Category Archives: Innovation and Resources

From Expo to exploration: McBarge to find a new purpose at sea

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CBC BC News | By Bethany Lindsay | Oct 15, 2017

 

Pair wants to convert former floating McDonald's into a 'Deep Ocean Discovery Centre'

Vancouver's McBarge, that long-neglected relic of Expo 86, may soon be setting sail for a new life as a deep sea museum and conservation centre.

The hulking 57-metre vessel has been sitting in a secure yard on the Fraser River in Maple Ridge for the last two years, having two decades' worth of graffiti and damage from illicit partiers wiped away.

The McBarge last saw legal visitors in 1986, during its famous stint as a McDonald's restaurant.

But owner Howard Meakin and diving industry pioneer Phil Nuytten want to open the hatches once again. They plan to transform the McBarge into the "Deep Ocean Discovery Centre," a floating display of vintage diving technology and interactive exhibits about the Pacific Ocean.

"We want people to love the ocean, and before you can love something, you have to know about it," Nuytten told CBC News.

One idea would see television screens connected to underwater cameras stationed in various locations around Metro Vancouver, so visitors can get a closer look at sponge reefs off Whytecliff Park or cruise ships travelling under Lions Gate Bridge.

See:  Canada’s biggest obstacle to innovation is attitude

The centre would also be home to Nuytten's vast collection of antique submersibles, diving suits and other equipment, as well as his company's atmospheric diving system the Newtsuit, and high-tech successor the Exosuit.

That collection features several groundbreaking pieces of equipment developed in British Columbia, including the Pisces-class submarines and Atlantis Submarines' tourist submersibles.

"It's very well known in the global underwater community, as we call ourselves, that B.C. is a sort of cutting edge technology centre, a mecca — but almost nobody in B.C. seems to know that," Nuytten said.

Sophisticated Indigenous technology

But local innovations in underwater exploration began thousands of years before any Europeans set foot in North America, and Nuytten — who is Métis but was adopted into the Kwakiutl First Nation — is planning a strong focus on technologies used by coastal First Nations.

"It's surprising how sophisticated the stuff that they designed and built to do things underwater [was] — how sophisticated that is even compared to what we have today," he said.

One example of that technology is the tool developed by the Nuu-chah-nulth of Vancouver Island to harvest dentalium shells. These shells were used as currency across North America during pre-colonial times

The Nuu-chah-nulth's device allowed a harvester standing in a canoe on the water's surface to pluck one of the mollusks from the ocean floor, 10 or 20 metres below. Nuytten has built replicas of the tools that will be included in the centre.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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It’s Official – Google District – Ground Breaking – Today

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LinkedIn Pulse | Sydney Eatz | Oct 17, 2017

Google parent company Alphabet announces ground breaking Sidewalk Labs - Google District

The neighbourhood of the future.  Remember - May 11th - 2017 - this article from Co-moderator of Google Local guides moderator. Richard Trus - reprinted with his permission

With the recent announcement that Sidewalk Labs LLC, the urban innovation unit of Alphabet Inc, has applied to develop the 12 acre site Quayside property there have been many who have been scratching their heads.

What is a Google District? Why Toronto?

Don't worry if you don't get it - what is Google up to? Google is known for research and development and coming out with projects that in the beginning pivot into larger products for the company. Most of these Google products become part of your daily routine. If you have ever used Streetview - the companion to Google Maps that let's you see panorama's of where you are going in 360 - well that project started out 17 years ago as the Stanford City Block project.

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

For the past 17 years pre-visualization has slowly taken form in projects across North America. Pre-visualization is a requirement for simulation and training that are used by major corporations and governments now.

Having been involved in one of the largest pre-visualization projects in the world - the product you see, is often not necessarily the product that is produced. For example the military needs to train soldiers. In order to get the assets (video of explosions, gun fire, helicopters) they partner with film and television companies. So you as the consumer see the final product of a movie like Terminator, while the pre-visualization assets are used by the military in training. It's a win-win scenario as the cost of film production is subsidized to produce content for pre-visualization and it gives both the movie viewer and the soldier trainee a high quality video to experience.

