TD Keeps An Eye Out For Banking’s Next Big Thing


Banks — careful, steady, conservative. Tech startups — frenetic, disruptive, edgy.

Can two such seemingly different cultures get along? TD Bank Financial Group thinks so.

“TD is proud of its strong culture of innovation,” says Jeff Martin, senior vice-president and chief information officer, direct channels technology solutions “We are continually looking for opportunities to improve our products, services and ultimately our customer experience.”

TD knows a thing or two about building businesses and balancing risk and growth. It has worked with entrepreneurs for 160 years, which is why its involvement in Startup Weekend Nov. 14-16 in five Canadian cities — Vancouver, Quebec City, Fredericton, Halifax and St. John’s — is such a great fit.

Held around the world, Startup Weekends bring together entrepreneurs for 54 hours of intense business development that concludes with a pitch to a panel of experienced executives. As part of its sponsorship, TD has a panelist in each of these five cities.

To kick off Startup Weekend, Jeff Martin talks about banking and startup cultures; and why Startup Weekend is such a fantastic opportunity for both.


Why is TD a Startup weekend sponsor?

TD has always encouraged innovation that will benefit banking and our customers. This forum is a great way to connect with the community and hear a lot of different ideas. We’re attracted to the high-energy/ high creativity environment – which is what Startup Weekend offers: a way to tap into that creativity to find ideas we may have not thought of using traditional methods.


What are some of the customer trends in banking that drive the interest in ideas at the startup level? 

The biggest trend is mobilization. Take mobile deposit as an example. We just launched this capability at TD, and have already seen over 115,000 cheques deposited this way in just two weeks.


Startup Weekends give you a front seat on some really smart ideas from some really smart people. What do you think startup entrepreneurs can learn from TD?

Historically, startups had to go through a very long on-boarding process. Now we can work with them, to help them understand the needs of a bank while they mature that product more quickly, so we can launch it when customers are ready.

I think the biggest thing the bank can offer is perspective. . . on what we think is important to bring to market, and the attributes of what they’re doing that we think are viable in our industry . . . They will definitely get value from working with a 160-year-old company that has gone through a lot of change, and is very stable and thoughtful about what it does.


What would you tell an entrepreneur about preparing for the Startup Weekend experience? 

They should rest-up, and come with ideas that are well-formed, with an action plan about how to escalate them quickly. Always think about what’s in it for the customer. How does this benefit people? If they are always thinking about the benefit to the end-user, it will help to create viable products. That customer may be the bank; but ultimately, it is the bank serving its customers.

There is so much technology advancement happening today, I wouldn’t put limits around what we want to achieve. People are always inventing new ways to make banking more comfortable. We’re not at the end of it, that’s for sure

Fredericton Startup Weekend Is Almost Here!


Get Ready!

It’s just 3 days before the exciting weekend of fun filled activities at Startup Weekend. If you’re new to Startup Weekends, it will be a great event for you to tap into the entrepreneurial community.

We’ve got an awesome group of mentors and judges lined up! Check them out!

2013_08_17 Esnspiral

Reminders & Resources:

We’ve got a ton of information, the more you can check out prior to the event, the better your footing will be.  After all, Sun Tzu once said:

“Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.”

Put that under your thinking cap and start digging into these resources.

  1. Free Ticket To Demo Day
    All Startup Weekend registered participants get a FREE ticket for the Propel ICT Demo Day on Nov 13, evening!  After signing up, you will recieve a promo code in your welcoming email.  Use it to register here

  1. Our Blog
    You’re already here!  Stayed tuned for updates, info, and doses of inspiration.  Also check out the Startup Weekend FAQ Page to assuage any concerns or questions you might have.  If you are still left with questions, by all means, write us an email at

  1. Startup Weekend Resources

In particular, we recommend Steve Blank’s Lean Startup & Customer Validation Videos. You’ll find them on the resources page (link above) under SW Courses. You might also consider sinking your teeth into his personal blog website, with all the goodies he shares with the world.

  1. Is It Your First Time?
    Check out the Startup Weekend First Timer FAQ.

  2. Your Attendee Guide
    Get it here: Participant Attendee Guide (PDF)
    It will answer lots of questions that you might have about the event!

  3. When, Where, and What-To-Bring
    Doors open at 5:30PM this Friday (14-Nov-2014)
    The location is Planet Hatch, Suite140, 50 Crowther Lane (Salesforce Building), Fredericton, NB
    Pack your bag and get ready!  We recommend you bring the following:

    • Laptop
    • Business Cards
    • Something to take notes on
    • A paper ticket is not required. Your name is on a list.
    • STUDENTS – Bring your student ID
    • Lots of energy


I hope you are as excited as we are!

