More than 250 people braved the cold and snow to mix and mingle at Startup Calgary’s Launch Party November 23. And just in case you think that there is no entrepreneurial spirit in Calgary, tickets to the event were sold out and extra space had to be opened up to accommodate the large number of individuals interested in attending.
In a welcoming speech to attendees, representatives from Startup Calgary focused on the need for community building and helping pull the IT based, startup related communities in Calgary closer together. It was apparent from the turnout that this is what local startups are looking for.
‘As an entrepreneur in Calgary it's easy to look to Vancouver, Toronto or south of the border to grow your network and connect with other key members of the startup community. I think last night’s Launch Party really reaffirmed that Calgary entrepreneurs are smart, passionate, and innovative people, and that we have the local support network and leadership in groups like the A100 to really take Calgary startups to the next level’, Christian MacLean, founder of Cardinal and a Calgary Startup Board Member:
The evening kicked off with nine presentations to members of the A100. The A100, made up of 30 members currently, are all individuals who have successful cycled through the startup experience. Presenters had two minutes to sell their concept to the group; before having a chance to circulate and ask the judging panel questions at the pre-party reception.
In addition to meeting with the A100 the nine selected startups pitched to the crowd and had the opportunity to showcase their products as demo tables set up.
At the end of the evening, Shawn Abbot, of iNovia and the A100 representative, took the stage to announce the winner of the A100’s ‘One to Watch’ - Dan Meeking of Gridly, saying the judging panel selected a company that had, not only experience and a product that was established, but a well-developed marketing plan.
Gridly is a hosted, web-based solution that makes it easy for anyone to produce and manage great-looking, consistently branded, print-ready documents such as advertisements, product sheets and posters – with nothing more than a web browser.
With their first event wrapped. Startup Calgary is focusing on new initiatives and looking for feedback and suggestions.’ We can’t wait to announce our next event and to carry this energy and momentum forward!’, said MacLean.