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Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Oct 2015 20:52:23 +0000


Zombie Factories

Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:59:15 +0000

We like to give out a Zombie of the Year award in our annual Unicorn Awards. The Unicorn Awards are the far more lucrative and weighty cousin of the upcoming Spotlight Awards (are you going?). In 2013 Danielle Morrill wrote Zombie Startups and the gem is stuck in the middle, which I just noticed called out […]

Products are Lines, not Dots

Wed, 21 Jan 2015 18:19:05 +0000

I see a lot of founders and startups struggling with explaining what they are trying to accomplish. Many are just focused on how they are going to do the next thing. The next release, the next pitch, the next campaign. Releasing a product is not an accomplishment in and of itself. Launching isn’t either. Getting a feedback and […]

An Investor’s Rendition of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Sat, 20 Dec 2014 14:37:41 +0000

by Travis Cocke (sourced from Seth Levine) ‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the land Not a banker was lending, not even “Gold-Man” Foreclosures were hung by the courthouse with care In hopes that Hank Paulson soon would be there. The Bankers were nestled all snug in their beds While visions of bonuses danced […]

Founders & Funders: Nov 18, 2014

Mon, 03 Nov 2014 15:16:16 +0000

It’s that time again – to bringing together the people that start emerging technology businesses and the people that fund them, early. Who should attend? Uhm, yeah. Founders & Funders. Founders You are a founder of a emerging technology company or a technology-enabled company. You are actively raising a round of capital or starting to think […]

How we raised a $2MM seed round in 2 weeks

Mon, 20 Oct 2014 12:48:37 +0000

This is a guest post by Mike Katchen, founder of Wealthsimple, Canada’s first online investment manager. He recently moved back from San Francisco where he led marketing at 1000memories (YC S’10, acquired by In May, we raised a $2MM seed round for Wealthsimple (and didn’t really tell anyone). It took us 2.5 weeks to raise […]

We Should Be Building Empires

Tue, 16 Sep 2014 15:04:20 +0000

We don’t build a lot of empires around here. Empires are big, they grow fast, and they use momentum to determine where to apply resources. Empires don’t respond, they set the new rules. Carnegie. Rockefeller. Gates. Zuckerberg. Lutke. McDerment. Baker. We’ve had empires come and go, but we haven’t built the sort that stick around […]

Making Canada SAFE

Fri, 05 Sep 2014 13:07:37 +0000

It has been 9 months since PG announced the YC SAFE (Simple Agreement for Future Equity). The Winter 14 batch included Canadians: Taplytics, Send With Us, Piinpoint, Minuum, Gbatteries and others. (There have been an increasing number of Canadian companies since Chris Golda and Michael Montano headed down in 2008. Maybe there should be a new drinking game: […]

You are supposed to break the rules

Tue, 22 Jul 2014 16:44:20 +0000

Great entrepreneurs truly do not care about the rules. If you haven’t noticed, there are a lot of rules. Some come and go with the times, others never seem to go away: You are supposed to dress a certain way Finance your company this way You pitch deck should look like THIS You, in your industry, […]

One Post to Rule Them All

Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:14:06 +0000

Hard to believe that it has been 21 months since I wrote Don’t Panic: A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Toronto Startup Ecosystem. There are parts of this post that are a little dated but it generally holds up as a meaningful introduction to the Toronto/Waterloo startup scene. The goal is to provide a curated list, it […]

Former MaRS CFO saw problems in 2010

Tue, 10 Jun 2014 00:53:42 +0000

The following is a guest post from Mark McQueen, originally written on Wellington Financial’s blog.  Thanks to the fine folks here at StartupNorth, there has been a vibrant online discussion over several days regarding the “problems” with the Ontario government’s MaRS program. As of this morning, there have been over 300 contributions from a variety of players in the […]