As a former CMO, executive speaker and organizer of events in the technology and healthcare sectors, Peter Evans, co-founder and CEO of Toronto startup Speakerfile knew that there must be a better way to connect corporate speakers to the $106 billion events industry. He was fascinated by the inefficiencies of the event organizer and speaker matchmaking process.
Together with co-founder Robert Carter, Evans developed an online platform that could help event organizers and media around the world connect better with an ever-expanding ecosystem of speakers and experts.
“We’re basically the eHarmony for the speaking and events industry. By focusing on the undiscovered middle-tail of expert speakers, our unique publishing software and online search solution helps match corporate experts with the right events so organizations can book more valuable speaking engagements,” says Evans. “Thought leadership is a pretty underserved market right now.”
By using Speakerfile, organizations and their PR agencies can create and manage their own online speakers’ bureau that showcases their experts while reducing the workload involved with updating spreadsheets and countless emails. The company’s (patent-pending) mobile application allows speakers and event organizers to gather confidential audience feedback, and collect more permission-based leads for sales follow-up.
Earlier this week, Speakerfile was listed as one of the six Canadian digital media start-ups that will participate in a new Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program in New York City. The Toronto startup will benefit from a 3-month program that offers communal office space, provided by the Consulate General of Canada in partnership with General Assembly, in New York City’s “Silicon Alley.” They will also gain access to experienced mentors, entrepreneurs and business and investor contacts, plus additional support from the Trade Commissioner Service.
As a global epicentre for publishers, marketing communications and public relations businesses, New York City is an excellent market for Speakerfile to target. “Having been to many General Assembly workshops and networking events in New York in the past, I was eyeing an opportunity to go there for some time now,” says Evans. “There is an impressive community of entrepreneurs in New York to say the least. We’ll most likely stay on after our three months are up and hopefully remain part of the General Assembly program.”
Evans and his team are very excited and honoured to be participating in the CTA program. “It’s really nice to see that the Canadian government is aligned with entrepreneurs to support their growth in global markets,” he says. “All Canadian entrepreneurs who want to target the New York market should think of this program as a must do. The application process for the CTA program was actually quite streamlined. In order to qualify, startups must demonstrate the same qualities that they would pitch to an investor (i.e. market opportunity, differentiators, etc.)."
We wish Speakerfile and the other five Canadian startups all the best during their time in New York City.