This Week in Canadian Startups

startupsBoris Wertz, otherwise known as Canada’s super-angel, has provided the early-stage startup landscape with another boost by launching Version One Ventures, a $15-million fund that will invest $250,000 to $500,000 in seed and series A deals. His investors include former Yahoo COO and Victoria, B.C. native Jeff Mallett.

We’ve seen this show before: promising startup launches, attracts lots of accolades and customers, gets acquired and then disappears or stops evolving. The latest example is Sparrow, the popular email clients bought by Google. Here’s more on why consumers are increasingly frustrated by startups who take the money and run.

What drives startups other than passion and money? The answer is simple: pizza. Now there’s a way for startups to get a pizza party for free with the launch of The Startup Pizza Fund, which is sponsored by and KISSMetrics.

Not only is GroupOn struggling financially (no, big surprise!), it’s now accusing Toronto-based Top Hat Monocle of poaching some of its employees. Maybe it’s just a case of rats leaving the sinking ship.

Canadian Business published a cover story on the demise of RIM. One of the angles was whether Canada can compete on the global stage (aka dance with the lions). My response to the article was how Canadian startups need to get “cocky”, while Techvibes’ Knowlton Thomas asked if Canada even needs a high-tech sector.

Hustle and creativity are key elements for a startup.’s Adam Epstein displayed both when he decided to hang out at RIM to find a technical co-founder. He didn’t find anyone but gets points for trying.

Justin Bieber has become an active startup backer – the latest investment in So Biebs, when you going to put some money into Canadian startups?

If you’re wondering about the dynamic between startups and VCs, Fred Wilson has a great post about how “entrepreneurs have control when things work, while VCs have control when they don’t”.

Investors may not like Facebook these days, but Facebook likes buys startups. Its latest deal was Vancouver-based Acrylic Software, a software design studio specializing in apps for Apple products.

Some wise words from Neil Patel on the 15 things he wished he’d known before starting his first company. They include swinging for the fences, solving a problem and creating a simple product.

Entrepreneur Magazine put together a list of five startups to watch, including Hootsuite.

If you were dreaming of heading out to the high seas to incubate your startup, you may want to rethink your plans. The Blueseed program, which planned to host 1,000 entrepreneurs, is having financing problems.

If you’re into a design – and every startup should be – you should check out the Fluxible conference, which is happening on Sept. 22/23 in Waterloo.

Extreme Startups is looking for its second cohort. Applications are now being accepted.

There’s a couple of Startup Weekend events happening next month – Winnipeg on Aug. 10 and Vancouver on Aug. 17.

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