Category: Start up

Small Business Forum 2010

Are you ready for Toronto’s entrepreneurial event of the year?

Join Chris O’Neill of Google Canada, Austin Hill of Brudder Ventures, Leila Boujnane of Idée Inc., Nancy Peterson of Homestars, Darren Anderson of Vive Nano, Erin Bury of Sprouter, Mike McDerment of Freshbooks and many, many others at the Small Business Forum – Toronto’s entrepreneurial event of the year!

On October 19th, more than 2,000 entrepreneurs, prospective entrepreneurs and small business owners will attend Enterprise Toronto’s 10th annual Small Business Forum. This year’s theme – finding and retaining customers!

When: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 8:00 AM – 9:00 PM
Where: Metro Toronto Convention Centre
255 Front St W, Toronto, ON, Canada

Joins us!

Everything matters

NY Times interviews Howard Schultz: a spot-on chat

Q. What is your advice to an entrepreneur who asks you: “I’m just starting a company. How do I create a culture?”

A. I would say that everything matters — everything. You are imprinting decisions, values and memories onto an organization. In a sense, you’re building a house, and you can’t add stories onto a house until you have built the kind of foundation that will support them. I think many start-ups make mistakes because they are focusing on things that are farther ahead, and they haven’t done the work that has built the foundation to support it.

Man on wire: “It’s impossibe, that’s for sure. So let’s start working.”

Michael Bierut on Philippe Petit

[…] Petit was a teenager in Paris browsing magazines in a dentist’s office when he saw a rendering of the then-unbuilt World Trade Center. He was electrified. He was already an obsessed magician, juggler, and high wire artist. To an aspiring tightrope walker, the idea of two 110-story towers, side by side, suggested only one thing. Petit drew a line between the image of the two towers. All that remained now was the execution.

Making the walk happen took years of planning. Petit sums up his own attitude with characteristic aplomb: “It’s impossible, that’s for sure. So let’s start working.” He moved to New York and began visiting the construction site, at one point obtaining access to the top of the towers by posing as a French journalist. He made drawings and took photographs. Returning home, he built a full sized model of the WTC roofs in the French countryside to practice the walk. Getting all the necessary equipment up to the tops of the towers was not a one-man job. He recruited a group of confederates, a colorful multinational troupe who offer conflicting present-day memories throughout the film, and who each played a different role in what they privately called the coup. The plan was not just bold but actually rather insane: their solution for the hardest part of the whole scheme, for instance, getting the wire from one tower to the other, a span of nearly 200 feet, was to use a bow and arrow. It worked. Amazingly, it all worked.

Love Philippe Petit! He would fit right in in a startup!


The first time I attended a hackathon it was in Silicon Valley and I totally fell in love with the idea of getting together with a group of people with limited resources (a laptop, skills and an internet connection), an API and the desire to create an application.  Felt pretty similar to what any startup does in its startup days! So when Corey and I talked about a hackathon being held in Toronto, for local developers to work with local APIs, well you know what happened next: HackTO was born.

I am very excited to announce HackTO. The idea behind HackTO is to have a series of APIs made available by local startups. And connect these APIs with local developers to build – in a day – amazing applications.

We are still working out all the details – much planning ahead – but here are the basics:

  • DATE: Saturday May 15. This is an all day hackhaton. We will be providing breakfast and lunch.
  • LOCATION: TBD. We are still working out the location details. It will be downtown.
  • AVAILABLE APIsFreshbooks, Idée, PostRank, CanPages + more. We will be announcing additions to these APIs in the coming days.
  • SIGNUP: Sign up is currently open, there is a $10 fee for registration.
  • JUDGING AND PRIZES: We are working on awesome prizes for the best applications developed during the hackhaton. Stay tuned for details.

If you’re with a technology company or startup you think ought to be involved, get in touch lboujnane (at) or just say hi or ask questions.

Chris Dixon on the next big thing

As a startup founder you need to understand that:

Disruptive technologies are dismissed as toys because when they are first launched they “undershoot” user needs. The first telephone could only carry voices a mile or two. The leading telco of the time, Western Union, passed on acquiring the phone because they didn’t see how it could possibly be useful to businesses and railroads – their primary customers. What they failed to anticipate was how rapidly telephone technology and infrastructure would improve […]

and [..]  look at products as processes.