Well-known technology startup investor Gerry Pond will be the new chair for MentorCamp, a series of events designed to help startup companies held in Atlantic Canada.
Event organizer and fund manager Permjot Valia announced the news late Thursday night on Twitter, saying he was “over the moon.” MentorCamp is a free event series that does not charge attendees or pay the mentors that speak. It was conceived in Nova Scotia, where an experimental event was held with local startups and international mentors and investors, and the first official MentorCamp was held in Halifax in October 2011.
The events have a specific area of focus appropriate for the Maritimes. MentorCamp is building an eco-system of startups in the fields of digital, medical devices, and ocean technology. The events could lead to direct investment in startups, but also serve to open up global exposure for the firms.
Pond is the chairman of Mariner, an IPTV firm based in Saint John, N.B. that has an active venture capital arm. Pond was named the top Canadian Angel of 2011 by the first Startup Awards, and has more than 40 years of experience in the IT industry. He was the CEO of NBTel and has worked with startup firms Q1 Labs, iMagicTV, and Radian6.
MentorCamp has charted three phases for successful commercialization:
- Idea validation: Is the idea good and do the experts agree?
- Talent infusion: Are the right people on board and is there good access to the best talent?
- Money infusion: Can you raise the money needed to go to market?
A final event for the 2012 MentorCamp series is being held Sept. 24 and 25 in Halifax. It will feature 35 mentors and will attract an investment prize of up to $750,000.