Startup Next Toronto 2015

    Monday, October 19 - November 27, 2015


  1. Program Overview
  2. Schedule
  3. Speakers and Mentors
  4. Sponsors
  5. Facilitating Team

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Startup Next
Toronto

Monday, October 19 - November 27, 2015



Monday, October 19 - November 27, 2015
Program starts at 6:00 pm

TWG/MaRS
Toronto, ON


Applications have closed

Startup Next, a Techstars program, is the #1 startup pre-acceleration program in the world.

Startup Next prepares startups for accelerators and seed investment, by providing high quality mentorship and leveraging a global network of investors, mentors and founders.

The program is designed in such a way that founders are able to continue building their product, since it's a part time program, that consists of 3-hour weekly sessions for 6 weeks. The program is free of charge and no equity is taken.

Startup Next is organized in Toronto by TWG and MaRS. Sessions will be hosted by TWG, extended sessions & demo night will be hosted by MaRS.

TWG: 425 Adelaide St W, #300
MaRS: 101 College St

Even though Startup Next is part of Techstars, it’s not exclusively preparing startups for Techstars accelerator programs.  Over time we have built a strong network of accelerators and investors worldwide and work closely with them to refer our accelerator/investor-ready alumni.

Startup Next has helped more than 50 startups get into top accelerators and raise more than $40 million dollars in funding. See our success stories and case studies.

Check out the program overview to learn more, and read FAQs to understand whether Startup Next is a good fit for your startup. Feel free to reach out to toronto@startupnext.co with other questions.





Program Schedule

Monday October 19th


6:00 pm
Opening Remarks
Startup Next opening presentation and program expectations


6:10 pm
Expert Speaker + Q&A
Speaker on weekly topic - Accelerators, followed by a Q&A session


6:55 pm
Team Pitches
60 sec elevator pitches by teams, followed by feedback from peers, facilitators, and mentors


7:40 pm
Session Recap
Learnings and expectations for next session


7:55 pm
Networking

Monday October 26th


6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking


6:30 pm
Expert Speaker + Q&A
Speaker on weekly topic - Customer Development, followed by a Q&A session


7:00 pm
Team Pitches
60 sec elevator pitches by teams, followed by a 3 min Q&A with mentors


7:45 pm
Team/Mentor Breakouts
Two 1:1 mentoring sessions


8:45 pm
Session Recap
Team updates and expectations for the next session

Monday November 2nd


6:00 pm
Dinner & Networking


6:30 pm
Expert Speaker + Q&A
Speaker on weekly topic - Pitching, followed by a Q&A session


7:00 pm
Team Pitches
60 sec elevator pitches by teams, followed by a 3 min Q&A with mentors


7:45 pm
Team/Mentor Breakouts
Two 1:1 mentoring sessions


8:45 pm
Session Recap
Team updates and expectations for the next session

Monday November 9th


6:00 pm
Expert Speaker + Q&A
Speaker on weekly topic - Market Sizing, followed by a Q&A session


6:45 pm
Team Pitches
60 sec elevator pitches by teams, followed by a 3 min Q&A with mentors


7:45 pm
Team/Mentor Breakouts
Two 1:1 mentoring sessions


8:45 pm
Session Recap
Team updates and expectations for the next session

Monday November 16th


6:00 pm
Expert Speaker + Q&A
Speaker on weekly topic - Product/Market Fit, followed by a Q&A session


6:45 pm
Team Pitches
3 min pitches with slides by teams, followed by a 3 min Q&A with mentors


7:45 pm
Team/Mentor Breakouts
Two 1:1 mentoring sessions


8:45 pm
Session Recap
Team updates and expectations for the next session

Monday November 23rd


6:00 pm
Expert Speaker + Q&A
Speaker on weekly topic - Fundability, followed by a Q&A session


6:45 pm
Team Pitches
3 min pitches with slides by teams, followed by a 3 min Q&A with mentors


7:45 pm
Team/Mentor Breakouts
Two 1:1 mentoring sessions


8:45 pm
Session Recap
Team updates and expectations for the demo day

Friday November 27th


6:00 pm
Demo Day
Celebrate your successful completion of the program by pitching your company in front of a live audience.


