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Canada’s Hottest Startups and VCs for 2012

startupsTo be honest, I’m not a big fan in “hot” lists because they’re so subjective. For startups, it’s difficult to assess “hot” because  a variety of metrics can be applied. And, sorry, using Alexa.com to measure “hot” is a flawed approach.

But in keeping with the situation, here’s my completely unscientific list of the hottest startups and VCs. For the startups, it was creating by scraping the portfolios of the leading VCs and accelerators, lists created by Red Herring, Deloitte, CIX and PWC, and some personal selections. (I have tried not to include startups that have been snapped up such as GoInstant, or companies that have grown to become SMBs such as Freshbooks.)

From all this data, I picked 10 “hot” startups: Frank & Oak, 500px, Fixmo, HootSuite, Beyond the Rack, Keek, Top Hat Monocle, Chango, Wave Accounting and WattPad.

Canada’s hot VCs are: OMERS Ventures, Real Ventures, iNovia Capital, BDC, Golden Ventures, Extreme Ventures, Klass Capital, Relay Ventures, Mantella, Version One Ventures and Rho Canada.

In alphabetical order, here’s the complete list of the “hottest” 108 Canadian startups. (Feel free to make suggestions by leaving a comment).

360incentives.com
360Pi
500px
Achievers
Acquisio
AppHero
Archon Systems
Atomic Reach
Axonify
Azzimov
Bering Media
Beyond the Rack
BluePrint
BroadbandTV
BuzzBuzzHome
Canopy Labs
Celtx
Chango
Clarity.fm
ClearFit
ContactMonkey
Crowdbase
Dejero Labs
Digital Journal
EcoBee
Empire Avenue
Employtouch
Engagio
ePact
Fastgrab
Financeit
Fixmo
Flixel
Fluid Surveys
Food.ee
Frank & Oak
Gijit
Good Momming
Granify
Guardly
HomeSav
HomeStars
HootSuite
Hopper
Influitive
InfoActive
Infusion
iNovia
International Gaming League
Jibestream
KarmaHire
Keek
Kera
Kira Talent
LeadSift
LemonStand
LISTN
Livelenz
Lymbix
Mobovivo
Mobify
MyCustomizer
MyShoeBox
N8 Identity
Newtrax Technologies
Nulogy
Oompf
Openera
PageFreezer Software
Payfirma
Penyo Pal
Photonic Knowledge
Picatic
Playerize
Printchomp
Procurify
QuickMobile
reelyActive
Scribblelive
SecureKey Technologies
Shifthub
Shiny Ads
Shopcaster
Shopify
ShopLocket
SimplyUs
Sitescout
Skyscrapr
Source Metrics
SpaceList
StyleCaster
SurfEasy
Sweet IQ
SweetTooth
Top Hat Monocle
TribeHR
Uberflip
Unbounce
Urbita
Urthecast
UXP Systems
Valydate
Vana Workforce
Venio
Viafoura
Vidyard
Wajam
WattPad
Wave Accounting
Well.ca
Yactraq

More: Another way contribute to a “hot” list is casting your vote on Techvibes’ 2012 Canadian Startup Awards.

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  • http://www.engag.io/Abdallah Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I obviously would put Engagio higher on the list :) but is a personal choice. I think the 10 you chosen are good ones, however, how the term ‘startup’ is used should be slightly more refined. For example, Hootsuite is a great story but they have been around since 2008 and have raised a major round of capital from OMERS. They might be at the borderline between a startup and fully fledged company by now!

  • Stefano

    No love for Canadian life science start-ups? Or is social-networking-e-commerce-gamification so much sexier than helping people with cancer?

    • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

      I’m sure there are many great life-sciences company but it’s not my area of expertise.

      • Antonio V.

        At that point I would’ve named this Canada’s hottest tech startups. And yeah I don’t get why you’d create a list of “hot” startups when you realize yourself that “hot” is meaningless. Feels like typical VC herd behavior to me. How about you pick an actual metric and make your post so much more valuable?