Moving to the Google District Toronto - pre-visualizing decisions in cities has always been an expensive proposition. There was no way to test alternatives for example of building a subway line and the economic benefits or problems associated with it, until you actually built the subway.

Now with pre-visualization you can use a 3D model of the city to test out A/B testing and find the best route, the problems to avoid and how to best accomplish city planning goals.

See:  4 reasons you should move your startup to Toronto today

For the past year a group that I have been one of the moderators have been building a 3D model of the city of Toronto as the progression of technology has always followed three stages. Text - Image - Sound - Video - 3D - this has been repeated in industries over and over again. Industries progress in a linear fashion in media - the newspaper - to telegraph - to radio - to TV - to Internet 3D.

The world of Maps is also making that transition - from paper maps now to 3D - both panorama's to complete 3D models. A mentor of mine once described it best as the "Long nose of Innovation" that any technology that is going to impact our lives today is technology that has been around for at least 10 years.

So as pre-visualization seems new to most - it has been around for almost 25 years. One of the problems was that 25 years ago - a terrabyte of storage didn't exist, internet connection was starting, and there were no mobile devices. So many of us had to wait for the technology to catch up to fix the problems that prevented technology like pre-visualization to be used by the masses.

Why Toronto?  Toronto is now one of the best mapped cities in the world. Recently Toronto placed 4th worldwide in a Global competition

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

 

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Vancouver Conf + Hackathon (NOV 28): 3rd VanFUNDING 2017 New Frontiers Fintech Conference + Sandbox Hackathon (Registration Now OPEN)

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NOV 28:  3rd Annual VanFUNDING 2017

New Frontiers Full Day Fintech Conference (#VF2017)

When:  Tuesday, NOV 28, 2017 (8am - 6pm)

Venue: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (Asian pacific hall)

580 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 (map)

$350 Registration / *$395 VIP Pass

 $250 Member Discount / *$295 VIP Pass

*VIP Passes (Include Nov 28 + Nov 27 Networking)


NOV 28:  VF2017 Sandbox Hackathon

Full Day Mini-Hack + Cash Prize + Rewards

When:  Tuesday, NOV 28, 2017 (8am - 6pm)

Venue: Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (Concourse)

580 W Hastings St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K3 (map)

*$400 Small Team (2-3 members)

*$650 Large Team (Up to 6 members)

* Hackathon is co-hosted with the BC Securities Commission

 


NOV 27:  VIP Networking Reception

Pre-VanFUNDING VIP Mixer

Monday, NOV 27, 2017

Venue:  TBD

$75 Registration

* Networking with speakers, partners, investors and VIP attendees

SAVE 30% EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION NOW OPEN!

View #VF2017 Release

Not to be missed - will sell out! Last conference of the year...

3rd VanFUNDING 2017 (#VF2017) is an immersive full day financial innovation forum and premiere hackathon hosted by the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada, partners and affiliates on Tuesday, Nov 28 in downtown Vancouver, Canada at SFU's Morris J Wosk Centre for Dialogue. #VF2017 is a leading conference dedicated to accelerating access and development of emerging financial technologies, funding opportunities and capital innovation markets across Canada and around the world. The conference ignites venture markets and provides opportunities for startups and scaleups seeking to connect with financial innovators, private capital markets, investors, and partners to expand their networks. The 2017 agenda covers the hottest topics from Blockchain smart contracts and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) to the latest developments, emerging regulations, new business models in PeerToPeer (P2P) crowdfinance, fintech, alternative finance, cryptocurrencies, artificial intelligence applications, and global financial marketplaces. Other vital capital innovation topics will cover international developments, perk/rewards, lending, equity, royalty, market provisioning and infrastructure; investor marketing, leadership culture, cyber security and legal and financial considerations.


Learn the Latest Funding Opportunities and Fintech Market Developments and Plug into a Collaborative Community of Experts, Investors, Stealth Startups, Prospective Partners and Financial Innovators

VanFUNDING 2017 is a not to be missed BLOCKCHAIN and FINTECH FUNDING conference that pushes boundaries to discuss the latest developments, educate, inspire, and connect ‘You and your vision’ with leading innovators, entrepreneurs, investors, vendors, thought leaders and policy makers in the quickly emerging sectors of fintech, P2P, crowdfinance, blockchain ICOs, digital currencies and alternative finance.

