It’s that time of year again: from July 15th to the 18th, thousands of investors, startups, analysts, and journalists gather in Montreal for the International Startup Festival. Startupfest offers inspiring stories from speakers, networking, and a chance for tech enthusiasts to connect in a fun way.
In advance of Startupfest, here are a few things you should know to be prepared to make the most of it:
1. There are ten startups pitching on stage at Startupfest
Ten startups pitch on the main stage during Startupfest, and the pitching teams this year include startups like Tongo, a company that designs tongue-operated control systems for people paralyzed from the neck down; and Medella Health, a startup developing contact lenses that monitor health and transmit the data to mobile phone.
For a full list of startups pitching at Startupfest, click here.
2. There’s a Tent Village!
The downside of festivals catering to such a tech-savvy bunch is that people will often be glued to their phones, ignoring the physical experience. The Tent Village is meant to alleviate that with 28 tents showcasing startups, representing regions and including themed tents that can satisfy anyone.
Some themed tents include a Design + UX + Publishing tent, an IoT tent and a Maker tent.
In the Village you’ll also find the $100K Investors tent, where angel investors judge which startup is deserving of the title prize, and the Grandmother Judges tent, where startups have until Friday to win the Grandmother’s Choice title.
In the Village, you’ll also find slushies, sno-cones and awesome swag. Check out a list of all the tents here.
3. Startupfest has tons of cool speakers
Speakers are the soul of festivals like Startupfest, and this year the speakers span across industries and expertise to give you the lowdown on running a business. Travelocity founder Terry Jones, as well as Affectiva co-founder Rana el Kaliouby are a couple of big names who will be attending Startupfest as speakers. Growthhackers.com CEO Sean Ellis and Minhas Breweries and Distillery co-founder Manjit Minhas will also be there. Check out the full list here.
4. There’s at least $200,000 in prizes to be won
Besides the Grandmother’s Choice and $100K Investment Prize, other prizes include the Media Pitch Prize, where a startup has a chance to be featured on CBC Montreal, and The Next 36 Top Student Entrepreneur Award where startups compete for a spot in the 2016 cohort of The Next 36.
5. The best way to Startupfest from Toronto is the Startup Train!
The Startup Train gives attendees to network and get mentorship from industry experts in advance of the event. Tickets cost $629 for startups, and on-train mentors include BetaKit’s own Managing Editor Douglas Soltys, SurePath Capital Partners founder Mark Macleod, and Eigenworks founder and CEO Alan Armstrong.
Besides getting the chance to meet cool people, other perks of being on the Startup Train include the chance to win prizes like a Pro Vimeo account, win/loss interviews with customers from Eigenworks, and hosting packages from Softlayer. One startup on the train will also get the chance to pitch on the main stage at Startupfest.
You can buy a ticket for the Startup Train here.