Program Judges


Marcus Daniels
Co-Founder/CEO, HIGHLINE.vc

Marcus Daniels is a digital product entrepreneur, seed capital investor and innovation platform architect.


Nicole Verkindt

Nicole is passionate about leveraging the talents of Canadian entrepreneurs to grow the Canadian economy as well as help solve important global issues.

In February 2012, Nicole launched a tech company in Canada, called OMX. The platform is the only one in the world that manages obligations that government contractors have to invest in local Canadian companies. Having penetrated the Canadian market, they are now successfully expanding globally to countries such as Spain, Israel, India and Korea.

Recently, Nicole became the newest Dragon on CBC’S “Next Gen” Dragon’s Den.


Prashant Matta
Associate, OMERS Ventures

Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Prashant spent two years in Samsung's Global Strategy Group based in Seoul, South Korea. At Samsung, Prashant led projects involving business strategy, new product/service development, acquisitions and investments. His focus areas included mobile, digital media and emerging software/services like connected home, cloud computing, location based services and virtual reality.

Before joining Samsung, Prashant was a Senior Consultant for Deloitte Consulting in Toronto, where he advised companies across various sectors on strategy, operations and performance improvement. He was also the Chair of Deloitte’s pro bono consulting services for non-profit organizations.

Prashant holds an MBA from INSEAD and completed his BBA at the Schulich School of Business. He holds a Chartered Accountant designation.


Michelle McBane
Investment Director, Investment Accelerator Fund

Michelle is passionate about working with amazing entrepreneurs in Ontario.  As a Director at the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, she leads investments in early-stage companies digital media and technology companies. Michelle is a skilled business professional with over 22 years of combined operational and venture capital experience.  Her background includes 12 years of venture capital investing early-stage companies, managerial and product development experience as well as sales and marketing roles in both engineering and scientific industries.  Michelle holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from McMaster University and Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.) in Chemical Engineering from the University of Ottawa.  Michelle is currently an Observer on the Board of Directors of several companies including Sampler, OMX, gShift Labs, Magniware and  Matter and Form.  She has also made investments in companies including Figure1 and Rubikloud.  Recent exits include Cytochroma (acquired by OPKO) and Locationary (acquired by Apple).


Chris Eben
Managing Partner, TWG

Chris is a Partner at The Working Group, a digital products agency in Toronto, and has helped to bring Startup Weekend to Canada, running some of the biggest events amongst the global Startup Weekend community. He's a product manager and tech entrepreneur. Chris has worked for 13 years in software, with startups and larger organizations focused on Business Intelligence and Performance Management technologies. His career has taken him all over the world and allowed him to live and work in San Francisco and London as well as Toronto which he currently calls home. Chris holds an MBA from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and sometimes gets teased about it by his techie friends and colleagues.


Speakers and Mentors


Marie Chevrier
Co-Founder & CEO, The Sampler App

Marie Chevrier is a young entrepreneur originally from Montreal, Canada. Marie started her career in advertising at J. Walter Thompson in Toronto. From there, she had the chance to work at a venture capital firm in New York City. After a few years there, Marie came back to Toronto to merge her passion for marketing and technology. Marie started Sampler with a vision to transform the way Consumer Packaged Good companies distribute product samples. Sampler was the winner of the inaugural NEXT Toronto in April, 2014.


Tom Walsham
Director of Product, TWG

Tom Walsham is an experienced product manager, marketing engineer, and analytics grandmaster. He is Director of Product at The Working Group (TWG), Chief Email Herder for PostageApp, and an active mentor for startups.    Tom specializes in driving product decisions through the lens of user research and analytics. With PostageApp he has helped clients send millions of emails and has evolved the service from a basic email management tool into a complete solution for companies wanting to design, deliver, and analyze email. With TWG, he can be found leading software product strategy for clients in a wide array of verticals and is currently doing customer development with businesses in the Democratic Republic of Congo. True story. 


