Canadian Astronaut Marc Garneau to Speak at Montreal Newtech

Posted by Joseph Czikk

The first Canadian in space will kick off this month’s Montreal Newtech in collaboration with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Marc Garneau, current Member of Parliament of Westmount- Ville Marie and a Companion of the Order of Canada, will speak to an expected crowd of over 150 people Tuesday evening. He’ll talk about the importance of innovation technology in Quebec and Canada.

Richard Btaiche, CEO of Fastgrab, will be presenting his idea to the crowd at the event. One of his previous jobs was with the Canadian Space Agency while Garneau was as president.

“I’m looking forward to see what he has to say and its interesting to see that he’s willing to get involved with the technology community,” said Btaiche. He likes the idea of an astronaut coming to speak to the Montreal tech community, paralleling the qualities of space man and entrepreneur.

“Being an astronaut is as challenging if not more challenging than being an entrepreneur,” Btaiche added. “You have to be really passionate, you have to work extremely hard and a lot of discipline is required with all the ups and downs.”

Montreal Newtech is the city’s monthly destination for networking in the startup community, regularly boasting over 120 participants. Having previously built partnerships with notable companies like Google and Startup Canada, the events have allowed over 170 startups to pitch their ideas to crowds full of potential investors, fellow entrepreneurs and students.

Montreal Newtech co-founder Greg Whiteside said the events serve as an important and informal way for authentic networking to happen in the Montreal entrepreneurial ecosystem. Any startup can pitch their idea as long as they have a "demo-able" pitch. For anyone else it can serve as a less intimidating setting than other larger events.

“Newtech is one of the events where I’ve met most of the people I know from the startup community and I think that’s due to the fact that it really started as an underground event,” explained Whiteside. “The regular venue is a pub so people can go after work, have a pint and listen to some great projects.”

While every Newtech begins on the first Tuesday of every month, this month’s event will coincide with Dawson College, who is putting on events all week for Montreal Entrepreneurship Weekend.

Now in 115 countries worldwide with over 24,000 partners and seven million participants, Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurs.

Pitching their ideas to Tuesday evening’s Montreal Newtech will be:

  • Timecrumbs, a simple micro work agreement platform.
  • Solvers Market, a website where you can pay and get paid for answers.
  • FastGrab, the easiest way to pick up your meal.
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Joseph Czikk

Joseph Czikk

Joey Czikk is a freelance writer based in Montreal, where he did his graduate studies in journalism at Concordia University. His work has appeared in OpenFile Montreal, Fundica.com's blog and the Westmount Examiner. He also has a passion for radio, having hosted a music show on CFRU 93.3 FM while completing his undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph. A sports nut, Joey often goes... more



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