Yes after about 2 years and a bit, last night our own Hamilton RIC (Regional Innovation Centre), our Innovation Factory opened up it’s brand new premises at McMaster’s Innovation Park and boy what a great party it was!
Filled up with local and GHTA and regional “movers & shakers” the reception was one of the best I’ve been to in years, with both politicians, angels, startups and the “usual suspects” in our community startup channel too!
Been thinking on this quite a bit lately, especially as I get to “peek under” the hood at many new startups and their technology solutions to combat what they see as a “hole in the marketplace.” What I mean by that is that when a new startup begins to do their pitch to a room full of angels or VCs or mentors or even at a pitch contest, what they often have to do is to spell out their solution to the pain that they believe exists.
And as a part of that “spelling out” of their technology what they often do is to let the room full of listeners learn about their technology and how it works…and that’s a part of their presi…and when you hear a dozen or so of these weekly, you quickly can “suss” out what that means.
It was my extreme pleasure last evening to have been invited to sit on a Panel of #HamOnt local startup entrepreneurs at an event held by Fullerton Media and a great set of Sponsors to follow the first screening of that great entrepreneurs movie “The Startup Kids!” And what a great event it was too!
The screening was open to all established and aspiring entrepreneurs in the Greater Hamilton Area and it was a documentary about young web entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Europe. Founders of Vimeo, SoundCloud, Kiip, InDinero, Dropbox, Foodspotting and many others talk about how they started their company and their lives as an entrepreneur. Innovation Factory, kitestring creative branding studio, Fullerton Media, and Mohawk College all teamed up to Sponsor the screening of The Startup Kids.
Very short post this am….as I’ve loaded the car and we’re heading north in a few minutes…but wanted to share the following with you all…
First, that our local Spectator gave us, Snappay a short notice in a recent Business section of the paper…and I wanted to both thank the paper as well as show it off right here….
As you can see, the notice is small…and yeah we’d have loved something bigger and better but hey there’s this sporting thingy going on over in England I hear and then a Presidential election south of the border…so I guess space is at a premium, eh! But thanks Spec….for the mention!
Last thing today….before I go and gas up and hit the road…just wanted to say a big KUDOS to our Canadian Olympic athletes and that I hope that you all do well in your various competitions and races….nothing better than the smile one gets when I hear O Canada in the medal ceremonies, eh!
Back mid week so enjoy one and all…
It’s about time I blogged on this – the fact that when you ask any entrepreneur, startup founder, C-level exec “how you doing?” the answer is usually the same! Busy! Crazy busy! Too too busy! Not enough hours in the day type of answer…and there’s the rub! Are you – are we – all too too busy?
Here’s what I’d like you to think about….being an entrepreneur is about the best/coolest/finest thing that could ever happen to a human being in my world. The creation of a new idea….the nurturing of same….the building of the basic framework of your company…the search for advisors and mentors and counsel from same…the first MVP (minimum viable product) for the marketplace…the customer validation and initial wedge into their consciousness…and then the pivots that come from all of these items. It takes time. It takes focus…and perhaps most importantly, it eats up your life.
Okay, you’ve most likely heard tons of stories about how some app developers on either the iOS or Android or even the RIM platform have made tons of money, bought the Maserati and retired to the beach on Nevis….and you’re figuring that this may just be the biz model to clone and follow.
For those of you who don’t know our local Hamilton Spectator and our business community, it might come as a surprise to you that in last Saturday’s paper, our own Nick Bontis’s column entitled “Bontis on Business” he covered our own Snappay mobile POS app! And we’re chuffed!
Dr. Nick Bontis is one of the world’s leading experts on intellectual capital and is a tenured Professor at McMaster University and writes a weekly Hamilton Spectator column on business that covers much of both the international business scene and yes, our local one too! And a short disclaimer that yes, I’m the CMO of Snappay and a proud member of the management team too!
Hamilton, ON (April 30, 2012) – Last weekend, 95 developers, designers, marketers, business professionals, animators, and engineers came together in the Collaboratory at Mohawk College to spend 54 hours trying to launch new startups in Hamilton.