Brian Pullen
Design Director, TWG

Brian is a designer and entrepreneur. He co-founded Playground in 2009, and grew it into an award winning design firm. More recently, he has co-founded the innovative financial startup, Big Terminal, where he leads product design. Currently, he is design director at TWG, where he works to create great products and improve design methodologies.


Jeff Goldenberg
Head of Growth, Borrowell

Jeff Goldenberg is a growth hacking guru and serial entrepreneur. He is currently the Head of Growth at Borrowell, a FinTech startup based in Toronto. He is a sought after expert and speaker in the areas of digital marketing, growth hacking and business development for innovative, high-growth companies. He is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at MaRS Discovery District as well as a mentor at the TechStars/Startup Next accelerator.   Find him at www.jeffgoldenberg.net


Alison Gibbins

Alison is a startup junkie and customer development expert with wins at Startup Weekend (Griflens; babySIMPLIFY). She is a Data Geek and CRM Marketer, and the Founder of Toronto Moms Group.


Mike Van
Co-Founder, Four Walls

Mike is the co-founder of NextTO alumni, Four Walls.
He's worked in global corporations, mid-sized companies and now his very own start up. His strengths in strategy, finance, sales and operations have helped him build Four Walls as they recently closed a deal with a Canadian developer.



Adam Jarczyn
VP, Product & Sales Engineering at Slyce

Adam was co-founder and CEO of HOVR.IT before it was acquired by Slyce Inc in late 2013. Currently he oversees product development and supports onboarding of new customers at Slyce in a sales engineering capacity. He has a background in actuarial science, math and stats, and has been involved in everything from raising money, to product development to acquisitions to intellectual property evaluation and strategy.


Sean Power
Co-Founder, Repable

Sean is the Co-Founder of Repable. Repable powers athletes and entertainers with data to help them better understand their public interactions. 

Sean's work is about building and releasing products quickly and intelligently, or scaling with less pain and more insight. As a result, he has worked directly with many startups to help them in their initial launch or growth strategies. 

Sean has spoken about marketing or data at countless events both private and public, including Velocity, Web 2.0 Expo and eMetrics, and has written about data in the past for O'Reilly.


Alan Smith
Co-Founder, Strategyzer

Alan Smith is co-founder and product guy at Strategyzer, makers of the world famous Business Model Canvas and Value Proposition Canvas. He works to create content, training and tools that help make business strategy tangible, practical, and accessible to anyone and everyone.


Robert Jackiewicz
CEO, Brew Box Company

Robert Is the CEO and Co-Founder of the Brew Box Company, Canada’s largest craft beer subscription service. He is also a Startup Next graduate form the inaugural program here in Toronto. Originally from the Niagara region, Robert came to Toronto to pursue a career in Engineering. During this time, he has worked for a variety of large projects ranging from technology modernization to venture backed startups. Robert has a vast experience in solving large difficult technical problems. He also has expertise in running a startup with in-depth logistics and supply chain. As an avid connoisseur of craft beer, fine wine, and spirits, Robert decided in 2014 to start Brew Box to help small craft alcohol manufacturers reach a wider audience for their small batch products. When Robert is not working, you can see him at the bar studying for his final level of becoming a certified Beer Sommelier.



Dominic Bortolussi
Founder, TWG

Dom has spent the past fifteen years working with leadership teams from Startups to Fortune 500's - helping guide their business strategy, software design and production through to a successful delivery.

He favours customer centric, evidence based, 'Lean' approaches when developing business plans. He loves building strong, happy teams, collaborating on business strategy, and implementing Lean startup methods at both small and large organizations.