Be part of the Future of Financial Services - Get Involved Today!

Interested in speaking? Applications Now Open

Partnership opportunities available! Sponsorship Info

Volunteer? Apply here

MEDIA pass? Visit here

 

Questions or in-kind Partnerships?

Email: info@ncfacanada.org

 

Visit the full VanFUNDING.ca website --> now

View Last year: Speakers | Partners | Wrap-up

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Former PayPal President Scott Thompson Joins Canadian Fintech Payment Rails As Investor & Board Advisor

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Crowdfund Insider | | Oct 10, 2017

Payment Rails, a Canada-based API-first payouts platform for businesses, announced on Tuesday it has appointed former President of PayPal, Scott Thompson, as an investor and board advisor. This news comes just after the company completed its seed round and brought total investment funding to $1.1 million. Founded in 2015, Payment Rails stated it is simplifying cross-border payouts for online marketplaces, share economy, crowdsourcing, affiliate platforms, app stores, and crowdfunding platforms.

Make payouts to your independent contractors, affiliates and suppliers anywhere in the world in 150+ currencies through our payouts-as-a-service platform. We offer a powerful API or you can upload batch files through our dashboard portal. Recipients have the choice of how they want to receive their funds and in which currency: direct to their own bank account, credit card, prepaid card, cash pick-up, check, paypal + other options.”

Payment Rails’ Co-founder and CEO,  Tim Nixon, explained:

“Our vision is to enable all businesses to offer an exceptional payout experience to their on-demand workers and suppliers, whether that business is a startup or a Fortune 500 company. Our focus on delivering the fastest global payments at fair and transparent prices, coupled with our easy integration, is what businesses have been demanding. With the guidance of industry experts like Scott, we’re on the way to achieving this vision.”

See:  PayPal launches Slack bot for peer-to-peer payments

While sharing details about Thompson’s appointment, Ferhan Patel, Co-Founder and President of Payment Rails, stated:

“We are thrilled to have Scott join our team as an advisor and investor. Scott is an industry giant having led PayPal and making it a dominant force in payments.  His experience and expertise will be extremely valuable as we scale our platform globally. Payment Rails is honored to be backed by our seed-round investors, like Scott. As we launch our business payouts platform, we truly appreciate the expertise that Scott, who through his leadership scaled PayPal to over 105M active users, brings to the Payment Rails board.”

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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Five common options for financing your small business

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Financial Post | Danny Bradbury | Oct 10, 2017

Which method you choose depends on your company's current situation and its goals

For most small businesses, financing can be a challenge. Whether you need bridge capital to keep the business running in tough times, or structured debt for long-term growth, it pays to have a strategy for seeking out those elusive financing dollars. Statistics Canada found that just over half (51.3 per cent) of businesses requested external financing in 2014.

Equity-based financing options like venture capital often make the headlines, but less than one per cent of small businesses requested this in 2014. Debt-based financing is far more common, as is trade credit from suppliers.

Here are five financing options to turn to, depending on the type of small business you run, and its situation.

Bootstrapping

Funding yourself is a long-established and responsible way to get a small business off the ground. Bootstrappers are risk takers but also lateral thinkers. Rather than saddling themselves with debt or giving up ownership of their small company, they will use their own savings and potentially sell some assets to help finance their business in the early days.

Bootstrappers may work a side gig until they are confident that their new business idea has the legs to stand on its own. They may pre-sell products and services to help fund early-stage development. The successful ones cleave to one overarching principle: get to revenue quickly. If you’re going to bootstrap your company, the only thing that counts is the sale.

Small business loan

A small business loan is the most traditional route for those taking a debt-based approach to small business financing. Banks are often a first port of call, although they are naturally conservative, and they understand the higher risk involved with smaller operations that may have little to no credit history or collateral. This can make bank loans difficult to secure and could drive businesses toward such alternative lenders as OnDeck. Always ensure you understand the exact terms – and your payment commitments – before agreeing to a loan.

In Canada, another option is the government’s Small Business Financing Program, which provides up to $1 million in financing for purchasing or improving land, property or equipment. There are limitations though: working capital, inventory, labour and advertising are all excluded under this initiative.

