Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for November, 2010

Being visible is key to having a successful start-up. Customers and investors are relying more heavily on the internet to gain information about your company and product. Optimizing your website for search engines and having an online presence in today’s social media tools can help you gain an edge over your competitors.

Join us for Search Engine Optimization and Social Marketing at our “Growing Your Business” breakfast event series Thursday, December 9 at the University of Toronto Mississauga’s Faculty Club.

Our  guest speakers include:
Dev Basu, President and CEO, Powered by Search, is a leading Toronto-based Internet marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization, Local Search Optimization, and Paid Search- driven marketing solutions for Fortune 1000, and small and medium-sized businesses. In 2010, Powered by Search was ranked amongst the Top 3 Local Search optimization firms in Canada, by independent market research firm, TopSEOs. Dev is also a guest lecturer for upper level information marketing courses at the University of Toronto and Seneca College.

Krista LaRiviere, Co-Founder & CEO, gShift Labs. This is Krista’s third software start up having successfully exited from the previous two. Having been in the Internet marketing space for over ten years, Krista is able to identify trends and gaps in the daily lives of Internet marketers. gShift has web presence optimization software that is demystifying, simplifying and standardizing organic search. Her vision is to change the way people think of and perform organic search optimization.

Roy Pereira, President and Founder, Shiny Ads, an advertising technology company focused on helping online publishers maximize revenue from advertisers of all sizes. Roy has over 15 years of experience in technology companies and has been involved in 5 startups with his first in 1992 which focused on Internet and Email software. He has been a marketing executive at both medium-sized public corporations and VC-funded startups, and also has a highly technical background with several patents and Internet standards to his name.

The Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre and the Ontario Center for Environmental Technology Advancement (OCETA) jointly host the 10-event series, which runs from September to June 2011.

For a complete schedule visit riccentre.com

Pre-Registration $25, Pay at Event $30 (covers breakfast and parking). To register, visit www.riccentre.com.

For more information, contact Shantanu at shantanu@riccentre.com or at (905) 273-3530.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Ingo Koenig

Wind turbines aren’t a small investment. The average wind turbine these days represents an initial investment of about US $ 3.5 million, with more costs arising through operation & maintenance. All due diligence aside, the striking predominant position of one player in different regional markets suggests that factors other than mere checkmarks behind a list of technical and financial criteria matter in the purchasing decision. Ultimately, the question seems to be whom do investors – be they commercial, public or average citizens – trust with their money?

The United States is known around the world for its iconic brands supported by the financial might of multi-billion dollar corporations dominating the consumer goods industry. It is one of those brands that has also taken over the American wind turbine market with a share of 40% of installed capacity in 2009 – General Electric.

Americans have been imbibed with the brand since infancy and though long extended to other industries, the household name GE represents in the field of all things electric made the foray into wind turbine manufacturing in 2002 seem almost natural.

We trust in what we know. Among the chiefly commercial developers of the country’s large scale wind farms, the factual evidence of GE having done it before in other sectors has certainly contributed its fair share in them trusting in GE’s power to deliver – if not, GE’s in-house bank will probably have persuaded the last doubting Thomas.

The German wind turbine market on the other hand is dominated by a very different company – Enercon, which holds a market share of a whopping 60%, multi-sector corporations are virtually absent from the top-of-the-crop. So what does Enercon do right?

While, Germans are sticklers for technological innovation and products that are built to last. Enercon, the pioneer of the gearless wind turbine, has been able to spark trust in the longevity of its products among the German developer science – mostly average citizens organized as community groups who are in it for the long haul – through in-house production of all turbine parts and the garnishing of their offer with service packages.

In the community environment, the fact that ‘my neighbour has it’ has certainly worked to Enercon’s advantage as well. Finally, Enercon is still family-owned and managed, which must strike a chord with groups who are themselves standing in with their own money for the success of a project.

Canadians haven’t had a large choice so far. The market has been small and wind farm developments mostly large in size and driven by commercial developers and tender processes initiated by provincial authorities. In this environment of limited domestic expertise and manufacturing capability, Canadians have trusted in the opinion of the world and made the global leader Vestas also market leader in Canada with a 50% share.

The dominance of Vestas highlights the importance Canadians attach to eminence and experience in their choices – not only is Vestas the wind energy pioneer but the company has been the first mover in many countries new to wind energy and could thus be counted on for its know-how of working with local suppliers and authorities not familiar with the industry.

It will be interesting to see if and how the Canadian market develops once it is picking up speed, domestic expertise grows and more manufacturers compete with their products for the trust of not only large developers but also community power groups developing their own projects.

Ingo studied business administration and economics at Kiel University where he received a PhD in economic policy and also earned an MBA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA. Visit www.koenigconsultants.ca


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Jeff Bowman

Last blog I looked at the reasons why some salesforces are successful, while others have difficulty not only closing the sale, but even getting an appointment.

