Founder of Startupfest
This is my first summer in Montreal since 2009. I had almost forgotten this moist heat. A desire that pushes us to be outside enjoying places such as pedestrian streets, terraces, public gardens... the joy overflows from everywhere and contribute to an unique atmosphere! All this diversity of languages, accents, skin colors, styles... laughing together. WHEE I missed this during my absence.
Like any living ecosystem, the city has also changed. Even if I'm back for some months now, I keep discovering new things. Among the pleasurable ones: the creative energy during STARTUPFEST which took place from 13 to 16 July 2016 in the Old Port of Montreal.
The founder, Philippe Telio, is a generous and passionate man who helps entrepreneurial spirit blowing over the City of Montreal. What animates him? He loves his city!
Philippe Telio knows about entrepreneurship and startups. He has organized numerous events before launching Startupfest in 2011. With the numerous activities he orchestrated, he met the players in the field and see how much these meet-ups were important, but he felt he had to go deeper to contribute sustainably to the entrepreneurial culture of his city and its transformation into a technology hub. One summer day, he got the inspiration!
Montreal is known for its unique festivals: the International Jazz Festival of Montreal, the International Festival of Films on Art and many others. What explains this success that attracts crowds from around the world? Probably the fusion of creativity and the festive and cosmopolitan spirit of Montrealers. It is what makes Montreal an exceptional city said Philippe Telio: "Montreal has all the assets of major international cities without their impersonality. In Montreal, it is easy to join communities and make friends."
Philippe Telio is not one to get lost in words and conjectures, he is a man of action as he presents himself on Twitter:
Immediately the thought came, immediately the research started for partners to create a unique event. The startups Festival, named Startupfest, has quickly become a must for anyone interested in entrepreneurship and start-ups. Normally, it takes about ten years to complete a mature festival, but Startupfest took only five years to reach this level. The 1,000 participants of the first edition went to almost 3800 for the fifth edition. Starting next year, the team is invited by the City of Toronto to organize a startupfest in Toronto. If we replicate successful events from elsewhere, it's nice, but when the opposite happens... it's great.
The philosophy of Startupfest has a positive impact because of its a horizontal and trans-disciplinary approach. "Everything I held previously has been horizontal, it is essential to enable local start-ups and meet-ups to enjoy these international events." All can mingle on the grass: Business Angels, senior advisers, experienced entrepreneurs, experts in all areas of advanced technology to marketing, finance and business... This is the only event where local startups, students, can exchange with entrepreneurs-stars that would have been inaccessible otherwise, sharing with them their best advice after experiencing failures and successes. It's also the ideal platform for networking and find collaborators or partners. This is the place to be to draw attention to his projects, acquire knowledge (more than 70 speakers), plus the prices, more than $ 250,000 in guaranteed investment this year. After more than 170 pitches, the youngest entrepreneur winner is a 17 years old, founder of youcollab, an application where content creators on YouTube can help each other and work together.
Another idea that I really like: Startupfest had invited grandmothers among the judges. If they understand the project, it will be a hit for sure!
The design of the place also had a special touch... Philippe Telio pay tribute to Natalie, his wife, who is at the origin of several ideas that contributed to the special touch of the event.
Philippe Telio is also the founder of a fun concept: The Elevator World Tour, a series of events taking place in the most impressive lifts of the world. Imagine the scene of an elevator pitch! Investors and startups go up to the RC. Hardly the doors closed, entrepreneurs have just the time to get to the top to sell their project. After the CN Tower in Toronto, the tallest tower in Tel Aviv, the Eiffel Tower in Paris... the team will host the next pitch in Hong Kong!
Philippe Telio loves his city. And Montreal has every reason to cherish an ambassador as passionate as the founder of Startupfest.