During the meshwest conference earlier this week in Edmonton, a startup panel featuring Jevon MacDonald, Maura Rodgers and Dups Wijayawardhana spawned a discussion about whether Canadian startups get enough media and blogger attention.
At the risk of being assailed by newspapers, magazines, Web sites and blogs that do write about Canadian startups, I would suggest the answer to whether startups get enough attention is “No”.
Granted, I’m biased because I’m fairly immersed in the startup world. But the fact is there are a lot of great startup stories that go unreported or receive a smidgen of the coverage they deserve. It is a situation that frustrates entrepreneurs, investors and people within the startup community who believe the spotlight should be burning a lot hotter.
Where’s the Love?
So why aren’t Canadian startups getting more love and attention?
When it comes to traditional media, I would suggest startups aren’t that big of a deal for most business editors. Unless a startup raises a lot of money – let’s say more than $25-million – or gets acquired for a lot of money – let’s say $50-million – there’s not much appetite for stories about startups.
When I was a newspaper reporter, one of the most common questions I got from editors when pitching a startup story was “What’s their revenue?”. As privately-owned companies, I didn’t know, which does little to get an editor excited. Another issue is smaller newsroom, which means there are few, if any, reporters devoted to technology.
Within the Canadian blogosphere, the situation is somewhat better, although not overwhelming.
There’s a solid group of blogs such as Startup North, TechVibes, Next Montreal, Maple Butter and Startup CFO writing about startups, but selfishly I’d like to see a lot more blogs writing about startups. (Note: If you’re a blogger who writes about Canadian startups, wave the flag in the comments!).
A Great Time for Startup Coverage to Flourish
If there was ever a time for startup coverage to flourish in Canada, it’s now. As I have mentioned several times before (let me know if I’m sounding like a broken record!), this is the most exciting time for Canadian startups in the past 15 years. There’s never been so many entrepreneurs doing so many interesting things.
At the same time, it appears Canada may finally be getting a solid enough investment ecosystem to support more of these entrepreneurs so they can turn ideas or bootstrapped businesses into something with real traction and customers.
What do you think? Do Canadian startups getting enough attention? Who are the traditional media or bloggers doing it?