Category: events

10
Aug

Bryan Watson Joins Flow Ventures as Partner

TORONTO, ON – August 10, 2015 – The Partners of Flow Ventures are pleased to announce that Bryan J. Watson has joined Flow Ventures as the newest Partner of the firm, spearheading the growth of the firm, particularly in Ontario
For over a decade Bryan has advised and supported Angel and venture capital investors, all levels of government, NGOs, and companies at all stages of growth – from idea to exit. In addition, Bryan is active on numerous funding review panels for Provincially and Federally funded organizations.

In the past, Bryan has served as Executive Director of the National Angel Capital Organization, Founder and President of the Network of Angel Organizations-Ontario, and CEO Fusion as well as President of EP Enterprises Inc.. In addition to these roles, Bryan has been a Director of Precarn Incorporated and the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, and well as an Advisor to the Mississauga R.I.C. Center and hundreds of startups. Bryan continues to be actively engaged in advising a number of organizations.

Bryan completed his Masters in Management, Economics and International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, on the only full Chevening Scholarship awarded in Canada.

On Bryan’s partnership, Founder of Flow Ventues, Raymond Luk, commented, “Bryan is an institution within the growth company, financing and innovation management communities. His recent selection as one of 7 finalists, representing Ontario, from across Canada for the 2015 BDC Mentorship Award demonstrates this. We are excited to have him on board!”

“Having worked with Flow Ventures on many different projects,” commented Bryan, “I am pleased to join the Flow Ventures family and look forward to continuing to support my current clients as well as new ones. The holistic, approach that Flow takes to helping clients grow is very much in line with my philosophy for supporting growth companies and companies seeking to better manage their innovation portfolio and activities.”

Bryan will spearhead the expansion of Flow Ventures in Ontario while also advising companies across Canada and internationally. To connect with Bryan Watson, please do so at bwatson@flowventures.com.

About Flow Ventures:
Flow Ventures is a boutique consulting firm with unparalleled experience advising companies throughout the business lifecycle. Whether your company is securing grants and tax credits, raising financing, or planning strategy growth or exit, the Flow Ventures team is at your disposal. Flow Ventures was founded and is operated by serial entrepreneurs, investors, and company operators, and working with us means working with people with the experience and vast international network you need to achieve your goals. For more information, please visit: www.flowventures.com

24
Nov

Why you should attend StartupDrinksCA

This week marks a major milestone in the life of StartupDrinksCA. It’s the first time the event can be called a truly Canadian event rather than something that’s just happening in a few cities. Since organizing StartupDrinks in Montreal over a year ago, we’ve managed to expand it to Toronto, Ottawa and Waterloo. Now we’re happy to welcome Halifax (which ran its first StartupDrinks last week), Moncton, St. John, Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. I’m sure there will be more Canadian communities joining.

We’ve created a new Web site (www.startupdrinks.ca) to make it easier to organize and promote StartupDrinks in your city. Check it out to see when StartupDrinksCA is happening in your city.

To mark this important milestone, I thought I would highlight the 3 reasons why I think you should attend StartupDrinksCA:

  1. Celebrate your community – I’ve recently started reading Who’s Your City? by Richard Florida. He talks about how important creative clusters are to the work of creative people. StartupDrinks is a great way to celebrate how vibrant your local tech entrepreneurship community is. Take a step back and realize that you’re surrounded by passionate, talented people who’ll go out of their way to enable your passion and talent.
  2. Build your reputation – Your personal reputation in the community is crucial, not only if you’re a social media professional. It applies to all types of businesses. Regularly attending StartupDrinks is a way for you to develop a reputation with people you aren’t necessarily doing business with today. But when opportunities arise (e.g. someone looking for a co-founder, or their next investment) you’ll appreciate the fact that you have a social bond to back up the fact you’re LinkedIn.
  3. Talk about yourself – All startups (and entrepreneurs) are works-in-progress. There’s no better way to develop and hone your pitch (business or personal) than getting out there and doing it. You’ll get great feedback and just the exercise of hearing yourself pitch will give you new insight into what works and what doesn’t. The nice thing about StartupDrinks is that there are no speeches and no panel of judges. Be yourself, share a pint and talk about your projects.

One last reason: there’s a fabulous prize (paid out in kudos) for the person who attends the most Startupdrinks in different cities. We call it: Startup Lush. So far I’m winning but I’d love to have some competition!

16
Nov

Startup Drinks CA is live!

Big news!

Startup Drinks has expanded to include eight beautiful cities – Halifax, St. John, Toronto, Waterloo, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal.  Startup Drinks Canada also has a new home over at www.startupdrinks.ca and twitter account (@startupdrinksca), to keep you informed on what’s going on locally and nationally.

