Albert presented his vision for The Next Web at the October 2007 OCE Mind-to-Market Breakfast. I love that they’ve titled these events “Wake up and smell the future”. I hope it smells better than most CS labs.
OCE is offering a set of great programs like the IAF [PDF] up to $500,000 in early-stage funding for emerging technology companies. The Investment Accelerator Fund is AWESOME. “Investments are made in the form of a convertible debenture (loan) in return for a nominal equity position”. It’s very similar to the QuickStart Seed Funding from Charles River Ventures. I’ve written about this program when it was announced.
“It’s a challenge to find angels or early-stage firms like Ycombinator that develop entrepreneurs and companies. It’s a very different incubation model, i.e., incubate the people, the company, the technology – DON’T provide them space.” – David Crow – Nov 6, 2006
After the OCE breakfast we had an interesting discussion with entrepreneurs, community instigators, angel investment organizations, the Toronto Board of Trade and the OCE. Money is and important ingredient. One that we need to make it easier for Canadian entrepreneurs to find. But it is the people and skills to develop our talent that is just as important. There is the need for the right money, the right connections, the right skills to mentor and develop the people and the company into a powerhouse. Jevon and Jonas provide much better ongoing coverage and analysis of startup financing issues in a Canadian context at StartupNorth.ca.