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. Our final follow-up: PerspecSys, hailing from Waterloo, Ontario.
Staff blogger Knowlton Thomas speaks with Jeff Campbell, CEO of PerspecySys.
KT: You’ve been to the Valley before, correct?
JC: With over 30 years in this business, I have spent time in the Valley selling, developing business, and working. In fact, very early in my career (1979), I worked for a Unix startup and lived in Sunnyvale before returning to Canada. This was my first time as CEO of PerspecSys, and I am very excited about the response we received and the opportunities we have uncovered.
KT: Anyone at the event who made it particularly special?
JC: The Canadian Consulate, C100 members, and facility providers were awesome hosts. Alison Demeria and Rick Rasmussen were primary hosts and managers who made this complex series of meetings, events and field trips flow smoothly and very effectively. I would say they created and orchestrated a perfect flow of meetings and events that provided extremely useful content, valuable networking opportunities and promoted camaraderie among the startups in attendance.
KT: Let’s talk about your favourite part of the event.
JC: The PnP Expo of course! PerspecSys was recognized as the best investor pitch among 40 international companies. We are very excited about this recognition and the potential for meetings with investors and business development partners that this notoriety will create.
Absent the outstanding outcome at PnP, I would have said that the C100 mentoring and networking events were tops. We have such bright and accomplished ex-Pat Canadians in the Valley and I am very grateful to the folks who invested time with us and have demonstrated that they will continue to assist. I can point to four meetings with C100 Mentors that will have profound impact to our success going forward. This is truly a valuable programme.
KT: So then, this event has bettered your business, clearly.
JC: This event will impact our near-term plans, and has potential to lead directly to investors and business development opportunities. Through the C100 Mentoring, we received great advice and ideas on how to address some of the more vexing issues facing our emerging business. There are at least two ideas discussed with Mentors that will go into effect immediately and I anticipate positive outcomes. Meeting and chatting about our goals and aspirations as a business with C100 members has already led to meetings with VC investors. In fact, I met one very successful and brand new C100 member on Wednesday evening, the following day email introductions were made with well qualified VC contacts and Friday morning we were in the VC offices discussing the opportunity that PerspecSys represents. This VC is moving to a next meeting.
KT: Great news. What’s next then?
JC: In a word… Work. Lots and lots of it. There is a tremendous amount of work involved in following through on all the ideas, connections and preparing for next meetings.
One of the things I learned is that the Canadian Consulate maintains office space in the Plug and Play Center in Sunnyvale that is available for Canadian startups to use as a “base-camp” of sorts. I am considering exploiting this offer by moving to the valley for a few months to advance the Company’s Corporate and Business Development agenda in an accelerated fashion. With the concentration of VC and Business Development opportunities in the area coupled with the genuine and effective mentoring and support from C100 members, Canadian Consulate and the Plug and Play Center, this seems like a low risk/high value part of a plan to develop the Company.
KT: Any last comments?
JC: PerspecSys’ involvement in the event and access to C100 is a direct result of the excellent mentoring and support the company enjoys from Communitech and as a tenant in the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo. In fact, it must be noted that these organizations provide a fantastic environment for Companies to form, evolve and grow through provision of business services, mentoring and access to capital. Canada, and Waterloo in particular, are among the leaders in the world in terms of initiating, fostering, and evolving quality businesses. This was clearly demonstrated at Plug and Play Expo in Sunnyvale where 15 of 40 startups presenting were Canadian, all highly regarded by the judges and audience with the one from Waterloo reigning victorious.
Left to right: Kayvan Baroumand, Chief Operating Officer of Plug and Play tech Center in Sunnyvale CA. Terry Woloszyn, Chief Technology Officer and Founder of PerspecSys. Theirry Weissenburger, Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner of Consulate General of Canada San Francisco and Palo Alto. Jeff Campbell, President and CEO of PerspecSys.