Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism.
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](,dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); } //

Brian Chesky, founder of Airbnb

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 .

CEO gave up his apartment and has been sleeping in others' homes for almost three years, which is what the business  is all about

Brian Chesky has been homeless for nearly three years. But take no pity on him: the co- founder and chief executive officer of San Francisco-based Airbnb Inc. leads by example.

Story continues below advertisement

Mr. Chesky is at the helm of the fast-growing company that offers an online service to connect people who want to rent out spare beds, rooms or entire homes to strangers in need of a place to stay.

Since 2010, Mr. Chesky has, himself, been doing exactly that: He gave up his apartment and spends his nights crashing in other peoples' homes found through Airbnb, he said at the South by Southwest interactive conference this week.

"In June, 2010, I moved out of my apartment and I have been mostly homeless ever since," he is quoted in this AFP piece as saying.

Mr. Chesky is among the up to 60,000 people that each night are now finding accommodation through Airbnb (named after an  air mattress that Mr. Chesky and a fellow co-founder used to rent out to help cover their own rent). According to Airbnb's website, people can now find lodging through the service in 34,183 cities and 192 countries, everything from rooms in apartments to treehouses and boats.

"It's the best way to take the pulse...The key is to always use your product," he told AFP in explaining his vagrant status.

The company, founded in 2008, was not an easy sell, which, Mr. Chesky said, was launched three times before taking off, according to this piece.

Still, it's all part of what Mr. Chesky calls a "sharing economy," where people are offering services directly to each other through online hubs, as this piece notes.

Story continues below advertisement

"What we want you to do is live locally, in a world where, post-mass production, the economy is powered by people. The shared economy, for me, is an economy powered by people," he is quoted here.

For other reads, also check out this piece, and this one and this one.

Google acquires U of T research startup

A University of Toronto research startup incorporated just last year has been acquired by Google Inc. according to this TechVibes piece, and confirmed by U of T.

DNNresearch Inc., led by Geoffrey Hinton, a professor in the computer science department, has expertise on deep neural networks (that's what DNN stands for, according to this piece ) " and "will assist Google in the realm of contextual recognition of voice and images," TechVibes says.

The professor will now split his time between the university and Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., and offices in Toronto; two graduate students that are also part of the startup will go to Google. The giant had previously given them $600,000 in research support, according to the TechVibes report.

Story continues below advertisement

U.S. subscription service for men expanding to Canada

Bespoke Post,  a New York-based online subscription service for men using a "box of the month" model, is expanding its offering to Canada as of April 1, it announced in a press release.

The service offers an amusingly titled "box of awesome" containing themed curated products, each box running $45, a discount from their value. The   startup launched last year. Have a look at this TechCrunch piece and this one on CBS News that followed its launch.


East Coast Startup Weekend

Fredericton will be the venue for the first East Coast Startup Week to take place on March 20 to March 24. The week will include a lineup of speakers, demos, mentoring, competition, and a startup weekend, all aimed at boosting entrepreneurship. For more information and registration, click here .

Story continues below advertisement

BCBusiness Innovators of the Year

For the fifth year in a row, BCBusiness magazine will honour 20 of British Columbia's most innovative companies as innovators of the year. The event will take place on March 27 in Vancouver. For more information, click here .


How to market an ice wine that can't be called  ice wine

This week's Challenge: Georgian Hills Vineyards needs to find ways to broaden the market for its dessert wine.


Story continues below advertisement

Buying foreign firms a growing path to expansion

Small Canadian companies can expand their reach by acquiring overseas companies – but such deals don't come without risks and complications, reported this story, published in October, 2012.

Got a tip on news, events or other timely information related to the small-business community? E-mail us at Join The Globe's Small Business LinkedIn group to network with other entrepreneurs and to discuss topical issues: Our free weekly newsletter is now available. Every Friday a team of editors selects the top picks from our blog posts, features, multimedia and columnists, and delivers them to your inbox. If you have registered for The Globe's website, you can sign up here .

Click on the Small Business Briefing checkbox and hit 'save changes.' If you need to register for the site, click here .

Your Globe

Build your personal news feed

  1. Follow topics and authors relevant to your reading interests.
  2. Check your Following feed daily, and never miss an article. Access your Following feed from your account menu at the top right corner of every page.

Follow topics related to this article:

View more suggestions in Following Read more about following topics and authors
Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies