2B Process When: Thursday, Feb. 16, 2012 @ 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Where: The Foundery, 376 Bathurst Street, Unit 101, Toronto


Toronto Rails Pub Night

This informal social event in Toronto is perfect for anyone interested in Web development. Industry people gather over a few pints, share ideas and rub shoulders with recruiters in the Web development startup community.

When: Monday, Feb. 20, 2012 @ 7:00 p.m. Where: The Rhino, 1249 Queen Street West, Toronto


PodCamp Toronto

PodCamp Toronto invites anyone who is in the media or communications sectors, including but not limited to writers; producers; photographers; designers; podcasters; developers; and bloggers to participate in a two-day “unconference.” Events will be driven by participation and will focus on a theme or purpose within the new media industry.

When: Saturday–Sunday, Feb. 25–26, 2012 Where: Rogers Communication Centre, 80 Gould Street, Toronto