Last year we took a small leap here. We commissioned a private first class Via rail car for a round trip to Montreal. The destination was the International Startup Festival. For a peek at last year’s trip, check out Qasim’s post and photos.
In the end, we sold out and filled our car with 50+ startup junkies and travelled to startup fest and back together. We had an AV setup on the car which allowed some of our companies to pitch to the train so we knew what they were working on.
We’re doing it again this year, stay tuned here and our email list as we announce ticket sales soon. A sneak peak at some changes we’re working towards based on our experience last year……
The combination of some people leaving early or staying a few extra days in Montreal meant our return car was only about 3/4 full. As well, after a few days of startup festival, we were all fairly tanked. We’re focusing our efforts on the trip to the festival. We’ll offer an optional return train trip and we’re hoping to offer an optional return flight as well.
More of You
This is a lofty goal so don’t hold me to this yet. We’re working on having three cars total. Two of those cars will be first-class cars where your seat will be. In between those cars, we’re hoping to sandwich the bar car we rode home on last year. Our on-train events will take place in that middle social car which will allow for some flow amongst the cars.
Startup conferences are not corporate conferences. I have little patience for anyone complaining about ROI for startup fest. Instead of asking myself and Phil for a cheaper ticket, tell me how you’re going to get $2000 of value out of this entire experience!
To that end, we’re working on hosting some pre-events intended to get our train folks together ahead of time. We all have specific goals for this conference. We want to find a funder, a co-founder, a customer, etc. Let’s try and share our goals as best we can before we get to the conference so you’re not on the hunt alone.