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Small Business Briefing

Can success be built over 12 weeks? Add to ...

The latest news and information for entrepreneurs from across the web universe, brought to you by the Report on Small Business team. Follow us on Twitter @GlobeSmallBiz

And now, the work begins

FounderFuel, a new accelerator program based out of Montreal, has chosen nine web- and mobile-related companies that, on Monday, start a 12-week program designed to develop their businesses "within an ecosystem of experienced entrepreneurs, top executives, VCs, and angels." In addition to workshops and individual advice from mentors, each "team" receives $10,000, plus $5,000 for each co-founder, in exchange for a 6-per-cent equity stake.

Montreal Tech Watch has posted a list of participating companies.

Participants are provided with office space at historic Notman House, but they are responsible for finding temporary housing as needed.

It's an interesting approach, and the list of mentors is impressive. How will it work out? What will come of it?

The journey ends Nov. 4. Four days later comes Demo Day, when each of the companies will present to a room filled with VCs and angel investors. Time will tell.

While we're on the subject ...

Vancouver accelerator GrowLab on Monday announced the five startups that will take part in its four-month program this fall, TechVibes reports. The companies get up to $25,000 in seed funding, free office space, the chance to work with mentors, and at the end of the program they pitch to a group of investors. (Sound familiar?) Participants will be based in Vancouver for the first three months and spend the last month in San Francisco. “We were overwhelmed by the response to our call for applicants," GrowLab co-founder Jason Bailey said. "We received applications ranging from gaming and social commerce to education, and we’re very excited by the group of founders we’ve chosen.”

New service courts small-business crowd

Research In Motion is now offering BlackBerry Management Center, a free online service for small businesses to help manage their smartphones in the cloud and protect company-related content stored on the devices. The service is designed for businesses with up to 100 BlackBerry smartphones that access email from an Internet service provider (ISP) or web-based e-mail services such as Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo. The centre can be used to wirelessly back-up data, locate lost devices, and reset passwords, among other options. More info here.


Valuation: Simple metrics or black art?

There are many factors involved in the sale of a private company that can affect short-term appeal and longer-term returns. How do warrants, conversion privileges, and interest payments fit in? What about liquidation preferences and ratchet clauses? How important are other terms and conditions, like veto rights and first rights of refusal? Get the answers to these questions and more when TiE Ottawa presents "Structuring Your Deal: Beyond Valuation" on Aug. 16 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Ishina Indian Cuisine. Registration for the event is now open.

Apparently it's where you want to be

Register now for tickets to what's being billed as the summer's biggest business networking event in Toronto. Summer Networking Bash 2011 takes place Aug. 10 at The Glass Factory from 5 pm to 9 pm. Connect with more than 500 owners and professionals and some of the city's best networkers, and check out the social media bar, photography booth, and trade show. There will also be food and giveaways. Cost is $25.


Can you smell opportunity?

The massive boomer generation has been driving consumer demand for decades. Now, as it enters its later years, the population is on the cusp of inspiring a whole new sector — niche businesses to serve it through those retirement years. “You’d think there’d be a flood rushing to the forefront to open up businesses for older adults,” says Colin Milner, chief executive officer of the International Council on Active Aging, a Vancouver-based organization that supports professionals who work with older adults and offers advice to new businesses opening up in the sector. “It’s been slow. But since the boomers started to turn 65 earlier this year, we’ve seen a rapid rise in interest. Almost all of a sudden, people have gone: ‘Oh, they’re here.’”


Come to Canada, buy a company

In June, guest columnist Suresh Madan wrote about Canadian businesses undergoing a demographic tsunami as boomers reach the age of 65. According to Statistics Canada, he pointed out, there are 1.4 million small businesses and almost all of them are owned by boomers. In a study conducted by a major Canadian bank, more than 500,000 Canadian owners are said to be planning to retire over the next five years, and another 750,000 are expecting to retire by 2020, offering a considerable acquisition opportunity for immigrants.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at yourbusiness@globeandmail.com

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