Miller Thomson is delighted to announce that two valued clients have won the Road to Banff Venture Forum Pitch-Off Competition. Toronto-based user-engagement platform Viafoura and Waterloo-based global, intelligent, mobile learning tech start-up ClevrU to

May 18, 2011 | Jamie Martin

MILLER THOMSON CLIENTS NAB
TWO OF THREE GRAND PRIZES AT VENTURE FORUM PITCH-OFF

ClevrU, Viafoura off to Banff
Venture Forum after taking home top prizes at Canada 3.0

May 18, 2011 – Miller Thomson is
delighted to announce that two valued clients have won the Road to Banff
Venture Forum Pitch-Off Competition. Toronto-based user-engagement platform
Viafoura and Waterloo-based global, intelligent, mobile learning tech start-up ClevrU took first and
second places, respectively.  

The Pitch-Off, a premier event at the Canada 3.0 digital media
forum, was held in Stratford, Ontario from May 2 to 4 and pitted more than 50
companies against each other for three grand prizes.

Viafoura, ClevrU, and third-place
winners Swift Mint each receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Banff Venture
Forum, the country’s most sought-after venture capital forum. Forum organizers
will also host a workshop for the three winners to facilitate introductions to
funders and VC mentors.

“Miller Thomson is the legal team that shared our vision
for a breakthrough e-teaching platform before we had a company,” says ClevrU CEO Dana Fox, who
represented the company in the Pitch-Off.

“Jamie Martin and his team of skilled lawyers
understood what it took for us to build world class technology, raise capital,
file a provisional patent and begin global collaboration and business
development,” he adds, crediting a portion of ClevrU’s success to the
start-up’s dedicated legal team.

“The Miller Thomson team was instrumental in
helping ClevrU accelerate development through collaboration by working within
our budget pulling the very best staff in to work with us from across Canada as
required. Jamie helped set up the first meeting with investors and patent
lawyers at the earliest stage, helping ClevrU strategize and implement our
business plan while identifying our needs at each stage with best in class
advice.”

Anthony de Fazekas, Viafoura’s
legal counsel and a partner in Miller Thomson’s Toronto office, was
enthusiastic about the long-term impact of the results. “Ontario’s
capacity to generate quality web companies is improving rapidly. Organizations
such as Communitech, MaRS and our firm’s own MTech early stage company program,
are key drivers that startups depend on as they accelerate their growth. It is
wonderful when things align for passionate entrepreneurs, as they are for
ClevrU and Viafoura. We congratulate their founders and supporters and look
forward to their continued success.”

Viafoura, a Ryerson Digital Media
Zone (DMZ) company, was represented by co-founders Ali Ghafour and Jesse
Moeinifar. The pair were advised by mentors at DMZ and MaRS, and are pleased
with the guidance they were given.

Says Moeinifar, “As an
entrepreneur it’s imperative to have trusted parties guiding you throughout the
decision making process. Miller Thomson’s approach on this front was more like
a partner than simply legal counsel. Introductions to their network fast-tracked
our company, while the wealth of information made available to us about IP
strategy and patent support was instrumental in attracting capital.”

Canada 3.0 brings together Canada’s most talented and innovative
digital media minds. Representatives from government and academia convene to
discuss and showcase the latest trends and research in digital media in a
business-minded environment. Other
Pitch-Offs are being held in elsewhere across Canada with the winners being
invited to the Banff Venture Forum to be held October 6-7, 2011.

For now, the founders of ClevrU and Viafoura will
celebrate their wins, and look forward to representing their companies at the
Venture Forum in October. And ClevrU’s Dana Fox knows his extended team will be
representing his company’s best interests in his absence. “Miller Thomson looks
after us like family and we wouldn’t have it any other way. They are truly our
trusted business partners.”