CIX wraps up with Octopz winning the top prize

The first-ever Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) wrapped up in Toronto yesterday after two days of passionate discussions about VC funding and presentations by 20 up and coming Canadian startups. Octopz, which develops tools for advanced online collaboration, was selected by the audience as the top startup at the event, with Akoha, a casual gaming startup, coming in at second place. Here is a video summary of the final day of CIX (provided by the event organizers):

In the closing session on the state of VC funding in Canada it was noted that the number of very active VCs isn’t that huge in the country (in the 8-10 range), which is why there might be a perception that Canadian VCs don’t take enough risk. Chris Albison of Panorama Ventures said that it is infact not the Canadian VCs who tend to be risk-averse, but Canadian entrepreneurs, whose approach tends to be on the lines of “I’ve got cool technology, now what do I do with it ?”. He contrasted that with the aggressiveness of entrepreneurs from other countries like Israel, China and India who seem to have the “ferocity” to make it big in the US market from the get go and immigrants from these and other countries reflect that hunger for success as well. Leonard Brody, a very successful entrepreneur and a partner at GrowthWorks Capital, was of the opinion that 80% of all businesses, whether bootstrapped or VC funded, fail, and it is only 20% which succeed. In other words, according to him, getting funded doesn’t guarantee or even improve the chances of success! In addition to the informative sessions, the key value of the event was in the networking opportunity, as it brought together an incredible number of investors and entrepreneurs in the same room and I’m sure a lot of potential deals got their start at this CIX. Already looking forward to the one next year!