The Toronto-Waterloo Region Corridor is a global centre of talent, growth, innovation and discovery. Rivaling the best in the world, this 100km stretch is the second largest technology cluster in North America.
It's an incredibly difficult decision to host or not host an event. Having hosted DemoCamp (2005-2010-ish) and StartupEmpire (2008), neither of which were the size or intensity of Grow, I can only imagine how much soul, heart and passion Debbie has put in. It is incredible when you realize that the original mission has been picked up and is supported by other organizations.
Thanks for the great events in BC, Canada is stronger because of your efforts. And I hope to attend what ever is next.
I have been getting a ton of questions and thought it was time to let everyone know that I will not be producing the GROW Conference in 2016. This was not an easy decision. Over the last few years I’ve wanted to move on and try new things, from starting a company to joining a team but each time I’ve...
Canada punches above its weight in blockchain technology. Another example: Alex Tapscott and Don Tapscott's new book Blockchain Revolution is the #1 best-selling book in Canada (of all books!) and is taking the U.S. by storm. These two guys are great ambassadors for blockchain but also for Canada's startup community and innovation economy. ... See MoreSee Less
Hey Startup North! Below is an article I contributed to The Globe this morning on why we need to provide more encouragement, training, and support for recent grads to become great salespeople, and in particular how this is important to scaling more Canadian technology companies. ... See MoreSee Less
Jonas BrandonCOPY PASTE
As the corporation prepares for IPO, Angus Reid, its embattled leader, is embroiled in a power struggle to pivot the business into hamburgers - delicious hamburgers.
"It's what everyone wants. Our software predicts the double whopper is our company's future. The net promoter score on this move is off the charts - literally sizzling. No one could have predicted it - you have to follow the data and of course your nose. It takes vision to make critical decisions."
Mr. Reid informed the searing committee he planned to change his name to Chairman Prime at the latest quarterly board meeting. "At least he didn't go with AA eh?" grumbled a board observer as he carved into a gristly tranche, thankfully no A1 was warranted.
The corporate gym membership was cancelled in January in the name of juiciness. Now rumors are swirling of a potential relocation of headquarters to Kobe, Japan.
Sean SilcoffJonas Brandon, for your benefit, I am posting the opening few paragraphs of this 6,000+ word story (which was 8 months in the making) so that you can see it's not actually about hamburgers. Voila: Angus Reid was facing a mutiny.
It was April, 2014, and the executive chairman of one of Canada’s most successful emerging tech companies, Vision Critical Communications, had just learned fellow directors were preparing to strip him of his “executive” title, effectively dismissing him from management.
Their main concern: Mr. Reid’s constant meddling in the business since he had hired an outsider, Scott Miller, to replace him as chief executive officer in 2012. It had become so intrusive that several executives felt they could no longer do their jobs.
Mr. Reid looked enraged as he walked into the board meeting. He confronted each executive and director individually, asking if they supported the move. “The reply across the board was ‘You need to go!’” Mr. Reid said. “[It] was painful to hear.” Among those at the table: his son, company founder Andrew Reid.
In the preceding nine years, Canada’s most famous pollster had transformed his son’s struggling startup into one of Canada’s hottest software companies, a disruptive leader in the global market research business. With a new CEO and a new big-name investor – the venture capital arm of pension giant Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System – Vision Critical was positioned to go public with Mr. Reid as its chairman and largest shareholder.
But since that boardroom confrontation, the company’s top ranks have been mired in conflict – centred around Mr. Reid – pitting directors and investors against one another in a corporate civil war involving some big names of the Canadian business establishment. Some directors have left after facing his ire. “A private company of its size shouldn’t turn over directors [so] much,” said one source familiar with the players. “It’s been a power struggle.”
The Vision Critical story is about more than one company’s internecine squabbles. Since the downfall of Nortel Networks and BlackBerry, exciting public companies in the Canadian technology sector have been scarce, unlike the United States, where Salesforce.com, Google, Facebook, Netflix and others have become multibillion-dollar investor darlings. That is now starting to change. At a time when software companies are upending entire industries and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is trumpeting innovation as key to Canada’s stalled economic growth, a number of homegrown, world-beating tech firms are expected to go public soon, following the lead of Ottawa-based Shopify and revitalizing Canada’s public markets.
Near the front of the line is Vision Critical, which some investors see as a potential “unicorn” – a private tech company worth $1-billion or more. But the company’s boardroom drama has cast a pall on Bay Street, where its squabbles are well known. .....//the rest is in Saturday's paper and online. You can subscribe, buy a single paper copy, or read it for free at your local library.
Matt RobertsThe true stories on the ups and downs of starting, running, investing in and pivoting a business are rarely told or honestly conveyed. Sean's done an admirable job considering few players would want to go into the details or specifics of what is essentially the story of a sausage being made.
The vast potential for the on-demand/sharing/gig economy is yet to be realized. Services which seem big and ubiquitous aren't even widely used and there are entire untapped segments. Fascinating read...although 8 pages long (take a day off to read this).. an excerpt: "For instance, 15% of Americans have used ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft, but twice as many have never heard of these apps before. Similarly, 11% of Americans have used home-sharing platforms like Airbnb or VRBO, but roughly half have never heard of home-sharing sites." ... See MoreSee Less
Varun MathurThis is a long, long article. Wall Street Journal also reported on it for anybody interested in a condensed look. This taught me one thing, within the tech/business world and following/reading people with like mindsets does a great disservice in understanding the larger market. We might have heard about/used/debated/got tired then moved-on from these online marketplaces -- but a vast majority of people have not even tried or heard about in other cases. blogs.wsj.com/economics/2016/05/19/most-americans-dont-know-about-ride-sharing-and-the-gig-economy/
Yesterday I syndicated a job opening (Corp Dev role at CareGuide) via a Facebook note. That has gone well, thanks to all the shares (15+ from Jordan Satok, David Crow and others in the field--thanks!). I'd never seen anyone do that before, but its working.
Today we posted our list of all open positions to Instagram.
What other unorthodox job syndication methods can you think of for us?
Varun MathurJohn - perhaps you have outgrown this -- but my vote is for outreach/cold-calling if there is bandwidth for that. It was time consuming but finding and targeting people who are passive candidates worked wonderfully well for me for the first startup I did. There were two distinct strategies:
#1: Local: Went through the published list of every student at UofT doing a Masters or PhD in computer science - and contacted select candidates out of the blue and ended up recruiting two. What's the worst someone can say -- not interested :)
#2: Remote: Went through 1000s of blogs by overseas developers. Ended up hiring couple of amazingly talented and driven folks (as in..worked smart and also till their 4am every day!). There were also couple of bad hires but overall this worked great. Talent has no boundaries..
Bohdan ZabawskyjIts not about the number of candidates - its about selecting the qualified candidates with respect to cognitive fit + culture fit. I also have a Glassdoor rating of '5' so getting candidates is not an issue. (We typically get hundreds of candidates for single role.) Check out Fortay.co and let me know what you think.
Mike Garnettalthough there is a need to lobby the government, it is a good thing that they are hiring this position. it's actually more cost effective than getting a lobby firm even though they are quite effective. Shopify is pushing the tech ecosystem forward by working closely in government. it's very smart on their part and congratulate them in being so progressive.