Premier Sponsor

Spiegel Sohmer

 Spiegel Sohmer is a firm of attorneys offering state-of-the-art expertise to a diversified business clientele seeking solutions that are innovative, concrete, and pragmatic. Our firm groups some forty five attorneys who concentrate principally within three broad specialties: business law (including Intellectual Property), tax law and litigation.  Spiegel Sohmer has extensive experience representing companies at all stages of their life cycle, from start up through to exit, and also represents a wide array of investors: www.spiegelsohmer.com 

Gold Sponsor

Richter

Richter is, above all, a financial consulting services firm offering strategic support and has been a recognized member of the business community since 1926. Richter entire team consists of more than 450 partners, experts, high-level professionals and administrative employees. Because of this collective expertise, our firm has an unrivalled reputation and has earned the respect of the business community.

National Bank helps home-grown businesses expand by offering them personalized service and banking solutions adapted to their needs. We strive to develop integrated, diversified and innovative business solutions that will meet the needs of your business at every phase of its existence. We offer a full range of financial services to individual clients, SMEs and large companies. Whatever your sector of activity, our team of experts will be able to advise you and assist you with every stage of your business growth. www.bnc.ca

Silver Sponsors

Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-profit organization to provide financing, mentoring, and support tools for every business stage to aspiring business owners and startup founders: www.futurpreneur.ca

Kruger

Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers, tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy and wines and spirits. The Company is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the United States. (www.kruger.com

 


 

Community Partners

NACO Canada

The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) accelerates a thriving, early-stage investing ecosystem in Canada by connecting individuals, groups, and other partners that support Angel-stage investing. NACO provides intelligence, tools and resources for its members; facilitates key connections across networks, borders and industries; and helps to inform policy affecting the Angel asset-class.

Anges Quebec

Anges Québec’s mission is to help its angel investors make profitable investments in innovative companies in a wide range of industries and in all regions of Quebec. To this end, Anges Québec identifies the best entrepreneurs and business projects and supports the Anges Québec members who finance them.

RJCCQ

Le RJCCQ soutient un réseau de jeunes chambres de commerce et d’ailes jeunesse à travers le Québec, représentant plus de 8 000 jeunes professionnels, cadres, travailleurs autonomes et entrepreneurs âgés de 18 à 40 ans.

JCCM

La Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (JCCM) est un regroupement de près de 1 600 jeunes cadres, professionnels, entrepreneurs et travailleurs autonomes âgés de 18 à 40 ans, ce qui en fait un des plus grands réseaux de jeunes gens d’affaires au monde.

Hacking Health

Hacking Health is designed to improve healthcare by inviting technology creators and healthcare professionals to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line problems.

NM

Noticias Montreal is a Spanish-language media based in Montreal and founded by a group of immigrant journalists. Its main goal is to provide the latest news, information and features about Montreal, Quebec, Canada. NM wants to offer a helping hand in the immigration and integration process of the numerous newcomers as well as promoting the Spanish language.

La Gare

La Gare is a collaborative workspace. A place to work, connect and learn in the heart of the Mile End.

 

The Corporate Ladder: Climbing Versus Building

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2015-07-08

In a post from her blog, , Founder of Zirtual and Graduate of the Silicon Valley Founder Institute, describes how she decided to go from climbing the corporate ladder to building her own. After becoming fed up with jumping through hoops and the looming thought of the often inescapable glass-ceiling, Maren decided to take the plunge and launch her own company.

The post, "The Corporate Ladder: Climbing Versus Building", from Maren's blog Escaping the 9 to 5, has been republished below with permission.

“Years ago I realized, in passing, that when people talked about “the corporate ladder”, or “glass ceilings” (in reference to women in business) they were discussing metaphorical obstacles I would never be able to overcome.

I didn’t have the patience to work for others, even in my “corporate” days (when I slaved away in a variety of bar tending positions) I had a short fuse for authority figures that didn’t live up to my expectations of upper management (I wanted to be employed by the Howard Roark of bars).
I also realized that gulping the b.s. women at times have to face in the corporate world, especially when scaling the upper rungs, would be intolerable. So I resigned myself to blogging, writing and trying more creative paths to freedom and success—then, I found entrepreneurship.

My saving grace. No matter how many times people say “Geez, it must be so hard to build a company” I can only think—as compared to what? Starting Zirtual has been, hands down, the most challenging period of my life. But it’s also been the most fulfilling. It’s certainly not as hard as spending 25 years at a job you can be fired from, or being foiled at every turn by incompetent upper management. It’s like comparing the pain of death by one thousand rusty nails to the pain one feels when working out.

My generation has to thank the generation before, and the generation before them, for this opportunity—we’ve been enlightened, more or less, by observing the job woes of our parent’s generation and the near-caste like structure of our grandparent’s work lives.

So if you’re unhappy with your current employment situation, hop off the ladder and build your own. You will start with a one-runged contraption and can gradually build something as high as you want. Great part is when you build your own ladder, you can choose to simply forego installing glass ceilings—so it’s pretty much as high as you wish to fly.

How hard is building your own ladder. Very hard. But, hopping off the comfort of your current ladder is possibly harder. Not everyone is cut out for it, but some people are… and those people get to enjoy lives of delicious freedom prepared by years of salaciously hard work.

The question you must ask is: what is freedom worth to you? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years of hard, hard work… to me that’s a walk in the park, compared to the alternative.

Zirtual, a service that connects busy people with virtual assistants dedicated to making your life better, is a Graduate of the Silicon Valley Founder Institute. Follow Maren Kate on Twitter at @marenkate, and Zirtual at @zirtual.


Do want more expert entrepreneurial advice? Attend a free startup event or sign up for the Founder Insight newsletter.

(Businesswoman standing on ladder looking into distance against cloudy background image by Shutterstock)

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