Sudbury news: Conference for entrepreneurs, investors

The first Venture North Conference took place in Sudbury on Thursday aimed at investors and businesses.

Successful and upcoming entrepreneurs gathered with investors at the Venture North Conference at Science North.

Northern Ontario Angels is an investment network here in the north. Officials with the group said they wanted to highlight the innovative talent in our region — and spark some innovation.

“We really felt that it was time for northern Ontario to cast a spotlight out of our region and attract a spotlight onto our region about the number of investments and the type of work that we’re doing,” said Ian Lane, executive director of Northern Ontario Angels.

“It’s really bringing entrepreneurs together with investors, share best practices, do some professional development, stimulate conversations around the opportunities that are coming out of northern Ontario and hopefully sign some deals while we’re here.”

Entrepreneurs in attendance told CTV News that this is an opportunity to make new connections and build their networks.

“It’s really important just to collaborate with people in our community of Sudbury and hear from the investors and what they are investing in,” said Kayla Soomer, owner of Fun Cube Photo Booth.

“I really love growth in this city because I have a business in this city and it’s really important to see that because these are guys that are hiring me and I’m going to see growth in my business and building my networks.”

A number of guest speakers addressed the crowd throughout the day, including local software company founder of Symboticware, Kirk Petroski.

He shared some advice for other entrepreneurs.

“Find ways to get involved and plugged into a network, offer whatever you can but the point is to meet and connect but do something meaningful while doing that and I think that will help other entrepreneurs in their future. Also, be aggressive,” said Petroski.

“Don’t be afraid to go out and sell your abilities and capabilities.”

Organizers said they are planning to make it an annual event and plans to expand to all markets across the north.

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