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Groupnotes opens TSX on November 13th. From left to right: Greg Connell, Jason Moore, Matthew Gardner, Graham Kennery and Mathieu Gosbee. (Courtesy of Groupnotes)

Groupnotes opens TSX on November 13th. From left to right: Greg Connell, Jason Moore, Matthew Gardner, Graham Kennery and Mathieu Gosbee.

(Courtesy of Groupnotes)

Small Business Briefing

Canadian team wins Startup Weekend's global competition 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.

Groupnotes takes top prize at Global Startup Battle

Groupnotes, a startup led by McMaster University students Matt Gardner and Jason Moore, took home the top prize at Startup Weekend’s Global Startup Battle.

Teams from 138 countries that had already won their own cities’ Startup Weekends jockeyed for 15 spots in the global competition. They had 24 hours, a 90-second pitch and a 15-word description to defend their startup in an introductory video. The video pitches were then posted online and voters from around the world selected the ultimate champs.

Groupnotes, a tool that  allows anyone to share, annotate, and comment on websites, was chosen by a world-class panel of judges, including Foundry Group co-founder Brad Feld, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, TaskRabbit founder Leah Busque, fund manager Chris Hollod and actress and serial entrepreneur Jesse Draper. The win comes with $35,000 in prizes and trips to Rio De Janeiro and San Francisco

Since the news broke of their victory,  Mr. Gardner and the crew are "still in shock!" That's according to the company's Twitter feed.

Small business confidence takes a dive

November wasn’t very sweet for small- and medium-sized business owners. Confidence dipped from 65.6 in October to 62.9, according to the latest Canadian Federation of Independent Business business barometer index.

“Much of the decline in the overall average can be explained by unusually low confidence in natural resources, manufacturing and business services,” said Ted Mallett, CFIB’s president.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Mr. Mallett points to the “relatively upbeat” sectors of retail, hospitality and personal services, which showed above-average confidence.

Small business owners in Newfoundland and Labrador (74.1) remain the most optimistic in the country, while those in British Columbia (67.1), Alberta (68.3) and Saskatchewan (66.4) are above the national average. Ontario (63), New Brunswick (61.4), Manitoba (61.3), Nova Scotia (60.8), Quebec (60.2) and Prince Edward Island (52.1) are at or below the national average.


Recycling Idol

The RIC Centre is now accepting submissions from recycling technology companies that are interested in competing for approximately $30,000 in prizes and the title of Recycling Idol . Any companies that feature technology used in the recycling of products in the following categories are welcome to submit their application by Nov. 15. Five finalists will present their company pitch to an investor panel including the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario, Gord Miller.


How to get new moms to return to work

Paradigm Public Relations has 26 staff, and 24 are women. As more employees start families, the firm’s challenge is to find ways to engage them to come back, and stay, after maternity leaves.


In Pictures: Secret to poutinerie’s success? Stickers and social media

Deft social media skills – including hours online building a following on Facebook and Twitter – and clever marketing that plays on eighties nostalgia and includes stickers of Smoke, have contributed to the poutinerie’s red-hot success

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at smallbusiness@globeandmail.com. Join The Globe’s Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: http://linkd.in/jWWdzT

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