December 22, 2015 |

Marketing.AI CEO Greg Marin arrived at Web Summit with an announcement to make.

“We weren’t totally sure about announcing our funding, but it turned out to be a good move,” he said.

His company had just raised $2 million from Marin Investments to accelerate product development and provide more value to its customers around the world. Marketing.AI provides software solutions for aligning strategic messaging and company teams, products, departments and brands around a company’s content marketing needs.

“Even if people have no idea what you’re doing, if you tell them you raised $2 million, they understand you’re doing something worthwhile,” Marin said.

The announcement was validation that garnered extra media attention and attracted potential partners at Web Summit.

“A lot of people wanted to work with us,” said Marin. “We weren’t reaching out to them, they were reaching out to us.”

Being part of the Western Canadian delegation also boosted his company profile by setting it apart from the alphas and betas. 

“Walking around with a partner badge was great for our brand,” he said. “We try not to highlight the fact that we are a startup. I wouldn’t have done Web Summit without being part of the delegation.”

ICT West offered value beyond prestige, he added.

“It was like having an assistant.”

With ICT West handling conference logistics and assisting with meetings, Marin had time to focus on his main goals – to network with service providers and funders, learn nuggets of information, and get a sense of where things are at in the tech world.   

“I achieved all of those things,” he said, noting that it’s especially productive to leave Canada to network with fellow Canadians, as travel builds camaraderie and makes it easier to connect. 

“You meet people who are actually making it and having the same problems as you are, and you get a good exchange of ideas,” he said.

The experience was positive. He hopes ICT West continues its approach to international events like Web Summit.

“They were doing things right,” he said, adding that ICT West was there to learn, and sought delegate feedback to determine if any improvements could be made.

“It was an innovative program and I would highly recommend they stay on that path.”

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