Tonight at StartupCamp Toronto we are launching Startupindex.ca, an open, community-managed and free startup tracking database for the Canadian startup community. This is Version 1, and we will be putting a lot of work in to it in the next few weeks and months.
When we began tracking startups here on Startupnorth, there was no other decent source of publicly accessible coverage of startup activity in Canada. In the last year we have tracked over 100 startups, investments and events related to the startup community. While this blog has kept us up to date on a lot of what is going on, we are still only covering a small fraction of what is really going on.
Why are we doing this?
Most of us have a pretty good idea of what is going on in our own city. We get to hear about new startups, rumors of the latest deals are always flying around and we have some idea of who the best entrepreneurs are, but the truth is you don’t have to travel very far until things become less obvious. From Vancouver to Victoria, Toronto to Waterloo, Ottawa to Montreal, Halifax to Moncton, we can make a very short trip but still not know who’s who and what’s new.
By tracking startup activity nationally we can start to build more awareness of which startups are worth watching, we can also quickly find out which Investors are doing deals and which ones are less active. The “Wheat from the Chaff” as they say.
This is also an opportunity to find out the truth about the Canadian Startup community. Is it dead or alive? We can either put grand claims to rest, or we can light a fire under them.
A lot of startup activity and almost all of the funding activity in Canada is actively tracked. These databases are closed off from the public and charge access fees nearing $10,000 (that is seed funding for some companies!). They also offer no value back to the very community that needs this data the most. Startups and Investors, who are the basis of the data being captured, either have to pay the subscription fee or live without the data.
We believe that this data should be free and that it is a liability if startups and Investors do not have a clear and concise place to access this information. We are betting that our open, accessible and equal approach will bring more value to more people, and that is something we think is worth doing.
So please, head over to startupindex.ca and make sure your startup has a profile. We will be adding new features, such as ratings, email subscriptions and commenting in the short term, and we want your help in building this as it grows.