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In pictures: What to expect from Montreal's International Startup Festival

In only its second year, this premier event runs from July 11 to 13, with speakers and entrepreneurs from all over the world in attendance

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The International Startup Festival is a three-day conference on "the business of startups." Guest speakers, entrepreneurs and investors discuss everything from social networking to mobile apps, and how to build the next generation of successful businesses. This year's theme is startups that matter, and ideas that can change the world.

Julian Haber/

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For its second year, the event is again being held in Montreal's historic Old Port district of Montreal, at the Iberville Cruise Terminal. The area is home to a number of restaurants and shops, including the Montreal Science Centre (where some off-festival events will be taking place), and offers a scenic view of both old Montreal and the surrounding waterway.

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The International Startup Festival was founded by a team of eight entrepreneurs from Montreal and California's Silicon Valley, including founder Philippe Telio of consulting company Embrase, and event co-host Dave McClure of seed fund and accelerator 500 Startups.

International Startup Festival

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What sort of attendees can you expect? Programmers, web developers, artists, entrepreneurs, and investors. Basically, anyone with an idea, or the drive to make an idea a reality — and not just limited to tech, but everything from health care to clean tech and beyond.

Julian Haber/

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The festival is more than just International in name — it attracts startups and attendees from across the world. This year's batch of startups selected to pitch on the main stage includes entrepreneurs from Israel, Chile and Australia. This year there are even cash awards from venture capitalists and investment groups, including a $50,000 investment award for the festival's best pitch.

Julian Haber/

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There are 50 speakers at this year's festival, but highlights include Sizhao Yang, the creator of Farmville who later sold it to Zynga; Sheridan Jones, director of business and strategy for Microsoft's Kinect division; and Tara Hunt, a writer and entrepreneur with fashion startup experience. Also returning is investor and writer Paul Kedrosky.

Julian Haber/

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Talks range from the forward-looking — the CEO of Splunk, Michael Baum, will talk about anticipating the next big idea years in advance — while others, such as Dax Dasilva, CEO of Montreal-based Lightspeed, discuss how their startups got to where they are today.

Julian Haber/

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A number of startups featured at last year's event have gone on to bigger and better things. You might have heard of Visualize Me, which turns your LinkedIn profile into a nice looking infographic, and Cheek'd, a quirky online dating service, both of which were awarded last year's Top Elevator Pitch.

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The International Startup Festival isn't the only event happening in Montreal. Guelph, Ont.-based co-working space ThreeFortyNine has booked a first-class train car from Toronto to Montreal, which is billed as a networking event for entrepreneurs and investors on rails. Research in Motion will be in town on July 11 in the Montreal Science Centre for the final stop on its BlackBerry 10 Jam World Tour. And San Francisco-based Twilio and Montreal startup will be hosting a scavenger hunt throughout downtown Montreal.

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Want to follow along from home? Twitter is your best bet, and you can follow attendees with the hashtag #startupfest, or watch for updates from the official @startup account. Many of the event's speakers — such as Paul Kedrosky (@pkedrosky) and Howard Lindzon (@howardlindzon) — should be active throughout the event. It's also a good idea to keep an eye on the Startup Festival Flickr account and Facebook page for more information too.

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