Joe Greenwood is directing a new project that pulls together data to track Ontario’s startups. One of the first data sources to be tapped was the StartupNorth Index, which in conjunction with MaRS client data has been crunched into a heatmap of 670 startups across Toronto. Not surprisingly, the ideal office is inexpensive, accessible by transit, and close to good coffee. How can you help fill in this map? Build an amazing startup of course.
At Founders and Funders this week we took some time to interview Dan Debow. It was a bit of a love-in I admit but that is just because I really love how much passion Dan has for helping those around him. He has made a big difference in a lot of people’s lives. I’ve benefitted from it and so have dozens of others in the Canadian startup community.
One thing that Dan said really struck me. A little context might help though.
A lot of folks have been working hard to build a startup ecosystem in Toronto. For over half a decade guys like Dan have been pouring energy in to helping anyone with an idea and a glimmer in their eye to start a startup. There are of course formal organizations that do this on behalf of the government, but the fact is that making Toronto a viable city for startups has been a mostly clandestine movement. People working on the fringes to do what they believe in.
Sometimes you hear complaints about the ecosystem. Whether it is Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver or Halifax you can find complainers.
“How can we fix the local ecosystem?”
Dan said it best this week and he was clearly passionate about it: You can’t fix your ecosystem. Just get out there and build something great. More accurately he said:
That’s your job. Your only job. Get out there and build something great.
You can stop being shy, coy and tepid about it. Everyone around you wants you to do something great. They just want you to step up a little and say you are going to do it.
I want you to do something great. I want you to put a ding in the fucking universe.
Take your vision and make it even hairier, bolder and broader. Take your product and get obsessed with it. Change the world for people around you and every single one of us will step in line and push behind you.
Dan did it and this week we got to shine the spotlight on him a bit. There are hundreds of folks out there pushing to do it. Stop worrying about the community. Go big and the community will be right there behind you.
The next time we plan a Founders and Funders I want it to be you that’s up there telling your story.
You can be next. JFDI
Interesting my friends from Microsoft are hosting a screening of Ctrl Alt Compete which features our own Josh Sookman (LinkedIn, @jsookman) of Guardly and Brian Wong (LinkedIn, @brian_wong) of Kiip. It’s a documentary about building startups and the founders passion, fortitude and the shear insanity of doing this. Looks like a fun take, realistic take.
Watch the trailer.
The movies takes a revealing look at the startup and emerging business scene through the eyes of five founders and their teams telling a story of the passion, fortitude and insanity that is bringing a startup to life. Microsoft believes tech entrepreneurship is fundamentally changing the world. The things that developers create; the ideas that they’re able to make reality; the tangible value they deliver is reshaping the way people live their lives every day. Building a startup from nothing to something is hard—REALLY hard.
Red Carpet Event for the Canadian Premiere of Ctrl Alt Compete Screening
Join a networking crowd of investors, community start-ups and entrepreneurial students for the first Canadian screening of Ctrl Alt Compete – a Microsoft movie documentary on what it takes to be a start-up:Passion. Fortitude. Insanity.
There are lots of tech startups out there taking their shot at changing the world. There’s no shortage of ideas. The infrastructure to build quickly is cheaper and more accessible than it’s ever been…there’s lots of capital floating around for the right idea. If only it were that simple! Building a startup from nothing to something is hard—REALLY hard. There is a “story behind the story” of just how hard it is to go from inception to reality and become the products and services that we use every day.
It’s a story of the power of people pouring their passion, drive and dedication into building something that changes the world—no matter how hard.
We believe that is a story worth telling and sharing.
At this premier screening event, you’ll hear insights from industry executives, Start-Ups from the cast and local leaders in the Start-Up community.