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A Confederacy of Cheque Writers

A Confederacy of Cheque Writers


It was fantastic to be the keynote speaker at the Thinking North Event in Toronto on November 10, 2016. Thinking North is a Canadian brain trust specializing in different genres of investments with the goal of finding select opportunities. Thinking North connects the brightest entrepreneurial talent with the financial community.

Thinkingnorth.com is the brainchild of Toronto Venture Capitalist, Steve Singh, who comments, “there is a definite need for events like this whereby companies looking to finance can showcase to a targeted audience of cheque writers.”

He further adds, “At our recent event we had a diverse group of interesting companies ranging from crypto currency management using block chain technology, patented drinks that are sure to get you high, de-alcoholized beer and wine that tastes like the real deal (minus the buzz), an app company with a pre- and post- incubation model, and musical genius technology that allows online social collaboration in music creation.”

The evening opened up with attendees socializing while munching on food. Nataliya Yavorska, co-creator of Thinking North called me up to present my talk. I spoke on the importance of social media monetization.

What can social media companies learn from Vine’s descension? While content is indeed King, users are the King’s treasury.

Users go where they feel most loved. The love is THREEFOLD: a) the platform has to be good, b) users must be able to attract followers or what’s the point? and c) there must be a reward mechanism that creates loyalty. Users being able to self-monetize is the ultimate loyalty/reward tango. What better way to treat your users than enabling them to make money?

In the audience was Peeks creator Mark Itawaru.* Peeks has come up with a platform to monetize. Peeks is an e-commerce enabled live streaming platform that allows users to interact and transact in real time with real cash. Live viewers can express their appreciation of your live and even archived video content by simply tapping on their mobile screens to easily send you tips. The tip amount is split between the broadcaster and Peeks.

Technology doesn’t stand still but continues to evolve.

As Charles Darwin said, it will be a survival of the fittest.

Following my talk, presentations were made by five exciting start-up stage companies. They were given five minutes each to represent their business vis-a-vis product/service, competitive influences and monetization strategy.

MADD Virgin Drinks:

Get the taste of the wine with all the goodness and without the buzz. A non-alcoholic beverage company that produces world’s best tasting non-alcoholic beverages: wine – red, white & sparkling, Beer and cocktails – Margarita & Mojito. Available in every major retailer across Canada.

The AppLabb:

An App developer with a difference. The APPLabb is a leader in strategy, design & development of mobile and web apps. The company has an experienced team with offices in Toronto, New York, Hong Kong, Melbourne and India. The company is revenue positive and is looking for capital to grow and implement the strategy of startup accelerator.

Phrase Technologies:

Cloud based music collaboration platform designed with a world-class pianoroll interface for easy, effortless team work in creating music. The company is the early stage of development with the beta version already out and gaining momentum among the music composers and other parties involved in the music business.

Bit Rush:

BitRush Corp is a Toronto-based FinTech company focused on cryptographic technologies and blockchain based solutions. We are invested in a portfolio of promising cryptographic ventures in North America and Europe. Our strategic focus is on the development of our cryptographic payment & business solutions ANOON along with an efficient ecosphere. BitRush is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) in Toronto

Province Brands:

Toronto-based Province designs and markets premium and ultra-premium alcohol-free (yet still intoxicating) adult beverages brewed or distilled entirely from cannabis – designed to be a true alternative to alcohol.  Province is founded by veterans entrepreneurs from the cannabis and alcohol industries with 14 years of experience in the alcohol industry, 16 years of experience in the cannabis industry, 6 successful exits (including 2 global spirits brands), 19 cannabis cup wins, and more than $77 million in venture financing raised for previous projects.  Province is a new kind of luxury FMCG business: Technology driven, on the bleeding edge of cannabinoid science, and creating valuable, defensible IP and world class products.

Thinking North is reaching out to Silicon Valley to create awareness for Canadian tech companies. I am looking forward to speaking in Silicon Valley representing Thinking North.

A special thank you to Steve, Raj, Natalie and Peter Simeon from Gowlings for putting together such a fantastic networking and informative event.

We are all looking forward to the next event in the New Year.

Happy Investing!

Dr. Kal Kotecha


*Disclaimer: TM360/JGR has been engaged by Keeks (Peeks platform) for marketing services. We initiated coverage in april of this year when the stock was trading around $.25. It is now trading around $1.50.