Category Archives: Entrepreneurs and Start-ups

What 10,000 Kickstarter projects reveal about Canada’s entrepreneurs

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CBC | By Roberto Rocha | April 27, 2017

smarthalo-velo-connecte-20161127In the last six years, Canadians took nearly 10,000 shots at glory on crowdfunding site Kickstarter.

Only about a third succeeded.

But what are these projects? Which are the most successful? Are there big differences between the creative economies of every city?

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, Indiegogo and FundRazr have changed how creative entrepreneurs fund their passions. No longer confined to traditional sources like banks and venture capital, anyone can get money for an idea provided they inspire enough people to cough up cash.

These sites enable people to donate money to fund a project, usually in return for a reward — for example, early access to a new product, a T-shirt or dinner with the creators. The more one gives, the juicier the reward.

The CBC looked at six years of Kickstarter projects with data provided by Web Robots and HiveWire, two firms that track crowdfunding sites. Only Kickstarter data was used, since it has the largest and most representative sample of Canadian crowdfunding projects.

See:  Christopher Charlesworth, CEO and Co-founder of HiveWire, Joins NCFA's Advisory Board

More than half of all Canadian Kickstarter projects are concentrated in the three biggest cities.

It's generally known that Montreal is a hotbed of video game development, while Vancouver has a rich film scene. These are known industry facts, and the Kickstarter data confirms that bootstrapping creators in these cities also operate in these areas.

But some cities seem to flout stereotypes. Halifax, better known for its music, has more game-related projects than other categories.

Equal parts preparation and perspiration

Not all Kickstarter campaigns have the same shot at success. If you want good odds of making it, try funding a play or a comic book. These have the highest success rates: 60% of these types of projects reached their funding goals.

But if you want to fund a tech idea, the cards are strongly stacked against you. Of all the Canadian tech projects on Kickstarter, only about 20% got the money they asked for, making it the toughest category.

And if you don't reach your goal on Kickstarter, you don't see a cent of what users pledged.

SmartHalo, a multipurpose attachment for bikes, is an anomaly. Not only did the project reach its Kickstarter goal, it did it in 15 hours, and is one of the most successful recent projects based in Montreal.

It had a fundraising goal of $67,000. It raised nearly $540,000.

"Early adopters of technology know that's where innovation happens, on Kickstarter," said Xavier Peich, the business director of SmartHalo. "Getting something that no one else has, it's a compelling offer."

See: 5 Things You (Probably) Never Knew About Kickstarter

How Canada compares internationally

Canada is the third-biggest country on Kickstarter in terms of number of projects. Of the 301,000 projects analyzed, fewer  than 10,000 were Canadian, compared to 245,00 in the U.S. and 25,000 in Britain.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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4 reasons you should move your startup to Toronto today

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Business Insider | Salim Teja, MaRS | April 12, 2017

Canada a great place for startups

In the world of professional sports, the Toronto Blue Jays of the MLB, and the Toronto Raptors of the NBA proudly embrace the city they represent with the rallying cry: “We The North.”

And in the entertainment industry, Drake is putting Toronto on the global mapwith songs painting a vivid picture of a city (“The Six”) that has finally found its voice.

But it’s not just athletes and celebrities that are shining the spotlight on Toronto as a world-class city.

As President Trump’s strict immigration policies and H-1B visa restrictions begin to isolate the United States, Toronto has emerged as a beacon of cultural inclusion, economic prosperity, and political stability. The fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is the driving force behind Canada’s distinction as the second best country to live in on the planet .

Combined, all of these factors have culminated in an exploding tech scene in Toronto. And as Executive Vice President of Venture Services at the world's leading innovation hub, I’ve seen firsthand why more tech talent and more startups are choosing to move “north of the border.”

See:  Canada is North America’s up-and-coming startup center

After working for several years in Silicon Valley, I knew that in order to truly grow my career, I needed to return home and grow my roots in Toronto. Why? Its unparalleled mixture of top-tier talent, a diverse community, strong governmental support, and access to funding makes Toronto not only the best place in the world to live and work, but the city best equipped to become the next epicenter of innovation. And after selling my first startup, I knew wanted to be a part of it.

