a, Science & Technology

Start-up Grind hopes to educate, inspire, and connect

Fifty cities; 15 countries; 15,000 entrepreneurs—this is the ground covered so far by the Start-up Grind. Founded by entrepreneurs Derek Anderson and Spencer Nielson in Feb. 2010, the event series will soon be making an appearance in Montreal.

With the intention of creating a place for friends to come and help each other in their start-up endeavours, the event has expanded its scope and presence in the past few years. This includes Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, and now Montreal as the latest addition to this growing list.

“Montreal was missing an event where the start-up community really got together and discussed in detail and without any inhibitions and constraints how somebody managed to succeed,” said Rami Sayar, director of the Montreal chapter of the Start-up Grind and McGill graduate.

Described as an event series that seeks to help educate, inspire and connect local entrepreneurs, the Montreal edition of this international event is taking place on Nov. 21. Entrepreneur Greg Isenberg will be the keynote speaker for the event. Isenberg will talk about his experience with 5by—a company that transitioned from the idea phase to acquisition  in a very short span of eight months. 5by is a video concierge website that rummages through the Internet to find videos that fit particular moods. Isenberg will share his story about the journey of an entrepreneur in the start-up ecosystem and discuss what worked, what didn’t, and what he’d do differently the next time around.

Montreal is known for its entrepreneurial community, and events like the Start-up Grind will continue to expand options available to emerging founders to discuss and network.

Although many entrepreneurial events have taken place in Montreal this fall, the Start-up Grind is unique because its focus is on bringing together some of the most successful Quebec business leaders to share their insights and experiences. According to Sayar, “It’s not about pitching ideas or demoing [sic] products, it’s about understanding how someone went from A to B—from idea to success.”

“We’re trying to do something special in Montreal,” He said, “Each event will be a little different from the last. [Compared to the Start-up Grind in other cities], we won’t be having just a meet up every month […] it’s going to take place at different venues.”

An additional highlight of the event is a performance by two local indie groups The Panda Attack and Raquel Pearl & Kimberly—both of which are start-ups themselves, so to speak.

“There will also be an after party—because everything in Montreal must have an after-party,” Sayar added. He hopes these additions will make the event unique from other series held in previous cities.

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