C100 Launched: Companies get Silicon Valley Expatriate Edge
May 25, 2010

San Francisco, CA (May 25, 2010) – The C100, an organization representing accomplished Canadian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, is officially being unveiled to the Canadian business community and policy makers at an inaugural event in Ottawa today. Prestigious members of the Canadian government, Canadian entrepreneurs, and Canadian‐American innovators, venture capitalists, and leading thinkers will be in attendance at the event, which is part of a broader movement to spur Canada's innovation sector.
 
“Much as countries like India, Israel, and China intimately involve their expatriate communities in Silicon Valley to accelerate their innovation sectors, it is time for Canadians to explore similar opportunities,” said C100 co‐founder Chris Albinson. “It is time for Canadian innovation to come out of stealth mode.” In the global economy, knowledge, research and innovation drive economic growth and enhance social well‐being. Canada’s long‐term economic competitiveness depends now, more than ever, on innovation. Innovation sectors require healthy ecosystems from basic research through commercialization. The Canadian innovation sector has been greatly stressed in the most recent economic downturn and needs support.
 
The C100 was founded to provide some of this support by leveraging the networks and experience of accomplished Canadians based in Silicon Valley. "I wish there had been a network like C100 when I first landed in Silicon Valley in 1998", said Howard Field, a successful repeat Canadian entrepreneur and CEO of fast‐growing photobook provider Picaboo. "Canadian entrepreneurs with global ambitions need an advantage. I'm excited now to be giving back as a C100 member and helping to grow great Canadian companies. C100’s mission is to help Canadian entrepreneurs accelerate their companies by leveraging the experience, access to capital, and business network of Canadian community in Silicon Valley. A key focus for C100 is to help create the right environment for innovation in Canada.

The C100 is targeting the following five areas where action is needed:

1. Leverage the quarter million Canadians in Silicon Valley as an integral part of the innovation economy. Other nations leverage their expatriate community extensively for access to markets, capital, and business connections to facilitate the growth of their innovation sectors. Canada too often treats this highly accomplished community as “brain drain” resulting in lost opportunities and structural impediments to the growth of an innovation based economy.
2. Create better access to globally competitive and connected financing of innovation. Strengthening the access to angel, venture, and public market capital for innovative companies.
3. Remove structural, tax, securities, and accounting impediments between Canada and the US innovation sectors that add cost and impede growth.
4. Substantially increase the efforts around commercialization of technology to create globally sustainable innovation ecosystems.
 5. Strengthen Canada’s brand. Canada is known for great research and engineering, but is not typically recognized as a global leader in commercializing technology.
 
“Our economy depends on the success of our businesses in global markets and Canadians who live in California have stepped up to the plate to forge stronger entrepreneurial links between Canada and California," said the Honourable Peter Van Loan, Minister of International Trade. "There are few economies as dynamic as the one in California which is why we are collaborating closely with key business leaders to increase prosperity for both Canada and California.”
 
Accordingly, the C100 has adopted an initial public policy stance favorable to enhanced competitiveness and improvements in the flow of goods, ideas and talent between the two countries. The organization is currently studying a number of initiatives spearheaded by both private and public sector entities in Canada that will stimulate innovation as well as strengthen the commercial bonds between our two nations. The C100 believes that innovation is key to vigorous economic growth and will support Canadian legislative and regulatory amendments that will enhance national competitiveness and cross‐border flows in all of its forms.
 
Though launched only two months ago in Silicon Valley, the C100 has already built a core membership of accomplished expats, created a network reaching thousands of technology professionals across North America and connected over 70 promising Canadian companies to resources and mentoring in Silicon Valley. Beginning this summer, the C100 will begin to showcase world‐class Canadian entrepreneurs and innovators through social media outlets and on www.

TheC100.org Useful links:

• C100 website: www.thec100.org
• Blog: www.thec100.org/blog/
• Twitter account: www.twitter.com/theC100 Backgrounder

About the C100

The C100 is a non‐profit, member‐driven organization dedicated to supporting Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. The C100 is comprised of a select group of Canadians based primarily in Silicon Valley, including executives of leading technology companies, experienced startup entrepreneurs and venture capital investors. C100 members are passionate about leveraging their collective experience, expertise and relationships to help mentor and grow a new generation of successful Canadian‐led technology companies. C100 Charter Members include startups CEOs, top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital. C100 contact: info@theC100.org

Press contact: Jeremy@stagetwo.com