If you’re eager to help organize for the fun and fellowship, contact your local organizer.  Your support in getting the word out from exactly where you’re sitting right now is always appreciated too.  Use the usual or unusual channels, I’m not picky!  This is a completely community run event for all to enjoy.  Thanks to all of our city volunteers who saw the need and stepped up so fast it nearly made my head spin!

If you’ve never been before, it’s really simple.

  1. Go to www.startupdrinks.ca and look up your city’s date, location and time.
  2. Sign up to show your support and let your organizer know you’re coming.  Make a date with yourself or a friend and go.
  3. Order a drink and introduce yourself to someone you’ve never met before. Repeat as needed.

We don’t have presentations or sponsors and fully encourage people just to have a good time while getting to know their local startup community. This is the last one for 2009 so please accept my sincere thanks to each and every one of you who came and made it a success.  The kudos belongs to you.

Here are the need to know details for Startup Drinks Montreal:

When: Wednesday, November 25, 2009, 5:30pm

Where: Brutopia, 1219 Rue Crescent (cnr Ste-Catherine) (map

)

Sign up here!

Next Startup Drinks Montreal: January 27, 2010

22
Sep

Startup Drinks: Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa and now Waterloo!

We’re now onto our fourth city joining the Startup Drinks bandwagon thanks to Dan Silivestru. Waterloo is a little out of sync for this one to avoid conflicts with DemoCamp Guelph.

So, here are the details:

Montreal:

Venue: Brutopia, 1215 Crescent St

When:  Wednesday, September 30, 2009 from 5:30pm

Toronto:

Venue: Fionn MacCool’s,  70 The Esplanade, Btw Church and Victoria

When: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 from 6pm

Ottawa:

Venue: TBA

When: Wednesday, September 30, 2009 from 5:30pm

and the newest addition (drum roll please!):

Waterloo:

Venue: McMullan’s on King, 56 King Street North

When: Tuesday, September 29, 2009 from 5:30pm

Look out for sign up information shortly!

19
Aug

August Startup Drinks in Toronto and Montreal! Update: now Ottawa too!

The inaugural Startup Drinks Toronto had over 100 people thanks to David Crow and his organizing efforts.  Montreal had another really nice mid-summer showing as well! We’re back for another round this Wednesday, August 26 in Montreal and Toronto for more startup networking.

For Toronto:

Venue: C’est What,  67 Front Street East, Corner Farquhars Lane

When: Wednesday, August 26, 2009 from 6pm

Sign up: here or on Facebook, if you prefer

For Montreal:

Venue: Brutopia, 1215 Crescent St (South of Ste-Catherine, Metro Guy)

When: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 from 5:30pm

Sign up at TechEntreprise

As always, I look forward to seeing you there!

Robin

UPDATE!

If you’re reading this from the fair city of Ottawa, you can also join in the synchronous fun too thanks to Scott Annan from Mercury Grove!

Here are the details:

– Date: Wednesday, 26 August, 2009
– Location: Metropolitan Brasserie, 700 Sussex, Street level entrance (map)
– Time: 6pm until late

Sign up here!

22
Jul

Startup Drinks, Montreal and Toronto: Wednesday, July 29!

This Wednesday, July 29, Startup Drinks will be held simultaneously in two different locations! We’ve been working behind the scenes with Canadian startup agitator David Crow

to get our Toronto brethren into the Startup Drinks act.  Startup Drinks Toronto makes its debut in the wake of DemoCamp and at last count there are over 180 (!) people slated to be there.

Speaking for Montreal, this drinking and networking event has become a touchstone for the tech community because of the regulars who keep the open spirit of the startup culture alive.  With David’s help, I hope we can achieve this modest end in Toronto with the same “no frills” philosophy and conviviality.

I asked David – who has no lack of projects on the go, mind you – why he was getting behind yet another community building effort and he said it’s because “Startup Drinks embodies the culture needed to build strong connections between entrepreneurs. Montreal has such a fantastic startup culture, and sometimes imitation is the finest form of flattery. This is a great social event for entrepreneurs and startups to gather over a pint and share what we’ve been working on.”

If you’re a Montrealer in Toronto for DemoCamp, check it out just as our own Raymond Luk will be doing.  You know the drill!

Without further ado, these are your need-to-know details:

For Toronto:

Venue: Pogue Mahone, 777 Bay St (Cnr College St)

When: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 from 7pm

Sign up: Startup Drinks Toronto Facebook Event


For Montreal:

Venue: Brutopia, 1219 Crescent St (Sth of St-Catherine)

When: Wednesday, July 29, 2009 from 5:30pm

Sign up: Coming soon!

You can come by yourself, with a friend or with a posse.  Everyone is welcome!

