Annual Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Operations Conference, Philippines

cbtl annual operations conference time and attendance

The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf organization had their annual operations and training conference in Fort Bonifacio, Philippines this week. A few representatives from each country was in attendance for 2 days of learning, networking and fun.

This year I was invited to speak on employee engagement, how PayrollHero handles it in a tough recruiting environment for engineers, how CBTL Philippines does it. We then covered how PayrollHero can help with employee engagement and how the platform works within companies all over the world.

It was a fantastic event and great to meet the teams from Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia, Kuwait, India, Korea, USA, Singapore and many others.

Here is the deck used in the presentation;


(With The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Brunei and East Malaysia Team)
unnamed-3 unnamed-4(A little gift for all of the attendees)

How Do You Create A Culture Of Innovation In Your Business?

photo 5International Speaker Scott Friedman spoke at the Centre for Innovation, Change and Productivity today in Makati, Philippines at the InterContinental Hotel on the topic of “Employee Innovation in Turbulent Times”.  Scott was kind enough to include PayrollHero in part of his keynote speech as to how companies can use our time, attendance, scheduling and payroll platform to built company culture and encourage happiness.

Scott focused on PayrollHero’s props within the TeamClock where our platform will add “props” to the screen so that when employees clock in and out, they might see a fun prop.  He talked about how this has taken traditional clocking in and out from something that employees dreaded doing to something that they look forward to.

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photo 4(above left to right) Centre for Innovation, Change and Productivity Managing Director Arthur Florentin, Scott Friedman and PayrollHero Co-Founder Stephen Jagger

photo 2-1A bit more about Scott: “Scott is an internationally sought after speaker and author of the bestselling book ‘Celebrate! Lessons Learned from the World’s Most Admired Companies’. As a motivational humorist, Scott inspires and entertains with fun-filled, interactive and content-rich programs. He speaks on a variety of topics over 80 times a year. Scott’s main area of expertise is employee innovation, celebration and customer experience. Scott now spends 30% of his time speaking throughout Asia and Singapore Airlines the Singapore Government, Gold Fields of South Africa. Young President’s Organization, Hyatt Asia, HSBC and many Fortune 1000 companies. He offers all his clients a global and culturally sensitive perspective on how to get more out work and life.”

Recap: Geeks On A Beach, Boracay

Geeks On A Beach – Boracay Island, Philippines – Tina Amper of put together a fantastic conference on one of the most beautiful islands in the world last week. The event was the first of its kind for the Philippines and was a big success.  Over 300 geeks, investors and speakers descended on the white beaches of Boracay for 2 days of learning, networking and sun.

While there we some nay sayers suggesting a beach location was not the right fit for an event like this, I found it perfect. (Boracay is SEAsia’s Las Vegas)  It attracted attendees from all over the world, into a very cost effective location (when compared to places like Singapore) that provided a quality venue, attractions outside of the conference and plenty of hotel options.  Overall the event was a big success and hopefully will run next year and many after that.

I was invited to be a guest on a panel with Jack Madrid (President DCOM) moderating the “Philippine Startup Success Stories” along with Mark (CEO, Caresharing), Alvin (Director, Microsoft) and Stefano ( It was a fun panel discussion.  You can see the video of the panel below.

photo 1How you commute to Boracay

photo 2Geeks On A Beach, Boracay Island, Philippines

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Mini Web Design Conference & Meetup Recap

Last night we hosted the Mini Web Design Conference and Meetup at the PayrollHero offices in the Philippines.  We had over 50 attendees come to learn and network with other designers in the area.

MiniFFC is short for Mini Form Function & Class. It is the smaller, more informal version of our annual web design conference where folks from the industry can gather, share experiences, and mingle with fellow colleagues. These meetups are held every 3rd Wednesday of the month and are organized by the Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO). (details)

PayrollHero’s Tin Sanchez was asked to be one of the speakers.  Tin spoke about PayrollHero’s Philippine payroll platform, the interface and some hints at to what was coming next.  Also speaking was Christian Besler of Kickstart and a couple others.

If you have an event in Manila or Whistler and are looking for a location, be sure to reach out and see if it is a fit for our offices.  We love having guests!