See you all at 5:30PM on Friday!


And if you haven’t signed up yet, grab your ticket and pack your bag!


Startup Weekend! What’s the big deal?

startup-weekendThis is Why!

The world is full of people who dream about better products, a brighter future, more enriched experiences, and human beings living better lives. They dream about Earth 2.0. In little ways and big ways, they dream about the next chapter of humanity. If that seems a little too fluffy, then let me dial it back to something a little more tangible.

They grab ahold of something they are passionate about, and lean in, despite the odds. And it’s not about the money. Take for example GoldieBlox founder Debbie Sterling, she dreamed about a world where there were more women in engineering and technical studies. So she created a series of toys, designed for girls, that introduced them to engineering and spatial challenges.

There are plenty of great examples in homegrown entrepreneurship too!
Smart Skin Technologies, Q1 Labs (which sold to IBM), Radian6 (which sold to Salesforce), and HotSpot Parking (which, by the way, started as a Startup Weekend project!). Countless other Startup companies are in the works and well on their way to success. It all starts with someone’s idea, and with desire to make change.

This is your chance to make your mark by starting something. It will also put you in direct contact with mentors who have been there! Who can help to get your idea off the ground and rally people around it. This is your chance to make the next product that keeps customers coming back for more, or to use your idea as a force for good.

You can’t do it from the sidelines. You’ve got to get in the game (and get your ticket)
And you’ve got nothing to lose.

Don’t believe me? Take it from those who have been there.

Global Startup Battle Tracks & More!


The day draws near. Soon Startup Weekend and Global Startup Battle will be upon us. We got some exciting updates to whet your appetite for entrepreneurship.

New Sponsor! More Local Talent!
City of Fredericton has come on board as a sponsor, and we’re delighted to have the support of our hosting city and the capital of New Brunswick. We’ve also got Paul Simmonds (founder of Robert Simmonds Clothing) and Sean Dunbar (Owner of Northampton Brewing Company, well-known for its Picaroon’s Traditional Ales) bringing their experiences and expertise as mentors, and Susan Holt (President and CEO of the New Brunswick Business Council) joins us as a judge.

Global Startup Battle Rules
We’ve got some of the nitty-gritty on how you can compete in Global Startup Battle as part Startup Weekend. GSB is a video competition, where short videos of Startup Weekend projects are group into themes called “Tracks”. Your track videos will compete against videos submitted from Startup Weekend locations within your region (our Region is “Western US and Canada”). Videos are evaluated on a viewer voting system (check out a quick breakdown of the rules here)

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.53.11 AM

This year’s tracks have been partially announced:

  • Champions Track: All winners of Startup Weekend events are invited to the Champions Track. This will be the best of the best, going head to head.
  • Startup Women’s Track: It’s important to celebrate women’s presence and equity in the Startup scene. This track is for Startups led by, pitched by, or mostly comprised of women.
  • Education, Empowered Track: This track theme is about educational revolution and revitalization. If your Startup is bringing innovation into the Education system, this track is for you!
  • More tracks to be announced soon!

Stay tuned for details on a hotel discount (for out of towners), more GSB info, and more mentors!

If you haven’t already, grab your ticket and tell a friend to do the same!


Le grand jour approche. Startup Weekend et Global Startup Battle ont lieu bientôt. Nous avons des nouvelles qui sauront susciter votre intérêt pour l’entrepreneuriat.

Nouveau commanditaire! Plus de talents locaux!
La ville de Fredericton sera un commanditaire majeur, nous sommes très heureux d’avoir le soutien de la capitale du Nouveau-Brunswick. Nous avons aussi Paul Simmonds (fondateur de Robert Simmonds Clothing) et Sean Dunbar (Propriétaire de Northampton Brewing Company, reconnu pour sa bière Picaroon’s Traditional Ales) apportant leurs expériences et expertises comme mentors, et Susan Holt (PDG du Conseil d’entreprise du Nouveau-Brunswick) se joindra à nous comme juge.

Règles de Global Startup Battle
Nous avons de l’information afin que vous puissiez compétitionner dans Global Startup Battle. GSB est une compétition de vidéos, où des vidéos de projets de Startup Weekend sont regroupées dans des thèmes nommés « Tracks». Vos vidéos « Tracks » compétitionneront contre des vidéos soumis par d’autres Startup Weekend dans notre région (notre région est « Ouest des États-Unis et Canada ». Les vidéos sont évaluées par un système de vote par visionnement (voir ci-dessous les règlements).

