Alistair Croll and Randy Smerik to headline Manitoba’s annual venture competition and startup conference


WINNIPEG, MB – Prolific startup experts – Alistair Croll and Randy Smerik – will keynote and judge at Lift’Off, Innovate Manitoba’s annual startup conference and venture capital competition taking place on June 17 at the Fort Garry Hotel.

Croll will also lead a 2-day New Media Manitoba Lean Analytics workshop on June 18 and 19 at Red River College.

Alistair Croll

Alistair Croll

Croll is one of Canada’s foremost startup experts and public speakers and is the author of four books on technology and entrepreneurship, including the best-selling Lean Analytics, which has been translated into nine languages.

“One of the world’s greatest innovators, William Edwards Deming is famously quoted in saying ‘In god we trust, all others bring data’,” said Jan Lederman, president of Innovate Manitoba. “Well, Croll is the master at helping entrepreneurs capture and learn from their data to be better, faster.”

In 2001, Croll co-founded web performance startup Coradiant (acquired by BMC in 2011); since that time, he has also launched Rednod, CloudOps, Bitcurrent, Year One Labs, the Bitnorth conference, the Year One Labs startup accelerator, the International Startup Festival, Cloud Connect, O’Reilly’s Strata conference, and several other early stage companies.

“Alistair Croll’s ‘Lean Analytics’ is a game-changer in every sense of the phrase,” said Kevin Hnatiuk, executive director of New Media Manitoba. “Our 2-day workshop on Lean Analytics with Croll is the perfect complement to Lift’Off. What an incredible week!”

Randy Smerik

Randy Smerik

Randy Smerik is a successful San Diego-based serial entrepreneur, angel investor and startup advisor whose most recent startup, Tarari Inc. exited for $100 million. He was also part of the team that sold iPivot to Intel for $500 million. He is currently founder and CEO of Osunatech, owner of Solare Ristorante, and sits on the board of directors of Fortaleza Tequila.

“Smerik is a highly sought after entrepreneurship and venture capital speaker,” said Lederman. “He holds the rather unique distinction of never having failed a startup business. He is four for four and we are thrilled to have him present his secrets to success with Manitoba’s business community.”

Along with keynoting Lift’Off, Croll and Smerik will form part of the judges’ panel when six of Manitoba’s hottest startups will compete for $100,000 in cash and prizes at the Venture’Challenge, which runs on of morning of Lift’Off.

Croll currently advises multiple Winnipeg-based startups and has seen first-hand the kind of entrepreneurial talent and startup potential Winnipeg has to offer.

“Since I started working with founders in Winnipeg, I’ve been amazed by the talent in the city,” said Croll. “Winnipeg has a mix of culture, creativity, and underdog scrappiness that’s essential for successful innovators, and I’m really looking forward to seeing more of it at Lift’Off.”

Smerik will keynote the Entrepreneur Power Lunch and Croll will keynote the Entrepreneur IQ Forum. Attendees can register for one event or stay the entire day. Those who attend Lift’Off will receive a deep discount to participate in the subsequent 2 days of New Media Manitoba workshops with Croll.

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