As part of Techvibes’ intensive pre-event coverage of 48 Hours in the Valley, we profiled several of the Canadian start-ups attending the event. With the event over, these start-ups reflect on their two days in Silicon, and what’s next for them. Second up: Verold, hailing from Victoria, B.C.
KT: So what’s Checkfront about?
JM: Checkfront is a SaaS-based, online booking system. Right now we are small fish in a huge market, but we see that as a great advantage. We’ve built a powerful Web 2.0 platform that can scale and quickly adapt to new technologies and customer requirements. That’s just something our competitors are having a hard time doing. We know we have a great product, and now we just have to bring it to market in a big way.
KT: Have you made previous trips to the Valley before this?
JM: I’d been down to the Valley once before with a previous company, but this was the first time representing my own. It’s a more inviting place arriving as an entrepreneur than it is an employee.
KT: How was the vibe of 48 Hours?
JM: It was a very positive, supportive, and engaging atmosphere. Everyone there, from startups and mentors to VC’s seemed to have a real interest in seeing Canadian startups succeed in Silicon Valley.
KT: Did one aspect of the event stand out for you?
JM: The mentoring sessions were great. They allowed us to pitch our ideas and get honest, open feedback. We had two 45-minute sessions with each mentor, but I could have done it all day long – I centrally would have perfected our pitch by then. We had good advice from Austin Hill (Brudder Ventures), Rob Piovensan (Cisco), and Marilyn Mersereau (Cisco).
I found the evening networking events probably the most interesting. It was kind of like speed dating for entrepreneurs. The range of companies attending we pretty diverse… but you bring a bunch of Canadians together in a bar in Palo Alto and we unite pretty quick.
KT: What affects did the event have on your business?
JM: It will be a while before we know if any of the contacts down there have any direct impact on the company. I think this trip is more of an introduction to a long term relationship. But on a personal level, I really enjoyed meeting the other statups. It would be great if this were a regular event.
KT: What’s the next stage of Checkfront’s master plan?
JM: Although we marked the end of our beta at the beginning of the month, the focus now is much the same as it was before. We’ll continue to add features to our product that help our customers manage their business online. You’ll likely see us at industry trade shows and statup events in the near future.
KT: Thanks for your time, Jason. Good luck to you and to Checkfront.