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Discarded pop can lies on streetcar right of way on Spadina Ave. near Dundas St. in Toronto.Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

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Entrepreneur hopes new pop top pops

Steve Archambault has developed a new style of beverage-can tab that's curved to make it easier to open the spout, reads a story in the Victoria Times Colonist. It can also be swivelled to cover the hole when it's not being used, to keep out debris and limit spillage.

The 37-year-old groundskeeper at Victoria's Royal Colwood Golf Course spent several months on research, design and a prototype, then applying for patents and seeking investment.

"I've already got some interest from a large beverage company," Mr. Achambault told the Times Colonist, adding he hopes to meet with Coca-Cola before the end of the year.

"Coke sells just under two billion beverages a day and Coke and Pepsi combined sell about 1.2 trillion beverages a year," he said. "... I'm looking for a deal that's like a penny on every can produced globally, and I want to give 75 per cent of that to charity."

Mr. Archambault says he's applied for a patent in the United States and he's finalizing his application in Canada. But ultimately he has bigger ambitions: He's also filed for global protection.

Logging company wins AFN award

Al Humphrys, general manager of Duz Cho Logging, has won the FPAC/AFN Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership Award. The company is fully owned by the McLeod Lake Indian Band from McLeod Lake, B.C. Duz Cho was honoured Tuesday at the AFN General Assembly in Toronto. The award celebrates First Nations entrepreneurs who find success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, strong environmental and safety performance, and the delivery of high-quality products and services. Award recipients must also demonstrate a long-term commitment to the Aboriginal community, especially on the employment side. Duz Cho Logging has about 140 workers, and about 20 per cent are Aboriginal. It's been in business for 24 years.

Companies join forces on tech front

Cork, Ireland-based RedMere Technology Ltd. and Toronto-based Fresco Microchip Inc. Tuesday announced they have agreed to join forces to create Spectra7 Microsystems, which will be an analog semiconductor company focused on bandwidth for mobile infrastructure and consumer products. RedMere and Fresco management will be expanded with the appointment of Tony Stelliga as Spectra7's president and CEO. Mr. Stelliga is currently CEO of RedMere and he is a member of the board of directors of both RedMere and Fresco. The company expects to raise more than $10 million in equity, including investments from new and existing RedMere and Fresco investors, such as Celtic House Venture Partners, EdgeStone Capital Partners and Ventures West. "Media, and specifically video, is the primary reason we see network congestion today, and is a real growth opportunity," says Brian Antonen, partner at Celtic House. "Spectra7 will bring well-funded, best-in-class technology and experienced management to this new high-growth market."


54 hours later

The next Startup Weekend Toronto will be held Nov 9 to 11, to kickoff Global Entrepreneur Week for Canada in partnership with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF). Participants get together with local developers, marketers, designers and enthusiasts and start companies in 54 hours. Tickets will go on sale about three months before the event takes place.

And the winner is ... ?

Fortune held a Startup Idol competition at the annual Brainstorm Tech competition in Aspen, Colo. Five startups vied for the mantle and prizes that included furniture from Herman Miller and a new multi-touch computer from Lenovo. Meet the contestants, and find out which one emerged the victor.


When it's time to throw in the towel

While you know the pulse of your business better than anyone else, you may also be too close or emotionally attached to be objective about its likelihood of survival. Failing to see the signs of failure means you could be throwing good money after bad and creating more liabilities than you should.


No collateral required

After brainstorming about how their company, Spin Master, could work with the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), the three founders created the Spin Master Innovation Fund last year, which provides up to $50,000 in startup financing, columnist Mark Evans wrote. Entrepreneurs who participate in the program do not require collateral to receive a low-interest loan.

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