We are less than a week away from our trip. We are almost full. If you are reading this, and you’re a startup, the folks at SoftLayer want to give you one last push to join us. Among other things, coming on our train means you’ll have access to:
First class VIA service, including some drinks to get conversations going.
On train prizes and gifts, most aimed at giving your startup an unfair advantage.
One on one mentoring on the train with experienced folks from the Ontario startup scene.
Access to our Ontario Startup Tent at the festival, which gives you a chance to showcase your startup in Montreal.
A chance to pitch on the main stage in Montreal
There’s more but you get the point. Our train is NOT simply about catching a lift to Montreal.
Now, to the offer….SoftLayer is funding us to offer 20% off our current startup pricing to 5 lucky startups. This is for startups only, and it’s first come-first served. With the SoftLayer discount, the train portion is basically free. Email me directly to get one of these five spots! When they’re gone, they’re gone!
We ran a twitter contest for two free starving startup tickets on the SoftLayer Startup Train this past week. We randomly selected our two winners, one male, one female, and our winners are Beth from Grey Rock Clothing and Ali Jiwani….
These tickets are intended for startups that really cannot afford to buy their own tickets. Our train always sells out so if you can afford a ticket then you should just buy your own asap to ensure you get a spot.
Entering into this contest is simple. Follow our Startup Train account on twitter, then post to twitter why you should be on the train with us, making sure you mention @StartupTrain in your post. Some examples….
One aspect of the Ontario Startup Train which we don’t talk about online often is that we have our own bar car! Yes, it’s a train car that’s a bar. Your trip on Startup Train includes first class service, so you start in your seat where you’re served a cocktail, then a hot meal along with wine.
After we complete meal service, we move to our bar car where we begin our one on one mentoring. This is your chance to sit one on one with industry mentors. We’re still completing our list of mentors for this year but previous year’s mentors include awesome folks such as April Dunford, Mike Kirkup, and Jim Estill. Once we open the bar car and break into these sessions, we have lot’s of room for you to move around our train cars, meet others. You can socialize or pull people into a section of seats for more one on one talks.
There’s a slight change in this year’s travel. We do NOT have our bar car…..
That’s the ‘bad news’ The good news is that we’re replacing our usual bar car with the Skyline car. Yes, we’ll have that train with the bubble on top. The Startup Train just up’d it’s swank level!
Note: We do not have enough spots for everyone on the train to get time one on one with a mentor. We offer those spots based on when you purchase your ticket. If you value mentoring time, don’t wait to buy your ticket.
How about some 1 on 1 time with top startup mentors to perfect your pitch before you take that shot? How about filling the crowd with newly acquired Ontario startup friends to cheer you on?
Among the many reasons to come on our Ontario Startup Train, there is new twist. Twelve startups will have a chance to pitch on the main stage at the International Startup Festival in Montreal. Beyond being incredible exposure for your startup, you could win cash and prizes. Startups from our train last year won both the big prize of $100K as well as the FounderFuel Cohort prize.
This year, we have the opportunity to select one of our on-train startups to be one of those twelve main stage companies!
Once we select our company, we’re lining up one on one pitch coaching with some of the mentors taking the train with us. Our selected company will get time during the train trip with experienced startup mentors to help prepare them for their on-stage spot in Montreal. This is an amazing opportunity for exposure, improving your pitch and maybe even walking away with some cash.
Our on-train mentors include Mark Macleod, who’s mission in life is to help fund, grow and exit startups and Alan Armstrong, who spends his days dissecting how startups are winning and losing their sales.
There are a few ways to become a finalist to win our on-stage spot (edit: only 1 way left):
Win our pitch event at our DMZ pre-train event. (not without a time machine)
Join us tomorrow night (June 18) at the future home of Eigenworks here in Guelph for a chance to win free tickets on this year’s Ontario Startup Train, which includes full access to the 3 day International Startup Festival. Thanks to sponsors, we’ll be giving away two free starving startup tickets on the Startup Train tomorrow night. We’ll be giving these to 2 people in attendance at the event. These include our train and full access to Startup Festival.
If you’re curious about what the Startup Train is and want to find out more, make sure you join us.
If you’re an alumni of our train, having attended one of our previous three years, then please join us as well. We want this to be a Startup Train reunion and a chance for us to catchup with friends from previous trains.
A Chance to Pitch at Startup Festival?
12 companies will have the chance to pitch on the main stage at this year’s Startup Festival. We, at Startup Train, have 1 ‘wildcard’ spot that allows us to put one of our startups on stage.
There are many reasons to take the train with us instead of travelling alone, add this to the list! We’re going to be hosting several of these pre-train events. These events will include a pitch event. We will be selecting the company that gets our wildard spot from these finalists.
So, if you want this wildcard spot, the first step is to attend one of these in-person events and win the night!
We’ll announce more events as we nail down the details. For now, register for June 9th and we’ll see you in Toronto. PS, one of our startups won $100K for their company last year.
Tickets are now on sale for our 4th instance of the Ontario Startup Train. What’s a Startup Train? Basically we charter our own private train cars with VIA, including our own bar car. We fill them with 120+ startups, funders and entrepreneurs. After enjoying a first class meal service, we break into some one on one mentoring and networking while enjoying drinks.
We are likely going to sellout well in advance again this year, grab your tickets now!
Trust me, regardless of where you’re departing from, you’re going to want to connect through Toronto and travel to International Startup Festival with us!
Last night we hosted our 25th DemoCampGuelph event here in Guelph. The weather did it’s best to slow us down but we still ended up with a full house. Our invited speaker Ben Yoskovitz didn’t fair as well. After starting the drive from Toronto, he quickly made the right decision to turn back. We’ll get Ben out to our next event.
With no invited speaker, we improvised and hosted another founder panel. Sitting on our panel last night was Jim Estill, Steve Holub and John Mammoliti. We all had an opportunity to ask questions and pick their brains about getting started, what you need, what you don’t need, finding mentors and first customers and more.
We then jumped into a great night of demo’s including an unusual amount of DemoCampGuelph alumni. The Crowie award for crowd favourite demo of the night went to Owen Goss from Milkbag Games for his new game Photobomb.
It’s always humbling to host these events and see what a strong community we have in Guelph and surrounding area. Thanks to everyone who braved the weather and joined us last night. We’ll see you next year at #26!
We’re hosting our 25th DemoCampGuelph next week. For those unfamiliar, it’s a highly social event where about six folks from our community will have the opportunity to demo some technology to the crowd. It may be something they’re working on or just a cool project they want to share. It’s a very casual event that is a great way to meet some other folks in our local tech scene.
We’ll start the evening off with our invited speaker. Most folks in the Canadian startup scene have heard of Ben Yoskovitz. They likely know him from his days helping to shape and grow the Montreal startup scene, including his role in the incubator Year One Labs. They’re surely heard about his recent tour of duty with GoInstant in Halifax and his new role at VarageSale in Toronto. What they may not know is that Ben was born and bred right here in the Royal City. So it’s a welcome home of sorts.
We’ll then jump into our demo’s for the evening. After our demo’s, we have live local music with AJ Johnson from Cuff the Duke and The Oddyears.