Yesterday, the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) hosted a media event in Toronto to kick-off their national search for Canada’s Top 20 hottest innovative technology startups. The CIX Top 20 is a “platform through which Canada`s best technology startups can engage and interact with the most active Canadian and international investors and corporations. At CIX, startups will learn useful tools to grow their business,” says Chris Arsenault, Managing Partner at iNovia Capital.
“It can take a startup months to set-up meetings with companies like Google and Facebook. What sets CIX apart from other similar events is access to all of the major corporate players in one day,” says Arsenault. The great news is that you don’t have to be selected to be in the Top 20 to set-up meetings with potential investors via the CIX website for the December 1st event. So, make sure to attend, even if you don’t get selected to compete.
This year’s event will feature some very inspiring speakers. Today, it was announced that Marcel Lebrun, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Canadian social media monitoring, engagement and insights platform, Salesforce Radian 6 will be giving a keynote address. “Marcel Lebrun is an outstanding example of the top entrepreneurial talent putting Canada at the forefront of the global innovation economy,” says Rick Nathan, Managing Director at Kensington Capital Partners.
Canadian startups have until October 14th to submit their applications to the CIX Top 20. Last year, almost 200 businesses applied.
After presenting at the CIX Top 20, “many companies have gone on to sell their businesses or raise money from investors,” says Nathan. A great success story from the 2010 CIX Top 20 alumni is Montreal’s Tungle, who was acquired by RIM in April of this year.
“It’s worth it to apply. The recognition that we got from being in the CIX Top 20 helped to raise our profile as a leading edge company in Canada,” says Vincent John Vincent, President of GestureTek. His company won at the event in 2010. Vincent told me that “after winning at CIX, we gained a lot of exposure from the Canadian press, and came away knowing how to wrap our story into a concise pitch. The folks at CIX were really helpful in teaching us how to craft our story.”
Best of luck to all who apply for event. We look forward to finding out who has been selected to compete on December 1st at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto.