Alistair Croll, Visiting Executive at Harvard Business School

Alistair Croll, Visiting Executive at Harvard Business School

Celebrated author and tech guru Alistair Croll will be the keynote speaker at Invest Atlantic, which for the first time is being held in St. John’s.

For the past eight years, Invest Atlantic has aimed to be a meeting place of founders, funders and support organizations from around the region. Organized by Jameson Consulting Group, the conference was held in Halifax for several years before moving to New Brunswick last year and now Newfoundland and Labrador. It expects at least 275 people will attend the event. Registration is available here.

“The biggest thing for us is that St. John’s is an up and coming entrepreneurship market,” said Jameson spokesman David Finlayson. “We’ve had great support [from the community]. They’re making sure that the important people who should be there know about it and will be there.”

Invest Atlantic will take place September 19 and 20. On Day 1, there will be a series of workshops that are open to the public, and the Pitch 101 and Pitch 201 pitching competitions. Day 2 will feature a series of panel discussions on a range of topics of interest to entrepreneurs.

In choosing Croll as its keynote speaker, the organizers have chosen someone familiar with Atlantic Canada. Croll is a Dalhousie University grad whose career includes being an entrepreneur, author and conference organizer. He may be best known as the co-author (along with former Halifax resident Benjamin Yoskovitz) of Lean Analytics: Use Data To Build a Better Startup Faster. He is now a visiting executive at the Harvard School of Business.

Croll will deliver his keynote address during Day 1.

Finlayson said that one of the panel sessions that should be interesting is the closing session, which is called “Story-Telling with Investors & Beer”. The idea is that the bar opens and a group of investors chat informally with the delegates. “We feel more comes out of more relaxed sessions, when people are just sitting down and telling stories and enjoying themselves,” said Finlayson.

He also said there will be about 15 companies pitching in the Pitch 101 and 201 competitions, in which founders get one minute to describe their businesses. Though the lists are not quite complete, Pitch 101 (for new companies) will include DroneNL, Trip Ninja, and Peter Lane Foods. Pitch 201 (for more advanced companies) will feature such companies as Neck Tronics, Agile Sensors Technology, Fytics, and Wreckhouse Energy.

As it has in past years, Invest Atlantic has its Host an Entrepreneur program, in which established members of the community can help cover the registration costs of less experienced and novice entrepreneurs. Finlayson said there are still spots open for young founders interested in attending. They can register here.

Overall he foresees a conference at which a range of entrepreneurs can make the connections and learn the skills they need to succeed.

“People should come to the event if they’re interest in many facets of entrepreneurship with a focus on ownership and business growth in any sized enterprise,” said Finlayson. “We’re bringing together a mix of service providers, funders and founders and you can come away with exposure to all of them.”

Disclaimer: Invest Atlantic is a client of Entrevestor. 

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