Screen Shot 2014-11-03 at 8.53.11 AM

Certains « Tracks » de cette année ont été dévoilés:

  • « Track » Champions: Tous les gagnants des évènements Startup Weekend sont invités au « Track » des Champions.
  • « Track » des femmes: Il est important de célébrer la présence des femmes dans les startups. Ce « Track » est pour les startups dirigés par des femmes ou constitués en majorité de femmes.
  • « Track » Éducation: Ce « Track » est à propos de la révolution de l’éducation. Si votre startup est innovante dans le domaine de l’éducation, ce « Track » est pour vous.
  • Plus de « Tracks » seront annoncés prochainement!

Des rabais pour une chambre d’hôtel sont à venir bientôt pour ceux en provenance de l’extérieur de la région de Fredericton, ainsi que plus d’information concernant GSB et les mentors!

Si vous ne vous êtes pas encore procuré votre billet, faites-le dès maintenant et dites à vos amis de faire de même!

Startup Kitchen Party & SWNB Panel!


(Startup) Kitchen Party

Startup Kitchen is hosting a Kitchen Party today, Oct 23!  It’ll be a great primer for your next Startup idea, so show-up & soak-up the inspiration.

Did you miss out on Early Bird pricing?  Fear not!  We will be announcing a special discount code at the Kitchen Party.  Use this secret code for 50% the ticket price.  It’ll be valid for 24 hours only! (6:30pm Oct 23 til 6:30pm Oct 24).  Pass the code out to a friend so they don’t miss out.

See you there!


Big Names.  Charming Faces.

We have started to lock-in our business mentors and judges.  You can expect Peter Goggin (CEO and Co-Founder of Resson Aerospace), Jake Arsenault (Founder and former CEO of Inversa Systems), and Yan Simard (CEO of ZapTap) to pass their incredible knowledge and experiences to you and your idea.

On the judging panel, you’ll find business gurus Nicole Leblanc (Associate Director at BDC) and Mike Leblanc (President and CEO of BlueSpurs).

More judges, mentors, and speakers to be announced soon!

Also, rules for this year’s Global Startup Battle have just been confirmed.  Stay tune for more info.

Don’t miss out. Get your ticket here!


Party de cuisine (de Startups)

Startup Kitchen est l’hôte d’un party de cuisine, aujourd’hui le 23 octobre!  C’est l’occasion idéale de trouver votre prochaine idée de startup, donc participer et faite le plein d’idées et d’inspiration.

Est-ce que vous avez manqué la chance d’obtenir un rabais sur le coût de votre billet? Nous annoncerons un code spécial au party de cuisine. Utilisez ce code secret pour obtenir 50% de rabais sur votre bille pour le prochain Startup Weekend. Le code sera valide pour 24 heures seulement (soit à partir de 18h30 le 23 octobre jusqu’au 24 octobre à 18h30). N’hésitez pas à partager le code avec un ami, afin que celui-ci puisse également profiter du rabais.

À bientôt!


Noms connus. Personnalités charmantes.

Nous avons confirmé certains de nos mentors et juges. Vous pouvez vous attendre à ce que Peter Goggin (PDG et co-fondateur de Resson Aerospace), Jake Arsenault (Fondateur et ancien PDG de Inversa Systems) et Yan Simard (PDG de ZapTap) vous fassent part de leur connaissance et de leur expérience.

Sur la panel des juges, vous trouverez Nicole Leblanc (Directrice associée chez BDC) et Mike Leblanc (Président et PDG de BlueSpurs).

D’autres juges, mentors et conférencier seront annoncés sous peu!

De plus, les règlements pour Global Startup Battle viennent tout juste d’être confirmés. Plus d’information à venir bientôt!

Ne manquez pas cette occasion. Obtenez votre billet dès maintenant!

Global Startup Battle?


What is Global Startup Battle?
In their own words, Global Startup Battle is “a global celebration of innovation that gives you, your idea, your team, and your city a unique chance at startup success”.

At it’s core, Global Startup Battle (GSB) is a series of Startup Weekend events that are synchronized world-wide. While our teams here in Fredericton are knee-deep in empty coffee cups, marketing plans and product mockups; so too are teams – just like you – around the world. It’s a testament to how widely spread the entrepreneurship movement is, and proof-positive to how universally powerful the human dream is.

But it’s more than that. GSB presents competitors with unique avenues to put their idea on the global stage, called Tracks. A Track is a themed competition within GSB. Each Circle is powered by one of our amazing partners. They have their own entry requirements, judging criteria, judges, and prizes. Circles allow EVERY team to participate this year instead of only the local winners. The track themes have yet to be released, but stay tuned!