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PayrollHero At RailsConf 2013 – Our Favorite Talks And Resources

Last week we were in Portland for the 8th annual RailsConf, the largest gathering of Ruby on Rails developers in the world. For some of us it was a return visit to RailsConf and to Portland, but for most it was the first time and the general consensus was the same; that RailsConf is a very unique mix of social, educational and hands-on learning events.

PayrollHero at RailsConf

“I’ve mostly been to single vendor conferences before, but RailsConf was a nice change, it’s much more community driven,” – Piotr Banasik, Engineering (Co-Founder).

RailsConf 2013 was not the only reason we were stoked to be south of the border in Portland, Oregon. The City of Roses is also the only place you can get Voodoo Doughnuts, it has over 30 microbreweries and as a result hundreds of specialist ales, it boasts an impressive lineage of tech history and has been nicknamed the ‘Silicon Forest’ because of it’s inspiring landscape  – all in all, we felt right at home. And the home we stayed in was pretty awesome, too.

Rental House in Portland for Rails ConfOur House Portland RailsConfFun in the kitchen at the RailsConf house in Portand

The Best Bits of RailsConf 2013

With more than 20 talks a day, the conference was a real immersion into what the Ruby on Rails community had been doing, thinking and achieving for the last year.  It was tough to slim it down to these eight favourites, as chosen by our very own Payroll Hero Adventure Engineers.

1. Volatiles and Stables – Michael Lopp

“It was great hearing about the need for volatiles and stables in a company, it certainly gives you a fresh perspective on the skills of your colleagues and yourself.” – Dane Natoli, Engineer.

In this talk, Michael proposed that a business needs two kinds of engineers, Volatiles and Stables, and that both play a major role in productivity and innovation. He outlined that ‘stables’ play nice with others, are careful and work to mitigate failure; whereas, ‘volatiles’ define strategy rather than follow it, do not see failure as an option and see risk as a thrill. It certainly got each of us thinking about which box we fall into.

Recommended Reading: head over to Michael’s blog post on the topic here at to find out if you are a volatile or stable; or even just to learn how to juggle the two personalities efficiently in the workplace.

2. Describing Your World with Seahorse – Trevor Rowe

“Seahorse looks like a very promising cross platform API framework, we’re curious how it will evolve over time. With Amazon Web Services behind it it should at least maintain momentum for their own APIs.” – Piotr Banasik, Engineering (Co-Founder).

Trevor Rowe is a software developer at Amazon Web Services, he authored the Seahorse tool, worked on integrating Paperclip with the aws-sdk gem, and has contributed to a variety of other open source projects. Trevor’s talk introduced us to the Seahorse language, a DSL for describing API operations for just about any web service. He introduced us to what Seahorse does and showed us that once you have your API described using Seahorse, you can essentially create an entire API client library with one line of code.

Recommended Reading: Sadly we can’t find any slides for this presentation right now, but if we come across any we will update  this post as well as posting it to our Facebook page.

3. Incremental Design: A conversation with a designer and a developer – Rebecca Miller-Webster and Savannah Wolf

“It was interesting for me to see how design and Engineering interact at another company. I hope to apply some of the learning in PayrollHero’s product development process.” – Adam Baechler, Product Development (Co-Founder)

Rebecca and Savannah addressed two problems that everyone in this industry has faced from time-to-time and asked “developers, how many times have you had to completely rip out your hard earned code for a totally new site design?” and to designers “how many times has a re-design taken four times as long as the developer said it would and not looked good in the end?” The resolution, they proposed, was to change to using an incremental approach to design.

This designer/developer talk walked us through an introduction to incremental design, how to design with incremental changes in mind and how to develop for incremental design, including utilizing SASS, structuring your mark-up and CSS, and structuring your Rails views and partials.

Recommended Reading: Rebecca and Savannah’s slide show on incremental design from RailsConf 2013 is available to read, right here at Speaker Deck. You should dive in today, it will change how you work tomorrow.

 4. No Traffic, No Users, No Problem – Jim Jones

“Jim showed us some cool tools for using Mechanical Turk for Usability testing and definitely gave us some food for thought” – Adam Baechler, Product Development (Co-Founder)

Another talk highly recommended by Adam was ‘No Traffic, No Users, No Problem!” by Jim Jones. “Should the signup button be red or blue? Does my site’s sales pitch sound awkward? What will the user think about my site the first five seconds they visit?”, asked Jim. His talk then walked us through Using Rails and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, how to perform usability tests, A/B testing and how to gain valuable feedback on your site before launching to a single real user.

