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Kingston Frontenacs' Brent Mackie checks Ottawa 67's' Pat Daley battles into the boards, during first period OHL action, in Ottawa on Friday Oct. 21, 2005. There was no penalty called on the play. (Jana Chytilova)
Kingston Frontenacs' Brent Mackie checks Ottawa 67's' Pat Daley battles into the boards, during first period OHL action, in Ottawa on Friday Oct. 21, 2005. There was no penalty called on the play. (Jana Chytilova)

Small Business Briefing

British army vet develops hockey helmet sensor 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

Hockey tech in Ottawa

Entrepreneur Danny Crossman served with the British Army in Iraq, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, and he now serves as CEO of Impakt Protective, which has developed a simple, affordable hockey helmet sensor, writes Andrew Duffy of the Ottawa Citizen.

The Shockbox helmet sensor instantly alerts team officials when a player suffers a dangerous blow to the head. The device is already being used by several varsity hockey teams in Ontario, including at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University. And the Ottawa 67’s had the device on some of their practice helmets in the past week.

“The key thing is getting people to be checked,” Mr. Crossman told the newspaper.

NHL star Sidney Crosby suffered a head injury at the Winter Classic on Jan. 1, but it went undiagnosed. He suffered a debilitating injury in his next game four days later, and that lead to a 10-month-long recovery process.

Mr. Crossman, 39, left the army in May, 2000 to launch a career in defence research. When an assignment brought him to Ottawa for a meeting with officials from the Department of National Defence, Mr. Crossman met his future wife. He moved to Ottawa in 2002.

Spot the trend, and act on it

Ottawa-based CanvasPop has jumped on the Instagram bandwagon and effectively carved out a new niche for itself, resulting in some impressive numbers. It came up with a technique to enlarge the images that form the backbone of the immensely popular iPhone photo-sharing feature, and print them out on canvas. The service was launched about a week ago, and the company claims it took hundreds of orders in the first 48 hours after a promotion hit the Twittersphere, and got a writeup on TechCrunch. It's the continuation of a great Canadian success story: CanvasPop had already expanded into the United States, opening a 20,000-square-foot facility in Las Vegas in September. Instagram boasts more than 10 million users, and with 150 million photos already uploaded by iPhone customers, the potential for growth is huge.

Guide to a good night's sleep

Nellie Akalp, CEO of CorpNet.com, and mother of four, assists small-business owners and entrepreneurs in starting and protecting their companies. In a blog post for Mashable, she says a good night’s sleep is "some kind of beautiful, mythical creature. With an infant, I’m not always in control of my nightly circumstances, but I am determined to change what I can to improve the quality of my sleep." She then outlines six tips from experts to help entrepreneurs sleep better.


Top 40 under 40 in Vancouver

Business in Vancouver celebrates the winners of its top 40 under 40 at a networking reception and awards dinner on Jan. 25. Rub shoulders with this year's champs and meet up with those from previous years at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel. You can register here for the event, which starts at 6:15 p.m., with tickets ranging in price from $125 to $150.

The dynamics of conflict

Many conflicts would not spiral out of control if people used conflict resolution techniques that are easy to learn and utilize, according to the Achieve Training Centre in Calgary, which is putting on a workshop to teach participants to understand the dynamics of conflict and equip them with the skills needed to respond confidently. The session takes place Dec. 15 at the Sandman Hotel near the city's airport, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Big fish deliver big rewards

Landing that first big customer certainly brings its rewards, but it can be a long and arduous path, small-business observers say. There are about 2.4 million small businesses in Canada, one consultant points out in our story, and by his reckoning, just 1 per cent to 2 per cent of those are supplying a product or service to large companies. As one example of how tough it can be to get in the door, Steven James, senior director of strategic sourcing at PepsiCo Foods Canada in Toronto, says 85 per cent of would-be suppliers who reach out to his company are politely declined. But when they get in, if they do it right, the relationship can be long-lasting and rewarding.


Will! Kate! It's me, Matthew

It’s not every day that Canadians have the opportunity to meet a member of the royal family, never mind an extremely famous newlywed royal couple. Back in July, 2011, entrepreneur Matthew Hudson found himself doing exactly that. He wrote about his experiences at a private reception in Ottawa for William and Kate, the Duke and Dutchess of Cambridge, along with 100 distinguished young people from across the country. His company, Invenia Technical Computing Corp., had just won two awards from the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, one a national best business award and the other for being the most innovative company in Canada.

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