A knowledgeable consultative salesperson will usually make a very good first impression on a client, but what happens as soon as they leave and the door closes behind him? If your company depends solely on the face to face aspect of sales, it is understandable why some sales are being missed. If the next salesperson that walks through the door is as knowledgeable and professional as you, but leaves behind some form of company literature, brochure ware, flyer or promotional gizmo, the impression will linger long after they leave (and you are forgotten).

In a competitive sales environment, purchasers today use the many resources at hand to qualify their suppliers, and assess the value that they will be deriving from each.

The first stop is your company website.  If it doesn’t accurately reflect your sales effort or your depiction of goods and services, it does not bode well for the close. I’m not saying you require a huge elaborate web presence with all the bells and whistles, but you do need a professional looking informative and updated site. Ask yourself this question when viewing your own site. “Would I send out ill-informed, shoddy looking traditional style salespeople to meet an important client and represent our company?” You may be doing exactly that with your website.  If a potential client views your website (you know the one the neighbor’s son or daughter did, or the one you paid $250.00 for online) it may leave an exceedingly bad impression of your company.

The salesperson’s toolbox also needs to contain some sort of folder that looks good and is functional.  Single page inserts, which can be changed and updated as required is a practical and inexpensive alternative to a flashy full colour tri-fold or multi-page brochure.  There is no question that a unique brochure will stay with a customer far longer, but at least you have left something which can be passed along to others in the prospect’s company. Add to this a nice looking creative business card that contains all your contact info, a line about what you or your company does and maybe your logo or slogan, and you have the basic necessities required.

I suggest, no, strongly recommend, that you engage a professional to assist with everything mentioned above. The reason is simple, a marketing firm is experienced and specialized. I can create a design, brand and website that will leave a lasting impression on your potential clients.

If I need dental work for instance, I wouldn’t do it myself, the same thing for a brake job, or catering an event. It seems that when it comes to marketing, everyone is an expert! It doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, but it does have to be effective. A mechanic needs to have the proper tools in his toolbox, a plumber has to have a wide assortment of joints and clamps, and we should expect nothing less of any salesperson.  They have to be fully prepared when they walk through the prospect’s door. If the tools aren’t in the box, the job can’t get done properly.

What have you given your salepeople to work with?

Reposted from The Marketing Pad

Jeff Bowman is a Sales and Marketing Specialist with The Marketing Pad Inc.. Follow Jeff’s blog at Blogpad or visit www.themarketingpad.com.


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

AOL Canada grows by 10

By Rob Lewis

According to their press release, AOL Canada is making big gains heading into the holiday season.

October ComScore data reported that AOL Inc. owned and operated web properties have grown by 10% from last month to 9.2 million unique visitors. The upsurge in traffic is lkely attributed to the strategic acquisitions of the web properties TechCrunch and 5Min.

Techvibes readers are very familiar with TechCrunch which matches well with AOL’s marquis tech property, Engadget.com. 5Min allows AOL to significantly expand its consumer offering of contextually relevant, high-quality video across its sites.

To support this growing business AOL Canada has made a number of strategic hires as well. Graham Moysey left his Senior Vice President and General Manager role at Canwest to join AOL in August and he has grown his team by 10 since.

AOL Canada Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Inc. and has a team of approximately 40 people in its Toronto office. AOL Canada operates premium content sites including Spinner.ca, Engadget.ca, Walletpop.ca, Moviefone.ca, Thatsfit.ca, Autos.aol.com and a suite of others covering news, sports, travel, family and entertainment.

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor in Chief of Techvibes.com.  His diverse background includes stints with International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Bryan Watson

The Ontario Capital Growth Corporation (OCGC) is pleased to announce that it has closed its first angel co-investment under the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund.

OCGC has co-invested in TeloIP Inc., a Toronto-based technology firm that creates and sells network convergence solutions. Their breakthrough technology enables voice, data, and video to work simultaneously over the same infrastructure, while seamlessly aggregating and accelerating any connection, from any carrier.

“Angel investments are a key driver behind the startup and growth of new businesses in Canada,” notes Andrew Wilkes, Chair of the National Angel Capital Organization, Canada’s industry association for Angel investors. “This co-investment through the Ontario Emerging Technologies Fund underscores the importance of Angel investors to emerging, high-growth potential companies in Ontario.”

For more information about TeloIP, please visit http://www.teloip.com.

Reposted from National Angel Capital Organization

Throughout his career, both in Canada and the UK, Bryan J. Watson has been a champion of entrepreneurship as a vector for the commercialization of advanced technologies. Upon his return to Canada in 2004, Bryan established his venture development consulting practice to help emerging-growth companies overcome the barriers to success they face in the Canadian commercialization ecosystem.  Visit Bryan’s blog and the National Angel Capital Organization.