Here are four key reasons why I moved to Toronto, and why you should move your startup north, too:

Draw From a Deep Pool of Top Talent

Moving to Toronto will provide your startup with instant access to some of the world’s best and brightest innovators. Recently named one of the world’s most innovative cities, Toronto is home to between 2,500 and 4,100 active tech startups, as well as the world’s largest innovation hub(covering1.5millionsquarefeet).

Gone are the days of future entrepreneurs, engineers and developers moving west to pursue their careers — boasting cheaper tuition, and the top-ranked institutions in the world, Toronto’s unparalleled academic institutions are growing the next wave of tech innovators and entrepreneurs.

See:  Major Banks and Fintech Startups Update Their Status to ‘Frenemies’

With over 150,000 full-time students enrolled in universities in the Greater Toronto area, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that, especially in the wake of Trump’s election, schools like the University of Toronto are currently seeing a massive surge in American applicants.

So watch out, Berkeley, Cal, Stanford, and the rest of the Silicon Valley pipeline — the next wave of top tech talent is heading north .

Recruit from the Most Diverse City in the World

 Wikimedia Commons

Moving your startup to Toronto quite literally means that you’ll have a more diverse pool of talent to draw from. Recently named most diverse city in the world, Toronto is a cultural haven for foreign entrepreneurs and their startups to pursue truly innovative and disruptive ideas.

Unlike Silicon Valley, which is stifled by a homogeneous, male-dominated culture , Toronto knows that diversity both fosters innovation and is good for business .

Toronto is also one of the “ best cities in the world ” for female entrepreneurs — 12.5% of partners at venture capital firms in Canada are women, which stands at more than double the rate in the U.S., which hovers at a meager 6%.

If you want your startup to have sustainable success, come here to hire a broad range of talent from a variety of backgrounds.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Canada is North America’s up-and-coming startup center

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TechCrunch | | April 21, 2017

Canadian flag

They say that nice guys finish last — and Canada, with its reputation for polite citizenry and its charming prime minister, is used to being overlooked. Sure, Canada may tower over the United States in physical size, but many countries of similar stature — G7 nations, for example — dismiss the Great White North as nothing more than America’s top hat.

This is a mistake.

Canada, with nine percent of the world’s forests, is a land of plenty. As well as an enviable array of natural resources, Canada also boasts incredible support for entrepreneurs, both homegrown and international. Many household names, such as Slack, Hootsuite and Shopify — which may be mistakenly considered as U.S. products — hail from north of the border. This proves Canada is capable of delivering on startup success.

And it’s no surprise that startups excel in the country. Sure, there is less access to VC funding and the persuasive call of Canada’s southern neighbor, but the Canadian government is working hard to build and keep successful startup ecosystems. There is a huge selection of government aid available to small businesses, some of which includes grants that don’t have to be paid back.

Alongside substantial government backing is Canada’s array of world-class universities. The University of Waterloo — increasingly known as Canada’s answer to MIT — sees incredible numbers go to Silicon Valley every year, while others all over the country produce thousands of talented grads.

While eventually losing out to Colombia, Canada was shortlisted as country of the year by The Economist in 2016. The United States’ northern neighbor boasts world-class universities and resources to develop talent and, currently, the Canadian dollar is 0.75 cents to the American dollar. This means a highly educated workforce is available for less capital for entrepreneurs all over the world who are ready and willing to make the leap to Canada.

Origin story

Canada has a proud history of technological innovation. Communications company Nortel pushed expansion in the 1970s, bringing talented telecom engineers. In 1983, after a wave of deregulation, Nortel gave way to Bell Canada Enterprise (BCE), which signaled an era of telecom preeminence.

If that weren’t enough, a year later, in 1984, Research in Motion (RIM), which today is better known as BlackBerry, was founded. While the sun may have set on BlackBerry, the impact of their phones — and the eponymous messaging service — has left a lasting impact on cellular phone technology.

Fast-forward to the nineties and the Canadian government expanded its Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program to allow for assistance to companies performing research and development. The legacy of this decision is clearly illustrated by Canada’s fervent support of startups in recent times.

See:  Blockchain startups make up 20% of largest crowdfunding projects

Since the turn of the new millennium, Canada has been determined to churn out initiative after initiative to support new business. The opening of the MaRS Discovery District in 2005 — a 1.5-million-square-foot complex located in Toronto’s downtown — provided entrepreneurs with skills via its venture program, and included a network of 1,000 high-potential-growth startups that collectively generated more than $1.3 billion in revenue from 2008-2015. Just two years later, Maple Leaf Angels set up shop in the city center, with a focus on investing in early-stage companies.

