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Remember Blueseed, the technology incubator proposed last August which would be hosted, not in Silicon Valley, but on a cruise ship off the west coast? Turns out the idea is struggling to stay afloat.

Costa Crociere/AP/Costa Crociere/AP

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Fate of startup cruise ship commune in question

Remember Blueseed, the technology incubator proposed last August that  would be hosted not in Silicon Valley, but on a cruise ship off the west coast of the United States? Turns out the idea is struggling to stay afloat.

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It's easy to make jokes, but an off-shore accelerator, in theory, makes sense. It would allow foreign entrepreneurs to avoid pesky U.S. work visa restrictions, while still having access to local talent and venture capital. But according to The Wall Street Journal, Blueseed's co-founder Dario Mutabdzija "still needs to snag $130,000 to complete a $500,000 planning-stage funding round by the end of August."

That has some investors losing patience, with at least one threatening to pull out. The ship, at capacity, was slated to hold 1,000 entrepreneurs and hotel guests, in addition to crew members and startup advisers. But perhaps the world just isn't ready for an idyllic, off-shore startup commune – yet.

12 years of east coast capital
You might not think of Saint John, N.B. as a hotbed for entrepreneurial pursuits, but consider this – the Saint John Community Loan Fund has helped more than 70 local businesses and low-income entrepreneurs since its inception in 1999. CBC News reports that the fund, now in its twelfth year of existence, "has meant employment for more than 100 people in the city," and the group's managers are working hard to ramp up the services it offers.

Vancouver entrepreneur sought success in San Francisco
In 2010, at the  mere age of 19, Vancouver native Brian Wong was the youngest entrepreneur to get venture capital funding – $300,000, in fact, for his then-nascent startup Kiip. But he didn't stop there. Just last week, Mr. Wong scooped another $11-million from investors to expand his mobile ad network, on top of a $4.1-million catch the previous year.

That's no small feat for someone barely old enough to drink south of the border. You can read about Mr. Wong's journey in  The Vancouver Sun.


Startup Weekends coming

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The next Startup Weekend takes place in Winnipeg from Aug. 10 to Aug. 12, followed by Startup Weekend Vancouver on Aug. 17 to Aug. 19. The 54-hour events allow entrepreneurs and wannabe entrepreneurs to try to create the foundations of a new business. The weekend is filled with pitches, brainstorming, business plan development, prototype creations and demonstrations and presentations of potential startups created over the intense weekend.

Small Business Saturday

Canada's first Small Business Saturday will take place on Oct. 20. Presented by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business and Interac, the initiative is meant to encourage Canadians to shop at small, local, independent businesses. It follows a similar initiative that has been going on in the United States. For more information on Canada's new Small Business Saturday, click here.


Careful hiring behind spa's success in high repeat business

In this week's Case Study, Becky Reuber looks at Alma Natural Quick Spa, whose founder came up with some solid hiring criteria that has paid off in repeat customers at a rate well above the industry average.

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Manufacturers wave maple leaf to marketing advantage

Manufacturers who have chosen to stay here rather than go offshore use 'made in Canada' as a savvy marketing ploy, wrote Mary Gazze in a January story.

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About the Author
Terry Brodie

Terry Brodie is an award-winning veteran reporter and editor who has worked for numerous media outlets in Canada and abroad, including The Globe and Mail since 1996. Now a senior editor for Report on Small Business, she previously oversaw several sections of the Globe, most recently as editor of Globe Careers. More


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