TechTo Knows How to Engage a Crowd

TechTO October 2019

How was the TechTO October 2019 event? Is it worth three hours of your time each month? TechTO is one of the most impressive monthly industry events in Toronto. The way they involve their community, run the event and display a wide diversity of technology companies at all stages of growth keeps the events interesting, informative and in-touch.

October Re-cap

From where I sit in the crowd each month, it seems like there are about 25% of first-time attendees at each event.

Various community members are able to give a 10-second pitch each event about something they need (a job, a developer), something they are looking for (beta testers, partners) or something they have to give (expertise, information).

What’s interesting is that at every meeting a few of the 10 second pitches start off with “I’m new to Canada and have started a company…” there is a lot of opportunities to get involved and be part of something new and growing and a lot of opportunities to get involved with well-funded “older” companies too.

Five featured speakers took the stage for five minutes each and left these nuggets of information:

Fiona Lake Waslander: Co-Founder at Skylight

  • This company is transforming residential kitchen & bathroom renovations
  • Start small, stay small until you figure things out
  • Build-in diversity from day one
  • Their team is entirely remote


Tal Shalit: Founder & CEO of Betterez

  • This company is transforming bus & coach travel
  • Forget the unicorn, be a zebra business
  • Being a zebra means to focus on the fundamentals like budgets, reality and being good to your community


Joe Rideout: President at Draper AI

  • This company is making Amazon advertising less painful
  • Make something people want
  • Launch early & often, you actually don’t need your software ready to do this – don’t be letting that be an excuse not to get your product out to the market
  • Talk to your customers


Benjamin Sanders: Co-Founder & CEO at Proof

  • This company is making government approvals work faster
  • Fail
  • Learn
  • Repeat


Raise of the month:
Hussein Fazal, Co-Founder & CEO of SnapTravel

Each month, a company that has successfully raised money takes the stage to share their tips on how best to achieve this.

  • This company is making hotel and airline bookings via messenger/SMS
  • Don’t need the money
  • Don’t ask for astronomical amounts on the first ask
  • Track and show your numbers
  • Listen to the PWC Raise podcast for more detailed information on this story:

Find out more about TechTO and attend the next event.

Jen Kelly is a marketing consultant in Toronto and CEO of New Initiatives Marketing Inc. (NIM) serving growing businesses in Canada and the USA. For companies that don’t have a marketing department, we become your marketing department. For companies that have an existing marketing team and are challenged adding capacity and skills to their team due to a head-count freeze, we act as your marketing team’s right-hand.  Contact us today for a conversation about your company’s marketing needs.

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