Need a Silicon Valley Champion? Meet Joanne Fedeyko
Former executive director of the C100 and advocate for Canadian startups south of the border talks to TechPORTFOLIO

Since moving on from her role as executive director of the C100 last year, Joanne Fedeyko has continued to be a champion and a partner for Canadian startups, scaleups and corporate organizations that want to develop a deeper innovation strategy.

“I help people build trusted networks in the Valley,” says Fedeyko, now CEO of Connection Silicon Valley. “Whether you’re a startup, corporate, or someone in-between, think of me as your innovation partner who will help you navigate the Valley ecosystem.”

As the 2017 event season kicks into gear, you can expect to see Fedeyko at key startup events across Canada and in Silicon Valley. Between flights and private events, Fedeyko sat down with TechPORTFOLIO to talk about how her company, Connection Silicon Valley, supports companies at all stages and in sectors such as IoT, Energy Tech, Life Sciences, Retail Tech and Ag & Food Tech.

TechPORTFOLIO: Why do people need help building networks in Silicon Valley?

Joanne Fedeyko: The “Silicon Valley normal” is not normal outside of the Bay Area — which many people realize. But it can be a very helpful place if you tap into the network, passion and urgency around new technologies being created and funded in the Valley. I want to help Canadians make the most of their time when they come to the Valley by tapping into those critical success factors.

Many startups, accelerators, corporations and even economic development agencies are coming to the Valley to build their own networks — and it’s wonderful to see! They book meetings and ask for introductions, but if they don’t have the right connections they might miss out on some huge opportunities. For my clients, I’m a dedicated resource who will fill their calendars with meetings tailored to the goals of their trip. I connect them to the right people at the right time in their innovation journeys.

TechPORTFOLIO: Startups typically head to Silicon Valley for funding, so what does this look like for a corporate partner?  

Fedeyko: We are seeing a plethora of corporations from across the globe recognize the need to tap into the innovation in these startup ecosystems, particularly Silicon Valley. It’s important for corporate leaders to visit these tech hubs and immerse themselves in the technology trends that are disrupting their industry. Corporate innovators shouldn’t just have a single head of innovation, they should have innovation partners — people that can help them engage with startups in a way that is successful for both parties.

For my corporate clients, I curate multi-day immersion trips in the Valley that include meetings and workshops with a variety of key players — technology hubs, accelerators, VCs, startups and other corporate innovators and influencers. These trips expose corporate leaders to the culture and processes needed to manage inbound requests from startups and understand what is the best way to bring the startups into their corporate environment.

TechPORTFOLIO: Do you help people make connections outside of Silicon Valley too?

Fedeyko: Absolutely! I’m an expat Canadian living in the Valley for almost 20 years and I’m relentlessly building my network to make connections across Canada, in the Valley and in other critical tech hubs across the globe. I want to give my clients a leg up, regardless of where they call home.