Last week we brought together a small, hand-picked group of Canada’s top growth-stage tech CEOs with some of Silicon Valley’s most successful CEOs, CTOs and CFOs, late-stage investors and C100 Charter Members for the Annual C100 CEO Summit (formerly known as the CEO Tech Forum).
Charter Member Mark Relph ready to hit the ice
It all began Thursday morning right on the rink in Redwood City. As tradition, the North (those still living up in Canada) versus South (ex-pat canucks in the Valley) met for an awesome hockey pick-up match! This year the north took the lead and left the south in the dust.
After the players cleaned up, we went over to Microsoft in Mountain View, CA for the main event. We were welcomed by C100 co-chair Lars Leckie and our amazing Microsoft hosts (and C100 Charter Members!): Mark Relph, Senior Director of Startup and Venture Capital Engagement, and Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business. We want to give a big thank you to Mark, Don and the whole Microsoft team for your continued C100 support as a Silver sponsor….you guys rock!
C100 co-chair Lars Leckie welcoming the CEOs
The goal of this event was to create a high-value, intimate opportunity to participate in discussions of challenges pertinent to growth stage CEOs, like: building a high performance team, generating triple digital annual revenue, achieving global market/product dominance, capitalizing growth, etc. Although the sessions themselves were closed, we want to briefly share with you the subjects and notable items we discussed with these speakers.
As a pretty new Charter Member, this was Don Mattrick’s first ever C100 event (welcome to the crew, Don!). Over lunch, he went on to explain how he jumped into the tech world, his first startup, and his work with xbox. One tidbit of “Canadian to Canadian” advice Don shared with the CEOs is that “Canadians are too balanced and polite. You can be rude and a little arrogant down here.”
Dan Wilson, Partner at KPMG (C100 Premier Partner), introducing Don Mattrick, President of Interactive Entertainment Business.
Don also mentioned that, “the job of leader is to play chess. You’re not going to win every chess game, but you have to think ahead.” Long term vision is a key for growth stage companies, and this theme continued throughout the event, echoing in the talks with Sukhinder Singh Cassidy and Ajay Royan.
While chatting with the CEOs, Charter Member Sukhinder Singh Cassidy (CEO & Chairman of JOYUS) concentrated more on the challenges of going global. She pointed out that you should focus on depth versus breadth, as tackling just a few big markets is better than trying to get to all markets while consequently spreading yourself thin. She also encouraged everyone to find what she calls your “global swat team”. This is the team that you can confidently send all around the world to kick ass in different markets.
Steve Abrams, Director at BDC Capital (C100 Premier Partner), introducing Sukhinder Singh Cassidy
Next up we got to hear from Charter Member Shawn Price (President of Successfactors) who talked about the ever popular subject of how to build, keep and grow your high performance teams. Shawn was previously the President of Zuora, where he helped build one of the fastest growing SaaS companies in the industry.
Once we wrapped up the insightful day at Microsoft, we moved over to Woodside, CA to enjoy one killer party: the VC2VC Reception at Charter Member Don Listwin’s home. On a beautiful estate among the redwoods, we celebrated with an excellent group of Canadian and American VCs, C100 Charter Members, CEO Summit companies and select guests.
Brendan King, Don Listwin, Michael Kavanaugh, and Dan Wilson hanging out at the VC2VC Reception at Don's house
Lastly, we ended the two day event with a fireside chat with Ajay Royan, Managing Director of Mithril Capital, where we got to hear about his firms strategy with investments, his thoughts on hiring the right team and long term strategies.
Thank you to all of our speakers, CEO Summit companies, Charter Members and C100 Partners for making this an excellent and very memorable event!