Recommended Reading: If you’ve never heard of Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, or you’re struggling to get valuable usability information with your current methods, you should certainly watch Jim’s slideshow, here on Slideshare.

5. How Shopify Scales Rails – John Duff

“Seeing how Shopify scale having so many request at the same time was very interesting, they had a problem that startups usually don’t have, they just had so much traffic!” – Florent Lamoureux, Front-end Engineer

The first line of code was written for Shopify nearly 10 years ago to power an online Snowboard shop. Now the years have passed and today Shopify powers over 40 thousand online stores, processes up to half a million product sales per day and has over 30 people actively working on Shopify – making it the longest developed and probably the largest Rails code base out there. As a start-up, we really found value in hearing their story of how Shopify has had to evolve to meet its immense growth and the needs of its customers, layer by layer.

Recommended Reading: If you need a quick boost of entrepreneurial inspiration we recommend watching Shopify’s talk on YouTube.

6. Morning Keynote Talk – Yehuda Kats

Yehuda’s talk was a big hit with Suman Mukherjee, one of our Adventure Engineers. Unfortunately, because the talk was morning keynote we have not been able to find any slides to share with you but Suman offers this great, personal evaluation.

“Yehuda’s talk mainly concentrated on how not to write adhoc JavaScript and provide a good structure to it. He pointed out how turbolinks and JavaScript, bound to data attributes, makes the JavaScript clumsy and hard to maintain.” – Suman Mukherjee

Recommended Reading: Yehuda Katz is a member of the Ember.js, Ruby on Rails and jQuery Core Teams and co-author of best-selling jQuery in Action and Rails 3 in Action. He is a very influancial member of our community and we recommend following him at his or on Twitter @wycats

7. From Rails To The Webserver To The Browser – David Padilla

“From Rails to the Browser to the Web Server was very interesting. David taught us about Rails internals and it was great to hear from him how it all works under the hood.” – Florent Lamoureux, Front-end Engineer

David asked a room full of developers “do you know exactly how those HTML documents end up in a browser?” and his talk showed us all of the components that make the magic happen. We dissected the relevant code within Rails, Rack and the thin web server to discover exactly how the web server starts and listens to a TCP port, communicates with Rails and returns the HTML document that your browser parses.

Recommended Reading: If you’d like a bit of practical reading for your lunchbreak or morning commute, David’s slideshow is available to read here, on SpeakerDeck.

8. The Magic Tricks of Testing – Sandi Metz

“Sandi talked about how to write tests that you don’t hate. She focused on what parts of the code should be tested and how certain tests do not provide any value but add maintenance overhead. However she did only talked about unit testing” – Engineering (Founding Team)

Sandi, winner of the Ruby Hero Award, said exactly what we were all thinking “Tests are supposed to save us money, right. How is it, then, that many times they become millstones around our necks, gradually morphing into fragile, breakable things that raise the cost of change?” Sandi’s answer was that we could be writing too many tests and testing the wrong kinds of things. This talk striped away the veil and offered simple, practical guidelines for choosing what to test and how to test it.

Recommended Reading: Finding the right testing balance isn’t magic, but if you still feel as though you’re having the wool pulled over your eyes you should definitely watch Sandi’s slides on ‘The Magic Tricks of Testing’, here on SpeakerDeck.

Well that is the end of our RailsConf 2013 review, we hope you find some of our recommendations useful and valuable in your own work.

But You Didn’t Mention The Talk By…

There was a lot for us to cover, and we picked out only a few of the gems. If there’s a particular talk you’re looking for, most of the presentations can be found here, on GitHub.


Fun Times at Zendesk University in Vancouver

This week, Mike and I (Adam) attended an Customer Service education event in Vancouver hosted by Zendesk.

Zendesk is the leading cloud-based customer service software solution. More than 25,000 companies such as Gilt Groupe, Box, and Disney are using Zendesk to lower their support costs, raise productivity, and increase customer satisfaction. Loved by both service teams and their customers for its beautifully simple interface, Zendesk is easy to try, buy, implement, and use.

