Category Archives: Founders

Founders & Funders – Ottawa

Allan Isfan of Favequest has taken up the challenge of connecting “the people that start companies, and the people that fund them” in Ottawa. This is the fourth regional venue. We’ve hosted events in Montreal and Toronto. The Communitech team is hosting a Founders & Funders in Waterloo on October 9, 2008. Ottawa is the next to pick up the torch.

Founders & Funders is a social event. It was conceived by the awesome Austin Hill and the preeminent Patrick Lauzon in Montreal. The goal was to provide a social setting to help bring the people that start companies and the people that fund them together. This is not a pitch event. It is an opportunity to find out who is doing and funding what in your region.

What is Founders & Funders?

Founders & Funders is a social event aimed bringing together the people that start the next big successful company with the people that fund these companies in their earliest stages. The event is social. It is not a pitch fest. It is not a DemoCamp. It is an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs and funders in your local community. The goal is to help facilitate opportunities for people to meet, share and build relationships that will grow into the NEXT BIG THING.

Founders and Funders is dedicated:

  • to helping Canadian entrepreneurs to meet each other;
  • meet potential funders: angel, VC or other money sources;
  • to have fun;
  • and see how we can help each other create the NEXT BIG successful company.

How do I get involved?

The event is "by invitation only’ and is limited in terms of availability. Please send Allan Isfan allan.isfan@favequest.com a note and let him know why you should participate. You will be contacted no later than October 20 with a confirmation, payment details and location.

What: Founders & Funders – Ottawa
Cost: $100 The event is "by invitation only’ and is limited in terms of availability. Please send Allan Isfan allan.isfan@favequest.com a note and let him know why you should participate. You will be contacted no later than October 20 with a confirmation, payment details and location.
When: Wednesday, October 29, 2008 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM
Where:
Ottawa, ON   Canada

Founders & Funders Waterloo

I’ve been working with the fantastic of folks (Kevin Tuer, Iain Klugman, Gary Will and the team at Communitech) to get a Founders & Funders event to happen at Entrepreneur Week. The event is sponsored by Communitech, Microsoft and TechCapital.

communitech

What is Founders & Funders?

Founders & Funders is a social event aimed bringing together the people that start the next big successful company with the people that fund these companies in their earliest stages. The event is social. It is not a pitch fest. It is not a DemoCamp. It is an opportunity to meet other entrepreneurs and funders in your local community. The goal is to help facilitate opportunities for people to meet, share and build relationships that will grow into the NEXT BIG THING.

Founders and Funders is dedicated:

  • to helping Canadian entrepreneurs to meet each other;
  • meet potential funders: angel, VC or other money sources;
  • to have fun;
  • and see how we can help each other create the NEXT BIG successful company.

How do I get involved?

The event is “by invitation only’. The easiest way to get invited is to send Kevin Tuer – kevin@communitech.ca a note explaining why you should participate.

What: Founders & Funders Waterloo
When: Thursday, October 9, 2008 10:00 AM
Where:
Waterloo, ON   Canada

Founders & Funders Toronto – June 4, 2008

Jevon MacDonald and I are please to announce the second Toronto Founders & Funders dinner on June 4, 2008.

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What: Founders & Funders Toronto
Founders & Funders is a private, invite only social event. Founders and Funders is dedicated: to helping Canadian entrepreneurs to meet each other; meet potential funders: angel, VC or other money sources; to have fun; and see how we can help each other create the NEXT BIG successful company.
When: Wednesday, June 4, 2008 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM

The inaugural Toronto event sold out. And we’re expecting this event to reach capacity very quickly.

We are limited to 100 seats. The fee for the dinner is $100 which will include drinks and dinner.  This is a private networking event and we are selecting the audience to ensure a quality group of attendees. And to provide the best chance to network together.

How do I get an Invite?

If you would like to attend the dinner, please fill out the following form and let us know who you are.

We will be contacting those invited with details on the registration and attendance details for the dinner in the coming weeks.

Special Guest – Dan’l Lewin

We’re incredibly lucky to have Dan’l Lewin scheduled to be in attendance (Dan’l is the Corporate Vice-President, Strategic and Emerging Business Development for Microsoft). Check out GigaOM’s interview with Dan’l where he talks candidly about his role in Microsoft and how Microsoft works with other emerging technology companies.

Dan’l Lewin is corporate vice president of Strategic and Emerging Business Development, responsible for managing worldwide strategic business relationships with venture capitalists and emerging venture-capital-backed businesses, as well as managing the business relationship with leading global industry partners such as SUN, Adobe, Intuit and BEA to ensure their applications interoperate with and run well on the Microsoft platform – for the benefit of the companies’ common customers. Lewin is based at Microsoft’s Mountain View, Calif. campus.

A 25-year Silicon Valley veteran, Lewin was most recently CEO of Aurigin Systems Inc., an enterprise software company focused on intellectual property asset management. He also spent 18 years as an executive, leading sales and marketing divisions for companies including Apple Computer Corp., NeXT Inc. and GO Corporation. In addition, Lewin has served as a consultant for emerging companies, venture capital firms and corporate joint ventures.

