Supporting an entrepreneurial catalyst – the Canadian Innovation Exchange


I think the Canadian Tech Community is on fire, and even more so in Montreal. The next few years will be of utmost interest. Many elements required to build a solid foundation for Entrepreneurs seeking to not only launch but also to grow their tech business from their home town, are coming together and I think that the Canadian Innovation Exchange (the “CIX) provides one of those elements. Over the last few years, the CIX quickly became a must-attend conference for the principal players in the innovation economy aiming to showcase and accelerate the development of the great technology-based innovation emanating from Canada. And now, CIX can do even more.

The CIX has offered a great platform for tech leaders, entrepreneurs and investors alike, to connect, to share and to build relationships. This conference has not only been extremely successful, it has been very complementary to other innovation and entrepreneurial driven events such as Startup Camp Montreal (SCMTL), the Banff Venture Forum and The Canadian Financing Forum. Being innovative and taking the lead in developing unique opportunities is what entrepreneurship is all about, and I think that the CIX is doing just that.

By taking the lead in celebrating Canadian successes, showcasing the tremendous innovations coming to market and providing Canadian tech entrepreneurs with more than a “must-attend” conference, with the tools to exchange and access information and people throughout the year, the CIX can become a true catalyst for growth.  By tying into the top Canadians in the Valley (the C100) in order to build stronger links with the global 500 Tech Companies as well as the top tier Valley VC’s, as well as leveraging the multiple initiatives to attract foreign investment into Canada that the CVCA has initiated, and by forging even stronger links with entrepreneurial events such as SCMTL, A100, Anges Quebec, Réseau Capital and others, I expect the CIX to play a critical role in connecting the dots and help deliver even more value to our community.

It’s an honour for me to have the opportunity to collaborate even more closely, as co-chair, with such a great team and to help make CIX an even more important partner to the tech & VC community. I’m really looking forward to gathering feedback, ideas and support from my colleagues and all of those actively wanting to play a part in building up our tech community here in Montreal and across Quebec.

If you have an idea to share please contact me @chrisarsenault

Here is a link to the full CIX press release posted on


4 Responses to “Supporting an entrepreneurial catalyst – the Canadian Innovation Exchange”

  1. 1 Danny Robinson

    Perfect guy for the job. Looking forward to coming out for CIX 2011 this year.

  2. CIX was a great event this year as it had an abundance of funders who actually had active funds and were excited about the possibilities in 2011. This was a huge change from previous years where most funders didn’t want to talk about funding.

    Whats needed in Canada are more funders like Chris Arsenault who get the modern startup world where lean is in, tech can be built cheaply and quickly, and although a little money can go along way, the real benefit fo investors should be their industry insight and network connections.

  3. Great news Chris. Congrats. Very pleased to see that you’ve signed on with CIX. As a former Director of the Toronto Venture Group putting on the Canadian Venure Forum, I can tell you these events are a lot of work and it takes both leadership and heavy lifting from an extended community of investors, service providers, innovation centres and entrepreneurs to help raise the next generation of startups. Looking forward to helping take this event to the next level.


    In partnership with government agencies, CIX to select three Canadian companies to spend three months working in Silicon Valley.

    Toronto, ON (January 20, 2011) – The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) announced today at Startup Camp Montreal ( that, in partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of Canada and the Consulate General in San Francisco, it will be launching the CIX Canadian Technology Accelerator, a new program supporting emerging technology companies in Canada.

    Qualified Canadian companies working in Information and Communications Technology and Digital Media are invited to submit a brief profile to the program for the chance to send two employees to work rent-free for three months at the Plug and Play Tech Center (PnP) in Sunnyvale, California. Selected companies will also receive a complimentary pass to CIX 2011, taking place December 2011 in Toronto, Ontario.
    “We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting new partnership,” said Rick Nathan, Managing Director of Kensington Capital Partners Limited and Co-Chair of the Canadian Innovation Exchange. “This program will bring an amazing benefit to the companies selected while raising the international profile of the outstanding innovation community we have here in Canada. Supporting innovative Canadian companies and showcasing the fantastic new technology and initiatives emanating from this country – this is exactly what CIX is all about.”

    “CIX has a longstanding collaborative relationship with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and in particular with Sunil Sharma, who serves as Global Practice Lead for Venture Capital and Private Equity,” said Chris Arsenault, Managing Partner at iNovia Capital and Co-Chair of CIX. “Through this relationship, we have been mutually working to enrich the innovation community in Canada and to develop a stronger footprint in Silicon Valley.”

    Qualified entrants are invited to fill out a brief company profile at http://www.canadianinnovatione… before March 11th, 2011. An expert CIX Selection Committee will review submissions, and the three selected companies will be announced on April 1st, 2011.

    For more information, please contact Tiffany Ruston at

    About the Plug and Play Tech Center
    Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, is a community of over 280 technology startup companies in the areas of Web 2.0, software (SaaS), systems, semiconductor and telecomm verticals. Since its inception in January 2006 the center has helped the startups raise in excess of $400 million in venture funding. The start-up companies have created a cumulative value of two billion dollars. Entrepreneur-centered with strong relationships with the most influential venture capital firms of Silicon Valley and Ivy League universities in the nation, PnP has become the ultimate place to launch and grow promising new technologies. http://www.plugandplaytechcent

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