We have been using Zendesk for over a year now with much success, but we know there is always room for improvement when it comes to communication in customer service and communication within our teams. Our goal was learn more about how to use Zendesk for our customer support and to meet other Zendesk users to share and learn with them.


The event was a full house, with most participants following along on their device of choice: laptop, ipad, smartphone or just plain old eyes and ears! In attendance were companies of all sizes, including start-up tech companies like ours.

Mike, Adam & Bryan with Avandi from Volo

Mike, Adam & Bryan with Avandi from Volo

We met Avandi from Volo, a local start up – they have built software for the Fitness Industry including online scheduling, billing, lead & member management, automated work flows, POS, reporting, and payroll in one system.

Adam and Brandon Knapp (Customer Advocate at and the instructor for the event.)

Adam and Brandon Knapp (Customer Advocate at and the instructor for the event.)

Living in Whistler, we are well-versed in the term “Après” and always enjoy the socializing and networking that comes after an event with other startups and tech companies! Here we are at the Mix and mingle (aka après!) after class. From left to right, Bryan from Ubertor, Jack and Keith from, Bart and Alex from, J.D. Peterson (Vice President, Product Marketing) at, Mike and Adam from

Après. As all good events should have!

Après. As all good events should have!

All in all, it was a great use of our time. When you can combine learning, inspiration, and networking with like-minded business-people, it’s been a good day.

Check back to see our follow up posts on Customer Service Analytics, How we are using Zendesk Automations and Triggers to help with our business processes.

Vancouver JS Meetup Recap

This is a post from PayrollHero Senior Engineer Suman Mukherjee who recently arrived in Whistler, Canada from the Manila, Philippines office.  #AdventureEngineer

On February 12th, the PayrollHero dev team in Whistler travelled down to Vancouver to attend the Vancouver JS meetup. We reached town a bit early, so we spent some time coworking from Launch Academy. Later in the evening, we went to SFU Harbour Center where the event was being held. Around 150 people attended the event. Two top notch speakers presented in the meetup. Robert W. Hurst of Chloi presented a talk on LucidJS and Perter McLachLan of Mobify presented a talk on Mobile performance.

Screen shot 2013-02-28 at 12.11.32 AMRobert’s talk on Lucid started with giving us some background of event driven programming, how events are emitted and handled and we can structure our javascript around that pattern. Then he introduced LucidJS, a library, that he has been working on. Lucid allows you to set custom event, chain your events and even pipe your events together. Lucid also successfully handles subevents. The event emitters in Lucid also provide meta information about the event bindings and triggering. The library lets you encapsulate any object (not restricted to DOM nodes) and turn it into an event emitter. Specifically when used with DOM elements it allows you to take full advantage of the meta events. Robert’s talk gave us some new insights into the world of event driven programming.

Peter was the second speaker. Peter’s talk was mainly focussed on performances of apps on the mobile browsers. He shared the concept of adaptive websites, one that is not only responsive, but adapts itself based on the device. He discussed several strategies to optimize client side performance like trying to minimize JS and maximize the use of CSS, conditionally loading assets and keeping the DOM tree light so that it is easy to parse, simple CSS selectors, watch out for libraries that generate lengthy CSS selectors etc. Peter shared a list of common JS functions which restructures the DOM and how that affects the performance on mobile devices. He also discussed some other low hanging fruits like gzipping resources and non blocking scripts in the beginning of the page. This can bring returns at the lowest cost. He also showed us how the optimization strategy of domain sharding has become an anti-pattern. He also discussed how in some cases prefetching resources based on a user’s common pattern of navigating a website can be very effective in delivering content faster. Peter’s slides are also available on speakerdeck.

Both the speakers were awesome. It was the first meetup I attended in Vancouver and totally loved it. Those who love JS and are live close to Vancouver can sign up for the VanJS meetup group here.

– Suman.

Couchbase Vancouver Dev Day

couchbase-logoLast Friday I travelled down to Vancouver for the Couchbase Vancouver Developer Day. Just having joined the PayrollHero dev team, I was keen to learn about the NoSQL style of database, and Couchbase in particular since we currently use it in PayrollHero.