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers pro vide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Ingo Koenig

A CTT-lead mission of business people from Kitchener, Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph went to the Husum Wind Energy 2010 in Husum, (Northern) Germany. Our goal was to attract European wind power companies to come to and invest in Ontario.

The Fair and the place are commonly known as the birthplace of the global wind energy industry (and I was born there). Since 20 years the Husum is hosting the “Who’s who” of the global wind power industry. This year has seen 34,000 visitors and more than 900 exhibitors. The town itself has only 20,000 inhabitants. One easily can imagine that this creates an interesting experience in accommodation, logistics and night-life for everybody during the five days.

In general the European companies (and we met around 40 in person) welcomed us positively and curiously. We talked to OEMs, inverter companies, blade manufacturers, developers, logistics companies, financiers, local business development companies and wind energy associations.

They all wanted to learn about the opportunities in Canada particularly in Ontario with its Green Energy Act introducing a reliable Feed-In-Tariff-scheme. Most executives would prefer to personally move to Canada than to the US.  Canada does have a stronger “brand” with the people.

However despite an overall optimistic outlook we faced some reluctance to “make a move”. The main reasons given were:

1. The uncertain political situation in the US towards renewable energies

2. Ambiguity on how Ontario’s Green Energy Act would evolve in the future

3. The perception that the market had already been divided between some bigger players.

Ticker-news from the fair: … A Cambridge logistics company managed to deliver the only undamaged wind turbines to a site in Nova Scotia… Numerous OEMs are looking into building facilities in Ontario, but haven’t made up their mind yet… First and second tier suppliers are also prepared to make a move as soon as the OEMs decide… Gearless drive OEMs are disappointed about the Domestic content rules as they only assume gear drives…Last week one of the wind and solar-PV developers we met decided to come to Ontario in cooperation with an equipment manufacturer…

Ingo studied business administration and economics at Kiel University where he received a PhD in economic policy and also earned an MBA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, USA. Visit www.koenigconsultants.ca


The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Read Full Post »

By Mark Zimmerman

Time to sign those homemade legal documents?Need some ready-made legal documents? 

Angels and micro-VCs are an increasingly important part of the funding landscape for many of our clients, particularly those in the web and mobile application sectors.  One side effect of all these new investors has been a proliferation of new variations of the standard legal documents presented to start-ups.  Some good, but many bad.

The start-up community in the US responded to this same trend by rallying around a series of standard, open source, vanilla investment documents.  Ted Wang of Fenwick & West, a Silicon Valley law firm was the first advocate of the new model that I’m aware of with a post in VentureBeat.  He eventually created the “Series Seed” documents that are used by many leading angels including Ron Conway and Mike Maples.  Others also made their documents publicly available, including Techstars, YCombinator and Founder’s Institute. All with the goal of simplifying the fund raising process for investors and for start-ups.

A month or so ago I asked colleagues here at MaRS if a similar set of standard templates had been made public in Canada.  We didn’t know of any that were easy to download as a jumping-off point.  We did some digging, reviewed the US sample documents, best practice recommendations posted on the National Angel Capital Organization wiki and a large number of financing documents used here in Ontario to paper deals. From those examples, we’ve developed a set that work under Canadian law and mirror the US seed recommendations. Here they are.

Our goals with the documents were the same as Ted’s. We wanted them to be:

  1. Fair, favouring neither the investors nor the founders
  2. Simple and short, so that entrepreneurs and seed investors can understand them with a minimum of time and effort
  3. Fill-in-the-blanks templates, intended to be filled in and reviewed by the parties and their counsel, with any redrafting focused on terms unique and specific to the deal

We’ve created these samples:

  • Term Sheet which defines the overall terms of the deal
  • Subscription Agreement that details the terms of the sale of shares to the new investors and the representations each party is making to other
  • Articles of Amendment which add the new Preferred Shares that the investors are buying to the corporation’s capital structure
  • Shareholder’s Agreement that defines the rules for voting and selling the new and existing shares of the corporation

We’re working on a few other related agreements to complete the package:

We’d welcome suggestions for any you think we’ve missed. And we’d also like you to comment on these templates too — let us know how they can be improved.

We hope these templates will simplify things for investors, founders and their respective legal advisors. We’re sure they’ll generate some discussion and debate and we’ll incorporate the best suggestions in version 2.0.

Mark advises entrepreneurs in the information technology, communications and entertainment practice at MaRS. He specializes in B2B enterprise software, SaaS business models as well as security and privacy.

The RIC blog is designed as a showcase for entrepreneurs and innovation. Our guest bloggers provide a wealth of information based on their personal experiences. Visit RIC Centre for more information on how RIC can accelerate your ideas to market.

https://riccentre.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/open-source-seed-documents/

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »