Video: Ottawa, Silicon Valley share similar energy, different VC culture: Kwilt co-founder

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This week’s Techopia Live was a tale of two cities, as Kwilt co-founder Michel Coderre told us about his experiences growing a company in both Ottawa and Silicon Valley.

Kwilt is an app that collects your photos across all devices and platforms, making them searchable and accessible from a single point.

“Kwilt is like a patchwork of all of your memories,” Coderre told Techopia Live.

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The company now makes its home in Invest Ottawa’s incubator space at Bayview Yards, but for the past two years, Coderre brought the company’s ideas to Silicon Valley.

“Over there, it’s boiling with people who have ideas that you’ve never heard before,” he said of his time in California.

When it came time to return to Canada, Coderre says the team was looking for an environment that held a similar energy to what he found in Silicon Valley.

“The clash of minds here, the clash of brains, everything you can exchange with people is so important to avoid tunnel vision,” he said.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t differences, though. One significant gap is in the venture capital community: Where American investors are more eager to get behind a number of great ideas, their northern counterparts are concerned about the metrics of a fully-validated business.

“It’s not a technology problem. The problem is the VC market. People are not as adventurous as they are in the States. You need to do a lot of deals for one to be successful … and in the end you will be successful.”

On the other hand, Coderre gives kudos to Invest Ottawa in their efforts to bring the mentality of “Silicon Valley North” back to the Capital.

You can watch our full interview with Kwilt co-founder Michel Coderre below. Our apologies, as technical difficulties have led to skips in quality partway through the video.

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