The goal of the day was to introduce developers to Couchbase 2.0, give them a basic understanding of how to set it up and use it, and then tackle some tougher areas such as how to query the data using views. The seminar was run by 3 developers from Couchbase – Technical Evangelists Tugdual Grall & Jasdeep Jaitla, and .NET Developer Advocate John Zablocki.  It was interesting to see the mix of developers attending the seminar – most mainstream programming languages were represented including Java, .NET, Ruby, PHP, Python and even node.js and Go. Amazingly there was some form of SDK for each of these languages, whether official or community created, proving just how much open source community support Couchbase has.

#Couchbase Developer Day Vancouver lab

from John Zablocki’s Twitter:

The morning was spent going through the features found in Couchbase 2.0 with Tugdual. He ran us through the core principles of Couchbase Server – easy scalability, consistent high performance, no downtime and a flexible data model, before discussing the new architecture and features of Couchbase 2.0.

One of the features I found particularly impressive was how Couchbase handles server faults by replicating across nodes in a server cluster.  The Couchbase client library detects when requests to a server within your cluster are failing, automatically promotes replicas of the requested documents on the remaining servers in the cluster to be active documents, and then rebalances the documents across the remaining servers.  Added to this is the ease in which you can replicate your data across data centers using Cross Data Center Replication (XDCR), meaning if your data center on the west coast of the country goes down entirely, you can ramp up your clusters on the east coast of the country without losing any data whatsoever.  An extension of XDCR is the ability to set up an Elastic Search cluster for providing scalable, real-time searching of documents.  You can see that a lot of work has gone into making this as painless to set up as possible.

Installing Couchbase 2.0 was just as painless – well at least for us Ruby guys.  The PHP guys seemed to have a fair bit more trouble (the price paid for still using PHP!) and any guys running 32-bit Windows were pretty much out of luck.  WIth Rails, its as simple as downloading and running the server, installing the libcouchbase library, and installing the couchbase gem. Done.

After everyone had Couchbase 2.0 installed and set up for their various environments,  we started to run through some labs to teach us the basics of Couchbase – connecting to the database, setting and retrieving documents, using atomic counters and optimistic locking, and observing when data has been pushed to disk and replicated.

jasdeepJasdeep – definitely the most vocal and opinionated of the three – used some of this time to proclaim the virtues of a NoSQL solution vs a Relational Database solution.  A line that stuck in my head was “I don’t care about duplicate data – I have 10 times the performance!”.  And he is definitely right about that.  Couchbase, like other NoSQL databases, is blindingly fast compared to MySQL or MS SQL.  By caching as many documents as it can in memory, and only caching to disk those that are the least requested, it can maintain request throughput at amazing rates.  “No need to write migrations, I can change the schema at anytime through my models since there is no schema”, he proclaims, before following with, “And no more joins! I hate joins.”


from Tugdual Grall’s Twitter:

After lunch, John stepped up to take us through the most difficult area of the day – views.  By using Map-Reduce views, Couchbase can create indexes of documents for quick querying.  He used the ASP .NET MVC framework to take us a through a fairly standard scenario, explaining how to construct views on Couchbase server to pull back subsets of data based on ranges, groupings, counts and more.  This was definitely the most brain-intensive part of the seminar, and late in the day few people had made it through the labs unscathed.  For most people who are heavily experienced in relational databases, it does take a while to shift your mind into thinking the NoSQL way.

All up it was a very well run and interesting day.  I particularly enjoyed hearing how the NoSQL movement evolved and how passionate the Couchbase guys are about their product.  PayrollHero already has Couchbase implemented as part of our clocking capture process, and will be looking to use it in other places where we require fast performance due to heavy traffic.  I look forward to using Couchbase more and further learning what makes NoSQL such a popular movement.

AWS re:Invent

Drive from Whistler to Bellingham ~200km

Last week we went to AWS re:Invent Conference, we thought that once we get there the fun stuff will begin, but even the trip down there itself was an adventure.

We left Whistler early in the morning, to make it down to Bellingham for our 11am flight. Arrived at the airport at around 9am, stood in the line indefinitely until around 11am, we were told that the plane is late (duh), and that it will not be here for another 4h or so, great …

We packed our bags back into the cars and went to grab lunch and waste some time.

We were checking the airline website the whole time to see what the new estimated time was. Anyways, we did finally get to fly out, it was around 4pm by the time we left and around 7pm by the time we got to Vegas, we imagined our day a bit diffrently 😉

Anyways, that was Monday.

