Cultivating Startups looks at issues related to building world-class startup ecosystems and startup communities. You'll hear from people and organizations doing interesting, impactful work in building and sustaining startup ecosystems—people with ideas and experience in making it happen. Hosted by Gary Will, one of the builders of the Waterloo, Ontario startup community and a recipient of Startup Canada's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Ep 26: Startup Ecosystem Success Factors and Startup Genome
Lots of ideas for startup ecosystem builders to discuss, debate, adapt and adopt in the 2018 Startup Genome report. It's one of the few examinations of what world-class ecosystems look like and how to get there—and something that every ecosystem organization should read and consider.
Some of the topics discussed on this episode:
Local Connectedness: New in this year's report and a critical component of all strong ecosystems. We give a big thumbs up to the report's contention that "collisions" and events aren't enough to build a startup community.
Subsectors: Startup Genome looks at the growth of "deep tech"—technology subsectors that are typically more research-heavy and attract older, more experienced and educated founders. They see these subsectors as an opportunity for smaller ecosystems to become leaders. We look at what they identify as the subsector strengths of Canada's ecosystems.
Founder Mindset: Are there attitudes and traits that are more likely to lead to strong startup founders or business builders? Startup Genome has introduced a new factor that looks at what traits help founders succeed.
And we look at why we still think the Startup Genome reports are must-reads even though we give little credence to their rankings—and why we worry that the Ontario government may be latching on to the wrong takeaways from these reports.
* Startup Genome 2018 report
* Hockeystick database
Ep 25: Do tech incubators make sense in small urban areas?
The Canadian federal budget was delivered on Tuesday and we start the show with a quick look at two items that may not get a lot of attention but may have a big impact on the startup ecosystem.
* It wasn't said directly, but it looks like the CAIP program will not be renewed next year. It has provided millions of dollars in funding to organizations like Communitech, MaRS, Ryerson DMZ, Invest Ottawa and many others across Canada.
* IRAP has been a source of funding for some of Canada's top startups, but the government wants to see them supporting larger projects, which will likely mean larger companies as the recipients.
We also run through the supercluster winners, announced since the last show.
We then take a deeper dive into a planned incubator in Gananoque, Ontario and look at the bigger issues around how small urban and rural areas can reasonably participate in the "startup revolution." The business plan says "The incubator’s success will be predicated on its ability to position itself as a world-class technology incubator"—how plausible is this in a town of 5,200 people with no university or college and very little ICT talent, companies, customers or investors?
* Gananoque Incubator Feasibility Study [PDF] (Item 7 attachment)
* RiverLaunch Business Plan [PDF] (Item 11 attachment)
* Executive Director - Business Incubator [PDF]
* Budget 2018 [PDF]
* N100 Evolution
* Accelerate Muskoka: Business Acceleration Feasibility and Business Plan Development [PDF] (pages 54-79)
Ep 24: Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs: The Expert Review Panel Report
An expert review panel recently completed a report on the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)—the main program of the Ontario government for providing funding to organizations supporting tech or innovation companies and startup ecosystem. The ONE's Regional Innovation Centres are located in 18 cities across Ontario.
And the review panel has recommended big changes: they want the government to become "a strong central authority" in the management of the program and recommend a diminished role for MaRS and for many of the regional organizations at the core of the ONE—many of which would no longer be called regional innovation centres. Communitech and Invest Ottawa would be promoted to Provincial Innovation Centres, and the panel recommends a "significant increase" in the province's funding of innovation programs.
On this episode, we dedicate the entire show to a look at the expert review panel report with a focus on some of the more contentious recommendations. The panel humbly suggests that its recommendations will be criticized because they are "disruptive to those vested in the status quo." Well, we have problems with the status quo ... and with some of the review panel's suggestions. On the podcast we discuss why some of the recommendations would be a step backwards for Ontario.
* Building Global Winners: The Expert Review Panel Report on the ONE [PDF]
* Statement on the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs Report (Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science)
* Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs
* Ontario Commercialization Network Review (2009) [PDF]
Ep 23: The Biggest, Fastest Growing, Most Concentrated Tech Hubs in Canada – From the 2016 Census
We're back this week and it's the show we can only do once every five years. What are the fastest growing tech/ICT/software centres in Canada? You'll see rankings like this all the time, but we really only have good data on this every five years when the Census numbers come out. And they just came out and we go through them on this week's show—while also looking at why it's not as simple to come up with these rankings as you may think.
So, there's a lot of Waterloo in these rankings, and plenty of Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa, and Montreal—as you'd expect—and Fredericton and Windsor and London and Saskatoon and many others from coast to coast—from Nanaimo to St. John's. We can't do this again until 2022! It's a show packed with top 5 rankings.
And you can follow along with these tables for most of the rankings discussed on the show, along with details of which industry (NAICS) and occupation (NOC) codes were used.
* Data tables, 2016 Census
* 2011 National Household Survey: Data tables
* LinkedIn post: Canada's fastest growing ICT (software) hubs
* Brookfield Institute: The State of Canada’s Tech Sector, 2016
* CBRE: "Waterloo Becomes Canada’s Fastest Growing Tech Talent Market, Toronto Retains its #1 Position"
* Startup Muster 2017 report
* Cantech Letter: "Canadian startups should be filing quarterly reports, this founder says"
Ep 22: Hot DesQ: Helping Startups Grow in Queensland, Australia with Murray Love and Paul Martyn
Hot DesQ is a program run by the government of Queensland in Australia through its Advance Queensland initiative to bring startups from around the world to Queensland and get them engaged with the local startup community. Through the program, startups receive $50,000-$100,000 in funding plus space at a coworking site in Queensland of their choice for six months. In return, startups agree to participate in local startup activities and build connections with companies in Queensland, while passing along some of their experience in growing a startup and building startup communities.
This week we talk to Murray Love, CEO of Waterloo-based Ark Paradigm—one of three Canadian startups that have been accepted into the Hot DesQ program over its first two rounds. He is currently working out of the Fishburners coworking space in Brisbane. We also talk to Paul Martyn, the Deputy Director-General of Strategy and Innovation with the Queensland Department of Science, Information Technology and Innovation. He talks about what they're looking to achieve with the program and how it runs, including the "network points" startups earn by participating in the Queensland startup community.
* Hot DesQ
* Advance Queensland
* Ark Paradigm
* Murray Love on LinkedIn
* Paul Martyn on LinkedIn
* What’s Hot DesQ Really Like?: FAQs from Someone Who Knows
* 43North 2017 Finals Qualifying Pitch: Suncayr (YouTube)
* 43North 2017 Finals Qualifying Pitch: SomaDetect (YouTube)
* Entrepreneurs take state grants and flee WNY
* CDMN Soft Landing
* HQ2, eh? Amazon draws bids from Canadian cities to be online seller's other home
Ep 21: The Montreal Startup Ecosystem with Isaac Souweine of Real Ventures
Montreal is home to one of Canada's largest and most dynamic startup ecosystems, and in just a few years, Isaac Souweine has gone from being a newcomer to the city (and to Canada) to being at the centre of the startup community as EIR with Real Ventures.
We talk to Isaac about how he came to Montreal, how he initially got plugged into the ecosystem, working in Montreal without being fluent in French, and working with Real Ventures to help build the Montreal ecosystem, including his work as the general manager of Real's FounderFuel accelerator.
* Real Ventures
* Isaac Souweine on LinkedIn
* Isaac Souweine on Twitter (@sonofsarah)
* Ottawa cut from short list for 'supercluster' funding
* The IT Factor: What Ottawa must do to brand itself as a true national tech hub