Not trying to spam (really!) but news is happening today. Note the model and initial focus in Toronto/Waterloo. Weird that 500 Startups would choose the afternoon before Canada Day to announce something like this... ... See MoreSee Less
PSA for the group: Startupfest is now (somehow) two weeks away. I went for the first time last year and ended up enjoying myself immensely. The event leverages all the benefits of summer MTL in a way that other startup events don't even approach. I'll be going again this year on the Startup Train. Who else is going? Any protips for first timers? ... See MoreSee Less
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. ... See MoreSee Less
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.
7 hours ago · 3
Danish Yusufthanks for the headsup. important to watch out for such things!
7 hours ago · 1
Douglas SoltysBetween this and the guy on the streetcar with the card reader, you're basically Toronto's Startup Holmes.
6 hours ago · 1
Christian LassondeThanks for sharing Aran, on behalf of startup founders and funders alike.
6 hours ago · 2
Ben ZlotnickAran, that email comes through once a month 😄
I think it's time we pay him a visit.
6 hours ago · 1
Ben BaldwinLet us know how it goes ... (The visit I mean).
5 hours ago · 2
Varun MathurMaybe they used the same Bangladeshi click farm like the folks in "Silicon Valley" the show..
2 hours ago · 2
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.
A specialized event presented by BDC Capital, designed for those who run accelerator programs around the globe – directors, program managers and community managers. Take your accelerator to the next level through deep diving content and interactive round table discussions, in an environment where you can share, learn, and iterate your acceleration model to adapt to the current market realities.
3 more festivals happening simultaneously -- #Scaleupfest (for companies that have raised seed looking for Series A), #Angelfest (for angel investors), #Fundfest (for fund managers, around 40 funds from across Canada will be present). All festivals will converge for lunch and at closing, for a chain reaction panel, followed by the kick-off party of Startupfest (the biggest startup event in Canada, with over 2,000 attendees).
We are looking for a vibrant start-up to share our gorgeous office space, located at the heart of the financial district, Yonge and King. We are offering one room, measuring 9’ 6’’ by 14’ 8", as part of a larger 3200 square feet co-working space. Feel free to PM me if you know of any high-potential start ups that would be interested in touring our space.
Key features: · Bright room with natural light (CN tower in view) · Fully furnished (desks & chairs provided) · Ultra-fast dedicated internet · 24/7 access · Large boardrooms are available with video conferencing devices · Game room (Wii U & Ping Pong table included - although we are very good at ping pong so I have to warn you) · Utilities – all included · Fully equipped kitchen
Renting at $1000/month/room, available immediately.
Attached is the office space flyer with some photos in case you would like to forward/share.
Five years after it launched, Magnet Forensics is in the enviable position of having been profitable from day one, needing no outside capital, and meaningfully changing people's lives with its product. CEO Adam Belsher talks here about the challenges of scaling, and what he feels Canada should be doing to help other high-growth tech companies. ... See MoreSee Less
t’s one of the biggest clichés in tech; a staple of innumerable startup pitch decks: “We’re changing the world.”Magnet Forensics, whose software has helped put murderers, terrorists and child pornographers behind bars, is one of the few companies that can credibly make the claim.By now, the Magnet s...
Daniel DebowThis: "I think a lot of Waterloo Region focuses on development talent, which is hard, but I would say sales, marketing, experienced people in product management, experienced people in marcomm – those are as hard to find.
The University of Waterloo is a pretty good feeder for dev talent, but some of those other disciplines are not easy to find in this area, and I think other tech companies have struggled at getting good sales and marketing talent."
Harpaul SambhiThe article has some good points, but I disagree with "having one founder means they couldn't find any friend to join", and "start ups need funding". It gives a perception that all startups need to rely on funding. Customer funding should be what is most important to rely on, and outside funding should be used to scale, not prop up the business. And in terms of single founder, I was in that situation for most of my journey, and yes it sucks not to have someone else to bounce every idea and scenario off of. That does not mean we automatically discount them as many ventures have been built by a great founder. What should have been said is "not having a great team". Though I was the only founder, my team knew 99.9%, even during acquisition talks. It's sad to read influencers in our software category write biased opinions shaping our new entrepreneurs to think this has to be the way.
Mark EvansThe biggest mistake is a product that doesn't solve or address a point of pain. I see way too many startups that are interesting but not offering something that someone really needs. Too many are nice-to-have, rather than need-to-have.
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). ... See MoreSee Less
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).
Rokham FaardVery well said and great to see some attitude for gratitude :)
1 week ago · 2
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
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
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.
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.