“The Startup Train is arguably the most valuable aspect of Startup Festival for Ontario entrepreneurs.”
Over five to six hours of travel, the Startup Train helps Startupfest attendees build meaningful connections before the conference. This year, the train is chartering its own first-class train cars with VIA Rail Canada to fill with corporates, mentors, startups, and investors network en route to Startupfest on July 9.
“The Startup Train is arguably the most valuable aspect of Startup Festival for Ontario entrepreneurs,” said Marianne Bulger, CEO of Prospect. “It’s more than just sticking awesome people in a contained space for five hours. You walk in as strangers and leave as a community ready to tackle the festival together.”
Startup Train began as a grassroots initiative in 2012, led by Brydon Gilliss, now a senior director at Highline Beta, a startup co-creation and new venture development company. Since then, Startup Train has hosted a first-class train car every year from Toronto to Startupfest in Montreal. Included on the trip is facilitated one on one mentoring, Startupfest 2019 full access tickets, one-way first-class travel on July 9, and in person or online pre-events.
Various startups, investors, and corporate leaders like Aviva, Payments Canada, RBC, RDWI, and Sidewalk Labs will be on the train along with BetaKit, which is a longstanding Startup Train supporter. Some industry experts to spot on the train include Marcus Daniels, founding partner and CEO of Highline Beta, Nicole LeBlanc, director of investments and partnerships for Sidewalk Labs, and Lauren Robinson, general partner at Highline Beta.
Startup Train is giving away two free train and festival tickets through a ticket draw. Anyone who tweets tagging @HighlineBETA and @StartupTrain, or anyone who fills out an online form can apply. Startup Train is also encouraging participants to use the #Startupfest hashtag as well.
Image courtesy Aaron Awad