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Nothing is harder than being an entrepreneur: self-sacrifice, countless hours, true diligence and undying commitment. I interviewed the following accomplished entrepreneurs, who excel at what they do and have been handpicked by the media as ones to watch. Here, they reflect on their past mistakes and share some of their insights with their B2B counterparts when it comes to e-commerce, IT, funding, delegation, sales and scaling too fast.
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Ask an American to name an entrepreneur and odds are names like Mark Zuckerberg, Mike Dell and Larry Page will roll off their tongue. When asked to name up to five high-profile entrepreneurs, a third of Canadians could not name a single one. Why is that?
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Vancouver is quickly becoming one of the top tech hubs in North America. And while the City of Glass still plays second fiddle in terms of the size of its tech scene (we're looking at you, Ontario and Quebec), Vancouver boasts many unique advantages.
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Toronto is showing signs of the city coming into its own as a global technology hub. More firms are making the move to Hogtown, and the city is also turning out its fair share of hometown heroes when it comes to successful tech companies. So, what is making Toronto such a coveted destination for tech companies and eager employees alike?
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Many people in corporate roles fantasize about breaking free and launching an entrepreneurial venture. Three years ago I took the plunge and did just that, leaving behind a senior role in management consulting to start a talent marketplace for freelance consultants. Unfortunately, my business model didn't gain traction, but the experience was the best thing that ever happened to me professionally speaking.
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Log management systems are largely based on one concern; finding the root cause of a problem, like security breaching, diagnosing issues, chasing down server errors and looking up customer activity. There is now a market for the logging management industry, whereas there's nothing new about all softwares and systems producing log files.
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Clearly, a STEM education is not the only way to work in or lead a technology company. So while we work to get more women enrolled in STEM programs, we can also work to increasing gender diversity in the tech sector by attracting women with a variety of backgrounds at all levels. It all comes down to a change in culture.
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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.
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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.
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.
Entrepreneurs are calling on the parties to clarify their plans to foster innovation, education and coding literacy.
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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."
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It's clear that as a society we need innovative new firms to step in and help solve our climate, health and social problems, while at the same time creating a profit for investors and jobs for all of us. The important question is: how can we assure that this happens?
When I started my new job with Freelancer.com, I was researching where and who to reach out to in Canada and I quickly realized the force that is the Ottawa start up scene. Sure it's the capital and that should be an obvious choice however I found something truly unique. The startup community is very creative and keen plus they are very adept at getting the government to pay attention.
Since I was a little, I knew what I wanted to be: a journalist. My career aspirations helped define my personality and helped shape my world view. It influenced where I went to school, what I majored in, and who I hung out with -- until suddenly, one day, those aspirations changed.
Across the Fortune 500 companies and throughout cities worldwide, women appear to hold the short end of the stick. Women are considerably underrepresented as CEOs, officers, and directors in the corporate world. Since women occupy nearly half the total work force in the United States, what is the reasoning behind these inexplicable labour statistics?
There are many acquisitions that have raised eyebrows or resulted in a general state of confusion among observers, both within and outside of the tech industry. Sometimes, acquisitions are made that don't seem to make any sense, at least not on the surface. Below are three such acquisitions made by tech companies this year and some educated speculation as to why they might have occurred.
In 2013 the Canada Cup lost $20,000. Major financial hits aren't limited to large events and festivals. Even the little guys take on an unreasonable amount of risk when organizing an event. High promotional and ticketing fees, and lump sum deposits for venues make it nearly impossible to try a new idea without taking on a huge financial risk.
Startups often have to deal with one or all of three big issues: lack of capital, brand recognition and product penetration. While these are real threats and pose the biggest risk to success, startups often have advantages that cannot be found in large, established companies. Educating talent on these benefits helps them make an informed decision between the bright lights of the behemoth and the siren's call of the startup. So, what exactly are these benefits?
Every spring, Austin, Texas busts at the seams with an influx of the weird and wonderful, congregating to learn more about film interactive, music, and comedy. Demand for conference content specifically with regards to start-ups began to outstrip the supply. Enter South by Southwest V2V. A conference outside of Austin (in Las Vegas) specifically for the start-up community.
Overall, Canada's tech sector has just finished an excellent year and the prospects for 2013 look at least as good. That's the picture that emerges from conversations with the CEOs of four young Cana...
Last week, the Canadian Film Centre's CFC Media Lab launched a fantastic new program called ideaBOOST, designed to assist artists and companies exploring the frontier in digital entertainment. IdeaBOOST brings industry into the equation, and I think that's what makes it such an impressive concept. Here are several that sounded particularly exciting.