Universities across the country have worked to provide space and support for startups to grow, too. In 2010, Ryerson University founded the Digital Media Zone (DMZ), a combined incubator/accelerator program that has assisted more than 130 companies.

In later years, a wave of funding opportunities and globally recognized accelerator programs took root across Canada. The Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS) deployed $180 million in early-stage startups between 2011 and 2014, while BDC Capital launched its IT Venture Fund II, a fund worth $150 million. 2014 saw U.S. heavyweight The Founder Institute, founded by Adeo Ressi and Jonathan Greechen, open its first Canadian branch. In March 2016, 500 Startups announced its $30 million Canada fund.

With such a strong foundation of startup initiatives and technology success, it’s no wonder that Canada is in such a strong position now.

Toronto-Waterloo corridor

Despite a population of just 2.8 million, Toronto has been named the most diverse city in the world. About half of its residents were born outside of Canada, and the city is home to 230 nationalities. As Canada’s largest city, it’s quite naturally the country’s commercial, industrial and financial center. It stands to reason that this would make Toronto stand out as the country’s biggest tech hub, too.

As an example, Toronto-born FreshBooks, an accounting platform for small businesses, has more than 10 million users, and a 43,000-square-foot office in the city, which houses 245 employees. Self-publishing company Wattpad, which lets writers share their work on the platform, has 45 million users worldwide. In November, the company signed a deal with Universal Cable Productions — the creator of Suits — with the idea to sift through the stories online to turn the popular ones into TV shows. On-demand platform AskforTask has more than 150,000 taskers, and has doubled its business each year since launching in 2012.

The aforementioned MaRS Discovery District is a tower of strength in the city’s startup community, too. The four-story brick building takes up almost one city block, and is one of the world’s largest innovation hubs, offering funding, mentorship and facilities to the city’s creators. Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone incubator is also a resource for early-stage companies worldwide, as are a range of University of Toronto incubators and accelerators. BetaKit, a news publication led by Douglas Soltys that documents Canadian startup news, is also based in the city.

See:  AngelList Syndicates now available to startups and investors across Canada

As Canada’s financial hub, Toronto is home to much of the country’s investment. OMERS Ventures has had arguably one of the biggest impacts on the Canadian startup scene. The VC firm backs startups directly, including Spotify, of which the firm owns six percent. Canada also boasts the Venture Capital Action Plan (VCAP) to encourage more Canadian private investors. For every $2 in funding, the government gives another $1 to early-stage companies.

Other financial support includes 500 Startup’s Canadian fund; the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Program, a federal tax incentive for companies conducting research; and the Industrial Research Assistance Program, which provides entrepreneurs with funding and advisory services to help them develop technology.

Yet despite this, Toronto is yet to birth a homegrown unicorn. While there are up to 4,100 active startups in the city, none are valued at over a billion dollars, and aren’t necessarily household names outside the tech scene.

See:  Canadian Alternative Finance Crowdfunding Market Grows 48% from 2013-2015 and is Predicted to Reach $190 million in 2016

Just 60 miles west of Toronto, however, is Waterloo, a small city of 134,000 residents, which holds much of Canada’s tech talent. Like San Francisco and the Bay Area, Toronto and Waterloo form a corridor of startup innovation between them. Yet, while Toronto is yet to see any businesses hit that magical unicorn status, Waterloo has.

Waterloo is the home of telecoms giant BlackBerry, as well as newer companies that include video optimization platform Vidyard — which last year raised $35 million in Series C funding — and Bridgit, a communication app for construction teams that won Google Demo Day: Women’s Edition in 2015. Similarly, Shopify, considered one of the country’s most successful startups, has an office in Waterloo (as well as offices in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and San Francisco).

Waterloo boasts the MIT of Canada — the University of Waterloo — which sends talent to startup ecosystems. In fact, every year, recruiters from Apple, Google and Facebook, among others, flock to this Canadian tech hub to onboard new employees; graduates of the University of Waterloo are the second-most-frequently hired in Silicon Valley after students from University of California, Berkeley. The university’s students are famously inventive, too. In 2009, Kik Interactive was founded by a group of students who wished to create new technologies for use on mobile smartphones; it has gone on to become an incredible success.

