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Hey there!

In August, I'm doing a startup finance workshop -- Finance Boot Camp for Entrepreneurs.

If you are pitching in the fall, take advantage of the slow summer months and get your startup pitch ready. We'll cover building financial models with meaningful metrics, investor contact lists, pitch decks, and outreach.

I do this workshop a few times per year to help entrepreneurs -- this will be my LAST workshop for 2016.

You can learn more at www.financeforentrepreneurs.co/bootcamp

If you have any questions, feel free to DM me.

Early bird pricing ends soon...
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For anyone looking for one more reason to hang out at Trinity Bellwoods Park this weekend... ... See MoreSee Less

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We've had some great wins at Vantage lately and the word is obviously getting out. I'm getting more emails from folks offering to help us with financing. For the record, I'm not one of the people that believe that a startup can't take advice and support raising financing, and pay for that expertise. I recognize that there are things I don't know and people I don't know - and I'm willing to pay for knowledge/expertise.

That said, I wanted to flag one email that caught my eye because there's aspects of their corporate profile that seem a little "off". My spidey sense started tingling and I thought I'd share what I found in about 30 seconds of research.

I received a note from a David Clark from The OCMX. The link to his linkedin profile just goes to one for the company and David is not listed as an employee of the company anywhere online. Oddly enough, the LinkedIn profile of the company says they have 11-50 employees but only 2 of them have listed OCMX as their employer (the CFO and an analyst, but not the CEO, or other key execs).

I'm fairly well connected in Canada and they're just down the street and weirdly enough, their two staff members are 3rd degree LinkedIn connections.

The company website doesn't list the team (very odd for a financial services firm these days). All of the media/press mentions are a little odd in that they refer to the CEO by title but not by name.

A video of a speech given by the CEO is titled to indicate that his name is Matthew McGrath. But on his profile on LinkedIn, he doesn't actually list himself as being affiliated with OCMX, only Optimize.

They have a Facebook page with over 10k likes!! But NONE of them are my friends.

I don't know this company. I'm not suggesting that they're not good at whatever they claim to do. They may be exceptional at what they do, but their online profile doesn't support that suggestion... despite having 10,991 likes.
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Ed Lui, Mykyta Ponomarenko and 9 others like this

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Aran HamiltonAddendum: one of the smartest guys in this space just wrote to me after reading this post and offered his help (for free). As he joked, "You get what you pay for." I won't embarrass him by naming him, but his generosity reflects the spirit that I love about this community.

12 hours ago   ·  3
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Danish Yusufthanks for the headsup. important to watch out for such things!

12 hours ago   ·  1
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Douglas SoltysBetween this and the guy on the streetcar with the card reader, you're basically Toronto's Startup Holmes.

11 hours ago   ·  1
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Christian LassondeThanks for sharing Aran, on behalf of startup founders and funders alike.

11 hours ago   ·  2
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Ben ZlotnickAran, that email comes through once a month 😄 I think it's time we pay him a visit.

11 hours ago   ·  1
Ben Zlotnick

Ben BaldwinLet us know how it goes ... (The visit I mean).

11 hours ago   ·  3
Ben Baldwin

Varun MathurMaybe they used the same Bangladeshi click farm like the folks in "Silicon Valley" the show..

8 hours ago   ·  2
Varun Mathur

Aram MelkoumovI got the same emails Aran Hamilton, multiple times. I checked them out online as well and confirm the facts you brought up. Just goes straight to my trash now.

7 hours ago   ·  1
Aram Melkoumov

Ali NawabLol, Aran Hamilton I think our 'professional' LinkedIn photos are working ;)

5 hours ago   ·  1
Ali Nawab

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Sometimes it is important to remind ourselves of all of the amazing things going on here in Canada. In just the last few weeks:

- Influitive passed the elusive $10M ARR threshold.
- League announces a monster 'A' round.
- Hubba passed over 20,000 companies on the network.
- Shopify announces a major partnership with Apple Pay
- Andela raises a ton of money from Mark Zuckerberg
- Resson, a company out of Fredricton lands big growth funding from a huge strategic
- 500px was selected by the White House's New Tech Inclusion Pledge
- Nudge lands a hefty seed round.
- TechCrunch posts a really positive article about the community here.
- Harvard/IHS found Toronto to be the #6 city in the world for Female entrepreneurs but we all know there is still a lot of work to do here.
- Wattpad partners with Turner, a major U.S. studio/broadcaster.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.These are just the things on the top of my mind. I am missing a bunch, particularly from the west coast.