  • http://startupcfo.ca/ Mark MacLeod

    Nice to see many Real Ventures/ FounderFuel companies on the list.

  • http://twitter.com/srlake Stephen Lake

    Somehow Bufferbox escaped this list.

    • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

      Stephen: I’ve excluded startups that have been acquired. Mark

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1321671992 Sunil Sharma

    Nice to see our startups on your list too Mark: Shoplocket, Granify, HUB (SimplyUs), Gijit, Shifthub, MyShoebox, Venio, Picatic and Kera. Not a bad year! And Verelo had a very classy week and we wish them well.

  • http://twitter.com/ThisJustCameIn NF

    As did TVphoon.

    • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

      Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Chris Brady

    Animated Media inc is one of the most impressive and generally unknown.

    • http://www.markevans.ca/ Mark Evans

      Thanks for the suggestion!

  • http://twitter.com/MattGoldenVP Matt Golden

    Very excited to see all of Golden Venture Partner’s Toronto based portfolio companies on the list, congrats to all of them and everyone else! Super pleased to see such high quality, high potential companies in Canada

    • http://twitter.com/jordansatok Jordan Satok

      We’re honoured to be part of the list. The GoldenVP startups are going to kick ass in 2013!

    • http://startuplifeblog.com/ Josh Sookman

      @twitter-42528625:disqus, you sure know how to pick ‘em!

      @buckpost:disqus thanks so much for including Guardly on your list. You’ve put us alongside some amazing company.

      Echoing @twitter-16415107:disqus’s remarks, we also look forward to the GVP startups kicking ass in 2013!

  • Stefano

    No love for Canadian life science start-ups? Or is social-networking-e-commerce-gamification sexier than helping people with cancer?

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/scottjhoward ScottjHoward

    Happy to see teams Coral CEA has supported over the last year: Viafoura, Openera, 500px (via AlgoAnywhere). Look forward to more partners making the list next year. Personally, I would not under estimate Secure Key, I think they will be an important company. I will keep my #1 & #2 picks for the hot list in ‘quite mode’ for now;)

  • corbyfine

    Way to go all of you. Job well done! Shifthub especially :)

  • http://www.clickdesk.com/ Sudarshan

    Thanks Mark for putting together this lovely list and bringing more startups in the limelight. Engagio is a personal favorite, and in fact I bumped in to this post through it, ah the irony!

  • JB

    This is a fantastic list Mark, its great to see the next generation of emerging Canadian tech companies. Your list should include ‘SALT’ formerly known as Admeris. We’ve doubled in size over the last year and recently opened a SF office.

  • David Ossip

    Stephen Lake’s Thalmic Labs should be on this list. Amazing technology and first round was oversubscribed!

  • Jason

    Maluuba certainly belongs in here.

  • http://twitter.com/alexandernorman Alexander Norman

    Thanks @buckpost:disqus for including @homesav on the list. Congrats to all the other startups on the list and helping make things happen in Canada

  • http://twitter.com/SpaceList SpaceList

    Definitely some good things happening up here! Thanks for including @spacelist

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.colemandelorme Lisa Coleman-Delorme

    I might be a little biased but http://www.rentfrockrepeat.com is making a splash in Canada as well.

  • http://twitter.com/teljamali Taoufik El Jamali

    Great list ;) what about viralninjas.com ?

  • GP

    Not on the list but should be: Vena Solutions – started April 2011, raised over $5M in 2 Angel rounds, currently (Jan 2013) at over 40 employees

  • Heather Payne

    HackerYou would be a good fit for this list. We launched in June 2012, and ran out first sold-out cohort from September to December 2012.

  • Mike @ Mobify

    Thanks for the mention, Mark!

  • http://www.polytude.com/ Tristan Khan

    This is a great list. Thanks, Mark.

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