Thalmic’s Stephen Lake and Lightspeed’s Dax Dasilva among C100’s Ambassador Program

silicon valley

Working in the heart of Silicon Valley, C100 regularly makes moves to connect strong Canadian entrepreneurs with the Valley’s dense startup ecosystem.

Today, the nonprofit announced a new program that is tapping into its Canadian network for help finding the latest up-and-coming companies. The C100 launched its Ambassador Program, a program of well-connected ambassadors residing in major Canadian cities who will effectively identify and engage the most promising startups in their respective regions.

“C100 has historically done an excellent job of selecting quality startups for their annual programs” said Harley Finkelstein, C100 Board Member and COO of Shopify. “However, being headquartered in San Francisco, we have relied on our partners to recommend companies. We’re excited to launch the Ambassador Program as an opportunity to activate C100 members in Canada, who can effectively analyze and refer the most impressive companies within their regions.”

The ambassadors have a term of 24 months, and have agreed to be the “eyes and ears” of the C100 community across Canada and to offer founders mentorship while granting them access to the extended C100 network. Ambassadors will also recommend and recruit founders for C100’s 48 Hours in the Valley program and CEO Summit.

Ambassadors include:

    Stephen Lake, co-founder and CEO of Thalmic Labs (Waterloo,ON). Lake is often outspoken about what the Canadian startup community needs to succeed; he spoke at an event featuring minister of innovation, science and economic development Navdeep Bains calling for a clearer innovation strategy, and has spoken for better transit between the Toronto-Waterloo corridor. Thalmic’s most recent public funding was a $14.5 million series A in 2013.

    Dan Debow (Toronto,ON), an entrepreneur and angel investor. Debow acted as senior vice president of emerging technologies at Salesforce, where he was responsible for launching a new wearable solution. He was the co-founder and co-CEO of Rypple, which was acquired by Salesforce. In 2015 he was named Canada’s Angel Investor of the Year.

    Dax DaSilva, CEO at Lightspeed (Montreal, Quebec). Under Dax’s leadership, Lightspeed has grown to serve 36,000 small and medium-sized businesses worldwide, and raised $61 million USD in funding last year. CVCA called it the top Canadian venture deal for the year.

    Matt Switzer, senior vice president, Labs, Corporate & Business Development at Hootsuite (Vancouver, BC). Matt has spent his career starting and growing companies as a technology investor, advisor, and executive, and is responsible for new product innovation, partnerships, financings and strategic acquisitions. Hootsuite has grown to 800 people, raised $250 million, acquired eight companies and built and launched four new products.

    Aydin Mirzaee, general manager of FluidReview (Ottawa, ON). Aydin Mirzaee co-founded Fluidware in 2008 which was responsible for running two very successful SaaS businesses: FluidSurveys.com and FluidReview.com. The company was bootstrapped and grew to more than $10 million in sales and over 90 people in staff. After six and a half years, Fluidware was acquired by SurveyMonkey. Aydin currently serves as General Manager of FluidReview within SurveyMonkey.

    Jevon MacDonald, ex co-founder and CEO of GoInstant Inc., co-founder, StartupIndex.ca (Eastern Canada). MacDonald is the general manager of Salesforce.com and Co-Founder and CEO of GoInstant Inc., which was acquired by Salesforce. He’s a driving force behind Halifax’s Volta Labs, which most recently received $500,000 in federal funding and hired Creative Destruction Lab and Velocity founding director Jesse Rodgers.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang is BetaKit's News Editor. Follow her on Twitter @jessicagalangg or send her pitches to jessica.galang@betakit.com.