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Small Business Briefing

Government pumps $1-million into bidding software firm Add to ...

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The Government of Canada announced Friday that Chango Inc., a leader in the emerging search retargeting market, will receive an investment of $978,333 through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation program.

The Toronto-based company provides a service that allows online marketers to better target their audience with product-specific advertisements based on website search trends. The government investment will support the research and development of Chango’s real-time bidding software and significantly expand the company’s growth and employment benefits. With increases in product demand, the company says it plans to create about 37 jobs in its head office.

“Our government is working to ensure businesses in southern Ontario can continue to innovate, allowing the economy to grow now and into the future,” says Mike Wallace, MP for Burlington, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “This investment will give Chango the tools it needs to be the first to market with ad targeting solutions, generating new opportunities for our region.”

Investing in Business Innovation is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. Funding under the initiative is also available for angel investor networks and their associations to attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds.

“The funding will be used to accelerate our growth plans into the fast-growing search retargeting space," says Chris Sukornyk, Chango's CEO. "We appreciate the support from FedDev Ontario to retain technology start-ups in Canada.”

Democamp Halifax puts up its numbers

DemoCamp Halifax 2011, which took place Sept. 23, was designed "to inspire those interested learning what it takes to succeed in building and running a startup and showcase projects of those who are already doing it." Organizers have decided to showcase the economics of putting on the event. Some of the more interesting figures:

  • Beverage: From proceeds. We purchased them at Costco at $12.99 for a pack of 36 cans plus $3.50 enviro deposit. We purchased 5 packs (5 X 36 = 180 cans total).
  • Swag bags: Cost 50 cents each and we found them at the dollar store. We purchased 130.
  • Posters: We printed at Dalhousie print shop and we saved a lot of money there. Four large posters we got for 88 bucks plus tax.
  • Security: Charged at 50 dollars an hour plus tax (minimum four hours, we had the guard for six hours).
  • Total proceeds from the event: $1,310

Very happy being small

New research has shed light on some well held small business “truths” and statistically shown that they might not necessarily hold water, writes Jason Keith in The Small Business Blog of Boston.com. University of Chicago professors Erik Hurst and Benjamin Pugsley recently released a research study titled What do Small Businesses Do? It examines a few very important components, Mr. Keith says, including the industries small businesses with one to 19 employees serve (the majority in just a few categories), the motivations behind starting their businesses and their propensity to truly innovate. But more importantly, he adds, the survey shows the appetite for small businesses to grow their businesses in terms of employees and size: As it turns out, most small businesses start out small, stay small and are very happy being small.


Canadian Franchise Association gets you started

Starting a business can be overwhelming but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing your goal. At Getting Started: A Guide to Business Start-Up, the Canadian Franchise Association demystifies the process, providing you with the steps you need to know to establish your business. With morning sessions on general business start-up and afternoon sessions focused specifically on becoming a franchisee, this seminar is "ideal for any aspiring entrepreneur." The event takes place in Toronto on Oct. 1, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Who do you plan to be in five years?

The ‘Success Party’ is designed to build success by helping people set their five-year goals and figure out how to best reach them. Where will you be in five years, organizer Lora Frost asks. Who will you be and what will you have accomplished? At the ‘One Night’ event guests will arrive as who they plan to be in five years. "They will act as if they have already accomplished their goals and have reached the success they dream of. The event is authentic. Guests are treated to a red carpet affair. Successes are awarded and recognized." One Night Success Party takes place Oct. 19 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver.


Inder Bedi's got it in the bag

Chosen by Profit magazine in 2009 as one of Canada’s 100 fastest-growing companies, Matt & Nat sells its collections through boutiques and department stores in Canada, the United States and Britain and on its website. It was recently commissioned by Apple Inc.’s Europe division to make bags for Mac computers. The company's mid-priced lines of men’s and women’s vegan bags, belts and wallets, made mainly with recycled plastic bottles and free of any animal products, are popular with stars such as Natalie Portman, Charlize Theron and Sir Paul McCartney. Founder Inder Bedi spoke to Diane Jermyn in one of our Success Stories Q&As.


The challenge of rapid growth

Murray Bryant, a professor at the University of Western Ontario's Ivey School of Business, told Kathy Flaxman in April, 2010 that growth commonly leads to orders but no cash to process them. “Rapid growth is one of the most challenging things about running a business,” he said. “It can take months to manufacture an item, and meanwhile there are staff and other overheads to pay and materials to purchase. If the business has to wait 60 days or more to be paid, you can be looking at seven or eight months. During this period, an investment of cash will be needed. More so now than ever banks are not keen to expose themselves to any liability — they're strictly in the business of making money for their shareholders.”

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

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