October Buzz

It’s the great start of fall when leaves start to turn those vivacious colors, everything is pumpkin flavored, and Halloween is around the corner. In our startup tech world in Canada, we have exciting innovations and policy changes that provide extra assistance and promise for you talented entrepreneurs. As the C100 organizing committee, staff and many members have set up camp in the Silicon Valley of California, we’re here to bring you the latest news about startup life and success over here as well as keep you connected to the best discoveries in your neck of the woods. Whether you’re looking for investors and don’t know where to start in Canada, or looking at options for your startup, we’ve got it here for you in the latest happenings this past month and information on upcoming events that you should attend. At C100, we’re here to keep you connected, push you to succeed and  smile as you change the tech world!

Education

School is in session for fall semester and the smell of textbooks and the sound of tapping keys on a laptop is in the air. Young minds are hard at work and thus The Great Canadian Appathon is going on this weekend for it’s second competition. It’s across Canadian colleges and universities with the goal of creating a game app in 48 hours and encouraging talented students who might succeed at starting their own company. If they win, with the prize money ($25,000) and obvious innovation, they might be able to successfully do that. Not only are universities breeding grounds for our future tech leaders of tomorrow, but they’re dreaming up and formulating their product ideas on campus. Class projects, or competitions such as GCA2, can foster bright ideas that can prove to be very beneficial down the road. These ideas can then build the foundation for their future companies. Read Brent Holliday’s article on B.C.’s universities that are supporting the development of young entrepreneurs and startups. Go Canada for supporting our young entrepreneurs of tomorrow!

Investment

Where else to start our plans for investment than at the root of the country: the Canadian government. We all know investment is difficult, so officials and advocates are working hard to push programs and bills that support our growing businesses in the country. Your companies and business that you work so hard at developing and getting off the ground not only can provide many jobs for fellow citizens but also cultivate a growing industry. The “Investing in Business Innovation” program in Ontario is aiming to support promising startups that are providing innovation and growth to the area. Chango from Toroto just got backed $978,000. So thank you FevDev Ontario! Also, in attempts to support local entrepreneurship and innovation in technology, B.C.’s government is laying out plans to making it easier to expand tax credits for small businesses. For more details, check out the article from Tax-News here.

Toronto based startup WindMobile is getting funded over $500 million, mostly by Netherlands company VimpelCom, with the purpose of getting new airwave licences in next years spectrum auction. The last auction went to many new startups in order to prevent what was claimed to be a growing oligopoly. That’s exactly what this funding for WindMobile is for next year: to secure spectrum for a startup. Although the government has yet to decide if they will again reserve spectrum for new companies, Industry Canada will make their decision this month. Fingers crossed!

In order to encourage immigrants to create new businesses, an advocacy group is proposing a “Startup Visa Bill” which would lower the amount of required money for entrepreneurs to become Canadian citizens and experience heading a company. This not only encourages entrepreneurs from other countries looking for a promising cultural and business environment to set up base in Canada, but it also sets up jobs for Canadians which we of course all appreciate. Check out  the article which talks about this proposal:  “Tech sector calls for ‘startup visa’ program”  written by Scott Simpson in The Vancouver Sun.

Acquisitions

Looking for an exit? Large American companies, 68% of them to be exact, are looking for startup acquisitions says an article posted by our friends at Techvibes. Cloud computing is the top area big companies are focusing in on, then come mobile app development, data analytics and finally security and social media. After weighing their options, Vancouver startup Zite sold to CNN. Zite makes a personalized magazine app for ipads, which CNN found extremely valuable to their news mission. Although CNN will not use this outlet to solely promote themselves, they find it to be a special innovation in personalized web experience. Now that they have a large organization, CNN is owned by TimeWarner, they’ll be able to work towards further developing their app and grow their company. Zite is moving some staff to Silicon Valley, but will also still be based in Vancouver. There have been over 20 acquisitions of Canadian startups like with Zite this year, and 9 have been Toronto based. Many of Canada’s cities are turning into central areas that are cultivating brilliant entrepreneurs ready to change the world but, as we all know, investing is a bit difficult up north.  Many startups worry about selling out to American companies since their innovation won’t seem to benefit Canada. Well, with many Canadian entrepreneurs getting their companies purchased by American giants, they can either: later come back to Canada to invest, support and come up with other ingenious ideas, or their companies can still be based in Canada while they now have the capital to grow and do what they need to do. Either way, it’s a win win situation. If you’re interested in reading more about these beneficial exits, Marc Macleod on the blog StartupNorth writes a great article about  “The Upside of Canada’s Startup Buying Binge”. If you’re considering exiting, take these ideas to heart. And remember as the blog Maple Butter  states, start ups should start from the heart. When they do, you know you’re starting with the best foundation.

