Startupfest is just around the corner (July 12-15), but the BDC-sponsored AcceleratorFest and ScaleupFest are coming up first, and they offer a unique opportunity for specialized learning in the lead up to the main event.
Like last year, there will be several specialized Premium Fests taking place leading up to Startupfest. This year, BDC Capital is putting on AcceleratorFest and ScaleupFest, both of which function as a destination for peer-to-peer sharing of best practices from industry leaders.
“AcceleratorFest was launched three years ago,” Erika Kurczyn, Manager of Strategic Partnerships at BDC Capital told MTLinTECH. “The idea was really to build a platform that would allow accelerators from across Canada to open their minds to what accelerators around the world are doing. What is making them successful? And then build content and bring these leaders to share their best practices with the other ones. Basically with the goal of figuring out what the best model would be to be successful.”
Last year, Kurczyn convinced Phil Tellio from Startupfest of the need for three more festivals: ScaleupFest, Angelfest, and Fundfest.
“I convinced him we should run three other festivals. One for scaleups, not the typical scaleups everybody talks about, but companies that are really on the seed stage that are looking to raise Series A. So again, the same idea of peer to peer sharing of best practices from the most experienced founders in Canada, helping them understand what it takes to raise a Series A in Canada. And then we created AngelFest and the FundFest, all of them peer to peer sharing of best practices and addressing current challenges of these key players. We hosted four festivals, and then during launch time we allowed some time for all these key players to mingle, and do business.”
This year BDC is again running ScaleupFest and AcceleratorFest, while AngelFest is being presented by Videotron. All three are taking place July 12th, while a fourth Premium Fest, HackerFest, also presented by Videotron, will take place July 14-15th. The fifth Premium Fest, Startupfest Version Francaise, will also take place July 12th.
ScaleupFest is targeted at startups who have raised seed funding and are looking to raise a Series A in the next 12-18 months.
“For ScaleupFest we have Carol Leaman from Axonify. We also have Alyssa Furtado from RateHub. It’s an interesting story because instead of raising funds she grew the company on revenue, so she hasn’t even raised funding and her company is huge. We have Gian Carlo Di Tommaso from Luxury Retreats. We also have Mohamed Musbah from Maluuba, one of the Montreal favourites.”
AcceleratorFest is for managers of accelerator programs across Canada and internationally.
“For Acceleratorfest we have David Brown, who is a co-founder of TechStars. We have Ravi Belani, who is a founder of the Alchemist, one of the top acclerators in the US. We also have Melinda Richter, who is the head of JLABS Worldwide, the Johnson and Johnson accelerator.”