Upcoming: April Startup Mentoring with Status.net CEO Evan Prodromou

We are very excited to restart Tap in Tuesday this month with Evan Prodromou CEO and founder of Status.net .

The event is April 12th at Notman House. Please use this link to reserve your spot asap: http://tapintuesday.eventbrite.com/

We’ll have more information up about the meeting shortly.


Startup Mentoring with Marc Gingras Recap

November’s mentoring session with Marc Gingras founder and CEO of Tungle was informative and inspiring. Thanks to Marc’s open, honest, and straight forward conversation style, we got to cover a wide variety of important topics, and walked away with many memorable real life examples of strategies and methods to run a Startup.

One of the fun things about the open format of Tap in Tuesday is we never know what direction our Startup mentoring sessions will take. The tone and pace of the meeting is set by the mentor’s conversation style, and by how they interact with the questions of the mentees.

Marc set a much faster pace than our other meetings to date, keeping the intro and past experience portion of the session short and focused, jumping right into the question and answer period, which lead into several discussions about raising money, business strategy, product strategy, marketing, networking, and not networking.



One of the highlights of this session was the amount of time spent on the topic of leadership. Marc effectively connected the importance of setting vision, creating culture, clearing obstacles, motivating and appreciating the team to the success of a Startup.


Some other topics discussed

  • The Freemium model and when to start focusing on revenue.
  • Working with accelerators, incubators, etc.
  • Lean Startup.
  • Raising money.
  • Raising money locally vs. Silicon Valley or Boston.
  • Understanding VC’s from a VC and entrepreneurs point of view.
  • How to build an all-star advisor board.
  • Distributed teams.
  • Outsourcing.
  • Marketing, PR, creating buzz, and wasting buzz.


Focus and Passion

The feedback from the participants that we had a chance to connect with after this event was unanimously positive. Everyone shared the feeling that Marc didn’t hold back, was real, and inspired us with his focus and passion for Tungle.


Thanks RPM for hosting us

Thanks again RPM for providing space for this event and many other great Montreal technology and Startup events. It is awesome to finally have a home base for the community.

If you haven’t heard of or been to RPM it is a great new co-working space located in Griffintown that has grown out of the initiative Ian Rae and Alistair Croll set up for several Montreal startups and entrepreneurs downtown. You may also know the RPM space as the home of Year One Labs who host Lean Lectures and their open offices in the same location.

Take a moment to check out RPM’s website for more details about the people, Startups, and events going on.


No December Meeting

We won’t be holding a mentoring meetup this month due to the holidays. We’ll be in touch with more news as we start to organize meetings in 2011. You can follow us on Twitter at @tapintuesday or keep a look out for news on www.montrealtechwatch.com, www.mtlnewtech.com, www.nextmontreal.com, or www.startupdigest.com


Great “Unplugged” Mentoring in 2010… Looking Forward to More in 2011

 So far the mentoring sessions have been great opportunities for Montreal technology entrepreneurs to connect with some of the city’s more experienced entrepreneurs on a much more intimate level than a conference would provide.

 We’ve had the opportunity to hear real stories about how people are building their companies, not theory about what might work. We’ve also been lucky to have mentors who were open and did not try to down play the challenges they faced, and how they moved forward. As a result, the conversations have been “real” and connected with the participants. Thanks to Sebastien, James, Carl, Marc, and all attending entrepreneurs for your support in making this a fun event to organize and attend.

 Wishing you all a happy holiday season.

Moving Event Location

Due to uncontrollable circumstances November’s Startup Mentoring session will be changing location to the RPM Montreal office space (which works out since we were hoping we could transition there in the New Year anyways). 

If you haven’t heard of or been to RPM it is a great new co-working space located in Griffintown that has moved over from the awesome environment Ian Rae set up for several Montreal startups and entrepreneurs downtown. You may also know the RPM space as the home of Year One Labs who host Lean Lectures and their open offices in the same location.

Take a moment to check out RPM’s website for more details about the people, Startups, and events going on.

As for November’s Tap in Tuesday. The rest of the details are the same. Tuesday November 16th with Marc Gingras 6PM to 8PM, but now at 420 Rue Guy, Montréal.

If you haven’t signed up yet, what are you waiting for? Only a few tickets are left. http://tapintuesday.eventbrite.com/

LaBarge Weinstien Sponsors our November Event

We are happy to have LaBarge Weinstien sponsor our November event. It just so happens they represent Tungle, so it is nice to see them stepping up to help out their clients’ effort to support the Startup community. Below is a little information sent over from LaBarge Weinstein; as you’ll read they are very active in the Montreal Startup space.

 LaBarge Weinstein are technology corporate finance, M&A and commercialization specialists, 24 professionals with a wide range of legal support for startups – patents/litigation are pretty much the sole exceptions. The firm is 14 years old, and has closed over 3.5B in tech VC and 4B in tech M&A during that period. Currently offices in Ottawa, Waterloo and Toronto (we cover Montreal from the Ottawa office), and with growing buckets of clients in Halifax, Calgary, Winnipeg and Vancouver. We have a very flexible billing structure, and ‘get it’ when it comes to how service providers can try in assist in building momentum behind young companies. We are always happy to provide fixed-fee quotes or assist either formally or informally, please let me know if we can assist in any way. We act for about 12 startups in Montreal, including Tungle, and we’d love to chat about your next venture.

