Starting a company is not an easy task to tackle. There is a lot to think about, and it is extremely hard to do alone. Fortunately, if you are in Montreal or thinking of relocating to the fabulous city, Montreal can make that start-up move a little easier with quite a few incubator and start-up hubs to get your business moving.
The world of online advertising is complex and ever-changing, but it's also exciting and filled with promise. As innovation in advertising technology continues to evolve, old-hat tactics, such as direct response marketing, are quickly becoming obsolete. Here's a list of digital marketing predictions set to reshape the online advertising landscape in 2016.
For businesses in the idea stage seed capital is typically provided by the founders themselves and "love money" from family and friends. There are also a number of public and private organizations willing to step in and make relatively small investments to help grow businesses to a stage where bigger dollar players, such as venture capitalists, take an interest.
Pre-seed, a relatively new stage in the funding process, is becoming more recognized in the Canadian startup ecosystem and in other startup hubs around the world. The trend is growing for a number of reasons, and Canada would benefit from more capital dedicated to pre-seed from truly value-added investors.
This problem is also a Canadian concern. A May 2015 survey of high-impact Canadian firms revealed that "finding employees to expand and scale their business ranks as one of the top challenges identified by entrepreneurs." Lower and less progressive taxation would help attract and retain highly specialized labour.
The statistics are alarming. Nine out of 10 start-ups die at five years. I know the challenges personally because I'm on my eighth start-up now. From selling one of my successful ventures to Arlene Dickinson of the Dragon's Den, to some not so fruitful ventures, I have had my share of wins and losses.
With an energetic and vibrant atmosphere it's no surprise that Victoria, B.C. is one of the world's favourite destinations. As I was soon to learn, that energy is here in the technology business, too. It has been hidden away a little, obscured by its modesty, and I do actually think that there is something really special worth shouting about over here.
Over the past two days, Canadian entrepreneurs and American venture capitalists met at Venture North, a conference that aims to introduce U.S. VCs to Canada's tech ecosystem. Mayor John Tory started off Wednesday's proceedings by stating that Toronto is a startup-friendly city, and its tech leadership is "simply a story we haven't told yet."
With each startup event that happens throughout the year, we are standing a little taller as a community, being a little more innovative and getting back to the business of hard work. That's the defining factor: When things don't come easy, we work harder. For me, that's the startup culture in Vancouver.
'Unicorn' is a term in the investment and venture capital industry use to define a start-up company whose valuation has exceeded USD$1 billion dollars. When you look for these (apparently not so) mythical creatures we find a plethora of U.S.-based companies: Uber, Airbnb, Palantir, Snapchat, Dropbox and others.
In the constantly evolving and socially driven society we live in today, the very definition of a workplace has changed. Coworking has become a global movement where work is done outside the confines of a traditional workspace and is instead in a shared working environment either in an office or other public space.
True success of an entrepreneur comes not from their ideas, but from their inner mindset and character traits. It takes a certain type of leader to endure startup life and persevere past the hurdles that will inevitable lay ahead in their efforts to inspire disruption or bring a new innovation to life.
Energy consultants have been helping companies reduce operator error, identifying energy wasting systems and proposing energy efficient retrofits for a while now. But what is new is the next generation of energy efficiency companies who are using super smart meters and big data to identify, measure and wrestle energy sucking systems to submission.
My prediction is that, in the next two to three years, and with the right kinds of risk-taking and mentorship we can increase the culture of growth here in Vancouver. With investment in more Growth Hackers and Data Scientists in Vancouver and we will start to see more billion-dollar companies emerge.
Transferring day-to-day responsibilities for voice and data management to an outside vendor is an immense load off the staff of any growing company. It means not having to worry about hardware and software issues, as well as ongoing technical support, remote monitoring, troubleshooting, repairs and ongoing upgrades.
The Uber / Lyft / Sidecar battle seems to be an increasingly prevalent theme where startups are focused more on fighting each other than responding to countermoves from traditional players. With statistics showing that the San Francisco taxi industry is steadily collapsing, it is no wonder that Uber is more focused on retaining market share against other startup competitors.
The rules are changing in today's globalized, hyper-competitive economy and startups are attempting to keep up by maintaining their innovative edge. No longer can any established or traditional company afford to enter a period of ossification. Indeed, ossification in today's economy means death rather than stability.