See you there,

Robin

09
Jun

June Startup Drinks + Montreal Girl Geeks

Startup Drinks has joined forces with Montreal’s Girl Geeks to bring you the networking juggernaut of the summer!

On location will be another fine installment in the Montreal Girl Geek speaker series featuring local tech entrepreneur Christine Renaud (E-180).  Christine will talk about her travels in social entrepreneurship in her talk entitled “The Good, The Lucrative and the Web Friendly”.

Here’s the deal:

The Date:

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Times:

  • 5pm: Montreal Girl Geeks, featuring Christine Renaud.  Check out their blog for more details! You MUST register to reserve your berth as space is limited.
  • 6pm: Startup Drinks madness will kick off at 6pm until whenever with beer, networking and snacks.  Registration is recommended at techentreprise!

The Place:

  • UPSTAIRS (as in, not downstairs) at Brutopia,  1219 Crescent St (south of St-Catherine), Metro Guy-Concordia

The Cost:

  • Nothing, nada, zip.  Both events are free and you can come to one or other or both. As always, everyone is welcome!

Thanks to Tanya McGinnity for her collaboration on what promises to be a great night!

See you there!

Robin

08
Jun

Lead to Win: An Open source Business Accelerator

Here’s an interesting idea: take a city that is experiencing high-tech job loss, create a program that helps laid-off workers create startups, run it like a summer school program using local experts, charge nothing for the program and take no equity stake in the businesses. Oh, and Open Source all of the learning materials used!

It sounds too good to be true and it is, unless you live in Ottawa. Lead to Win

is an accelerator program created by Dr. Tony Bailetti. Currently underway with about 50 participants, this is actually the second time such an accelerator has been run in Ottawa, the first one being in 2002 during the last tech downturn. That program created about 15 new companies, 300 new jobs and a significant amount of investment dollars. More importantly, it created a new cohort of tech entrepreneurs that have gone on to found new companies.

Here’s a taste of some of the things covered in the agenda:

  • Design your business for success
  • Define compelling customer and partner value propositions
  • Lever ecosystems, open source projects, and open APIs
  • Identify customers most likely to buy from new company
  • Price and brand with confidence
  • Build team and organization
  • Define clear agreements, term sheets, and sales contracts
  • Protect intellectual property
  • As well as pitches and discussions with experts and LTW alumni

Since we all love to classify things, is Lead to Win a startup accelerator? Tech accelerators (remember, we don’t use the term “incubator” anymore…) are on the rise. StartupCFO has a nice post on the subject and First Ascent Ventures has probably the best early analysis of the accelerator space and guesses about early returns (Parts 1, 2, 3). We sometimes describe what we do at Flow Ventures as “acceleration” since we provide a mix of financing and operational services (though no office space!).

What is compelling about Lead to Win is its Open Source business model. It’s not only free (as in beer) but free as in all of their materials are available online. In fact, they’re encouraging other cities to follow suit. This openness allows LTW to easily partner with government, local tech organizations and the private sector. Unlike other accelerators, there is no implied goal of helping the company raise money at the end, e.g. there is no big funding pitch session for graduates. I like this because it emphasises bootstrapping and early profitability. Neither of these is friendly to VC funding models but they’re friendly to entrepreneurs and helping build products that markets need.

I would definitely call LTW an accelerator. After all, they help more people create new ventures quickly while providing some care and limited feeding along the way. Like many other accelerators, Prof. Bailetti has figured out that the most important thing entrepreneurs need is not cash but access to an ‘ecosystem‘ that can support the venture. This ecosystem can provide talent, technology, customers and financing.

Flow will be at Lead to Win later this month providing advice and feedback to entrepreneurs. I strongly recommend you check this program out and if you think this could work in your city, contact Tony Bailetti.

19
May

Startup Drinks – May 27, 2009

It’s great to see so many startup enthusiasts out in force and we’re set to do it all again, as we do on the last Wednesday of every month. You are most welcome to bring friends and colleagues. We’ve been seeing 60+ people through the doors and I would love to keep the pace!

Let the drinks and networking begin at Brutopia this Wednesday, 27 May from 5:30pm until whenever.

You can register soon at techentreprise! Techentreprise helps you to connect with the people you meet and even post your own items.  But wait, there’s more! You also get a gorgeous name tag on the night and satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping us to plan the best event possible.

27
Apr
Rostros mágicos

Reminder: Startup Drinks al fresco, Wednesday, April 29

Come on out this Wednesday, April 29 from 5:30pm to Brutopia (Crescent St, just south of Ste-Catherine) for beers and startup mayhem.  The terrasse will be in full effect!

All are welcome!

Registration is now open at TechEntreprise!