News Pick – Small Firms Shift Toward Cloud-Based Software – WSJ

blog_cloud_small_busJune 3, 2015 “Until recently, most small businesses’ outlays on technology tended to be to acquire software outright to store on in-house computers. But, rather than sitting in a backroom office, many owners today, such as Christina Ruiz, prefer to access business data from mobile devices, wherever they go—from sales trips and client meetings to a day at the beach…” “Owners of small businesses, from clothing retailers to restaurants, are increasingly signing up for subscriptions to cloud-based software, representing a fundamental shift in the way they use technology.” Read full article at WSJ

News Pick – A Startup Sours After A Falling Out – WSJ

blog_images March 14, 2015 “Investors often wield tremendous influence over a startup—and that can backfire if the relationship between investor and entrepreneur turns bitter. Just ask Virginia Barnett, of Lithia, Fla. Last year, she co-founded Gr8code, a business that offered bootcamp-style computer programming courses for beginners.” Read full article at WSJ


News Pick – Five angel investing trends to watch in Canada – G&M

money March 12 , 2015 “Canada’s dynamic technology sector is like a constellation of opportunity, with diverse and exciting startups dotting the country. And like the stars above, these bright lights of Canada’s new economy are being fuelled by something powerful and unseen: angel investment.

From Vancouver to St. John’s, angels are filling an important gap between friends-and-family financing, venture capital and other sources of funding. They’re investing in emerging innovative companies, fostering the next generation of entrepreneurs and supporting technologies across a wide range of industries and sectors.” Read full article at Globe and Mail

News Pick – The Accelerators: Marketing That Pays Off – WSJ


March 12, 2015. “For founders of young companies, marketing is something of a catch-22. Startups need money to advertise. Yet some believe that only by advertising can a business grow and make money.

Social media like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube can offer startups the chance to expand their audience for little or no money. Yet most founders don’t know how to measure whether they’re getting any return on investment of time spent using these platforms.

On The Accelerators, experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists share their opinions on how much founders should spend on marketing their nascent companies, and their views on the marketing strategies most likely to pay off.”

News Pick – Canadian Tech Stocks Rally, Not Why You Might Think

canadian_tech_rally March 10, 2015 There was an interesting article by John Shmuel in the Financial Post last week, and he was arguing that the massive Nasdaq rally was overshadowing something of a bigger story, the rally by tech stocks in Canada. What’s interesting here is that much of growth is due to a peculiarity of Canadian businesses, where most of their income comes from abroad (usually the US), and most of their expenses are local.  
“If you look at the Canadian technology companies, they’re not really that Canadian in a sense — the vast majority of their sales are outside of our country,” said Craig Basinger, chief investment officer at Richardson GMP
As the Canadian dollar has been on something of a relative decline versus its American counterpart, earnings are coming back much larger after trade. This, in essence, quantifies the relationship between the Canadian resource market and Canadian tech stocks, as lower Oil and other commodity prices are causing a relative weakening of the Canadian dollar, which in turn are causing the growing margins on exchange for Canadian tech businesses.   You can find John’s article here.

News PIck – Rise of the tech titans: Nasdaq's resurgence.. – G&M

blog_images_nasMarch 2, 2015 “By most measures of wealth and power, the tech sector is one in ascendancy, having assumed a level of influence in the global market and economy not seen since the last tech boom. On Monday, the technology concentrated Nasdaq composite stock index breached a level once associated with the excesses of the dot-com bubble, as the benchmark broke through the 5,000 mark, capping a comeback many once thought impossible. There are important differences distinguishing now from the late-1990s, however, with the valuations of the latest era more supported by solid earnings growth. Also on Monday, Forbes released its annual list of the world’s richest people, showing an increasing representation of tech-based billionaires.” Read full article at Globe & Mail

News Pick – How Wearable Startups Can Win Big In The Medical Industry – TC

blog_images_wearableFeb 19, 2015 “As attention shines down on fitness trackers and smartwatches, one of the biggest opportunities for wearable devices remains shadowed in the corner — medicalwearables. Medical wearables present colossal opportunities, but they tend to frighten entrepreneurs and elicit polarizing sentiments from investors.

However, that does not mean I pursue every wearable investment that comes my way. The startups that catch my eye meet specific criteria shaped by the years I spent developing novel medical products that the FDA approved and payers reimbursed. When it comes to saying yes to medical wearable startups, here are the key things I look for:”

Read full article at TechCrunch

News Pick – MaRS launches Toronto financial tech cluster – TS

blog_images_marsFeb 18, 2015 “It is always smart to follow the money and MaRS wants to make it easier for tech entrepreneurs and financial services companies to work together.
On Tuesday evening, MaRS, a public-private partnership, announced a series of strategic partnerships that will create Canada’s first financial technology cluster. Citing the rise of many local financial tech (fintech) based startups, the fact that Canada’s financial sector is based here, and the interest of venture capitalists looking to identify new, high potential technologies, MaRS hopes to become the place that brings all three groups together.

“We have a financial sector that is globally recognized and sector delivers about $13 billion in benefits for Toronto and Canada,” said Adam Nanjee, lead for the fintech cluster at MaRS. “The thing is if you look at Toronto, where would the entrepreneurs go to get access to the financial institutions? Where would these institutions go to get access to these entrepreneurs? And where would the VCs (venture capitalists) go to find these entrepreneurs? There’s not a central place where all of these stakeholders can come and play. We are going to be making MaRS that central place.” ”  
Read full article at The Star