Startupfest announces ResolveTO event, summer 2017 dates


There’s a lot going on right now with Montreal’s Startupfest.

Today the organization is announcing its planned Toronto tech event will be called “ResolveTO,” to be hosted January 25-27. The organization also revealed that its flagship event every summer in the Old Port will return July 12-15, 2017.

The team at Startupfest has done this all while hosting its latest stop in the Elevator World Tour, this one in Hong Kong. More on that below.

Startupfest had previously indicated its interest in creating a Toronto-specific event to compliment its flagship Montreal event. A large proportion of Startupfest’s festival-goers every summer hail from the “Big Smoke,” arguably Canada’s tech capital.

“We were approached by the city of Toronto. We didn’t set our sites on Toronto from the get-go, it was more the city telling us what we’re doing in Montreal was really cool,” said Startupfest’s founder, Phil Telio. “They were adamant that ResolveTO doesn’t try to replace the Montreal event and that’s why we’re doing it in January. Once we sat down as a team we said to ourselves, how do we do this differently enough while still brining the Startupfest spirit?”

According to its website, ResolveTO will “combine the trademark energy and attitude of Startupfest with this new enterprise thinking, in Canada’s largest city.” Telio added that it will place a focus on “corporate innovation startups,” and prizes will be geared towards these types of teams. One sponsoring partner has already committed $100,000 in prize money and Telio ultimately sees the prize value kicking up to a couple hundred thousand.

But is Telio concerned at all that ResolveTO will happen in the dead of winter in freezing, snowy Toronto?

“No,” said Telio. “When we first said we were going to do Startupfest in July there were plenty of people who said no one will come and that everyone would be on vacation. It worked out. We chose January for ResolveTO because nothing happens then. We want to own winter and actually put an emphasis on Canadian winter. We’ll give our speakers down coats and cashmere hats”

Telio wants to do something similar to Startupfest’s tent village. Perhaps a “winter village.”

“Toronto has a lot of activity and events, but they still don’t have a flagship event where the whole community gets together. I think that’s their desire. I can understand why it doesn’t have a flagship event because the scale of the venue that we’re looking for is not easy to find. We don’t go to conference centers,” said Telio.

The founder wouldn’t divulge where exactly ResolveTO will be, but he did say it’ll be in the heart of downtown Toronto.

“When we created Startupfest, we didn’t know what to expect. Six years later, it’s become the defining event for Canadian entrepreneurs and thousands of attendees from elsewhere. So it is with Resolve TO: We don’t know what will happen. We’re sure there will be partnerships, financings, customer development, co-creation, acquisition, and the launch of new projects and ideas,” added content chair Alistair Croll.

The team at Startupfest is currently in Hong Kong for their latest stop in the Elevator World Tour, a series of events typically held once a year in different cities around the world. About 100 local entrepreneurs in cities typically get a few minutes in an elevator ride to pitch wealthy investors. The events are usually held in some of the most notable towers around the world, including the CN Tower and the Eiffel Tower in the past.

Today, Startupfest’s first event in the Asian continent will see 100 up-and-coming entrepreneurs pitch their ideas on the 100th floor of Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Centre (ICC).

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