Friends and family

If conditions from a financial institution are not to your liking, you could always borrow money from the Bank of Mom & Dad. Friends and family funding is a common way for small, high-growth businesses to get started, but it comes with some baggage.

See:  Current Fintech, Altfi, P2P, ICO, Crowdfunding News

It’s easy for money issues to cloud personal relationships, so small business people pursuing friends and family financing must be careful not to let emotion get in the way. Set out clear expectations around loan terms, including a percentage and payback date. Just because you were raised by those doing the lending doesn’t mean you can do away with legal advice. It keeps everyone on the same page.

Angel investors

Small business owners willing to give up some equity can go in search of an angel investor. These full-or part-time investors put their own money into early-stage businesses, hoping for future return if they succeed.

You may give up part ownership of your company to these investors, but they often bring contacts and experience difficult to find elsewhere. It also means that you aren’t saddled with loan payments that can cripple your cash flow. AngelList connects investors with startups, while Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization has a directory of potential investors.

These investors suit entrepreneurs with high-growth businesses and a clear exit strategy. Would-be Mark Zuckerbergs should apply. Owners of family-run laundromats with no plans to take over the world should look elsewhere.

Crowdfunding

If your business idea is that good, why not spread it around? Crowdfunding is a growing financing model, with $133 million raised in 2015 alone, according to a report from the National Crowdfunding Association of Canada. Consumer-focused businesses with some digital element to their products or services tend to do well with this model.

See:  VanFUNDING 2017 - NOV 28 Vancouver:  Raise Funding for Your Business leveraging All the Latest Methods

You can crowdfund using two broad approaches: reward/donation-based models, or debt/equity funding. The former are unregulated outside of traditional consumer protection and business laws. Selling equity in the company or taking loans with some promise of payback will bring you under regulatory scrutiny, but is still possible in some regions.

The Government of Canada’s Canada Business Network says equity crowdfunding is currently an option in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Conditions vary between provinces and depend on exactly how your crowdfunding process works.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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Bitcoin is making banks nervous. Here’s why

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World Economic Forum | Marc-David L. Seidel | Oct 6, 2017

Technology blogs and financial news networks are buzzing about blockchain, a cryptographic, distributed trust technology. The key innovation is how it reduces the need for central third-party institutions to serve as central authorities of trust — banks, courts, large corporations, stock markets and even governments, for example.

Distributed trust enables co-operative forms of organization without a centre. It can distribute power away from centralized institutions to those that traditionally have less power. Such powerful institutions do not let go of their influence easily.

The ongoing debate about how to regulate distributed trust technologies assumes that the advocates of the technologies will seek both legal status and enforceability. Scholars proposethat such developments in distributed trust are a competitive threat to nation-state paper currencies.

Much of the current, popular focus is on cryptographic currency — or cryptocurrency — applications such as Bitcoin.

Bitcoin vs. banks

Regulators are struggling to deal with a fundamental shift in market structure. National central banks are implementing policies to keep control and regulate distributed trust technology.

For example, the Chinese government has banned several types of distributed trust activities, and is launching its own non-distributed, centralized digital currency.

The Japanese government has made Bitcoin a legal payment method, and major Japanese banks are planning to launch a J-Coin digital currency pegged to the Yen which may be built on a blockchain.


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Russia initially treated non-approved currency trades as illegal, but is now determining how to regulate them.

In fact, traditional centralized, powerful organizations like banks, governments, regulators and technology behemoths are all spending billions figuring out how to use and control distributed trust technologies.

But distributed trust technologies have many uses beyond cryptocurrency.

Volunteer-driven communities

Organizational theory has a lot to say about this transition. Distributed trust technologies are organized in what we call a Community Form (C-Form) of organization.

C-Forms are not new. They have been around since the 1800s when the Oxford English Dictionary was created by a distributed community of volunteers.

The growth of C-Forms was accelerated by technological developments enabling inexpensive peer-to-peer communication. C-Forms came into focus with the last internet-enabled major organizational shift to distributed information-creation platforms.

