We just got back from Metabridge, an invite-only event in the Okanagan Valley designed to bridge the gap between budding BC tech entrepreneurs, global tech leaders, and Silicon Valley investors.
The event comprised keynotes and panels, and a competition between 15 of BC’s ‘Top Startups’, the winner of which was selected American Idol-style by the audience. This year, five of the 15 founders pitching were female (including HIGHLINE portfolio company founders Kathryn Loewen of Control and Nat Cartwright of Payso), up from only one female founder last year.
In addition to typical conference-style panels and talks, the weekend included exclusive invitations for Top Startups and VIPs to connect more intimately while sampling some of the best of Kelowna through activities like wine tasting, gourmet dining, boating on the lake, and a hike overlooking the city.
“It’s a small event, but a great opportunity for ‘Top Startups’ to have a one-on-one experience with investors and successful operators,” explains Maria Cuasay, an Analyst with BDC IT Venture Fund at BDC, who attended Metabridge this year for the first time.
Maria suggests that founders who want to make the most of Metabridge apply to be Top Startups.
“The event is not recommended for companies that aren’t part of the ‘Top Startups’ list, but if you are a selected Top Startup, you’ll meet many potential investors, partners, and mentors. They have a great line up of VIPs.”
This year, the formal part of Metabridge ended with a closing panel moderated by HIGHLINE’s Founder & CEO Marcus Daniels who chatted with Katherine Barr (General Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures in Palo Alto) and Vivian Wu (a notable Valley ed tech impact investor) about Best Practices of Raising Money for Your Company.
— HIGHLINE (@HIGHLINEvc) June 12, 2015
Her second year at Metabridge, Katherine Barr was drawn back because the event offers her “a finger on the pulse of technology entrepreneurship in Canada.”
“It’s a fun, informal gathering of technology entrepreneurs and thought leaders in a beautiful setting,” she described, adding that attending founders should “participate not only in the programmed events but also be sure mingle with all of the participants in the lobby and other informal areas between the official program.”
Here’s a recap of some highlights from Metabridge on Twitter: