There comes a time in the life of every entrepreneur when you get a break. That has certainly happened for myself and a group of Canadian entrepreneurs who were selected to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator hosted by the Consulate General of Canada in Silicon Valley.
For those who don't know, the Canadian Technology Accelerator is a new program designed to grow innovative Canadian technology companies in Silicon Valley.
Since landing in the Valley a few weeks ago, I’ve had the opportunity to scope out the city, our co-workspace, RocketSpace, and have some promising meetings. In fact, the whole crew has connected well. There is truly a sense of camaraderie and willingness to help and encourage each other. So it seemed natural to ask these founders to give you their first impressions as well to provide you with a quick snapshot of innovation happening in Canada.
Appifier is bringing visibility, discoverability and monetization to online publishers on mobile phones and tablets following the model that Apple used with Newsstand to bring print publishers to life on their devices. Appifier leverages a powerful app creation engine to quickly build app experiences around online content and distribute it using Blogstand. Unlike content aggregators, Blogstand partners with publishers and supports engaging native-only features. Ensuring experiences are unique and powerful.
"Being part of the CTA has greatly changed our perception around the industry and allowed us to benefit from relationships and insight from some of the leading minds in technique. Meeting and working with entrepreneurs from across the continent has brought a fresh perspective on old challenges and a powerful drive to solve new ones," said Mike Gozo, a cofounder.
Careerify helps companies build a lasting recruitment culture by transforming each employee into recruitment ambassadors. By combining social big data and an engagement platform, Careerify solutions provide HR the ability to market talent acquisition needs through social media, continually engage employees through behavior driven milestones, and help employees identify the best talent via employee referral within their social graph. Customers include SunGard, Bayer, Emerson, Rent-A-Center and Just Energy.
"The offerings and amenities provided to Canadian companies are simply unparalleled. It gives us greater access and visibility in the world of technology and allows for synergies," said Sambhi. "All technology companies should take this opportunity if their focus is global," explained Harpaul Sambhi, CEO.
Edistorm is a realtime idea collaboration tool using stickynotes. Using only a web browser, Edistorm enables teams to connect to a shared virtual wall (rather than travel to a single office) where they can spatially add, organize and comment on ideas. Using dotmocracy style voting, each user can place dots on their favorite ideas to quickly surface the best ones to act on.
"The opportunity to rub shoulders with the CEOs and leaders of the technology companies that are/will be changing our lives is amazing," noted Reg Cheramy, CEO. "Being exposed to early startups trying new things in San Francisco first, gives a unique perspective on what works and what doesn't. There are early adopters and viral buzz down here that you can't find anywhere else in the world. The Canadian Technology Accelerator, Rocketspace, and C100 are providing a massive value in exposing Canadian startups to the people, ideas and resources to accelerate their growth, network and customers."
Hammerati is a management platform for home renovations. Estimate costs, track progress, and hold your contractor accountable for everything they do in your home.
"The power of the Valley is that it forces you to stand inside of what's possible, and then dares you to settle for anything less. Stay here or not, I think every founder owes it to themselves to come down to see what's here for them," said Carlo Perez, founder.
Learndot is the first platform to bring a new iterative, data-driven process to corporate learning & development. This leap forward gives Learndot's customers a competitive advantage; their learning programs are more effective, more engaging, and can evolve very rapidly.
"The CTA program is giving the most promising Canadian startups unparalleled access to talent, experience, and markets accessible only in the Bay Area. In the first week of the program, Learndot already signed a significant customer that we would not have accessed without the help of the program. It is a fantastic opportunity. " - Paul Lambert, CEO, Learndot
ShareDesk is a marketplace for sharing offices and workspaces. The platform allows companies to monetize the idle desks and spaces in their office. Entrepreneurs and mobile professionals can discover and book work and meeting spaces instantly, on flexible terms.
"We're excited about the opportunities in Collaborative Consumption and seeing the proliferation of shared workspaces first hand- providing access, economic benefits, and a platform to connect and collaborate," affirmed Kia Rahmani, CEO. "We're stoked to be working alongside an incredible lineup of Canadian entrepreneurs here in San Francisco, and look forward to working closely with the CTA and C100 to tap into new resources."
ShopLocket is the easiest way to sell professionally online. The platform is ‘unlocking’ a new class of merchants in online retail. ShopLocket lets you embed your products into any existing website, no storefront or setup required. With ShopLocket ecommerce is as easy and social as sharing a Youtube video.
"Even in my first two weeks down at RocketSpace I've had the opportunity to meet so many incredible people. I've often visited the Valley, but it doesn't begin to compare to staying here for a longer period of time. I only wish I had done it sooner," said Katherine Hague, a cofounder.
Voices.com is the online market place that connects businesses with professional voice-over talents. Voices.com has over 200,000 customers and with a broad clientele from Fortune 500s to small businesses. Their award-winning web service helps organizations search for, audition and hire voice talent for radio and television commercials, online videos, games and elearning courses. In 2012, Voices.com won the “Business of the Year” award from the Chamber of Commerce.
“The opportunity to spend three months in Silicon Valley is definitely a chance of a lifetime. It’s why we’re all making the most of the limited time here. From mentorship sessions and meetings with prospective customers, partners and investors, it’s a flurry of activity that could only happen in Silicon Valley,” said David Ciccarelli, CEO.
If this sounds like it would benefit your technology start-up, apply to be part of the next cohort of Canadian technology companies in the Valley. Visit the Canadian Technology Accelerator website for more information.