For the last decade, Startupfest has connected founders and ecosystem players to help them build world-class companies. But inspiring, connecting and supporting startup founders are table stakes for any Startup event. Startupfest has always differentiated itself from other events by creating spectacular festival environments, being openly inclusive, and taking risks to do new and interesting things. We’re known for hands-on content and unexpected formats, from elevator pitches in actual elevators, to assembling fleets of boats, to our grandmother judges.
A look back at a decade of Startupfest
Tent Village – a Startupfest staple
The Tent Village is an environment that encourages people to look away from their screens, and make real-time connections. We have over 30 tents, ranging from themed sectors, to demo spaces, pitch competitions and geographic divisions. The Tent Village puts you in the same physical space, with all of the people you want to meet.
Check out the past ten Startupfests.
Well over 1,000 speakers have taken the stage in the last decade and given of their time generously to inspire and educate our Startupfest community.
Kara Swisher | Executive Editor, Re/code
Alexis Ohanian | Co-founder, Reddit
Kimberly Bryant | Founder, Black Girls CODE
Tim O’Reilly | Founder & CEO, O’Reilly Media
Kat Manalac | Partner, Y Combinator
Anil Dash | CEO, Glitch
Lara Cumberland | VP M&A Integration, Facebook
Chris Messina | Hashtag Inventor & Product Designer
Jenny Fielding | MD Techstars & GP, The Fund
Visit our past speakers page to get an overview of who took the stage since our inaugural event in 2011.
We introduced the Startupfest Premium Fests in order to deliver more specialized content for the different groups within the ecosystem. Year after year we’ve expanded them to cover unique members of the community (think Scaleups or Accelerators), as well as different verticals within the industry. See all Premium Fests.
The elevator pitch competition came from the notion that it shouldn’t take longer than the time needed for an elevator ride to communicate the important elements of one’s business. Having a powerful elevator pitch is critical for approaching investors, partners and potential customers and ultimately becoming a successful entrepreneur.
The Elevator World Tour™ is a series of events taking place in the world’s most impressive elevators, in the most innovative start-up cities, giving entrepreneurs the chance to garner investment and develop relationships with the most influential investors, advisors and accelerators around the globe. In each city, 100 burgeoning start-ups will compete for the chance to win an investment of up to $100,000. Check out the Elevator World Tour website.
The Scaletech Conference is an annual, invite-only gathering of growth-stage founders, business pioneers, analysts, and hard-core technologists that focuses on finding asymmetric advantage through technology. Learn more on the Scaletech website.
The Startup World Championships was a global competition for brilliant tech startups in 20 of the world’s most vibrant startup cities. From seed to growth, we heard from companies at every stage. One lucky winner from each city was flown to Montreal to attend and represent its hometown at Canada’s original startup event. All about the SWC.
The Startupfest Tour
From 2017 to 2019, we hosted 5 events in Sherbrooke, Gatineau, Shawinigan and Quebec City, including the best elements of Startupfest–conferences, pitch competitions and networking opportunities–organized in other ecosystems in Quebec.
We partnered with leading accelerators and community champions in Montreal to host international startups for a period of 3 months. These startups truly got to immerse themselves in the Canadian startup ecosystem. From 2017 to 2019, StartupExperience.CA created and grew new relationships between startup communities on a global scale. The program built bridges between Montreal entrepreneurs and international communities, in a fun and dynamic way. Read about the Startup Experience.
Held in Toronto, ResolveTO combined Startupfest’s unique vibe with the power of enterprise. The event brought together the best of young startups and large organizations, for a look at innovation, disruption and emerging markets. Visit the ResolveTO website for more.
Ten Parisian startups got the chance to spend a three month incubation period in Montreal while 10 Montreal startups were headed to Paris. Selected startups had access to all services offered by partnering incubators and accelerators and had the opportunity to make valuable connections with mentors, financial partners and investors. All about the Startup Exchange.
Startupfest wouldn’t be possible without the support of our partners. From our presenting sponsors, to our tent champions, and community supporters, our partners are an integral part of our events, and a huge part of the startup ecosystem.