C100 launches application-based membership model for Canada’s up-and-comers


The C100, a nonprofit dedicated to helping Canadian startups find connections in Silicon Valley, is launching a new membership program for up-and-coming members of Canada’s tech community.

The new program is aimed at making the original C100 membership initiative more accessible to promising tech founders and operators. The program is application-based and is a paid membership, unlike the original C100 cohort, which is invitation-only. Prospective members for the new membership model must be sponsored by two current members, must agree to C100’s principles, and they should work in tech as a founder or operator.

“C100 helps to mobilize us Canadians in tech hubs outside of Canada so that we can have an impact in Canada.”

The original C100 enlists a by-invitation cohort of 100 tech leaders, called “charter members.” Recruitment of these members is based on experience, influence, expertise, and availability to active contributors to the program. This assessment criteria will not change, executive director at the C100 Laura Buhler said. Members are required to commit both time and finances for the membership’s three-year duration.

“By giving our community a membership to which they can belong, we can keep them close to opportunities emerging out of the entrepreneurship scene in Canada, too,” Buhler wrote in a blog post announcing the new membership. “For some, this means advising or investing in companies emerging back home. For others in the membership, this means helping Canadian startups partner and sell into their organization. For others still, we hope this means taking a bold career move to a high-growth Canadian tech company.”

The C100 offers six to eight curated member events each year, as well as programs that allow members to meet Canadians influencing the tech ecosystem. The organization’s mission is to allow tech leaders to access new opportunities, expand their professional network, and attend high-value events. The C100 also provides expertise, mentorship, and advice.

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This new membership option is intended to offer engagement opportunities for Canadians leading or operating in tech, who may have not been, or been able to be, involved as charter members, mentors, or investors. Those who have benefited from C100 events in the past will now be able to apply for the new membership, for what C100 is calling an “enhanced experience.”

Since launching in 2010, C100’s 48Hrs in the Valley program has helped more than 250 Canadian startups, which currently employ over 12,000 people collectively and have cumulatively raised $2.4 billion in equity capital. The program introduces Canada’s most promising startups to Silicon Valley’s mentors, investors, and industry executives. The program’s 2019 cohort included Voiceflow, Properly, RenoRun, SnapTravel, Invivo AI, and Smooch, (which was acquired by ZenDesk this year).

“Canada’s diaspora in key markets around the world is one of the country’s greatest assets,” said Andre Charoo, C100 board co-chair. “C100 helps to mobilize us Canadians in tech hubs outside of Canada so that we can have an impact in Canada.”

The C100 is headquartered in San Francisco and is currently hosting most member gatherings in the Bay Area and Toronto. Members who are based in the Bay Area will benefit have the most opportunities to engage with the network at various events and gatherings, C100 said.

Image courtesy C100 via Facebook

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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