What is your company proud of? Would love to pile on all of your great news too (without too much shameless self-promotion of course).
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Marianne Bulger, Renée Warren and 169 others like this

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Ben Baldwin+ Vitalik Buterin and Ethereum hail from Toronto. Right, Dmitry Buterin?

1 week ago   ·  8
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Jodi EchakowitzOverbond (client) announced a $7.5M seed round last week. I'm thinking this is one of the biggest seed funding rounds in Canada in recent memory...

1 week ago   ·  14
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Ben ZifkinFigure 1 launched messaging which is a game-changer in their industry.

1 week ago   ·  14
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Ben Baldwin+ I think Wealthsimple is growing faster than its American competition. Right, Mike Katchen?

1 week ago   ·  12
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Mudit Singh RawatWe don't talk about this enough, but the startup community here is tightly knit and is always open to making great introductions - I can think of all the intro's the team at Hubba has made for us at Urbery which is now resulting into multiple CPG partnerships! Plus great support from various incubators (shout out to DMZ at Ryerson University) and access to vibrant/cost effective shared spaces (like Project Spaces).

1 week ago   ·  17
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Daniel Debow

1 week ago   ·  11
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Corby Fine...and your book!

1 week ago   ·  3
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Rokham FaardVery well said and great to see some attitude for gratitude :)

1 week ago   ·  2
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Sarah KatyalAwesome! Love this Ben, and congrats on your new book. The female part still needs a lot of work ahem... ;)

1 week ago   ·  4
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Ivan TsarynnyA big announcement from OMERS that OneEleven will be opening phase 2 with 1/4 Million SQF office space in downtown

1 week ago   ·  16
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Ameet NathwaniEndy has joined hands with Furniture Bank Toronto to design and manufacture a low-cost/quality mattress to service their over 10,000 clients annually. As a basic necessity in any home, we share their vision to bring dignity and comfort to those in need in our beautiful city.

1 week ago   ·  10

4 Replies

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Ben ZifkinPretty sure, Unilever invited Sampler out to Cannes with them this week. Crazy. Lots of great stories here.

1 week ago   ·  10
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Keith IppelNejeed Kassam (Keela) & Sarah Goodman (iHeart) are 2 of the 11 Canadians selected to the #GES2016 at Stanford this week.

1 week ago   ·  6

3 Replies

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Michael GokturkPayfirma also offers Apple Pay now :)

1 week ago   ·  3
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John RuffoloBen this is the kind of thread everyone should be piling on!!!

1 week ago   ·  11

1 Reply

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Jevon MacDonaldResson Areospace - $14m Series A

1 week ago   ·  5

1 Reply

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Thomas StevensChefs Plate just expanded to BC, AB, and MB

1 week ago   ·  5
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Anthony ReinhartHere's another, just in: Waterloo's Ignis Innovations, whose technology makes OLED displays work optimally, just licensed its patents to LG Display. Huge potential here as the OLED market explodes. news.communitech.ca/news/sitting-pretty-ignis-innovation-taps-into-surging-global-market-for-oled...

1 week ago   ·  2

1 Reply

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Sarah GoodmanSo happy to be here in SF surrounded by entrepreneurs from all over the world!

1 week ago   ·  1
Sarah Goodman

Bryan LipovetskyKik

1 week ago   ·  2
Bryan Lipovetsky

Grant Findlay-ShirrasParkbench was selected to 500 Startups - Batch 17 in Silicon Valley. 2 years young. Boot strapped. Profitable. 90k+ MRR and growing across the US. Then my friend Devon Wright and Turnstyle Solutions were also selected to join the 500 family. Go Canada Go

1 week ago   ·  3

2 Replies

Grant Findlay-Shirras

Craig MorantzWe've been flying a bit under the radar not having even announced our recent Series A. Funding announcements are awesome, but I am really proud of what the team has built, marketed and sold, nearly $2M in ARR. Probably the metric I'm most proud of is 100% retention. We've not lost a single higher ed client since we pivoted to higher education.

1 week ago   ·  10
Craig Morantz

Michael Serbinis100% Ben Zifkin

1 week ago   ·  10
Michael Serbinis

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