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Showing posts from April, 2006

Does the GTA need ICT Toronto?

I read the 100+ pages of the ICT Toronto "cluster development strategy" that the City of Toronto is backing. It proposes the creation of ICT Toronto, which would promote the interests and reputation of the information communication technology sector in the Greater Toronto Area.

The report mentions a few times that the GTA doesn't have an organization like OCRI in Ottawa or Communitech in Waterloo Region. (Interestingly, it doesn't use the term GTA; it renames it "the Toronto Region" ... but it's a different "Toronto Region" from the one that the Toronto Region Research Alliance is supposed to be serving. That one includes Waterloo Region, Guelph, and Hamilton.)

The backers of ICT Toronto have to walk the line between its claims that the GTA's ICT sector is the third largest in North America ... and that it's hard done by -- a victim of government neglect (which can be righted, of course, with additional funding).

I agree that the GTA cou…

The word is "premier"

As someone who has typed "reigns" for "reins" more than once (I stopped after my mother-in-law was kind enough to point this out to me), I know it's easy to be tripped up by homonyms. And, in the Web era, typos are something you learn to expect and ignore.

But these days, I seem to see an example every week -- in documents that have been formally prepared -- where the word "premiere" is confused with "premier."

The most recent case? I'm reading the ICT Toronto report that was issued last week (and prepared by a professional communications firm) and just read that Toronto "is a premiere location for ICT R&D and commercialization."

A quick scan of news releases on my computer found these other recent examples:
"MADD Canada, the country's premiere anti-impaired driving organization."
IMS, March 23, 2006
"enhance our position as a premiere provider of integrated flight operations solutions to airlines"
Navtech,…

No Canadian VC money for startups?

Mark Evans today in his blog says there's little high tech venture capital in Canada and "no money for start-ups," since overly-cautious Canadian VCs insist on investing in "companies with customers, revenue and a track record."

You hear that a lot, but from a Waterloo perspective it's hard to make the case that Canadian VCs have set the bar too high.

Sure, we could always use more funding options, and customers are unquestionably a huge milestone -- one that makes it easier for any start-up to attract funding.

But there's hundreds of millions of dollars sitting out there ready to be invested by VCs eager to find fundable deals.

Just in Waterloo alone, Tech Capital Partners manages nearly $100 million in capital and has over $40 million waiting to find a good home. Very few of its portfolio companies -- no more than two, I think -- had customers or revenue when the deals were made. Most communities don't have an equivalent of Tech Capital, so the Waterl…