For every startup launch that leads to funding, there is a unique story. Startupfest Montréal, which ran from July 14-15, showcased some of the best stories from speakers and audience alike.
The heat and humidity – and later, torrential rain – did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm around pitches given to a panel of investor judges, who offered a $200,000 prize for those with the best proposals.
Competition was so fierce that the judges kicked more into the prize pot, and split the funds three ways: $160,000 to Toronto cinemagraph startup Flixel, (which TechPORTFOLIO profiled earlier this year), $50,000 to “cannabis tech startup” Hello MD and $35,000 to 18-year-old Shaun Maclellan of YouCollab.
“We had so many pitches that we liked but the spirit of this additional kid made us put in more money,” Startupfest founder Phillipe Telio told Montreal in Technology.
Speakers shared stories about the future and the past. Alexis Ohanian, Co-founder of Reddit spoke about his experiences with online communities and pseudonymity while growing up in the early stages of the Internet – which contributed to the site’s unique ecosystem.
And Tim O’Reilly offered a hopeful prediction of the future where automation would give humans more meaningful work. “We’re going to do new kinds of work you couldn’t imagine,” he said. “Work on stuff that matters.”
Startup stories captured
TechPORTFOLIO talked to an investor about the importance of starting with a global perspective…
two brothers from a family of entrepreneurs…
a founder who discovered the excitement of adding value to his customers’ lives…
…and the funder who turned down Hotmail nearly 20 years ago. (In 1997, Microsoft acquired it for $460 million.)
More insights from Startupfest:
Artificial Intelligence Funding Latest Silicon Valley Gold Rush
Recode Co-Founder Calls Out Silicon Valley Indifference to Social Issues
At Startupfest, Shopify Leaders Praise Canada’s Startup Environment
500 Startups’ Dave McClure Advises Founders At Startupfest