Well, it’s over. StartupEmpire was, by most measures, a success. Almost 300 people in total come by to either the conference and/or the after party and we didn’t lose our shirts in the process.

I would be lying if I told you that putting StartupEmpire together was easy or even fun (despite the title of this post!). It wasn’t. We struggled with the format, got it wrong, and then had to re-iterate the whole thing in the final stretch. Taking a conference from 2 days to 1 day, and changing venue basically doubles the work.

We stubbornly pushed forward with the conference for a few reasons, but the biggest one was because of what we saw by the time everyone had piled in to those just-a-little-too-small chairs on the dance floor of This Is London at 9am. The crowd everything I had hoped it would be, a mishmash of students, entrepreneurs, angels and VCs.

A few people pointed out to me how this wasn’t the typical conference crowd, most people were taking notes like they were going to be tested on it, and the buzz during the breaks was unmistakable.

There are some people I want to thank, personally, for what they did to help make StartupEmpire happen:

Finally, all of you who bought tickets and believed we’d pull it off. I hope you weren’t dissapointed. I met some incredible people through the day and can’t wait to find out more about what you have up your sleeve.

Most of all, I am thankful to my wife Laurel, who did nothing but support me as I was going between making this conference happen and bringing Firestoker in to one of its most exciting periods yet. At times it was 2+ full time jobs.

Startups in Canada are not dead, investment in Canada is not dead, smart ideas and innovative companies are not gone. We are just getting started, that is something I believe more than anything right now.