Top Ottawa entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley VCs descending on TiECon Canada

Celebrating five years of bringing the world’s entrepreneurs to Ottawa, TiECon Canada returns to Canada’s capital this week with an impressive global lineup.

The annual event gathers entrepreneurs from Ottawa’s technology sector, as well as those from around the world, primarily to build networks, provide mentorship and celebrate entrepreneurship.

Keynote speakers include local entrepreneurs such as Ross Video CEO David Ross, Farm Boy co-CEO Jeff York and Beau’s Brewery CEO Steve Beauchesne, as well as well-known international names: Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, Wealthsimple CEO Michael Katchen and Tom Emrich, a partner at the world’s first VC fund dedicated to augmented reality.

Local entrepreneurs such as Klipfolio CEO Allan Wille and Spartan Bioscience CEO Paul Lem will be on-hand to provide mentorship in one-on-one sessions.

Five up-and-coming startups will also have the chance to compete in a pitchfest for a $25,000 prize with more than $100,000 worth of in-kind professional services from sponsoring companies. Competing this year are Spoonity, BotMock, Back-Bone Gear, AirShare and IRYSTEC.

Hear our interview with last year’s pitch fest victor, SmartCone’s Jason Lee.

This year’s iteration is the fifth installment of TiECon Canada, and coincides with a few significant anniversaries: TiE Ottawa’s 15-year anniversary and Canada’s sesquicentennial celebrations.

Bharat Rudra, president of TiE Ottawa, told Techopia Live about how the organization got its start. Fifteen years ago, the founders saw a lack of mentoring and “giving back” in Ottawa’s tech sector that they believed could be remedied by a local TiE chapter.

“Going back and helping others, creating an environment where you’re received with open arms … We do know that we’ve brought part of that culture to Ottawa. And we’re proud of it,” Rudra told Techopia Live.

In the chapter’s early years, the group would organize road trips down to Boston to participate in their TiECon event. A few years in, Rudra says they realized that what would really benefit the city would be bringing the event to Ottawa.

To honour Canada’s 150th anniversary, Rudra says the organization has put together a special video with a diverse cross-section of the country’s entrepreneurs. More than 100 entrepreneurs of every age, ethnicity, creed, both successes and failures, contributed their messages in a video that will be unveiled on TiECon Canada’s first evening.

“Because of them, our country runs,” Rudra says.

TiECon Canada runs from Nov. 2-3 at the Infinity Convention Centre.