Startup Cape Breton — aka #StartupCapeBreton — is an event to highlight, promote, and encourage new thinking, activities, and opportunities in technology, business, and education.
The event is held several times a year at the Verschuren Centre at and is open to the public. It is organized by members of the community and is supported in part by various organizations and community partners including CBU, NSCC, Island Sandbox, Cape Breton Partnership and TecSocial/Innovacorp.
StartupCapeBreton 3.0 — on Friday, June 5th, 2015 — will bring an Entrevestor Luncheon, hosted by Peter Moreira, founder and CEO of Entrevestor , which provides news and data on Atlantic Canadian startups. The event will talk Startup Communities' , skill gaps, export sales, and more. The luncheon is catered by Flavor19 and is sponsored by BDO.
As part of the 3.0 event there will also be:
Spark Cape Breton Demo Day – where participnts can see what past winners have been up to, ask them questions, and hear about the fast approaching next round of Innovacorp's successful early stage investment program .
Founders' Speed Dating – where existing company founders who are looking to expand their team are invited to make a 30 second pitch covering who you are, what you do, and who/what you are looking for. Those looking for co-founders are invited to pitch following the same format, with the expectation that there will be business types looking for technical co-founders and vice versa.
Startup Cape Breton 1.0 began, in July 2014, as a way to welcome Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy and DMZ (Digital Media Zone) founder and CEO Valerie Fox to CBU. The two presented the model of the DMZ, Canada's leading (and global top 5) university-based technology-business incubator. Event participants were inspired by the Ryerson model of city-building and support for Toronto's startup scene; likewise, Levy and Fox were inspired by the energy and activity in Cape Breton's startup scene.
Inspired by both, CBU Chancellor Annette Verschuren (host for the 1.0 event) announced that she would commit $500K to create and help build up a Cape Breton Island Futures Fund (CBIFF), based on the model of "Ryerson Futures" that invests in DMZ startups.
In addition to the CBIFF, several other initiatives and startups have participated, launched, or gone public at a Startup Cape Breton event, including UIT Startup Immersion, Island Sandbox, and Spark Cape Breton.
Startup Cape Breton was and is meant to be more than a one-off event; it is meant to be part of the ongoing movement toward a more entrepreneurial, inclusive, diverse Cape Breton. Its momentum and popularity are reasons for optimism.