The Toronto and Waterloo corridor is sometimes billed — unsurprisingly — as the Silicon Valley of the North. Waterloo mayor John Tory has said that the Toronto-Waterloo corridor has all the elements for huge success, much of which comes from the quality of universities in the area. The University of Waterloo ranks 24th in the world for computer science and information systems, and the University of Toronto — one of Canada’s most prestigious schools — ranks 16th.

While many tech giants already have a presence in these cities, there are efforts underway to make Toronto-Waterloo rise to the top of the world’s tech scene. Following the release of the City of Toronto’s Startup Eco-system Strategy in 2015, the city launched StartUp HERE Toronto, a website built and managed by startup influencers to feature startup news and events and put a spotlight on entrepreneurs in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Hacking the Press: Clever Ways to Get Free Press Coverage with Zero Budget

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Shopify Ecommerce Blog | by Tucker Schreiber | Mar 27, 2017

Strategies for free press coverage

On the surface, the process of getting press coverage sounds simple. But, because journalists are constantly pitched about new products, standing out from the crowd can be difficult.

Whether you’re an established business, or you're just getting started, it’s never too soon to let people know about your product. Choosing the best outlet to promote your business is only half the battle.

We’re going to look at some of the most clever ways you can get any influencer or journalist’s attention—even in a crowded space—so you can get more traffic and sales for your business.

How to Get Press Coverage by Bypassing Traditional Methods

Getting traditional press coverage can be an extremely difficult process. Often, journalists and editors are overloaded day and night with pitches.  Every day there are thousands of press releases sent out. No wonder its hard to get noticed.  Because of this, contacting blogs that are targeted to your niche, rather than pitching your product to a traditional news outlet can be much more effective, and is a much less saturated area to tackle.  Quite often, you’ll find that blogs have a page for you to submit product tips. As an example, take a look at Mashable’s Submit News page. You can use this to your advantage.  Best of all, it’s totally free.

How to Find Top Bloggers and Influencers

You can leverage the power of Google to make your life much easier when hunting down sites to contact.  By simply doing a Google search for sites related to your product or niche, you’ll be able to find blogs, journalists and influencers that can get the word out about your product.

See:  The A to Z guide to media relations for crowdfunding

These blogs and influencers are extremely valuable, as their readers and followers are all potential customers.  According to a study from Nielsen, 92% of buyers trust recommendations and products from people they know, and 70% trust opinions and reviews they find online.

Here’s some of the best search strings to use:

  • top X bloggers
  • blogs like X
  • X product reviews
  • X influencers
  • X product influencers

You’ll want to grab as much information as you can. Anything from a contributor’s first and last name, to their email address, to where they live—all of this can be useful.  Be sure to check out some of their recent work as well, as it’s always nice to mention that you like their work when reaching out to them.

Don’t want to do all the leg work? Try hiring someone from Fiverr or Craigslist to do it for you.

Alternatively, you can use a resource called Press Farm that is a compilation of over 250 individual’s contact information for companies like Business Insider, Forbes, Mashable and many more.

Product Blogs to Jumpstart Your Business

One certain way to get press coverage is to be featured on a blog that specifically writes about new or interesting products.

Blogs like Uncrate, Outblush, Cool Material, and Supercompressor are all great places to reach out to.

Here’s a list of product blogs that all have been successful in driving traffic and sales to online stores:

Because these are all curated to a certain style, getting your product featured can be a bit difficult. You’ll want to go through these blogs and make sure that you have product shots that match their aesthetic.  Sometimes its seemingly impossible to track down the people who curate these blogs. So how do you get in touch if there’s no obvious way of contacting them?

Be inventive in your approach.

  • Use Google to find out if the blog is working under another company. For instance, Uncrate works under Zombiecorp LLC. Contacting them directly is a creative way to get past all of their regular contact submissions.
  • Perform a WHOIS search to find out the owner of the domain name and contact them through the email address listed there.
  • Find businesses that have been featured on these blogs, and contact them directly to see if they can provide any contact info or insight into the curation process.
  • Find one of the writers on LinkedIn and send them a connect request. Make sure you send them a custom message that's not too long.
  • Send them a Facebook message if you can find their personal profile. Don’t be too pushy with this one though—some people prefer to keep their Facebook profile private.
  • Tweet at them directly, as well as the company or blog they write for. Followerwonk is a fantastic service that will help you dig into this information.
  • See if there is a phone number that you can leave them a voicemail at. Use this one as a last resort, and make sure to make it quick and concise.

