Startupfest 2020

While Startupfest’s 10th birthday looked a little different than we’d planned, we’re thrilled to have gathered the startup community from around the globe for two incredible days nonetheless. Startupfest 2020 went hybrid, broadcasting live from Old Montreal- our home for the past ten years- with a studio audience. We featured Startupfest alumni, some of our most popular prizes and pitch opportunities, and a few special guests. Relive the highlights here.

Day 1

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00:02:58 – Welcome to Startupfest!

Startupfest founder Phil Telio, welcomes you this unique Hybrid format for 2020. He’s joined by partners without whom the event would not be happening! You’ll also meet your hosts for the event, Startupfest’s content team, Rebecca and Alistair Croll.

00:20:07 – Hindsight is 2020

In the first of these quick conversations, Alistair Croll catches up with Localmind co-founder, startup growth expert, and honorary Montrealer Lenny Rachitsky.

00:26:20 – Grandmother’s Choice Awards Finalists, Part 1

Our Grandmother Judges have been busy reviewing hundreds of submissions and they’ve narrowed the field down to six! Here are the first three companies!

00:59:07 – Conversations with friends

Alistair welcomes Trina Chiasson, author David McRaney and Chris Shipley for a uniqe Chain Reaction Panel discussion.

01:32:47 – Startupfest Gameshow with your host, Alistair Croll

Time to test your startup knowledge! Join us for our very own virtual gameshow.

02:00:30 Hindsight is 2020

In the second of these quick conversations, Alistair will catch up with Enjoy The Work’s Jonathan Lowenhar.

02:06:29 Looking Forward

Alistair invites Startupfest’s Diversity and Inclusion Emissary, Martine St-Victor, for a conversation about the difference between “cosmetic” and “systemic” solutions to diversity, the motives for change, and what makes her hopeful about tech and society moving forward.

02:15:49 Grandmother’s Choice Awards Finalists, Part 2

Our Grandmother Judges have been busy reviewing hundreds of submissions and they’ve narrowed the field down to six! Here are the final three companies!

02:43:08 Hindsight is 2020

In the third of these quick conversations, Alistair will catch up with Lightspeed / Never Apart’s Dax Dasilva.

02:50:47 A year later

As the saying goes, “never waste a good crisis.” And Covid-19 is no exception. The pandemic has forced us to rethink not only how we do business—but what business we’re in. In Canada, the government’s rapid response to the economic shortfalls has given many startups the breathing room they need to reinvent themselves.
How are founders navigating these tumultuous times? What adversities are they shouldering—and what opportunities lie on the horizon for those nimble enough to embrace the future rather than longing for the past? 
In 2019, The Honourable Mary Ng (Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade) was joined on our Startupfest stage by Shopify COO, Harley Finkelstein. We’re bringing them together a year later—after so much has changed. They will be joined by Canadian entrepreneurs Nia Bangala (Coffee for Change) and Meghan Athavale (Lumo Interactive).

03:23:26 Hindsight is 2020

In the fourth of these quick conversations, Alistair chats with Freshbooks CEO Mike McDerment.

Day 2

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00:09:45 Checking in with last year’s Best of the Fest winner!

Startupfest has dozens of opportunities for founders and investors. But there’s one big prize every year: The Best of the Fest! What does it take to win? Alistair checks in with Joshua Aviv, CEO of 2019 winner SparkCharge, to find out how he did it and what he’s up to now!

00:16:44 Best of the Fest finalists, Part 1

Our Best of the Fest judges have been busy reviewing hundreds of submissions and they’ve narrowed the field down to six! Here are the first three companies!

00:47:18 Hindsight is 2020

In these back-to-back conversations with past speakers, Alistair checks in with Techstars/The Fund’s Jenny Fielding; and Paul Mockapetris, creator of DNS and literally one of the creators of the Internet.

01:07:01 Best of the Fest finalists, Part 2

Our Best of the Fest judges have been busy reviewing hundreds of submissions and they’ve narrowed the field down to six! Here are the final three companies!

01:33:55 Hindsight is 2020

Alistair hops online to catch up with Founder Fuel’s General Manager Katy Yam, followed by Techstars founder and CEO David Brown.

01:54:24 Meet the winners of our Pitch From Home contests

The moment you’ve all been waiting for! We’ve received hundreds of submissions from around the world in the past months. Now’s your chance to meet the winners! 
We’ll also invite some friends and past speakers to join us througout the announcements, like Build Your Dream Network author, Kelly Hooey and Hustle Fund’s Elizabeth Yin!

03:04:28 Hindsight is 2020

Join founder Phil Telio and Foundation President Andy Nulman for a look back at 10 years of Startupfest!