To hear it from the horse’s mouth, check out these links:

Get in the game!
This is your chance to really Start Something in a big way.
Get your ticket now!


Qu’est-ce que Global Startup Battle?
Global Startup Battle se définit comme « une célébration de l’innovation qui permet à vous, ainsi qu’à votre idée, votre équipe, ainsi que votre ville une chance unique d’avoir du succès dans le monde des startups ».

Global Startup Weekend (GSB) est une série d’événement Startup Weekend qui sont synchronisés dans le monde entier. Alors que nos équipes ici à Fredericton sont occupées à faire des plans de marketing, les équipes à travers le monde font de même! Cela témoigne de l’importance du mouvement entrepreneurial à travers le monde et c’est la preuve positive comment puissant sont vos rêves.

Mais c’est encore plus que cela. GSB présente aux participants la chance de présenter leurs idées à l’échelle mondiale, appelé « Track ». Une « Track » est une compétition thématique au sein de GSB. Chaque cercle est possible grâce à nos merveilleux commanditaires. Chaque cercle à ses propres critères d’admission, ses critères d’évaluation, ses juges et les prix. Les cercles permettent à CHAQUE équipe de participer cette année au lieu de permettre aux gagnants seulement! Les thèmes des « tracks » n’ont pas encore été dévoilés, mais restez à l’affût!

Pour plus d’information:

Soyez de la partie!
Voici votre chance de commencer quelque chose de grand.
Obtenez votre billet dès maintenant!

Fredericton Startup Weekend!

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It’s Coming…

On November 14, 2014, Global Startup Battle (GSB) is coming to New Brunswick, and many other regions across the world.  What is it?  It’s a Startup Weekend Event, and it’s your chance to unleash your creativity.  To take that entrepreneurial idea that you’ve locked away in the closet of your mind, and breath life into it.

What is Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend is the largest community of entrepreneurs in the world with over 1,000 events organized around the world since 2009.  Around your idea or that of another participant, you have a team, and 54 hours to build this project and turn it into a real business!  At the end of the weekend you will present the outcome of your work to a jury of experts who will have the difficult task to separate you from all the projects and reward those that they prefer.  You will then have all the cards in hand to continue the adventure further! Startup Weekend is also the opportunity for any entrepreneur or business creator to find a co-founder, meet new people and learn new skills outside of its usual trade.  This is also an opportunity to come and test an idea, discuss it with a public experimented and passionate, and so deepen its reflection, so that everyone is guaranteed to leave the event better prepared to navigate the chaotic world but rewarding the startup!


To find out more information about Startup Weekend, click on the link below:


You can also check out this video on what Startup Weekend is all about:


Tickets are on sale now!

Next Week: More about Global Startup Battle


Ça s’en vient…

Le 14 novembre 2014, Global Startup Battle (GSB) sera au Nouveau-Brunswick, et d’en plusieurs autres régions à travers le monde. Qu’est-ce que c’est? Il s’agit d’un évènement Startup Weekend et c’est votre chance de libérer votre créativité. C’est votre chance de prendre l’idée entrepreneuriale que vous avez laissée de côté depuis des années et de lui donner vie!

Qu’est-ce que Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekend est la plus grande communauté d’entrepreneurs dans le monde avec plus de 1000 évènements organisés dans le monde depuis 2009. Autour de votre idée ou de celle d’un autre participant, vous avez une équipe et 54 heures pour construire ce projet et le transformer en une vraie entreprise! À la fin du weekend, vous présenterez le résultat de votre travail à un panel d’experts qui aura la tâche difficile de vous séparer des autres projets et de récompenser ceux qu’ils préfèrent. Vous aurez alors toutes les cartes en main pour poursuivre votre aventure plus loin! Startup weekend est également l’occasion pour tous les entrepreneurs ou créateur d’entreprise de trouvez un cofondateur, rencontrer de nouvelles personnes et apprendre de nouvelles compétences en dehors de son domaine. C’est aussi l’occasion de venir tester son idée, d’en discuter avec un public expérimenté et passionné, et ainsi approfondir sa réflexion, de sorte que tout le monde terminera l’évènement prêt à naviguer dans le monde chaotique, mais enrichissant des startups!


Veuillez cliquer sur le lien ci-dessous pour obtenir plus d’information concernant Startup Weekend:


Vous pouvez également visualiser cette vidéo pour en savoir un peu plus sur Startup Weekend:


Les billets sont en vente dès maintenant!

La semaine prochaine: Plus d’information concernant Global Startup Battle