Lewin holds an A.B. in politics from Princeton University.

Sponsors

We’re working with a number of great organizations to sponsor the event.

If you would like to sponsor this event or other Founders & Funders events across Canada please feel free to contact David Crow or Jevon MacDonald.

It’s a wrap

Rick & Jacqui

The inaugural Founders & Funders went off without a hitch. It was a fantastic evening. It wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors, thank you very much Microsoft and JLA Ventures, the event wouldn’t have happened without their support.

Jess and Chris from Istoica snapped a fantastic pictures of the event and the attendees. The gallery from Founders & Funders event is available. Maybe we should do a set of hockey cards of Founders & Funders. On the back of each card it could have stats like amount raised, fund size, number of deals, etc. Until then, check out the pictures from Istoica.

TechCapital and AideRSS Anand Agarawala, Bumptop Bogdan Chimleski Francis Fast

Craig Fitzpatrick StartupNorth - Jevon & Jonas Tom Purves Leila Boujnane

Selim Teja and Mark Skapinker Stephen Benson

The goal of Founders & Funders is to create a social environment where the people who fund companies and the people who start companies can begin conversations outside of the pitch. As an attendee, I’ll extend an invitation to connect you with any other attendee you might have missed.

Thank you for making the inaugural Toronto Founders & Funders a success. We look forward to hosting another event later in 2008.

Cheers,
David & Jevon
Jevon and David

Third round of founders

  • Chris Sukornyk, Kaboose, Inc.
    In between startups
    Evaluating ideas. Currently VP Product Development at Kaboose Inc. Formerly founder of BubbleShare (sold in 2007) & founder of Fivelimes (sold in 2007).
  • Leila Boujnane & Paul Bloore, Idée, Inc.
    Expansion
    Idée is the first company to introduce an image monitoring service allowing image providers to track where their images appear in print and online.
  • Steve Hulford & Chris Becker, Filemobile
    12 employees, 21 clients and almost a million in revenue
    Filemobile is a media management platform, providing tools to enable social media to big brands, media companies and advertising agencies.
  • David Gratton, Project Opus Technologies
    Heritage Canada and Friends & Family funded. Product launch spring 2008.
    Project Opus builds non-DRM technologies that enhance the value of recorded music, giving consumers a desire to purchase digital music.
  • Stuart MacDonald, TripHarbour
    Will be in to beta in Q1 2008.
    Tripharbour.com connects you to your ideal cruise holiday with the web’s first combined cruise community and cruise planning/booking site.
  • Robert Dunlop, Flavour Technology
    We are embarking upon many exciting projects – all require funding.
    We have transitioned our business over the past year to become a BUSINESS INCUBATOR for several start-up organizations.
  • Jay Goldman, Radiant Core
    Angel Seeking
    World’s best web shop with great clients, starting to build our own brilliant products.
  • Scott Murrary, Organization Metrics
    We are a classic restart
    Our software enables organizations to ensure they have the right talent in the right place at the right time
  • Albert Lai, StillinStealthMode
  • Robin Gambhir, OpenBlue Networks
  • Jeremy Wright, b5media
  • Mark Ruddock, Viigo
  • Derek Szeto, Redflagdeals.com
  • Bogdan Chmielewski, SweetCaesar
  • Brad Stewart, PayMail
  • Tom Purves, WirelessNorth

Second round of Founders

    Next round of 10 founders. Some chose to meet the requirements of the form, but missed the spirit of including the details about their company. These details are being used to help both other founders and funders figure out who to connect with.

    • Ian Bell, Something Simpler
      Series A Complete: Building Series B
      Something Simpler builds rich consumer applications leveraging its unique content matching platform.
    • Mike McDerment, FreshBooks
      gathering steam
      FreshBooks is online invoicing and time tracking for service-oriented professionals.
    • Noah Godfrey & Pema Hegan, GigPark
      Growth
      GigPark is a place to find services with the help of your friends.
    • Ryan Coleman, Clay Tablet
      Launched w/V2 product. Post-revenue.
      Clay Tablet is an integration platform for connecting content systems to translation providers. We streamline the language translation process.
    • Tom George, DesignAxiom
      In my dreams
      Commodity mobile device (mic,ear,t-screen,wifi); open source Flash OS; net-based Asterisk phone platform: cheap open wifi-based mobile comm
    • Dmitry Buterin, WildApricot
      Great product, revenue growing, now scaling up and fine-tuning
      Integrated website software for groups: clubs, associations, communities. Membership & event management, forum, blog, payments.
    • Boris Mann, Bootup Labs
      Website is up :P
      Bootup Labs helps you quit your day job: we help startups get started.
    • Ron McKenzie, Octopz
      Growth
      Octopz is an advanced online Collaboration Solution designed specifically to meet the needs of Creative Professionals.
    • John Green, Savvica
      Series-A funded, pre-revenue
      Savvica is an educational technology company aiming to improve education on a global scale by lowering the barriers of entry to e-learning.
    • Ali de Bold & Alex de Bold, ChickAdvisor
      Emerging from Beta
      ChickAdvisor is a social networking website where women can rate and review products and services.

