Brendan & Brendan Giving Back at the Startup Academie!


I am proud to announce that myself and Brendan ‘the Poet’ will be coaching at the Startup Academie presented by startup extraordinaire, Coach Davender this weekend.

I met ‘Coach’ last year at the International Startup Festival and immediately saw how he was contributing in a big way to the startup eco-system in Quebec. Totally different from a mentor, Davender is a coach. He guides startups and where they lack, he builds them up so that they think for themselves. Startups however are a risky affair and 8 out of 10 fail. Over years of coaching, Davender has learnt where startups are going wrong and now he is teaching them the path to success through the Academie. As Dan Martell, CEO of Clarity said at Montreal GrowTalks this year, “Startups don’t have to be smart, they just have to follow the process”.

Davender knows that I am a customer obsessed marketer and have recently taken up coaching customer validation to startups. When Davender approached me about participating in the Academie, I jumped on board. Marketing has a bad rap in the startup world as a money sucking glamour pit. Unfortunately, that it is not at all what marketing is about! At the nucleus of every good early stage startup is a paying customer. And the person inside the company who can find that early adopting customer, validate his problem, build a product that will solve his problem and get him to pay for it – is a successful marketer.

Yes, marketing includes branding, positioning, copy and customer acquisition. BUT before any of that can happen, before the product even, this question must be validated: is the problem I am trying to solve a real problem for my target customer and more importantly, is the problem so great that a solution is worth paying for or investing time into? Get that down and then move full speed ahead on product development (always validating along the way of course!).

About Startup Academie

Startup Academie will take place over three sessions. The first is happening April 12th to the 14th at Alliance Numerique in Montreal. The intensive weekend will revolve around building the business model canvas and validating the problem/solution fit using the LeanStartupMachine’s Validation Board. The second session is a 5 week in-person and online program taking place in May-June. The 5 weeks will be validating the entire business model canvas. Finally, the last session will take place in the fall where startups will execute on their validated models and go get paying customers. Learn more at

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