disconnecting @ firesideconf

There were stars and s’mores but no cell reception—an idea that would panic many, especially technology professionals. But it was this recipe, along with impressive talks and panels, that made the second annual Fireside Conference, held at Camp Walden in Bancroft, such a hit.

Heralded as an “off-the-grid” weekend that would allow members of the startup community to “disconnect to connect,” founders Steven Pulver and Daniel Levine brought 250 attendees talks from leaders in our community, like 500 Startups Canada’s Sanjay Singhal, 88 Creative’s Erin Bury, Super Venture’s Tom Emrich, Former Mayor of Waterloo and Startup Canada chair Brenda Halloran, and an especially moving keynote from VoIP pioneer Jeff Pulver.

Beyond the presentations, Fireside stood out for its authenticity. There are no other events in our tech ecosystem that allow you to connect over breakfast, lunch and dinner, or kick back together observing the Milky Way. Hell, there are no other events in our tech ecosystem without cell reception. (Editor’s note: Matt is a massive fan of his new NoPhone, which is perfect in no-service situations.)

The community came together to give back, too. A live auction during Saturday’s dinner raised $10,250 for the Upside Foundation and six startups donated 1% equity to the foundation, which turn into cash donated to charity if and when those companies exit.

The Sheet has produced a special hand-written issue dedicated to Fireside full of the best quotes, tips and memories. Look!