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SF.ca @ SOCAP: Day One Recap

As one of SOCAP’s media sponsors and a part of the Canadian delegation, our team – including myself, Tim Jackson (Senior Advisor, Capital Solutions, MaRS), Adam Spence (Associate Director, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing) and Tristina Sinopoli (Associate, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing) – had a whirlwind of a first day!

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We kicked off the SOCAP festivities with an Investor Breakfast hosted by the Ontario Government. Matt Pasiuk, Canada’s Consul General of San Francisco and our gracious in-city host, opened up the breakfast. Assistant Deputy Minister (Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, Open for Business Division) John Marshall shared some insights which continued in the vein of the Ontario government’s ongoing support of social finance and social entrepreneurship. Adam Spence bravely wore white after Labour Day and also shared some remarks on SVX and the state of impact investing in Canada. Tristina Sinopoli introduced 5 social enterprise ventures, who are attending SOCAP as part of the Canadian delegation & those ventures wowed us with their 5 minute pitches.

Dave Beaton of ChangeIt Canada – a charitable giving platform that leverages the shift from cash to cashless transactions – shared how their platform harnesses small change to make a big difference. Anil Patel of Grantbook shared how they offer expertise and proactive support to grantmakers and assist them in transitioning to leaner, cloud-based tools. Mauricio Meza of Komodo Open Lab shared how they are making mobile technology accessible to all.  Alex Levy of MyVoice showcased their technologies which give a voice to folks with communication difficulties and disabilities. Chancellor Crawford of QoC Health spoke about how they  deploy mobile solutions to support shifting care to the community in order to save money, improve outcomes, and improve user experiences. They all dazzled, and the room was abuzz with conversation after their pitches.

Later on in the day, Silicon Valley legend and venture capital maven Bill Draper kicked off SOCAP as part of it’s first panel. Bill, as well as his compatriots on the panel, were insightful and incisive but for me the major takeaway was his adamant insistence that team building come first for social entrepreneurs.

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To close out our day, SF.ca & our MaRS team hosted a raucous “Canada Day” reception for the 50+ Canucks attending SOCAP. It was a great night full of good food, many laughs and excellent conversation, as Canadians in social enterprise, government, financial services, charity and more connected.

Suffice it so say that as I write this brief recap today, that we’re in the midst of another awesome day full of learning and connection! Check back with us soon for more!

– Editor’s Note:
While we obviously can’t be everywhere and document everything happening between the 2,500 people at SOCAP, we will be capturing general insights, doing deep dives of various sessions/tracks and checking in with other folks who’re attending. Stay tuned for more insights!

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