On Tuesday, I went to my Workshop session. It was a whole day security session, presented jointly by RightScale and Trend Micro. RightScale showcased their product to get everyone up to speed on how to use it and Trend Micro showcased two of their products, Deep Security and SecureCloud. Overall I didn’t get that much value from the first half, since Ubertor has been with RightScale for years and I’m pretty famillar with it. The second half was a bit more useful for me since I’ve never seen any of Trend’s products, altho I’m not sure if/when we’ll make use of them. Still it was good to understand options. A nice bonus from this session was that it came with a $200 AWS credit code, so it technically made the session cost only $300 not $500.

Wednesday was the first day of the conference. During the keynote AWS announced further reductions in S3 pricing and the introduction of their new RedShift product, which is a large scale data warehousing solution, seemingly backed by Postgesql technology. They also summarized that they have released ~100 new features last year, and they expect to double that in 2013.

(from the keynote #1 video on YouTube)

They mentioned a crazy statistic: AWS adds more servers DAILY, than Amazon owned entirely in 2003.

At the end of the day was the big re:Play party. AWS kept us well inebriated and fed throughout the event so kudos for that.

Sorry about the blurry pic 😉

Thursday was the second day of the conf. During the second keynote, the Data Pipeline service which allows easily grabbing data from a bunch of sources, churning it through a massive array of map reduce instances and dumping the result somewhere else. All this can be configured through a gui workflow builder and overall seems pretty neat. I’m not sure what we specifically can do with it, but I can definitely see applications for it if you do any log processing or whatnot daily.

Over the two days of the conf, I mostly went to security and architecture talks. My main takeaway was a bucket list of little security tweaks here and there that should make our system even more secure than it already is. As for the architecture talks; Netflix has a bit of an insane setup. They have 100’s of little applications, all managed by different teams, all at different uptime standards. Its pretty amazing what systems they put in place to basically allow any of these pieces to fail and their system to continue working.

Netflix setup looks something like this: (grabbed from their slideshare deck)

I’m looking forward to next years’s re:Invent. The cloud landscape keeps maturing every year, I remember just a few years ago the whole idea of “Cloud” didn’t even exist ….

Recap: 48Hrs In The Valley with the C100

PayrollHero was one of 23 companies invited to take part in the C100’s annual 48Hrs In The Valley conference. It was 2 days and it was jam packed.

On the opening night, the team at Mozilla hosted us at their offices for a cocktail party and networking session so that the companies, sponsors, mentors and C100 Charter members could meet each other informally as a warm up to the next 48 hours.  Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla and a fellow Canadian spoke to the group about thinking big and how as Canadian’s we have a different outlook on the world than our American counter parts.

Nearing the end of the night, the C100 made the sponsors do a “reverse pitch” where they get up in front of the companies and pitch their company.  Some of the sponsors take it quite seriously including Brock Smith of Clark Wilson, who is the returning champ, I know this cause he mentioned it quite a few times. 🙂 Brock was up last and did a startup version of “The Hockey Song” and got the whole crowd involved.  He did a fantastic job and was awarded first place, again.

The next day started at Rocket Space where we had a few panels and talks in the morning, followed by mentor sessions where each company was partnered up with 2 Candians in the valley to have one on one sessions to talk about the companies, their direction, problems, challenges and goals.  It was a great way to get more outside feedback from people with huge experience in the tech industry.

Later in the afternoon of the first day, we moved over to Zendesk’s new office for a cocktail party, more networking and a talk from Zendesk COO Zack Urlocker who is also Canadian.  This was a much larger party than the first night as the C100 crew invited quite a few more Canadians.  There were Canadians from all of the major tech firms in San Francisco including Twitter and Facebook.

The next day we were off early in the morning on a bus to Silicon Valley for a few speakers at Nest GSV followed by lunch and then pitches at 8 different VC firms on Sand Hill Road. Each company was given 2 VC firms to pitch and get feedback from.

The afternoon ended at Rudy’s Patio in Silicon Valley where C100 co-founder Lars Leckie spoke while we had drinks and appetizers to close out the event.

All in all it was a fantastic event and worth it for all Canadian founders to apply.  It was well run, fantastic speakers and mentors and an overall awesome time.  Here are some pictures from the event thanks to Kris Krug, and you can see the rest here.