With the inaugural Founders’ Table dinner on the evening of May 15th, STIRR will have begun its entrance into the Canadian tech scene. Originally co-founded by Sanford Barr in California as a way to connect entrepreneurs, it has become one of the most popular organizations for founders in Silicon Valley. STIRR is now coming to Canada, with Calgary as its base location. Once again, the dedication of Pat Lor and Claudia Moore in building the Calgary (and Canadian) tech community is shown as they will be heading up the STIRR Canada team. One of the most important aspects of STIRR is that it is organized and attended by entrepreneurs that have gone through the process of founding and running a tech company. This gives them direct knowledge of the things that entrepreneurs desperately need (such as funding and guidance), as they attempt to help provide access to those essential elements.
The first STIRR Canada event will be held this Thursday (May 15th), and will be a Founders’ Table. It will bring together a small group of local founders, emerging innovators, and funders around a dinner table for a facilitated conversation, interaction and relationship building. Garrett Camp, founder of one of Calgary’s most successful tech startups, StumbleUpon, is scheduled to be the guest speaker at the event. I had a chance to chat with Sharon McIntyre (part of the STIRR Canada team) on the phone and she said an important difference between this event and other founders and funders type events is that there will also be an “emphasis on bringing very early stage individuals into the event and connecting them with mentors.” While most founders and funders events are primarily trying to connect people who need money with those who have it, this event will also bring innovators to the table who may not be ready for financing. The event is invite-only in an effort to connect the right people together, as Sharon put it: “It’s a bit like planning a wedding party; you need to make sure that the right people are sitting at the same table together in order for things to go well.” STIRR Canada will also be running larger Tech Mixer events in the near future that will encourage more entrepreneurs to join in and interact.