Ryan Petrimoulx
eComm Strategist & Retail Marketer

Ryan works with a variety of people, from startups to SMBs to nationwide retailers, helping them make their business ‘work better’ by refining how their business runs.  When it comes to Full Stack Marketing, Traction, Scaling Methodology or eCommerce, Ryan’s strength comes in developing roadmaps for a business’s success.  Ryan is a founder member of two local startups, Pace & Mind, who have developed a platform to deliver high-level coaching to marathon runners and MSH District, a global initiative that assists entrepreneurs in developing and launching soft-good products into the market.   

A graduate of the University of Western Ontario, Ryan’s passion of working with businesses is leveraged through the consulting work he does through MSH District and his own personal clients


Alex Lynn
Director of Platform, HIGHLINE

Alexander is Director of Platform at HIGHLINE, a Canadian based pre-seed vc with offices in Toronto and Vancouver. When he's not meeting future investments, he spends his time devising tools that improve internal operations, advising portfolio companies on product matters and finding better ways to support entrepreneurs. Before this, he headed special projects at Real Ventures, Canada's largest seed stage vc fund. Prior to that, he helped some of the world's largest brands innovate at Sid Lee.


Chris Kay
Co-Founder, Multiplicity

By day, Chris is a Financial Analyst working with entrepreneurs and angel investors on their personal financial affairs.

By night, 
Chris is a Co-founder of Multiplicity, a not-for-profit group supporting education and thought leadership in the Toronto Start-up community. 



Michael Lieberman
Co-Founder, Trialfire

Michael Lieberman is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for product. He is the co-founder and CEO of Trialfire, which has recently launched its game changing customer intelligence analytics platform. Previous to founding Trialfire, Michael spent time at Autodesk after they acquired his last startup Datastay, in 2011. 


Bart van de Kooij
Co-Founder, Minibrew

Co-founder of Minibrew, a hardware startup focused on creating a global network of tastemakers and here to democratize the beer space. Bart leads product development and growth strategy as well helped raise $1 million to grow last year.


Douglas Soltys
Managing Editor, Betakit

Douglas Soltys is Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit, and a Senior Editor for its sister-site, MobileSyrup. He has worked for a few failed companies, and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.


Narbe Alexandrian
Associate, OMERS Ventures

In his role as an Associate at OMERS Ventures, Narbe Alexandrian is responsible for researching and executing investment opportunities in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications (TMT) sector.

Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Narbe worked as a Senior Strategy Manager at TELUS, developing and shaping their Internet of Things (IoT) segment. Narbe has also worked with a number of Software as a Service (SaaS) companies, developing operational and go-to-market strategies.

Narbe began his career at Deloitte, within the Corporate Strategy and M&A Advisory groups, primarily working with private equity, pension funds and large corporates on a number of strategic initiatives.

Narbe has taught courses in technology entrepreneurship and accounting at the Schulich School of Business, and has also been an instructor for the Canadian Institute of Chartered Professional Accountants.

Narbe is a Chartered Accountant (CA) and Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA), and has a BBA from the Schulich School of Business.


Qasim Mohammad
Analyst, OMERS Ventures

Qasim helps talented entrepreneurs build leading-edge technology companies as a member of the OMERS Ventures<http://www.omersventures.com/> investment team, where he focuses primarily on software, consumer web, and cloud computing investments.

Prior to joining OMERS Ventures, Qasim was an Operations Analyst on the business development team at Pivotal Software, where he worked directly with innovative startups and leading North American Fortune 500 businesses on mobile app development, PaaS initiatives, and big-data. Prior to Pivotal, Qasim was responsible for evangelizing agile software development and pair programming techniques among clients in the media, sports, and entertainment sectors at Xtreme Labs.

Qasim has also dabbled in his own entrepreneurial ventures, and is the recipient of the Nicol Award for Entrepreneurship for a digital fashion marketplace. He is a recurring contributor to The Business of Fashion and Techvibes.


Program Sponsors and Partners

The Startup Next Toronto 2015 team is grateful for the support of local community partners without whom this event would not be possible.
Learn how to become a sponsor here.


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Facilitating Team

  • Nathan
    Monk
  • Holly
    Knowlman
  • Eric
    Wichman


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