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Small Business Briefing

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Startup Grind is on a mission to connect

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of being in a startup. Or perhaps you’re already in the thick of it. Either way, if connecting with like-minded entrepreneurs appeals to you (as does being a part of ‘the coolest community you’ve ever seen’) it might be time to check out Startup Grind.

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In an interview with TechCrunch, founder Derek Andersen says the company grew out casual meetings he had with friends and entrepreneurs in his office in Mountain View, California. So productive were the meetings, which often involved late-night brainstorming, giving feedback and discussions on being an entrepreneur, that he decided to make them a regular, monthly occurrence.

Startup Grind events, now held monthly in 20 cities across North America, are still a place for entrepreneurs to network, swap notes and share advice. But now they often feature guest speakers, from founders, to journalists, to investors, making them a bit like “TED for startups and founders,” Mr. Andersen tells TechCrunch.

With 300 local startup enthusiasts in the Toronto chapter alone, the group has attracted some big names, including Pebble founder Eric Migicovsky, Sherwood Neiss, co-founder of Startup Exemption, and venture capitalist, philanthropist, socialite, angel investor and author Howard Morgan.

On Sept. 10, the group will bring in Paul Singh from 500 Startups – a seed fund and startup accelerator focused on startups that put usable design, customer-focused metrics, and online distribution first. For $10, sit down for a 'fire-side chat' with Mr. Singh, hosted by Michael Cayley, the director of Startup Grind Toronto and founder of Cdling, a platform that builds trust between investors, startups, and mentors. Over a pizza lunch, Mr. Singh will explain why 500Startups is probably the most active high velocity early stage investor on the planet; and advise on your startup’s challenges. He will also be conducting one-on-one meetings with a few selected startups that are ready for an angel investment. If you know of an Ontario based startup that might be a fit for 500startups.com, drop them a line.

Spinmaster, CYBF and BDC give back

Five bright entrepreneurs have been selected to receive the 2012 Spin Master Innovation Fund.

The finalists, listed here, “impressed the selection panel with their unique business solutions and their ability to present in an innovative and informative manner,” says Tessa Mintz of the CYBF.

Not only will the group receive $50,000 in start-up financing from CYBF and BDC , as well as an all-expense paid trip to Toronto to attend a two-day Innovation Launch Pad Workshop, but they will also have the opportunity to attend a specialized Acceleration Workshop six months after the Launch Pad.

In partnership with the Spin Master Ltd., the Toronto-based children’s entertainment company founded in 1994, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), the Spin Master Innovation Fund announced the 2012 recipients introduce the next level of highly innovative entrepreneurs to the rest of the country.

The do’s and don’ts of interviews

Unemployed or looking to make a change? Of course a strong resume and solid cover letter are important to get your foot in the door, but when it comes down to it, it’s all about landing – and nailing – the interview.

Here , The Huffington Post offers six things to avoid in a job interview (some pretty obvious, some not so much) and Inc.com presents five surprisingly effective questions to ask in an interview.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Plug and Play Accelerator

On Tuesday, October 9th, Plug & Play Tech Center, in partnership with The Consulate General of Canada and Boast Capital, will launch Plug and Play Accelerator Canada in Calgary, Alberta.

The six-month hybrid accelerator program, with three months in Calgary and three months in Silicon Valley, was designed to connect new tech startups with the resources they need to build a successful company, through a combination of structured workshops, speaker series, mentorship sessions and active coaching.

Startups will receive an investment of $25,000, get taped into a network of over 180 investors, weekly mentorship sessions, free office space and the opportunity to pitch at the spring 2013 Plug and Play Expo.

The Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony

The annual three-day event, which starts on Oct. 3 at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa in Phoenix, Arizona, brings the brightest, most successful business minds in the U.S. together to celebrate the achievements of the companies that appear on Inc. magazine’s prestigious ranking of America’s fastest-growing privately held companies.

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