      Badges, we need stinkin’ badges

      Founders Badge - Founders & FundersFunders Badge - Founders & FundersThe Founders & Funders event is a social event . Our goal is to help connect the people who fund web and emerging technology companies with those that start them. The first part of these efforts is to host an event. Well the first Founders & Funders – Toronto event is happening January 21, 2008. The next part is to help the attendees connect to each other at the event.

      Here is the first attempt to design a name tag to improve the connections between attendees at the event. These badges are based on the badge design concepts by Mike Davidson. The goals of the initial design are:

      1. Name – As Dan Saffer says “First Name. BIG! I don’t want to have to stare at people’s badges any longer than I need to. A rapid glance should boldly display the wearer’s first name, often to just refresh my memory or as a cue if I’m looking for someone I haven’t met but want to.”
      2. Company – I want to know who you work for, but this is secondary to who you are.
      3. Founder or Funder - As designated by both the icon and the color. The color (for those of us that aren’t colour blind) should allow you to identify the basic composition from a distance. The icon is a secondary method for identifying the role.

      We want to make it easier for attendees to connect with each other. Other things I’m thinking about for the badges:

      • Including a list of attendees, email addresses, company description, URL and stage. This would be a foldout in the back of the badge.
      • Holder for business cards. This is not the most important thing, but at conferences I always put my cards and cards I receive in the badge holder, if they fit.

      One thing I host that all Founders provide us is a 2 page summary sheet. The team at StumbleUpon provides a Fact Sheet which summarizes the business. We could then distribute this information to each of the Funders attending so they’d have a great way to follow up with the attendees they meet and more relevant details than provided by a business card.

      1. Problem solved – “help people discover interesting or informative web content that they wouldn’t have thought to search for.”
      2. Company history – “Originally launched in Calgary in 2002″
      3. Why it works - “Stumbling is so easy that through word-of-mouth alone, nearly one million people have installed the StumbleUpon toolbar extension, stumbling an average of 20 times per day”
      4. Revenue model – “Free membership is supported by a unique, targeted advertising model which guarantees relevant audiences and elicits community feedback. Members who opt to pay an annual fee never have to see an ad.”
      5. Founders - “StumbleUpon was founded by three Canadians: Garrett Camp, Geoff Smith, and Justin LaFrance. The three recently relocated to San Francisco.”
      6. Funding - “Until March 2006, StumbleUpon was completely self-funded and fully bootstrapped. Growth was achieved solely via word of mouth. To accelerate growth, the Company has attracted private investment from leading technology investors and entrepreneurs”
      7. Board of Advisors
      8. Contact Information

      If you can’t summarize your business using a format like this, you’d better be Microsoft or General Electric.

      First round of Founders

      Founders & Funders is about helping to connect the founders of early-stage, venture fundable web and technology companies with the funding community in Canada. We’ve asked all founders to describe their company and the stage they are current at using a short format.

      Name, Company
      Please describe your Company if explained in a single twitter post (140 characters max)
      If asked to describe what “stage” your startup is at in 10 words or less

      You can follow the Tweets at http://twitter.com/foundersfunders

      We’re assembling a great group of founders.

      • Michael Garrity, CommunityLend
        Funded and prepping for Beta Launch
        Peer to Peer Lending Service for Canada
      • George Favvas, SmartHippo
        Public beta; very early revenue
        SmartHippo is the first ever site that uses the power of the community to help people find the best rates and save money. Based in Montreal.
      • Craig Fitzpatrick, DevShop
        Commercialization
        A project management application that gets to know the team members’ behavior to predict & insulate projects from risk.
      • Ali Asaria, Well.ca
        Early-stage Startup
        Well.ca is a Canadian online health & beauty store and a leader in the online Canadian retail health market. We’re also super friendly.
      • Scott Brooks & Bernie Aho, ConceptShare
        Growth Phase poised for expansion.
        ConceptShare has developed a web application that allows users to easily share, discuss and mark-up designs for review over the web.
      • Kevin Thomason & Ilya Grigorik, AideRSS
        An early stage ready to dominate the RSS filtering market
        AideRSS helps you breakthrough RSS information overload and read what matters.
      • Stephen Benson, Innovation Exchange
        revenue generating
        IX is a platform corporations use to accelerate their ability to innovate by connecting them with a Global Community of innovative thinkers.
      • Sandy Ward, HomeZilla
        Alpha!
        HomeZilla is a one-stop shop for home buyers and agents to find neighbourhood information about a home.
      • Chris Ragobeer, Nametaggs
        Beta and Unfunded
        Nametaggs is a social media service that allows people with a domain name registered with their name on it to promote their content.
      • Christopher Golda, IPartee
        Early-stage
        IPartee provides the tools to plan, publish and promote events. Find events and venues you and your friends want to attend.
      • Ross Bennet, SlashID
        Beta launch, boot strapped, looking for Angel investment
        SlashID will increase the number of registrations your website receives, to improve your business.Solves the identity problem for your users