You may like:  Institutional Investing in the 21st Century: The Growing Influence of Digital and Social Media around the World

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Slock.it secures $2 million seed funding to build Sharing Economy Platform

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Blockchain News | ByRichard Kastelein |

Slock.it

Slock.it has secured $2 million USD in seed funding according to a blog post from founder and COO Stephan Tual.  This round will go towards the development of the Universal Sharing Network (“USN”) project, which seeks to shake up the sharing economy by enabling both companies and individuals to rent, sell or share any connected smart object.

“With the USN, rental apartments and offices will become fully automated, smart objects will be rented on demand and unused vehicles get a new lease on life.” — Christoph Jentzsch, CEO Slock.it.

Since its inception in November 2015, Slock.it’s mission has been to develop the future infrastructure of the Sharing Economy. We’ve codenamed this project the Universal Sharing Network, or “USN”. Build on top of the public Ethereum Blockchain, the USN will provide users a set of mobile and desktop applications to find, locate, rent and control any object mediated by smart contracts, from anywhere in the world.

See:  MaRS Solutions Lab partners with City of Toronto to create sharing economy regulations report

The main advantage of using Blockchain technology in this context is a radically simplified user journey: Open the app > Find an object nearby > Pay for it > Use it. There is only one key (your smartphone) for everything and no need to register or login for the service thanks to a judicious use of security deposits.

The USN’s key differentiators are:

  • Cost effectiveness: we leverage a public infrastructure and therefore do not incur datacenter capital outlays
  • Interoperability: the same network of value used to rent your car can be used by the vehicle itself to pay for its own parking or electricity
  • Security: Ethereum decentralized apps or ‘dapps’ benefit from public/private key cryptography by default, while the underlying infrastructure presents no central point of failure.
  • Transparency: The USN lives on the public Ethereum Blockchain and can be reviewed by anyone
  • Permissionless: developers and manufacturers alike do not need to request permission to leverage the USN as part of their products

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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Wattpad, Wealthsimple and Overbond Join The Upside Foundation’s 150×150 Challenge to Canadian Startups to Give Back

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Upside Foundation | April 4, 2017

Upside foundation

Over 75 Canadian startups have already pledged to donate equity to charity

TORONTO, ON, April 4, 2017 — Today The Upside Foundation, a national charity that makes it easy for early-stage or high-growth Canadian companies to give back in a meaningful way, announced the launch of their campaign, 150×150: Turn Equity Into Charity. The campaign aims to grow the number of companies who have pledged to give back to 150, as we celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday. Canadian startups who make the pledge will donate a small portion of their equity to The Upside Foundation (typically in the form of stock options), which are converted to cash upon a liquidity event and donated to the charity of the company’s choosing. The Upside Foundation is also announcing several prominent Canadian startups who have taken the Upside pledge, including Wattpad, the Toronto-based entertainment company for original stories, as the first company to kick-off the 150×150 challenge.

“The Upside Foundation provides an easy solution for both early-stage startups and high-growth companies who want to give back but don’t necessarily have the time or money,” said Rob Antoniades, Board Chair and Co-founder of The Upside Foundation. “Through this national campaign, we hope to empower 150 Canadian startups to take the pledge to donate a portion of their equity and help build a stronger future for Canada.”

The Upside Foundation is partnered with Pledge 1%, a global movement founded by the Salesforce Foundation and others to inspire companies around the world about the benefits of early stage corporate philanthropy. Through Pledge 1%, over 1800 companies have donated one per cent of their equity, people or product to charity. In Canada, over 75 companies have already taken the Upside pledge, including Hubba, which raised Series B in funding in December 2016. New members include Wattpad, Wealthsimple, and Overbond, with additional members to be announced leading up to Canada’s 150th birthday.

