Startup Fest gets tech-entrepreneurs chattering
MONTREAL - If you’ve concocted the next great billion dollar business, it’s time to get down to the Old Port and start pitching.
The three-day International Startup Festival kicked off Wednesday as a giant showcase of advice, forum for idea exchanges and hopefully a great place to find an investor who believes in your dream.
Some of the innovative minds at this year’s fest included inventors who are selling a do-it-yourself robotics kit, which allows kids to program their own electronic birds.
Then there’s jewelry that allows one’s finger print to be imprinted on a ring.
Those and other entrepreneurs were networking fast and furious for the 72-hours, which appear to be sold out (unless you can convince someone that you’re a reporter).
The festival was an old-fashioned face-to-face conference thought up by Philippe Telio who saw that ambitious tech folk needed a place to connect.
“There was a hunger in the local community to get together and learn from each other and talk to each other and figure out what everybody was doing but what we lacked was a view from outside,” he said.
Some of the locally-based success stories at the conference include Lightspeed's Dax Dasilva and Wall Street Survivor's Rory Olson who left home at 16 to play in a rock band, only to find himself soon after at the helm of an early internet service provider.
Telio says that there are plenty of examples of startups that aren't led by technology whizzes.
“The first challenge is coming up with an idea you don't have to be in technology to have that idea, the reality is in our daily lives we encounter problems and technology can help us solve those problems, said Philippe Telio of the International Startup Festival.
The festival event attracted tech business advisors such as Liza Kindred of New York’s Third-Wave Fashion.
She points out that when it comes to tech companies, many are called but few are chosen.
“I mean the barrier for entry is low. It's easy to start a tech company. I don't think it's easy to have a successful tech company,” said Kindred.