Nestled in Silicon Valley, C100 and it’s extended network of founders, Charter Members and community members, have access to the most promising Canadian entrepreneurs and leaders. In an effort to broaden its reach and provide more support in Canada, C100 has launched The Ambassador Program. The program is comprised of well-connected ambassadors residing in major Canadian cities who will effectively identify and engage the most promising startups in their respective regions.
“C100 has historically done an excellent job of selecting quality startups for their annual programs” said Harley Finkelstein, C100 Board Member and COO of Shopify. “However, being headquartered in San Francisco, we have relied on our partners to recommend companies. We’re excited to launch the Ambassador Program as an opportunity to activate C100 members in Canada, who can effectively analyze and refer the most impressive companies within their regions.”
During their 24-month term, ambassadors have agreed to be the eyes and ears of the C100 community across Canada and to offer founders mentorship and advice while granting them exclusive access to the extended C100 network. C100 has asked them to recommend and recruit the most promising startups for C100 programs such as 48Hrs in the Valley and CEO Summit. Further, they are dedicated to supporting local C100 events in their city in order to introduce and elevate the C100 brand in their community.
Stephen Lake, Waterloo, ON: Co-Founder, CEO. A natural-born engineer, Stephen focused on hardware during his time at the University of Waterloo where he studied as a Loran Scholar, and on robotics at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich). He and his co-founders were named EY Ontario’s Entrepreneur Of The Year in the Young Entrepreneur category in 2015.
Dan Debow, Toronto, ON: Daniel Debow is an entrepreneur and angel investor. Most recently, he was SVP, Emerging Technologies at Salesforce where he was responsible for launching new wearable solutions. Previously, Daniel was the co-founder and co-CEO of Rypple, which was acquired by Salesforce in 2011 and rebranded as Work.com, a sales performance management platform. Prior to Rypple, Daniel was on the founding team of Workbrain, a workforce management software company. Daniel led Workbrain’s sale to Infor in 2007. Daniel has made over 40 angel investments and in 2015 was recognized as Canada's “Angel Investor of the Year”. Currently, Daniel is the CEO of an early stage mobile software startup.
Daniel holds a JD/MBA (Gold Medalist) from the University of Toronto and an LLM in Law, Science and Technology from Stanford University. He is an Adjunct Professor at the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto, Founding Partner of the Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management and serves on the advisory boards of Thalmic Labs, the Rotman School, Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, OMERS Ventures and ScaleUp Ventures. Daniel's views on technology have been featured in media such as Boomberg, the CBC, the Toronto Star, and Forbes. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.
Matt Switzer, Vancouver, BC: Matt has spent his career starting & growing companies as a technology investor, advisor and executive. Matt is currently Senior Vice President, Labs, Corporate & Business Development at Hootsuite, where he is responsible for new product innovation, partnerships, financings and strategic acquisitions. Hootsuite has grown to 800 people, raised $250 million, acquired 8 companies and built and launched 4 new products. Before Hootsuite, Matt worked in Venture Capital, advising & investing in early stage startups with a focus on technology and telecommunications. Matt got his start as an early employee at Workbrain, an enterprise software startup, which grew to 700 employees and went public in 2003. Matt went on to do Investment Banking at Merrill Lynch, working on more than $5 billion worth of acquisitions. Matt has a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. He currently sits on the board of the BC Technology Industry Association. Matt has lived and worked in Toronto, Sydney, Hong Kong, and London and currently resides with his wife and two daughters in Vancouver.
Aydin Mirzaee, Ottawa, ON: Aydin Mirzaee co-founded Fluidware in 2008 which was responsible for running two very successful SaaS businesses: http://FluidSurveys.com & http://FluidReview.com. The company was bootstrapped and grew to $10M+ in sales and over 90 people in staff. After 6.5 years, Fluidware was acquired by SurveyMonkey (the world's leading online survey company). Aydin currently serves as General Manager of FluidReview within SurveyMonkey.
Aydin is also the co-founder of http://FreshFounders.com, a non-profit organization with the vision to create a community of young entrepreneurs in every city around the world.
Jevon MacDonald, Eastern Canada: Ex-Co-Founder & CEO, GoInstant Inc., Co-founder, StartupIndex.ca
Jevon was the General Manager of Salesforce.com and Co-Founder and CEO of GoInstant Inc., which was acquired by Salesforce.com. He’s the driving force behind Volta Labs, a not-for-profit startup house in Halifax, Nova Scotia which provides world-class mentorship, education, support and services to startups. He is also the Co-founder of StartupIndex.ca, founder and business developer of several software and services companies, and Co-founder of Startupnorth.ca Jevon has been involved in multiple start-ups at various stages of growth and is an active angel investor. Jevon has spent the last decade building high technology businesses as an entrepreneur and in senior roles at Dachis Corporation, Inc., the Renewal Consulting Group, and Argenus, Inc.”
Dax Dasilva, Montreal, QC: Dax Dasilva is the creative mind behind Lightspeed's suite of retail, hospitality and eCommerce tools. Seeing the technological evolution of how people live and work, and the void in the market for cloud-based business platforms, he was ahead of the curve when he launched Lightspeed in 2005.
Under Dax's leadership, Lightspeed provides industry-leading omnichannel commerce tools that enable more than 36,000 small and medium businesses worldwide to thrive. His vision of blending the best of the digital and physical worlds continues to guide the company today.
In 2015, Dax also founded Never Apart, a non-profit organization that brings about social change and spiritual awareness through cultural programming.