1. Sweden makes scotch. Yes – and we had lots of it flowing at our event, along with a charcuterie platter (which is fancy for cheese, crackers and cured meats). Even Marcus, Lauren and Evan from Extreme Startups were impressed and asked about the catering company used. Looks like Extreme guests could expect some fancy food at the next event (perhaps their May 22, Angel Investor Night ). In the interim, the Extreme cohort companies – some of which were at the cocktail – will learn more about the Foundation when we present to them on May 2nd .
2. Tiger of Sweden clothes make you comfortable doing things you wouldn’t have done before! The team at Slavin Raphael, the generous hosts of the event, explained how the Tiger of Sweden brand is so well made, it transforms your image when you try on a new suit. Trying is believing. Laurence Slavin, one of the owners, said he never used to be comfortable doing public speaking until he wore one of the suits! We wondered if that made Rob Antoniades, (Chair and Co-founder of Upside Foundation) ponder his clothing choices as he gave the crowd an overview of how to donate to the Upside Foundation!
3. No one has ever caught a fish when ice fishing except for Mark Skapinker (Co-founder of Upside Foundation). Mark alleged that he caught a massive fish when he went ice fishing. Turns out once we saw the photo on his phone, we agreed he caught a fish … only it seemed more like a minnow! Kyle Reid of ProAnglerFL who was there, and is part of the current cohort of DMZ and about to join Next36’s Next Founder program, saw the photo. Given his vast fishing experience, I think it will take more than that to impress him!
4. Startups are evolving their industries – niche by niche. fr8nex founders were there discussing how their company, while still in beta mode, will be taking the freight industry out of the dark ages with its effortless online shipping tools for business. And the team from SetScouter (a DMZ cohort), told us how their platform can help get our houses featured in a movie – for considerable cash. Their organization helps match film teams to locations to move set scouting into the 21st century.
5. A quick way for your kids to think you’re powerful and well connected: A member of our legal team at Bennett Jones was telling Anthony Lipschitz from StubHub how his kids admire him for his connections and powerful contacts in the industry – not to mention they think he’s pretty cool – since he can source great seats at concert for them. As he said, it’s his little secret from his kids … it’s not due to connections – but due to StubHub! Regardless, we think he’s pretty cool – especially since Bennett Jones is a big supporter of ours!
6. We have over a million dollars of committed donations already. That was mentioned by Ben Zifkin, Founder/CEO of Hubba (First donor and Upside Foundation Board member). Not entirely sure of his calculations, so perhaps the Swedish scotch helped in the calculations! But given the recent funding received by Hubba and its stellar rise, Hubba seems to be leading the way for donor companies.
7. Shirley Speakman who recently left IAF to join Cycle Capital was explaining that she needs to start improving her French. She represented the MaRS team at the event, who in addition to JOLT and IAF, are proud community partners of the Upside Foundation. Now that The Upside Foundation is mentioned in the IAF term sheets, we expect more founders will become aware of what we do.
8. Some decisions are easier than others. A founder from Granata Decision Systems was there asking lots of good questions about The Upside Foundation. As a graduate of UTest, another of our community partners, we know Granata are experts at analyzing decisions.
9. We learned that about some of the cool companies growing at Extreme Startups – including Dubb, fora and Hurrier who all came out to socialize with us. We also met with founders from PostBeyond (and discussed the power of social media) and Physicalitics (and discussed how to capture the analytics of the physical world).
10. Members of the investment community (e.g., Howard Gwin, PyCap Venture Partners, OMERS Ventures, and BDC (which included our Board member, Steve Abrams, who was in from Montreal) and our community partners from MaRS, Extreme Startups, UTest and DMZ) learned more about some of our donor companies at the event so they could match up the following descriptors with the company names:
|A. Art and Mechanical||i. Great design can inspire real change|
|B. Hubba||ii. Gives brands and retailers the power to manage and share their consumer-ready product information|
|C. Global Regulation||iii. A paradigm shift in regulatory research|
|D. UnderstoodIt (sold to EventMobi)||iv. Making classrooms more interactive|
|E. WIRL||v. Radically simple and functional employee feedback software|
Answer: Made it easy on you, just read across to match the donor company with its tagline – Ai, Bii, Ciii, Div, Ev.
All in all, a fun night and a great networking opportunity for start-up investors, incubators, and founders. Thanks to all who attended, including some of our donor companies, and especially our gracious hosts at The Tiger of Sweden.