It started as all good Canadian stories start: I was standing beside a moose and talking to a Mountie. Seriously.
At the annual Canada Day Picnic held by Digital Moose Lounge in Woodside, my niece had asked to “ride” the almost-life sized moose statue. I asked the nice guy in the Mountie costume to help her up. That turned into a conversation with the Mountie (not a real one - this is the Silicon Valley - it was obviously the founder of a tech company). His name was Michael Worry and he was on the founding committee of the C100 - an organization of Canadians in the Silicon Valley looking to give back to entrepreneurs in Canada. The C100 had officially launched a few months before and they were mulling around the idea of hiring someone to propel their growth — and maybe answer a few of the hundreds of emails that were coming in from entrepreneurs looking to “connect.”
At an early 48hrs in the Valley - photo by the one and only Kris Krug.
Three months and seven interviews later I was hired as the first employee of C100. That was almost four years ago and it’s been a non-stop whirlwind since then. There have been wins and losses, good decisions and bad and a lot of throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. I am extremely proud of where we are today and the journey we took to get there.
The best part of leading the C100 has been the time I have spent with amazing founders and startup teams across Canada. And so, I am so excited to announce that my next move will be to one of Canada’s most exciting tech companies. This fall, I will be joining Tobi and Harley and the rest of the Shopify crew to lead their app store and 3rd party developer ecosystem. I’ll be staying in San Francisco but working with the great team they have in place in Ottawa. For me, it’s a huge challenge and huge opportunity - and I can’t wait to get started.
Even though my time is done at the organization, my dedication to the C100 mission is far from over. There are many great people and entrepreneurs who need to get their stories and successes heard. I will continue to be an advocate and supporter for Canadian tech entrepreneurs here in the Silicon Valley and elsewhere. So please keep me in the loop, reach out, let me know when you are in town for a visit and I will always try to help out.
And now just a few thank you’s...
First and foremost, thank you to all the Canadian entrepreneurs who educated me, gave me honest feedback, and supported me and the C100 from day one. Thank you for letting me be a small part of your amazing success. It was my honor to tell everyone who would listen your incredible stories.
Thank you to all the Charter Members who have stood up on chairs in fancy hotel ballrooms to confess their love of Canadian entrepreneurs. To all of you that have enacted our mission by mentoring at 48hrs, answering an email, having a coffee with a visiting founder, getting on a plane to speak at our events in Canada or simply telling one of your colleagues that Canadian tech companies are killing it - I thank you. There is no C100 without you.
Thank you to the people who founded and led the C100, the incredible Co-Chairs: Anthony Lee, Chris Albinson, Lars Leckie, Katherine Barr and Scott Bonham. Your passion and commitment is the secret to our success.
Thank you to the Americans who joined the C100 and adopted Canadian entrepreneurs as their own: Camille Meyers-Jones, Lindsay Hill and Rose Blake. Canada has no idea how lucky they are that you worked on their behalf.
Thank you to Joanne Fedeyko, our new Executive Director, for taking on the task of continuing to build and nurture the C100 mission and community. I know you are going to do an amazing job - the C100 is in very good hands.
Thank you to all our partners, who not only agreed to support us financially but to be real partners in our journey through being our flag-wavers and advocates across Canada and in the Silicon Valley.
There a million other people that contributed to the C100’s success but in fear that I would forget just one...I say, thank you, to all of you. Go Canada Go!