Visiting Silicon Valley with the Top 20 most promising startups in Canada

June 23rd, 2012 by Chris Hogg Leave a reply »

Digital Journal is en route to the heart of the tech and investment world: Silicon Valley. As many of you saw in our announcement last month, Digital Journal has been hand-picked from hundreds of companies across Canada and named one of the 20 most promising startups by The C100, an organization representing accomplished Canadian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Twice a year, the C100 holds an event called 48 Hours in the Valley that offers 20 of Canada’s most promising startup companies two days of mentorship, workshops, investor meetings, strategic partner visits and networking.

We are humbled and honoured to be among some really amazing talent, as we’ll join 19 other Canadian startups who have been called the “best-of-the-best of Canadian entrepreneurship.”

The C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization whose focus is to support Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. The organization is made up of a select group of people based primarily in Silicon Valley, including startups CEOs, top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital.

The event kicks off Monday night in San Francisco with a private welcome reception with the C100 48 hours companies, C100 Board members and C100 partners. Then we dive into two jam-packed days of networking, mentoring, investor pitches and workshops.

I am eager and excited to see what comes of the week, and for those of you who would like to follow along I’ll be blogging about my experiences here on Digital Journalon my own blog on Twitteron Facebook and on the C100 blog after the event.

My goal with covering the trip will be to give everyone an inside view of what it’s like to experience The C100 48 Hours event, and do my best to summarize and recap the advice we get as a way to help out other entrepreneurs.

As Digital Journal has grown, I’ve been fortunate enough to have countless startups, entrepreneurs and big media execs approach me for advice. I have also been lucky to be in some amazing company with a Board of Advisers who have helped us navigate the often unclear roads of startup life. And on top of all that amazing conversation, I have a very unique source of talent behind me: the Digital Journal community, which is a group of incredible and amazing people, many of whom have been with us for years as we transitioned from a printed magazine into a global media network.

And that is why we are here today, and why we are heading to the Valley with 19 other rockstar Canadian entrepreneurs. In the process of building Digital Journal, I have learned the most important thing an entrepreneur can do is surround himself/herself with top talent and do everything possible to learn from them. It’s critical that you know what you don’t know, and the only way to do that is to reach out and start talking to people.

We haven’t even left for the Valley yet, and the response and offers to help have already been incredible. We’ve had some really brilliant entrepreneurs/mentors contact us to ask how they can help (thanks Jeremy and Michael); we’ve had long-standing friends of Digital Journal reach out to offer to make our trip to San Francisco more enjoyable (thanks Chris, Kelly and Doug); and we’ve been humbled to see very big businesses approach us to help us get to where we are today (a very special thanks to the Four Seasons San Francisco and Dell Canada for being so supportive). We’ll be introducing you to several more people and businesses over the next few days, so thanks to everyone who has reached out so far.

So as we head to the Valley, I will cover 48 Hours in as much detail as possible to let you know about what we’re doing and seeing, and I’ll attempt to pass along all the great advice we get in an effort to help other entrepreneurs learn from some of the biggest and brightest minds in North America. If you are an entrepreneur (or hope to be one day), I encourage you to contact me on Twitter and let me know what kinds of things are on your mind. I will seek out interviews, try to answer questions and extend my network to you this week so we can all learn from this experience.

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