If attending the Dublin Web Summit has taught me anything, it’s that I’m head over heels for inventive startups. Startupfest Montreal, a whirlwind of conferences, overtook Montreal’s old port near silo number 5 and the talks kept us thirsty for more.
It’s yet another summer festival which Montreal has become so well-known for, but happens to be a favourite of ours. From the amazing networking opportunities, to inspirational speakers, tasty local food from our city’s trucks and that sweet, startup spirit. It seriously feels like Christmas in July!
Here are some of our favourite moments from the festival.
5 Takeaways from Startupfest Montreal
Stay true to yourself and your roots
If there’s one message that remained constant through the event, it was to be fearless and confident in your work. Don’t be afraid to be who you are and take the risk to do what you love.
Reconsider moving your startup to San Francisco
Why? Because there’s a TON of competition and, well, it’s expensive (af!).
5by founder Greg Isenberg (whose startup was picked up by StumbleUpon) advised Canadian startups to raise money closer to home.
“Start a company here because this is the cheapest place in the world to start a company,” says Montreal native Isenberg, while reminding us that hiring is also much cheaper in Canada than it is in California.
Be open to talking to those who have come before you (and failed)
Learn from their experiences and actually listen to what they have to say. Look at the companies who failed in your space and try to learn from their mistakes. “You can leverage the advice of the people who failed to do what you’re trying to do,”.
Support your local hustlers
Startups come in all shapes and sizes. While we don’t all have the deep sums of a Venture Capitalist in our pockets, there are other ways to show your support and help to raise funds. Kickstarter to Go Fund Me, local incubators and sub-communities can be incredibly helpful – just spread the word!
Don’t ask for an investment at all
I’ve spoken to several startup owners about this one, and a few of them confirmed it’s not a bad idea. “The easiest way to raise money is not to ask for it,” said one, while suggesting that startups should just ask investors if they can “keep them in the loop.”
Sending regular updates gives investors a chance to see the product and team develop – which can convince them to invest in a startup.
Bonus: the Montreal startup community is a group of very rad folks, and hats off to the team at Startupfest Montreal for putting on such a great event!
Already looking forward to next year.