Silicon Alley: Is it the new tech hub?

Tech Crunch Disrupt took place this past week in New York City and what surprised me most were not the cool innovative technology companies, (which had some great technology on display) but the fact at how fast the New York tech scene is growing.  In talking with companies and investors based in New York, it becomes apparent that Silicon Alley is quickly starting to make some noise as a place in which to launch your startup.

There is a large startup community that is getting organized in New York.  Tech meetups are generally sold out and if New York Tech Crunch Disrupt is any indication, there are some very innovative companies coming out of this space.

As was explained to me, there are a number of key ingredients that are already in place that will make Silicon Alley a force in the global start up scene, mainly, the easy access to funding.  New York is the financial hub of the world and by wealth association; capital is not as difficult to access in New York City as in other parts of North America.  Where they do struggle though, is in the area of growing and retaining good talent along with the high overhead costs.  These two areas are hurdles which need to be addressed. Continue reading

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What is Going on in Montreal?

Startups from Montreal have had a great spring when it comes to attracting venture capital.  There are 3 companies who have been the benefactors of deals within the past two weeks. On the expansion side, MConcierge Systems  and Modasuite both have been the recipients of venture funding in the past few weeks. 

MConcierge Systems, founded in 2008, provides customized mobile applications for hotels. Modasuite is a men’s online fashion site which provides made-to-measure styles for its members.  MConcierge Systems received their funding from Real Ventures, Montreal Start Up, Palos Capital and Positron Inc. while Modasuite received their funding from Real Ventures and Bolidea, as well as Anges Quebec.

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Accelerate Montreal

The value of being connected to venture capital and the Silicon Valley eco-system cannot be emphasised enough to individuals who are involved in a startup.  In the past in Canada, there has been a disconnect between entrepreneurs who are starting up a business and those same entrepreneurs being able to plug into that existing eco-system in which to attract investment and expert advice.  As of this past January, this hurdle is starting to be eliminated.

In order to bridge this divide, the organizers of the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) announced a program in January called – the Canadian Technology Accelerator .  The mission of this program is to send three Canadian tech companies to the U.S. to spend a few months at the Plug and Play Tech Center in Silicon Valley.   

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SxSW: Canada’s time to shine

When it comes to the business start up scene, Canadians are leading the global marketplace in the social, mobile and digital media space; but we never hear about these success stories.  Where we fall behind as a start up community is by not promoting ourselves south of the border and throughout the world.  As the owner of Dynamitenetwork.com, I have experienced first-hand how difficult it is to make inroads and promote my business in the U.S.   One of the most significant challenges that I encounter is the lack of promotional channels that Canadian businesses have in which to promote their companies and more importantly stand above the noise.

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Mingleverse

Mingleverse, a rising company that provides a virtual meeting space. They will be joining us down at SXSWi. We are pleased to work with Mingleverse because they bring such a unique service to businesses regardless of what industry you’re in. It’s great to see this kind of service because it’s rarely seen and very beneficial for holding meetings. Their service will be able to help save a lot of traveling costs and expenses. However, Mingleverse is not only giving you the opportunity to mix and mingle like you would in a physical setting, but their service goes to the next step. They give you the ability to show presentations and videos of your desire. They allow you up to 10GB for personal documents. Hopefully, at SXSWi, Mingleverse can attract more like-minded individuals to use their products!

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Maple Leaf Digital Lounge Debuts at SxSW

NEWS RELEASE
For Immediate Release

March 8, 2011 (Austin, TX): The Maple Leaf Digital Lounge (MLDL) is a pioneering event to be held during the Interactive portion of the 2011 South by Southwest Conference (SXSW) with the intent to highlight and promote innovative Canadian companies to the attendees of the SXSW conference.

“The Maple Leaf Digital Lounge is about Canadian companies collaborating and supporting each other,” said Deb Lewis, co-founder of The Maple Leaf Digital Lounge. “We have some really exciting and innovative technologies that will be presented in the Lounge. We hope these technologies and the Maple Leaf Digital Lounge will put Canadian technology on the map.”

We are creating a cluster of Canadian technology that will be promoted at this event. The Lounge will act as a catalyst in promoting Canadian innovation to a large technology and media audience.

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What’s Wrong With Still Living At Home?

Homegrown Startups Prove You Don’t Have To “Move Out” To Succeed

Tokii loves Canada. We’re not ashamed to admit it. The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and thriving across Canada. I believe it is part of our Canadian identity. Just look at the long list of successful Canadian inventors and entrepreneurs.

Through the efforts of groups like Maple Leaf Digital Lounge and Sprouter, Canadian entrepreneurs are getting better at working together and getting more support than ever before. This week, I want to introduce you to some of the Canadian entrepreneurs behind the invigorating start-up spirit in Canada.

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Presenting Company, EchoEcho

EchoEcho is a great new application for your smartphone: with a few simple clicks you can locate your friends anywhere in the world! Maybe you are walking around and trying to figure out what your friends are up to or where they are? Maybe it’s not the right time to call them because you won’t hear from them anyway because of the noisy loud guy next to you who is fighting with his wife? Maybe you don’t have time because you’re meeting a friend in one minute that never shuts up and you will never get a chance to make a phone call when she arrives…just send them an echo. Its faster and much, much more convenient then calling or texting; echoecho tells you exactly were your friends are.

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Live Music at MLDL!

Check out our party with DigitalLA and CEC Labs on Saturday, March 12 for some great music and food! The party starts at 9 pm and the music will continue to play until the wee hours. Make sure you stick around for free poutine – a Canadian specialty – at midnight!

Here’s the entertainment schedule:

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Quick Take on MetroLyrics: Fantastic Canadian Startup Innovation Story

Photo Credit: The Globe and Mail

We were inspired by Globe and Mail’s story on MetroLyrics, which was created by a British Columbia teen in his bedroom, so we wanted to share.

This is another case where innovation can be in front of us; we just have to see it. For example, we’ve all been in this situation: in our car, at work or at home and that new popular song starts blaring out on the radio and we want to sing along, but we don’t know the words… Milun Tesovic knew just the solution. Tesovic, a Bosnian born Canadian immigrant who moved to Canada in 1995 at the age of 10, began a user-generated music lyrics site at just age 15.

Today, MetroLyrics, is the third-biggest music website in the world, behind MySpace and Yahoo! Music with tens of millions of views every month.

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