“At Wattpad, we believe startups aren’t just about profits, they’re about giving back to communities, at home and abroad. We’ve already made a remarkable impact on millions of people’s lives around the world. Today, we pledge to join the 150×150 campaign to demonstrate our continued commitment to positive social impact,” said Allen Lau, Wattpad co-founder and CEO. “Whether you’re in the early stages or a well-established start-up nearing exit, it always makes sense to support charities that serve your users and mean something to your team. If you haven’t already joined the Upside Foundation, what are you waiting for? Join the 150×150 campaign today!”

Any Canadian startup or private high-growth company can take the Upside pledge by committing stock options or warrants that will be converted to cash at the time of an exit or IPO, and donated to a registered Canadian charity.

“I’ve always believed in giving back to the community,” said Vuk Magdelinic, CEO of Overbond. “I’m proud that we have now found a way to make Overbond’s success mean that charities in the community will win alongside us.”

To date, there have been two exits from the Upside network, including BlueCat Networks, which sold for $400 million in February 2017; BlueCat CEO, Michael Harris donated the proceeds from a portion of his stock options to the Enbridge® Ride to Conquer Cancer® benefiting the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The first company to exit was Understoodit, who was acquired by EventMobi in 2013 and donated their equity proceeds to the East York Learning Experience and Mentoring Junior Kids Organization. The Upside Foundation is led by a coast to coast Board of Directors and Advisory Board of industry leaders and partners with leading incubators, accelerators and investors – creating a supportive community for members to be a part of.

See:  2017 Canadian Online Funding Directory

“People work at startups because they want to effect change, and the Upside Foundation enables startup employees to have a meaningful impact on their community,” said Mike Katchen, founder and CEO of Wealthsimple. “Our team is proud to join the 150×150 challenge.”

How Companies Can Take the Pledge

The Upside Foundation encourages Canadian companies to join those who have already taken the pledge.

  1. Companies will need to fill out the online pledge form found on The Upside Foundation’s website and a representative will be in touch.
  2. Once the pledge form is received, companies will receive detailed instructions on how to contribute from an ESOP (employee stock ownership plan) or a simple legal form, with flexibility depending on the stage of the company.

Social Links

Website: upsidefoundation.ca/
Instagram: instagram.com/upsidefoundation/
Twitter: twitter.com/sharetheupside
Hashtag: #150×150
Facebook: facebook.com/The-Upside-Foundation-of-Canada-409389922465814/
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company-beta/3205708

About The Upside Foundation

The Upside Foundation is a charitable organization that allows startups to give back by donating equity in their company to Canadian charities. Early stage companies pledge stock options or warrants to The Upside Foundation, convertible into a small portion of equity.

To learn more about The Upside Foundation visit: www.upsidefoundation.ca


The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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AngelList Syndicates now available to startups and investors across Canada

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Betakit | | Mar 28, 2017

AngelList logo

Last October, BetaKit reported on the long-awaited arrival of AngelList Syndicates to Canada, albeit in limited form, following the Ontario Securities Commission’s (OSC) decision to allow Ontario investors to lead and participate in AngelList Syndicates as part of a two-year trial program. Back then, AngelList’s advisor to Canada, Alex Norman, said it would be “just a matter of time until it’s across Canada.”

“Founders are building great companies from coast to coast and we can now help them succeed.”

As of today, AngelList Syndicates are available across Canada. Any Canadian startup can now raise funds on the platform, and accredited Canadian investors can now apply to invest on the platform (unsure if you’d qualify? read our extensive breakdown of how AngelList works).

“We are excited that the CSA [Canadian Securities Administrators] has approved AngelList Syndicates countrywide,” Norman told BetaKit. “Founders are building great companies from coast to coast and we can now help them succeed by providing access to capital/funding via the AngelList platform.”

See:  Angel investing was always male-dominated. That’s finally changing

As part of the October announcement, Creative Destruction Lab and NEXT Canada were identified as the two launch members of the OSC’s Approved Incubator Program, which allows investors to invest in a subset of companies and not count towards the Ontario investor limit (more on that here). Since then, the OCE and YEDI have been added to the AIP list, and is looking to take applications from organizations across Canada. Interested incubators, accelerators, “technology transfer offices” and organizations that meet the criteria listed below should drop AngelList a line via email.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both social and investment crowdfunding stakeholders across the country. NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support and networking opportunities to over 1500+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a strong and vibrant crowdfunding industry in Canada. Learn more at www.ncfacanada.org.

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