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Small Business Briefing

Locationary finds $2.5-million in financing 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

Locationary locates new financing

Locationary Inc., which is dedicated to improving the quality of local business data for mobile and web content, has secured $2.5-million from new investors, including the Investment Accelerator Fund and Trellis Capital. Existing investors Extreme Venture Partners, Plazacorp Ventures, Angels and Management were also involved in the financing.

"We're excited to announce that we've closed a new investment round that will enable us to hire more engineers, evolve our local data service offerings and to launch our new local data management system for federating local business place information," Locationary founder and Grant Ritchie said in a press release. "It's a great vote of confidence in our new system that dramatically improves the way local business information is managed and distributed."

The company, which has offices in Toronto and Palo Alto, Calif., was named one of Canada's Hottest Innovative Companies in the 2010 CIX Awards.

As Grant Buckler wrote for Report on Small Business a few months ago, much of the location information you get online is often years old and flat wrong. At locationary.com, people can input and update information on locations of businesses and other points of interest. This, in turn, creates a huge database of information that's marketable because it's more accurate than data most web services currently rely on. The company has built in incentives to encourage users to keep information current and to correct errors.

When that piece was written, the next stage of Locationary's plan was to come up with more ways to make money. This new round of funding should help buy it some time.

Canadians optimistic about business

A national survey released by Bank of Montreal on Wednesday found 44 per cent of respondents are optimistic that businesses in their community will experience growth this year, while only 8 per cent forecast activity will shrink. Higher levels of optimism were recorded in Western Canada - with Manitoba and Saskatchewan at 55 per cent, Alberta at 53 per cent, and B.C. at 49 per cent - with Quebec at the lower end at 37 per cent. "The differences in optimism reflected in the survey mirror the different levels of economic growth across the country," said Robert Kavcic, economist with BMO Capital Markets. The online survey was conducted by Leger Marketing between May 30 and June 1, involving 1,504 Canadians. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

Manufacturers ready to upgrade

Nearly 60 per cent of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on equipment this year compared with 2010, according to a survey from the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME). One-third of respondents, when asked to name their most pressing challenge, cited expansion into new markets, finding and retaining qualified personnel, or updating equipment and processes. Twenty-two per cent reported difficulty keeping up with industry trends. The results were released in advance of the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2011, which takes place Oct. 17 to 20, at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto


Learn at your own pace, from anywhere

Enrollment is now open for the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program, online learning designed to "inspire and engage participants in the fundamental concepts of an entrepreneurial mindset and the unlimited opportunities it can provide." It combines chalkboard-style presentations with video interviews and case studies featuring entrepreneurs who have triumphed over adversity by embracing a small-business mindset. Cost is $495 (U.S.), but classroom and community pricing is available. The course runs for 10 hours.

A good excuse to go to New York

Small Business Expo New York City is a networking event, trade show and conference for entrepreneurs and decision makers. It's an opportunity to learn about products and services that can help businesses exceed their goals, a chance to meet industry professionals, and to attend informative and "cutting-edge" workshops and seminars. The expo takes place on Oct. 5, 2011, at the Penn Plaza Pavilion across from Madison Square Garden.


An argument for hiring an outsider

A study by McKinsey found that a key reason family businesses survive beyond the second generation is through the appointment of professional management. With an outsider as CEO, a family business tends to live past the third generation. It's particularly interesting to note that these legacy businesses tend to outperform corporations, both public and private. But that sizzle does not sell the steak, writes guest columnist Jacoline Loewen, author of Money Magnet: Attract Investors to Your Business.


Would you add or subtract any others?

"Which technologies are making such a dramatic difference? There are five specific ones. I collectively refer to them as the Five Enablers," writes Phil Simon in his book The New Small: How a New Breed of Small Businesses is Harnessing the Power of Emerging Technologies. In January, 2011, we published an excerpt that provided a snapshot of all five.

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