From Silicon Valley: Toronto’s Verold reflects on their 48 Hours

As part of Techvibes’ intensive pre-event coverage of 48 Hours in the Valley, we profiled several of the Canadian start-ups attending the event. With the event over, these start-ups reflect on their two days in Silicon, and what’s next for them. Second up: Verold, hailing from Calgary, Alberta.

Staff blogger Knowlton Thomas speaks with Jad Yaghi, Founder and CEO of Verold.

KT: Have you been in Silicon Valley before?

JY: We had earlier in the year won the TIEQuest business competition and part of the prize was attendance and networking at the TIECON in Santa Clara.

KT: Did the event reap benefits for your business?

JY: 1. Building bridges to both clients and financiers in the valley. 

2. We pitched to EA! Our largest customer on this planet. We pitched to the very top of EA’s management, which would not have been accessible to us otherwise (one of the top execs at EA is a C100 member).

KT: Describe the environment and atmosphere of the event.

JY: Very friendly environment. However, digging deeper, there were two sides that generated the ‘atmosphere’; the event organizers (C100 and the Canadian Trade Commission) and the actual hodge-podge of entrepreneurs themselves.

The organizers were all great, trying to make us feel welcome in the valley. At times I was confused as to whether I was in the valley or still in Canada. A quick stroll in downtown Palo Alto fixed that.

As for the entrepreneurs, that was the best part of the 48 [Hours event]. Just meeting a lot of young, Canadian CEO’s who have taken the plunge as well was refreshing. It made me wonder why we have little events for that in Canada itself.  

Yet, I have to admit that part of why we enjoyed each other’s company (and why an event such as this would not work probably in Canada) is that we had all made a ‘choice’ to attend the 48 hours in the Valley. Making that choice entailed taking time out of our schedules to seek mentorship (something not a lot of people are comfortable with) and paying upfront for the trip (something not a lot of startups would do). So that resulted in a nice turn-up of mature, serious startups.

KT: What was your favourite portion of the event?

JY: Meeting other start-ups! See above.

KT: With the event over, what’s next for Verold?

JY: Continuing to develop our client base, mostly focused on video game developers for now—console, web, and mobile games. The entire reason we got invited to 48 Hours was because several C100 members saw our presentation on how we can significantly reduce the cost of 3D graphics development, by automating today’s manual process, and decided our pitch was solid. I guess they wanted to impress the Valley with the caliber of Canadian companies.  Win/win all around.

KT: Thanks Jad, and best of luck to Verold.