CIX 2013 – Canadian Startups and Investors at MarsDD
This was my first year attending CIX 2013 and I was really impressed with the scale of the event, the number of participants from both the investment community, incubators and startups. The auditorium at MarsDD was standing room only as the selected Top 20 startups presented their businesses to panels from the investment community. The breadth of companies from LMS (Learning Management Systems, a new acronym for me) to eHealth, video recognition processing, collaboration for hardware designing and the list goes on…. All of the presenters had seriously innovative solutions with real business models that are well on their way. And all made in Canada!
The breadth of investors in venture capital was also great to see. The smaller breakout sessions focusing on creating and building companies that last were backed by panelists from seed funding through to later stage funding. The advice was honest, open and encouraging to entrepreneurs. I was impressed by the willingness of founders that have gone before to offer angel investment and more importantly mentorship for the next wave of entrepreneurs even as they plot the next steps for themselves. The impact of the successful exits of many companies creates a viral community of people that have lived through a startup and know both success and failure. They are going on to found companies themselves. It really is where economic growth will come from and it is so important to foster and support businesses like these.
By the end of the day my mind was whirling with the possibilities of our innovation community in Canada and I can not wait to see who the next rising stars will be.