Archive for the ‘Startups’ Category

You Don’t Have To Be In “The Valley”!

November 8, 2012

Last week Brad Feld visited Montreal as part of his Startup Communities book tour. He spoke at Notman House to a room packed full of Montreal entrepreneurs.

More and more, Montreal is receiving visits by high profile US entrepreneurs and venture capitalists.

Feld says that building an entrepreneurial ecosystem requires four things. As he explains ion the video below, the community must be lead by entrepreneurs, needs to take a 20 year view, must be inclusive and requires engaging activities such as meetups and startup weekends and the like.

There has been much talk lately about the loss of a number of notable Montreal startup leaders, namely Sylvain Carle, Ben Yoskovitz and Raymond Luk, yet the Montreal startup community continues to grow. While many talk about how the best way to ensure the success of a startup is to do it in Silicon Vally, Feld rejects this premise. Feld told the Montreal audience first choose where they want to live and then build your startup there.

Feld practiced what he preaches having moved to Boulder Colorado from Boston about 17 years ago. At the time, Boulder was not the startup community it is now but Feld and others have built Boulder into a thriving startup community.

Montreal is an awesome place to live, surrounded by the beauty of the Laurentians, the Eastern Townships, Vermont, the Maine coast and the Adirondacks. Located less than 6 hours drive from Boston, New York and Toronto, Montreal’s international flavor coupled with generous government research & development (SRED) tax credit programs which reduces the cost of innovation make it an incredible location to build a startup.

Feld stated that building a startup community requires a core of around 10 committed leaders. Despite the recent losses, those who remain continue the mission of building our local ecosystem. As FoundersFuel graduates it’s newest cohort of aspiring startups at it’s Demo Day tonight, I am confident that Montreal is clearly on the way to growing a vibrant startup community to foster creativity and innovation.

Are you planning to stay and build your startup in Montreal? The Boulder Thesis states “You have to give before you get”. How can you help build Montreal’s startup community?

Nurturing Innovation

September 14, 2011
It’s been a long time since I have written a post, having been caught up in so many things but Mark Suster’s post a couple of months back “You Need to Win the Battle for Share of Mind” got me thinking about the amazing tech startup community evolving right here in my own back yard.
As CFO of a Montreal telecom company  for over 10 years, I have become very passionate about technology, entrepreneurship, startups and in general, making a difference. As I think about how a generation of web entrepreneurs have changed the world so much over this period, it is amazing to think that Google was born just over 10 years ago, Linkedin 8, Facebook 7 and Groupon less than 3.
Over the past few years I have witnessed the evolution Montreal’s growing startup community. The resources available to repeat as well as first time entrepreneurs continue to grow. New venture capital funds like Real Ventures and SeedPlant Capital, seed accelerators such as Founders Fuel and  Year One Labs as well as blogs like NextMontreal and meetup groups like Mtlnewtech are all contributing  to build the infrastructure necessary to support incredible innovation.
The recent International Startup Festival organized by Phil Telio and an amazing team was incredible and is further evidence of the entrepreneurial spirit in Montreal.
We are not Silicon Valley yet or even Boulder but we are on the right path and I look forward to seeing this trend continue to evolve and prosper.