Cleantech

Impact investing is about to be surging with support as Canada will soon be a great hub for the area. The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing will soon be opening and is endorsed by the Rockefeller Foundation and J.W. McConnell Family Foundation. The MaRS Centre for Impact Investing will facilitate the success of businesses providing social and environmental change with the right resources to connect with financial support, for exposure and for networking. This is a huge development that you should take advantage of when it opens, and in the meantime check out more information about the MaRs Centre for Impact Investing. C100 is now launching a cleantech section of our organization and we’re also here to encourage your ideas and plans to move your businesses forward. We want you to succeed and get the information you need, so please keep us in mind and also check out our cleantech section on the website.

Government support with the Sustainable Development Technology Canada is focusing in on cleantech businesses. Submit your Statement of Interest on SCTC’s website for the SD Tech Fund which “invests in late-stage development and pre-commercial demonstration of clean technologies by Canadian companies.” The Nova Scotia Clean Tech Open is also providing a competition to support the best cleantech businesses all over the world in order to assist in development and bring cleantech businesses to Nova Scotia. For more information check out their website.

Good news for epats south of the border! The Canadian government is funding a Canadian cleantech accelerator in San Jose, CA that launched on September 14. It will provide the resources and support that these startups need to succeed in Silicon Valley for four months and hopefully play an important role in promoting Canadian cleantech businesses making their sustainable mark in the world. Good luck to all of you in the valley applying for the spots.

Mark Your Calendars

-Excited about the web? MeshWest is coming up on Oct. 4th so that people can get together and discuss how the web is changing out lives. For all of you web based startups in Vancouver, come brainstorm and talk about the wonderful world wide web.

-Startup Weekend Hamilton is on Oct. 21-23, and is an event that brings together entrepreneurs on a mission to develop web or mobile applications. Come all entrepreneurs, software developers, graphic designers and innovators!

-Accelerate To, a great C100 event, is coming up in November 9, 2011 in Toronto. It will be held at the Royal Ontario Park Museum and will feature workshops such as focusing on evaluating how your startup is doing, a how to on early stage funding, and succeeding with a very low budget. Come see Chris O’Neil, the Managing Director from Google Canada as the key note speaker.

-Under the Rader will be hosted in Silicon Valley on November 9th and 10th. There will be 5 Canadian startups that will be in this event. If you’re a Canadian expat with a startup in the Silicon Valley looking to join in on this weekend, sign up here. Psst, Techvibes gave us readers a little tip: “Want to attend?  Use our discount code “TCVB” to save $200 off your ticket when regsitering [sic] online.”

-Startup Weekend Toronto will be from November 18-20 at the Burroughes Building at 639 Queen Street West. Come develop with fellow Toronto entrepreneurs!

-C100 CleanTech launch will be in Toronto on November 17th. Stay tuned for more details!

-In December, we’re hosting the biannual 48hrs in the Valley on December 6th and 7th. There are two streams, one for cleantech and one for ICT. Come work with mentors, attend workshops, network, set up investor meetings and more. Sign up here if you’re a cleantech company, and stay tuned for the ICT application as it will be available soon.

We hope you’re able to participate in many of the exciting listed events above and can benefit from the resources that mentors have, the access to potential investors, and collaboration with other innovators. Check out our twitter feed, cleantech twitter feed, linkedin discussions, facebook page, and blog to stay informed. Enjoy your October!

C100