Monday, November 05, 2007

Skapinker on venture capital in Ontario

Brightspark's Mark Skapinker discusses Ontario's shrinking VC industry and plans future posts on "the strengths and weakness of the Canadian market and ways that we can fix it by adopting some new models."

I'm not sure about his claim that Silicon Valley is the only healthy VC market in the U.S. It's clearly the top dog, but Massachusetts and Texas seem to be doing pretty well. Money usually follows results, and according to CVCA data, of the states with 20 or more VC funds, 75% of them outperform Canada for returns. UK, Germany, and France are also shown significantly outperforming Canada. But, since "go get better results" (and do it retroactively) isn't a very helpful piece of advice for the Canadian VC industry, looking at new
approaches is likely the best route to take. They can complement the traditional VC model, which isn't going to vanish but might have a different look a couple of years down the road.

Interesting comment on MaRS: "
great building ... but the absolute wrong way to create an industry."

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Waterloo more angelic than Toronto?

Mark Evans finds it notable that a Toronto company closed an angel round of funding. That's interesting because, in the Waterloo area, we've seen a wave of angel deals over the last couple of years. Most of them have involved local business people, although it looks like another one might be closing soon with Toronto's Maple Leaf Angels.

It could be another example of the differences between the Waterloo and Toronto tech environments, although I wouldn't be surprised to learn that there's a lot more angel activity going on in Toronto than what we hear about. Certainly, most angel deals here never get announced.

Can Windsor use a non-snub to energize a focus on innovation?

OMG, did you hear? There's a new $100 million "Innovation SuperCorridor" initiative from the province introduced in the budget...