The news is out and Communitech, the giant in the Ontario wide RIC network announces today that they’ve just launched Hyperdrive! It is a $30 million Incubator initiative that will offer up to Canuck startups the chance to be funded and mentored and incubated in the Kitchener-Waterloo area….and in my book, that makes it a true Canuck winner!
For more info pls go here – http://www.communitech.ca/communitech-launches-30m-hyperdrive-incubator/ and take a good read about the Program itself, it’s funding partners and while I didn’t see the online application there yet – I’m positive when it’s posted there’ll be one heck of a lineup for that first cohort, eh!
#Kudos Communitech….job well done!
Okay, the title is a bit muddy in it’s meaning, but what I did try to capture is that we – both myself and my latest startup – were featured in our local press and for that reason, it’s a #FabulousFriday! This is a double hit day and already we’ve had 8 phone call “congrats” too!
<big grin here>
First the media notice – the local press I’m talking about is the Hamilton Spectator, a daily paper here in the #HamOnt area that has a great business section and yes, I do read it daily and have been doing that since the 50’s, since I learned that from my Dad. I like the Spec as we call it and the reporting from my POV is always “spot-on” and I wanted to say thanks to the Spec!
Yes, it’s exactly the right time to think about our wonderful community and think investment! Money, sure, I mean money by all means, but that’s not what I’m really thinking about today…what I’m thinking about is the commitment of time – your time and in truth is there anything more valuable than time? No there is not. And here’s why, eh!
Time is the measure that we all use, to try to live, work and exist in life, and we use it haphazardly when we’re not focused I think. As one grows a bit older, and the term “been there done that” comes to the top-0f-mind position more than not – that was the time for me when time suddenly appeared to be of more import to my life than anything else.
Yes, the title above is correct….and as the photo here shows, President Obama yesterday signed into law, the new US JoBS Act which among other things legalizes crowdfunding as a way for startups to receive funding for equity…and that’s a good thing, eh!
It will change the way startups do business in a lot of ways, most notably by making it easier for them to accept smaller investments from a larger number of investors. And we believe it’s a good thing that less wealthy Americans who don’t qualify as accredited investors will now be able to put their money into young businesses and reap the rewards.
Yes, right up front, by using the “our” in this blog post, you should know that I’m involved with a new startup, Snappay that is a mobile POS system built for merchants to use their smartphone to charge a customer/client’s credit card. And I’m very pumped on this venture into the financial payments channel too!
The US Senate, as nicely as you please, just passed today, the new JoBS Act, and guess what startups -crowdfunding is now LEGAL in the US.
You heard me. It’ legal. Sure, there’s a few i’s to dot and a couple of t’s to cross…but in fact, if you have a startup and you want to be funded via a crowdfunding website – it’s legal.
On March 8th, the group of US Congress bills, collectively called the JoBS Act (Jumpstart our Business Startups) passed the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate….and IMHO, that spells trouble for our Canuck startup futures…but let me explain! You already know as a reader, that we’ve been watching closely on HR 2930, the Crowdfunding Bill, but this group encompasses much more opportunity for both startups and investors and here’s a simple one-pager on the Act itself…
Right now, it’s illegal for a US or Canadain startup to solicit investors on platforms like Twitter or Kickstarter. But the US-onlyJOBS Act would change that south of the border only!
As many of you readers know, we run a successful SEO practice here in the Hamilton area…and it’s really what gets up up each day. That said, you may also know that we work damn hard here too for our startup community…and I am only one “spoke” in that wheel…but it surely provides us with lots to do – and to think about too.
Enter my point today – that as a startup founder you need to speak to your customers BEFORE you bloody well go off on a tangent – lengthy rant on!
I was excited a few days ago, to find over on techcrunch.com a great piece there on a new SaaS product that I thougth just might help me big-time in my own new startup, a mobile app, and I read that I could use this new product to help market my own startup. Cool I thought….and that’s what led to my total frustration with the founders of same.