Category Archives: Toronto

Feb 16, 2012

After a 2 year hiatus, we’re going to try and bring together Founders & Funders in Toronto again.

The Founders and Funders dinners are a series of invitation-only dinners that are held across Canada several times a year. They are a sort of summit on the state of each community and we do our best to make sure that the best startups possible have a chance to meet the most respected and active investors who are doing deals in those cities. There is always a mix of locals and people who come in for the event as a way to get connected.

We believe that if you cannot sit down and have dinner with someone, then you probably shouldn’t invest in or take investment from them. This is a great chance to apply a social filter to the dealflow in any one place.

What is it?: An invitation-only 3 course dinner. Cocktails before, cocktails after….

Who is coming?: The top investment-ready startups and active investors in Canada.

Where is it?: Downtown Toronto

When?: February 16th, 2012 at 6:30pm

How much is it?: Tickets range from $125 (startups) to $500 (service providers)

We are now accepting requests for invitations and the first round of invitations will go out this week.

Apply to attend F&F »

We have also decided to include a brief fireside chat with Daniel Debow at this dinner. We rarely do this sort of thing at a Founders and Funders but 2011 was such a great year we thought it would be fun to look back on the ups and downs of Rypple through the years and how they got to their eventual exit, some of which was written about in Forbes this week.

Daniel and Rypple have also been a big part of the Canadian startup community and he has also been an active angel investor recently.

We are excited to hear what he has to say about how we can help build more great Canadian companies and how to build awareness in Silicon Valley when your HQ is back here in Canada.

We hope you will join us as we kick off another great year for the Toronto and Canadian startup community.

We will be announcing Founders and Funders dinners in other cities soon as well.

Family Day – Rescheduling

We’ve had some feedback about hosting Founders & Funders on Feb 15, 2010 (Family Day). And the feedback has been, I love the event, but can you do it on a different day. We like to think this is all about entrepreneur enablement. So if no entrepreneurs show up, it’s pretty hard to do the enablement part.

We are finalizing a new date with the venue. I’m leaning towards Monday, March 1, 2010. I’d like to connect with everyone before SxSWi & Mix.

Once the new date at the venue is finalized, I will begin sending out personal invitations. How do you get an invitation? Step 1 is to let us know that you are interested. We have begun reviewing applications (and in case you’re curious, we make everyone tell us why they should participate: Founders, Funders, a limited number of Service Providers – Jevon made Jonas and me justify our participation ;-) I am hoping to finalize the venue and date this week, with the first round of invitations sent out by Friday.

David, Jevon & Jonas

Toronto on Feb 15, 2010

Wow, as I’m writing this, it has been 18 months since the last Founders & Funders in Toronto. There have been a plethora of other events like StartupEmpire, Canadian Innovation Exchange, DemoCamp and others. It’s time we do this again.

Founders & Funders Toronto is booked for Februrary 15, 2010.

How do I attend?

Founders & Funders is by invitation only. We are actively seeking new talent. That means new companies, new startups, new founders, new entrepreneurs. We are looking for new funders. How do I get an invite if I’m new? Well, you should apply to attend.

How much does it cost?

The price is $100/founder, $200/funder and $500/service provider. We’re also looking for separate wine sponsors.

Who is attending?

Details of the funders, founders and everyone else attending will be added shortly. One of the reasons for the changes to the application process is to help gather information to share with attendees. This should be a great social event.

Founders & Funders Toronto – June 4, 2008

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


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.


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.

David & Jevon
Jevon and David

Founders and Funders Toronto Kickoff Questions

The Founders and Funders dinner takes place tonight in Toronto. We really wish we could have invited everyone who asked for a ticket, but we have been sold out for a while now.

I really don’t want to miss out on hearing from all of you, even if you can’t make it to Toronto for the dinner tonight, so I thought I would post the questions we will post tonight at the dinner. Please comment below with your thoughts on the state of funding in Canada. Answering these questions isn’t a requirement at the dinner, but we wanted to set the tone of the discussion to focus as much as possible about what we can do to change things in Canada.

  • Do Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists get enough recognition for the deals they do in Canada?
  • Do Canadian universities inspire and support entrepreneurship? Could a “Startup Co-Op” program help?
  • What is the minimum amount of funding a startup should be able to deliver a product with?
  • Is the Dragon’s Den the most visible face of Canadian Entrepreneurship right now? What is wrong with that?

Some of these questions may change by tonight depending on the answers we get.

Head over to StartupNorth to respond or to suggest another question.

JLA Ventures is a sponsor

We’re excited to announce that Rick Segal and JLA Ventures are sponsoring Founders & Funders. We’ve need to raise sponsorship money to help cover the costs of holding the event, basically the ticket price does not fully cover the costs of attendence (read: this is why I’m not in charge of finance). And gracious sponsors like Rick understand the impact an event like Founders & Funders can have on enabling this community.

Rick has led the charge calling for disruption in the venture capital community. Rick has provided detailed documentation on the venture funding process and continues to have “No Harm, No Foul” meetings with entrepreneurs to provide feedback on the idea, the revenue model and the customers. The “30 minute no harm, no foul” meetings are a great way to learn about how a VC thinks about your company, the problem space you’ve chosen and your solution.

JLA Ventures

JLA Ventures invests in Internet, digital media, e-commerce, communications security, mobile computing, and enterprise software companies. Portfolio candidates typically possess superior technology, a sustainable competitive advantage, and exceptional growth prospects.

Our investments range in size from $500,000 to $10 million, with an initial investment normally being between $2 million and $5 million. As active, multi-stage investors, we provide long-term capital for growth purposes.

JLA Ventures portfolio includes

Dinner Menu

Monsoon InteriorWe finalized the menu for Monday night at Monsoon.

Appetizer, choice of:

  • seasonal daily soup
  • baby greens in pappadum cup with yuzu vinaigrette and seedlings

Main course, choice of:

  • organic “firecracker” chicken supreme with azuki forbidden rice and tiger lilly buds
  • beef tenderloin on garlic chive mash and tosa-zu king oyster mushrooms
  • arctic char with wild mushrooms and e-fu longevity noodles
  • vegetarian optionbutternut squash gnocchi


  • monsoon dessert platter – chefs’ daily creation

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.
    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. 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,
  • Bogdan Chmielewski, SweetCaesar
  • Brad Stewart, PayMail
  • Tom Purves, WirelessNorth