Upcoming: November Startup Mentoring with Tungle CEO Marc Gingras

We are very excited to have Marc Gingras CEO and founder of Tungle mentoring our upcoming Tap in Tuesday session next Tuesday November 16th.

Marc is a serial entrepreneur with a successful track record as a venture capitalist. Prior to founding Tungle, Marc was Vice President of Business Development and Product Marketing for Nimcat Networks, a leader in peer-to-peer (P2P) communication applications, until its acquisition by Avaya Inc. in September 2005.

Marc was previously a venture capitalist at Innovatech Montreal where he oversaw investments in numerous telecommunication and software companies. As a venture capitalist, Marc’s investments yielded a combined ROI of more than 125 percent.

Prior to joining Innovatech, Marc co-founded Gytek Inc., an e-commerce software company in Waterloo, Canada, which he eventually sold to Entrade Inc., a NYSE company. He remained with Entrade as Chief Technology Officer. Marc also managed the launch of “Chapters.ca “, a leading Canadian portal.

He continues to be actively involved in the community as an advisor for local technology companies and SOPAR, a non-profit organization working toward reducing poverty in India. He also teaches Entrepreneurship in High Technology in the University of Ottawa’s MBA program.

Marc earned an MBA from INSEAD, a master’s degree in management sciences from the University of Waterloo, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Ottawa.

Marc’s resume is quite impressive with great success as both an investor and entrepreneur. This conversation should be a great opportunity for new and experienced entrepreneurs to pick the mind of a successful serial entrepreneur and current CEO of one of Montreal’s most popular new startups.

Sign-up Now: The event has limited space to encourage the flow of conversation, be sure to sign up ASAP to ensure a spot using this link: http://tapintuesday.eventbrite.com/  The cost is only $10.22 but includes a free drink which costs about $8 (we are now “selling” tickets to get an accurate head count and avoid no shows).

Carl Mercier Startup Mentoring Recap

This month’s mentoring session was held with Carl Mercier founder of Defensio (blog anti spam platform) recently acquired by Websense.

We got a nice break down from Carl on his experiences as and entrepreneur. Like James Duncan last month’s mentor Carl created his first business in his early teens, and never looked back. From monetizing one of the internets earliest bulletin board systems, creating management software business for a niche market, to writing several use group platforms, as well as an Ajax based domain name search tool, it was interesting to follow how a technical entrepreneur could quickly generate products (many as code learning experiences) and with the right business savvy monetize them.

One key take away from the meeting particularly pertinent to technical entrepreneurs was to the lesson to avoid getting bogged down with your product. As a developer it is very easy to continue to focus on adding features versus trying to sell the product. As all us technical entrepreneurs know, if given the choice between a little quiet time to add a cool new feature or picking up the phone to cold call, we’d keep adding features till their was no choice but to do sales.

Carl also stressed the importance of properly assessing the market (for example using landing pages and Google ad words to evaluate interest), but at the same time touched on avoiding the tendency to sit back and wait for the perfect idea to start building a Startup. According to Carl using an Agile methodology and lean business practices you should be able to course correct your way into a successful business. It seems the art is in finding the right balance of quick smart and smart start.

Some questions asked by our attending entrepreneurs:

  • Did you self fund all your business and why?
  • How did you know when to remain on vision versus make a major pivot?
  • Does having a strong Startup community help?
  • Did moving to Silicon Valley make a big difference for your businesses/career?
  • How did you sell your first business?
  • When and how did you incorporate your business?
  • What were the advantages of forming the business in the US?
  • How did you handle stock options?
  • How did you determine the amount of stock options to give early employees?

This meetup was particularly interesting and relevant for technical entrepreneurs who are coding or directly managing the development of their Startup product. Next month we will likely have a slightly different view on launching and running a Startup. Marc Gingras from Tungle will be joining us to share his story of entrepreneurship, raising money, and driving the vision of his product. It should be another interesting and insightful evening.

Limited Space:

To keep the meetings somewhat informal and laid back, we’ve chosen to keep the meeting size to a maximum of just 20 entrepreneurs.

So far the format seems to have created the types of conversations we were hoping to stir up between the entrepreneurs and our guest mentors. One of the drawbacks of offering a limited space free event is the occurrence of no shows. For our last meetup we had a standby list of about 10 people, but only 17 of the 20 signed up showed (meaning 3 people on the wait list could have come).

Long story short, this coming month we have decided to charge $10.00 to attend the meetup in an effort to avoid no shows. Think of it as a deposit since you will have a spot reserved as well as 1 free drink. With the remaining funds will be used to buy some food for everyone to share.

Register now for November 16th Tap in Tuesday with Marc Gingras

The last 2 meetups space filled up in the first day or two after registration opened. So if you plan on attending please register now here: http://www.tapintuesday.eventbrite.com

Startup Mentoring 3 Sold Out, but……

We’ve “sold out” or more accurately “filled” all our open spots for entrepreneurs for our upcoming October meetup with Carl Mercier. However if you are interested in joining us please send an email to tapintuesday@gmail.com. We’ll be contacting people directly if there are any cancelations.

Also to ensure you have a guaranteed spot for our November event with Marc Gingras from Tungle please send us an email so you can get on our mailing list.