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Musician Will.i.am takes a photo of Mitt Romney, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative convention in New York, Sept. 25, 2012. (Evan Vucci/AP)
Musician Will.i.am takes a photo of Mitt Romney, speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative convention in New York, Sept. 25, 2012. (Evan Vucci/AP)

Small Business Briefing

Simon Cowell pairs with Will.i.am on tech show Add to ...

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A match made in tech heaven?

The Sun in Britain has released details of a recent “hush hush dinner” in L.A., where X Factor creator Simon Cowell and Black Eyed Peas star Will.i.am are said to have hashed out details of a new talent show for technology entrepreneurs. “We’re working on a project called X Factor for tech,” the rapper told The Sun, “and it’s going to be out of this world.”

NBC points out that Will.i.am has an interest in the field, having donated time and money to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education in L.A. And back in 2006, PC Magazine reminds its readers, Mr. Cowell launched American Inventor, a concept that failed to catch on, but now that shows such as Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank have found huge audiences, maybe he simply came at it too soon.

“Although the show has yet to get an official launch date,” the PC Magazine story states, “just the mention of such a program is further proof that tech is no longer the sole domain of geeks; for better or worse, tech has gone mainstream.”

London raises the startup ante

The theme continues: Technology entrepreneurs (clearly a hot topic these days) with a focus on the financial sector will have a new home in London’s Canary Wharf district. A floor of the area’s central tower, One Canada Square, is being designed for growth-minded startups in need of high-quality office space, according to a Reuters story. The initiative, to be known as Level 39, is slated to open next year, and it will also aim to provide networking and investment opportunities.

Online bike shop wins ecommerce award

Jean-Francois Lapointe of Gatineau, Que., has been named eBay Canada’s Entrepreneur of the Year. A press release says the award “honours Canadian entrepreneurs who run successful online businesses and contribute to the overall growth of eCommerce in Canada.” Mr. Lapointe’s online store, BDH Bikes, sells more than a million bicycle parts a year, and has five full-time employees. BDH launched in 2006 after Mr. Lapointe bought his father's bike shop.

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

Learn to grow your business

The Globe and Mail brings its latest Small Business Summit to Vancouver on Thursday. The day-long series of keynotes, panel discussions, case studies and networking sessions are designed to provide information and inspiration to entrepreneurs. B.C. small-business minister Naomi Yamamoto kicks things off the morning. You can register here.

What’s your company worth?

Are you considering selling your business? Looking for ideas on how to maximize its value? Paul Savage of Pacific Business Brokers hosts a valuation seminar at Small Business BC in Vancouver on Oct. 10, from 1 to 2:30 pm, and it will be delivered to other locations through a live video conference.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

Federal government takes red-tape action

Ottawa is vowing to cut red tape for small business in Canada through a series of specific changes to its regulations, along with broader reforms to the ways it sets those rules in the first place. The changes are designed to cut expenses for small companies, and reduce the amount of time they take in filling out forms and dealing with government departments, Treasury Board president Tony Clement said in a speech at a small trucking company just west of Toronto on Monday.

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Luring top immigrant talent

Venture capitalists are eager to become overseas scouts to lure potential technology stars to Canada as part of the federal government’s plan to fast-track immigration of promising entrepreneurs, Wallace Immen reported last month.

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