This Week in Canadian Startups

canada startupsBefore getting into this week’s recap, I wanted to let you know “This Week in Canadian Startups” is now a weekly newsletter delivered to your inbox every Saturday. You can subscribe here.

- By far, the biggest news of the week was Pebble, the e-watch for iPhone and Android created by UofW grad Eric Migicovsky, which has raised $5.7-million so far on Kickstarter. If you contribute $99 , $115 (plus $10 shipping) you get a Jet Black Pebble worth $150.

- Communitech unveiled a new YCombinator-like accelerator program called Hyperdrive that will help 90 companies over three years. Featuring $30-million in cash and in-kind support, Hyperdrive’s investors include OMERS, Rho Ventures, iNovia Capital and RIM.

- What makes a startup “disruptive”? It’s a term used a lot but how is “disruptive” defined? I wrote a post that got some interesting comments.

- For many startups, raising VC appears to be as important as growing their businesses, so it was interesting to read a 37Signals post about successful bootstrapped companies such as WooThemes and Campaign Monitor.

- The federal government recently announced changes to Canada’s R&D programs. Mark McQueen explains in Canadian Business why it’s a good thing for Canadian entrepreneurs.

- I’m a big advocate of demo videos for startups  to capture the attention of potential customers. Conversion XL has a post on how to make them effective, as well as three good examples.

- After spending a lot of time looking for alternatives to Mac Mail, I discovered Sparrow, software created by Paris-based startup. Here’s a mini-profile on Sparrow I did in the Globe & Mail’s “Start” section.

- You hear a lot about how failure can be a good thing, but how does failing really help you learn? On the Sprouter blog, Chango’s Chris Sukornyk offers some insight on how entrepreneurs can benefit from failure.

- The “Lean Startup” has become the bible for many startups, but Ben Yoskowitz has a post on the Instigator Blog on how it has caused a problem: paralysis by analysis.

- Finally, here’s a head-scratcher. INCubes, one of the growing number of startup incubators in Toronto, is looking for entrepreneurs for its next cohort who have no idea for a startup. My take: it’s either a brilliant marketing move or a sign of the apocalypse.

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  • Shirley Williams

    This is good information. It is good to know what is going on in my own backyard.

    • Mark Evans

      Shirley: Thanks for the comment. You can subscribe to the weekly newsletter by clicking on cheers, Mark