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Small Business Briefing

Billionaire calls for national startup funding program Add to ...

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‘Vicious circle’ cited as a trap

Sir Terry Matthews, founder of Mitel Corp. and Newbridge Networks Corp., has teamed up with the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance lobby group to call for the creation of a national venture capital strategy, according to a post on the CATA website.

Interested readers can obtain A Venture Capital Blueprint for Canada by e-mailng a request to jreid@cata.ca.

“Unless we take this opportunity to rethink Canada's approach … we will not have achieved much more than a short-term fix to the VC sector, perpetuating the classic ‘vicious circle' within which both our VC industry and tech sector industries are now trapped,” Mr. Matthews and CATA said in a news release.

Among the key recommendations in the blueprint:

  • Ottawa should choose a private VC firm to set up and manage an investment portfolio.
  • The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) should place the money with top VC funds across Canada based on a bidding process.
  • Canada’s program should be modelled after Israel's Yozma initiative, which is credited with helping that country rank only behind Silicon Valley as the largest VC market in the world.

Startups most likely to succeed

SVForum, a non-profit organization for technology entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, has selected its “most likely to succeed” startups. Six winners were chosen from 30 new companies that presented at a recent event to an audience and a panel of venture capitalists and angel investors, whose combined votes determined the selections. More than 300 companies applied to present at Launch: Silicon Valley 2012. Here’s a list of the winners in each category:

  • Life Sciences: Evena, from Los Altos, Calif.
  • Mobile: Klickex, from Palo Alto, Calif.
  • Next-generation Internet: Noodle, from New York City; SocialiQ, from Burlingame, Calif.
  • Technology: Kiverdi, from San Francisco; ZipZap, also from San Franciso

Entrepreneurs on the silver screen

John Brandon of Inc. magazine has posted a list of the six must-watch movies about entrepreneurs. Ghostbusters is a left-field choice. I won’t spoil the others. Leave a comment to let us know whether you agree with Mr. Brandon’s choices.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Successful social-media marketing

Online branding innovators and social media marketing strategists will be featured at Jugnoo’s Social Mix 2012 in Toronto on July 26. Learn how to harness the power of social media marketing for your business: What it means to engage, share and build relationships, and why 'one on one' relationship building with consumers is crucial to your success. Speaker Gary Vaynerchuk and Jugnoo will be supporting the Remix Project, a program helping marginalized youth “become the creative change makers of tomorrow.” Early bird price is $150.

Perspectives from industry and First Nations

Alberta Premier Alison Redford has signaled that one of her government’s first priorities will be to finish review of the First Nations Consultation Policy, which establishes the consultation expectations and requirements for industry when working with aboriginal communities to develop natural resource projects. Rarely have industry and aboriginal groups come together to provide their comparative perspectives, and share insights for engaging with one another throughout this process. There will be a panelist discussion with representatives of both sides on June 7, in Calgary, from 11:30 am to 1:15 pm.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Why she returned to the corporate world

After taking a scenic entrepreneurial detour mid-career, and pointing out that she is carefully reserving the right to occasionally “vacation” on that path, guest columnist Gabriella O’Rourke outlines the lessons she learned and took back to the corporate environment.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

What small businesses had to say about the budget

Research tax credits, extension of a hiring credit, and promises to reform immigration and temporary foreign worker programs were noteworthy sections in the March, 2012 federal budget that were praised by small-business owners and advocates.

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