Monday, October 1, 2007

Ottawa Venture and Tech Summit - Highlights

Last week I attended the Ottawa Venture and Tech Summit, and moderated a very lively session on video convergence. Got back Thursday night, and over the weekend I had a chance to upload some photos for this post.

Overall, I really enjoyed the summit, and from what I could tell, I was the only industry analyst there. This often happens for me as I get to participate in events that don't normally invite analysts, but sometimes I'm there by virtue of my quasi-media/press status because I blog. Whatever works.

I've noted before that Toronto is a pretty lonely place for me as there really isn't that much here in the way of VoIP-related vendors. We've got lots of great IP-based companies here, especially in the wireless space, but not so much for things I cover day to day. Lots of interesting companies elsewhere, though - especially Kitchener/Waterloo, Montreal and of course, Ottawa. So, it was really great to go to Ottawa and see some of these companies in person.

Telecom/tech was well represented at this summit, but there were many companies there from other sectors. After all, the audience was VCs, and they were there to hear funding pitches from Ottawa's most promising startups.

Companies of note for me were:

- Protecode (intellectual property protection for digital content developers)
- VoIPshield (security)
- Kleer (wireless audio semiconductors)- they also won best-in-show
- MYDYO (advanced search)- no URL available I'm afraid

All told, I thought the event was really well run, so that's a big hat tip to OCRI, and it was a great time of year to drive up to Ottawa. So long as they don't hold this in the dead of winter, I'm happy to go back any time.

I'll leave you with some photo highlights, courtesy of my Nokia N95.....


Opening reception - good networking and food, and the band was quite good too...


Paul Kedrosky's "Right From the Start" session...


Two companies doing their 5 minute pitch during the cocktail reception VentureDemo - tough gig....



Protecode CEO Mahshad Koogholi doing his pitch during one of the more structured sessions. This is one to watch.


View from my room - very tranquil, very Canadian, very Quebec, eh....


Fabulous blown glass lighting installation at the Lac Leamy Hilton. Not quite the Bellagio lobby, but pretty darned nice....


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