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TWG Goes to SaaStr and C100

A February Conference in California? I'll take two!

We just couldn’t resist bringing a little Canadian snow to the Valley this week (Feb 5th) where, for the first time since 1976, the famous Twin Peaks got a dusting.

Still, it was anything but icy at SaaStr in San Jose, which bills itself as “The largest largest gathering in the world for B2B software”. TWG’s NYC GM Rob Kenedi joined 12,000 attendees, 300 speakers and 200 exhibitors along with our friends at MaRS,, DMZ and Espresso Capital to discuss scaling, unicorns and fundraising while hanging out at the Canada House Pavillion.

Billed as “where the cloud meets”, this year’s SaaStr was filled with great keynotes, like Building Consumer-grade Enterprise Products, featuring Ciara Peter, VP Product at InVision, Bela Stepanova, Director of Product at Box, Craig Villamore, Design Director at Google Maps and Jager McConnell, CEO at Crunchbase.

Meanwhile, back in San Fran, I spent time talking tech talent at the C100’s Growth Summit. The Summit, which was sponsored in part by TWG, was designed specifically to help scaling Canadian companies understand what it really means to go after the best of the best as you’re growing at light speed.

One of the most interesting perspectives on hiring was shared by Drop CEO Derrick Fung. The Toronto-based entrepreneur noted the best investment he made in hiring talent was working with a Valley-based boutique recruiting company. “They know the market and are talking to hundreds of candidates every day. And they really know who is ready to make a move out of they hyperdrive that is the Valley.”

Look who we found at the C100 Growth Summit — Dr. Shiva Amiri, Director, Research Infrastructure at 23andMe and speaker from TWG’s Connect the Bots Health event last fall! She’s pictured with Shahram Yousefi, Associate Dean of Corporate Relations at Queen’s University, who works in San Fran for the sole purpose of ensuring engineering grads get the best possible opportunities to work in the Valley.

Closing out the C100 Growth Summit was Clearbanc CEO and Dragon’s Den personality, Michele Romanow who led a fireside chat with Lazlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google and Founder of Humu, which uses data-driven lessons in human resources to the goal of improving employee satisfaction. Bock was candid about his time at Google and the hiring biases, particularly around universities that candidates attended, that kept Google hiring managers from recognizing that there is untapped talent in all kinds of places. That was until Bock quietly hired 200 candidates who had been previously rejected because of the schools they went to, only to discover that they performed just as well or better than candidates from universities like Stanford and MIT!