As a result of that innovation, we have seen many forms of information production shift to C-Forms. Open source software such as the Linux computer operating system, which competes with Microsoft Windows and Apple macOS, is produced and shared by individuals in C-Forms instead of centralized software companies. Encyclopedias such as Wikipedia are created by individuals in a C-Form instead of a centralized publishing house. Video content on Vimeo is produced and shared by individuals in a C-Form instead of centralized studios.

See:  Where is technology taking the economy?

Similarly, distributed trust technologies are shifting the organizational landscape of how trust is produced and managed from centralized institutions to a C-Form.

The development of distributed trust technologies is having a similar enabling effect on the growth of C-Forms replacing the trust functions of centralized institutions.

Fundamentally, this is a decentralization of power.

Power shift

Many of our previous assumptions about formal organization are being challenged by shifts to distributed forms of trust.

Individuals can now enter into direct peer-to-peer trusted exchanges with strangers. They no longer need a central institution to vouch for the other party. A blockchain-enabled microgrid in Brooklyn is already allowing individuals to sell their excess solar energy directly to neighbours without involving a central utility company.

This is a drastic shift to many of the underlying assumptions about how markets and society are organized. As power centralizes, opportunities emerge.

Many Silicon Valley success stories are simply centralized platforms. They capitalize on the power and legitimacy of enabling trusted interactions for others.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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Treasury Report Calls for Sweeping Changes to Financial Rules

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The New York Times |

The Trump administration is again taking aim at the Dodd-Frank Act, releasing a Treasury Department report on Friday that recommended a vast reworking of Wall Street rules adopted in response to the financial crisis.

Some of the proposed overhauls would do away with a requirement for companies to divulge the pay ratio of chief executives to workers, streamline derivatives rules, and give companies more access to capital and investors more places to put their money.

The ideas were welcomed on Wall Street, where banks complain that Dodd-Frank rules have needlessly hobbled growth. But they attracted skepticism from consumer groups and others, who consider the suggestions a dangerous relaxation of checks against a cavalier financial system.

The report offers a guide to agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which police activity relating to stocks, bonds and derivatives. But the detailed 220-page document also serves as a gauge of the administration’s attitude toward Wall Street — namely, that market restraints should be loosened.

See:  Competition Bureau suggests Canadian FinTech sector’s slow growth due to regulation, consumer complacenc

The proposals follow a report on banking rules released by Treasury officials in June. That report sought to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, lighten regulatory scrutiny of small community banks and allow greater exemptions from the so-called Volcker Rule, which bars banks from making speculative bets for their own gain.

Both the June report and the one released on Friday — as well as two more expected in the coming months — originated from an executive order that President Trump signed in February asking Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to reposition financial rules to better match the administration’s aims.

“The U.S. has experienced slow economic growth for far too long,” Mr. Mnuchin said in a statement Friday. “By streamlining the regulatory system, we can make the U.S. capital markets a true source of economic growth which will harness American ingenuity and allow small businesses to grow.”

Rob Nichols, chief executive of the American Bankers Association, called the Treasury recommendations “practical, reasonable and achievable.”

“Many of the recommendations in the report would make it easier to raise capital, meet the needs of bank customers operating domestically and abroad, and focus regulatory processes on effective supervision without harming the economy,” Mr. Nichols said in a statement.

Among its proposals, Treasury recommended increasing the amount that can be raised in a crowdfunding offering, to $5 million from $1 million. The department, which also said it hoped to encourage more companies to pursue initial public offerings, pointed out that the number of publicly traded companies had declined by nearly 50 percent in the past two decades.

Treasury also addressed rules that require companies to disclose payments associated with foreign resource extraction and the presence of “conflict minerals” from war-racked regions in Africa in their products. It said the rules, which are backed by human rights groups, should be repealed or limited to large, mature companies.

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The National Crowdfunding Association of Canada (NCFA Canada) is a cross-Canada non-profit actively engaged with both investment and social crowdfunding, blockchain ICO, alternative finance, fintech, P2P and online investing stakeholders across the country.  NCFA Canada provides education, research, leadership, support, and networking opportunities to over 1600+ members and works closely with industry, government, academia, community and eco-system partners and affiliates to create a vibrant and innovative online financing industry in Canada.  Learn more About Us or visit www.ncfacanada.org.

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