Syndicating Canada

In 2013, Angel List launched its syndicates feature, a way for angel investors to pool their funds. By turning syndicates into a turn-key process, Angel List has made this fundraising option broadly available and drastically lowered the barrier to entry for individual investors. Unfortunately, this feature is only available to startups that have a US entity as part of their structure. Can we kick off the process of having more syndicates in Canada?
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Get them out of the building: Travel support from Volta

Graffiti at VoltaWhen Ben Yoskovitz moved to Halifax to join us at GoInstant he left the growing Montreal community and brought a lot of fresh perspective to what needs to happen in Nova Scotia to grow the startup ecosystem.

The #1 thing he noticed was the successful startups were the ones getting out of the building and on to a plane. Spending significant amounts of time in San Francisco, New York or wherever you need to be is an important part of growing your network of people you can rely on to build your business.

Today Volta is announcing a travel support program for startups. You have to be small (<10 employees) and young (<3 years old).

This hits home for me. When I was living in Charlottetown and 19 years old I had my first attempt at a product startup, it was called Blogtrack. It had what seemed like an insane number of daily active users at the time, just under 10,000, and I had no idea what I was doing (still working on that). I also had no money really, certainly not enough to blow on a trip to Boston for Bloggercon. A guy named Lee Brammer at what is now called “Innovation PEI” offered to help cover some of the costs for the trip, which meant it was (just barely) affordable. It was, for me, an eye opening trip, eating dinner at a table for 4 with Dave Wiener, Betsy Devine and Dan Bricklin just about blew my mind.

Anyway, the point is that sometimes you really need to get out there and just do something you might not have otherwise. Good things almost always come from it and the truth is that it can be hard to make up for sitting across the table from someone and really getting to know them.

The Unicorn Awards 2013

The Unicorn Awards

Our friends over at TechVibes have posted a call for nominations for 2013 Canadian Startup Awards. This just screams that we also need an Ig Nobels/Darwin Awards equivalent.

  • Zombie Startup of the Year Award – Recognizing a Canadian startup that continues to live on the brains of its’ founders, but not customers.
  • The Snapchat Award – Recognizing a Canadian startup that won’t sell to Facebook, even if the offer was for more than $4B.
  • Stop the Gravy Train Award – Recognizing sketchiest use of tax payer money in our burgeoning startup ecosystem.
  • The Twerk It Award – Recognizing the media accomplishments of an exemplanary Canadian entrepreneur, who is getting as much coverage  as Miley Cyrus in 2013.
  • Keeping up with the Kanadians Award – Recognizing the startup that has watched previous episodes of startup reality TV but failed to comprehend the complex plot lines.

We’ll be announcing the awards before Christmas…And we need your help. Send us a tweet, leave a comment, or just drop us an email with a suggestion for the awards. Or just leave an anonymous nomination.