Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


why I brought Founders and Funders to Ottawa

I'm a bit nuts ... I don't stop much except to hang with my family or learn to play guitar. Between running FaveQuest, consulting, three kids, filming/producing/directing/editing "The Nasty Hockey Show" and starting to design Zoogeez ... things are interesting for sure.

With all of that going on, I decided to organize a major event taking place next week. Crazy!. Here is why.

There's a lot of complaining on both sides of the funding table and way to much negativity. Lots of bitching about lack of support from government. Constant chatter that Canadian VCs have had poor returns. While some of this may be true ... there's also another possibility which is this:

"there are many investors who are looking to place money and numerous high quality, fundable start-ups looking for investment. "

Funders and Founders need each other and an event that brings these two groups together may very well unlock the apparent frozen state of start-up investment in Canada. The Founders and Funders Dinner is a grass roots by invitation only event that brings these two groups together for an evening of hard-core networking. No presentations, no demos. This initiative was started by Austin Hill (who is coming to Ottawa for our event) and Patrick Lauzon in Montreal and similar events have sold out across the country with support from David Crow & Jevon MacDonald.

After attending the Toronto F&F last spring following an invitation from David Crow, I decided it was time to bring the event to Ottawa. With the tireless assistance of James Smith (LaBarge Weinstein), Tim Hember (thinkRF, The Ottawa Network) and Ian Graham (CodeFactory) and a long list of sponsors (LaBarge Weinstein, Ramius, Acorn Partners, Verdexus, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Royal Bank).

Within barely a week of registration, the Ottawa event being held on October 29th nearly sold out as of now (and will sell out). It is especially encouraging that roughly one third of the Ottawa registered attendees are investors (VCs, Angels, government funds, working capital ...). We have some founders and investors coming from Montreal and Toronto and many well known and new local investors will be in attendance.

This is a story about people taking action at the grass roots to make things happen while everyone else is worried and complaining about the economy.


BTW, if you are interested, shoot me an email at allan.isfan at

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