C100 celebrates second birthday and $417 million in startup deals

The C100 has turned two.

It’s been two years since the organization was founded by a group ofCanadians working in California’s Silicon Valley as a way to give their fellow compatriots a foothold with investors, partners and customers in the region’s technology community.

C100 was born “over dinner with an enthusiastic group of OCanada-singing charter members – all successful technology leaders herein the Valley who wanted to get together and give back to the nextgeneration of Canadian entrepreneurs,” according to a blogposting on theC100 Web site marking the group’s second birthday.

Anthony Lee co-founded the C100two years ago.

Since its inception the C100 has mentored 95 Canadian startups, held 30events attended by over 3,000 entrepreneurs, signed up 100 chartermembers (that’s what the group calls tech scene players based in theValley) and 2,500 C100 members across North America.

Here’s the most eye-catching figure: $417 million in investment hasresulted from C100 programs, the group says. Not a bad track recordafter just a couple of years in existence.

The not-for-profit organization was the brainchild of Anthony Lee,general partner at the software and digital media investment firm AltosVentures Management Inc., and Chris Albinson, manager and co-foundingdirector of Panorama Capital, a technology and life science venturecapital firm.

The C100’s latest success story was last month’s announcement that travel planning Web site Uptake is being acquired by Groupon for an undisclosed amount. Uptake founder Yen Lee, a Canadian who graduated from both the University of British Columbia and the University of Western Ontario, is a charter member of the C100.

Moving to Valley not necessary
The startup landscape has changed a lot in the past two years since theC100 started, especially in Canada. The level of startup activity hasmushroomed overall (as illustrated by examples like the new4,000-square-footaddition that opened at Ryerson University Digital Media Zoneincubator) and last year saw about 35 Canadian startups acquired.

Although C100 co-founder Lee is a Sudbury, Ont. native who is now basedin Silicon Valley, he cautions that not all Canadian startup companiesshouldrelocate there for good.

“I don’t think they should necessarily move to the Valley,” Lee toldITBusiness.ca in an interview last fall. “If you’re in technology it’simportant to be part of the Valley scene through networks like C100,through developing relationships with corporate partners, investors andentrepreneurs. But you see great companies like Radian6 that don’tuproot their entire staff from New Brunswick to move down here.”

Fredericton, N.B.-based social media monitoring firm Radian6 wasacquired by Salesforce.com in a combined cash and stock deal worth $375million in April 2011.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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