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Harper announces $400 million in venture capital

The Canadian government is hoping to increase the funding of young entrepreneurs; and keep them in Canada:

The government’s Venture Capital Action Plan, which was announced in the last federal budget, is making $400 million available to help increase private-sector investments in the next seven to 10 years.

via Global News | Harper outlines plan for more venture capital.

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Can an entrepreneur from Vernon, BC build Canada’s next billion-dollar tech company?

Great profile on Vernon-born entrepreneur, Ryan Holmes, on Canadian Business:

But for Canadians, what’s perhaps most interesting is Holmes’s unique pledge for a startup entrepreneur: he’s gone on the record vowing to build a billion-dollar company north of the 49th parallel. Canada’s tech industry is plagued with problems, not the least of which is a tendency for our startups to sell early.

Further down, the article talks about Holmes’ Vernon roots, and his early entrepreneurial ambition:

For Holmes, entrepreneurship has always been a way of life. He started his first business, a paintball company, in high school, and his second, a Vernon, B.C.–based pizza-by-the-slice joint called Growlies, in lieu of finishing his last year of business school at the University of Victoria. Eventually, he sold the restaurant and moved to Vancouver, where he spent a winter learning how to code. He put together a portfolio and got a job at a dot-com, which in 2000 “dot-bombed,” he says. That’s when he started his own digital services agency, Invoke Media, out of which HootSuite was born in 2008. HootSuite spun off as an independent company in December 2009, raised $1.9 million and continued its exponential growth, eclipsing Invoke.

via Is HootSuite Canada’s next billion-dollar tech titan?.

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Canadian Startup Lands in Y Combinator Winter 2013 Cohort

At least one Canadian company has made the grade [for Y Combinator].

Waterloo’s Thalmic Labs was founded 8 months ago by three uWaterloo mechatronics grads (Aaron Grant, Matthew Bailey, and Stephen Lake) and is now 9 employees strong. Including this new Y Combinator investment they have raised a seed round totalling $1.1 million which includes angel investments from ATI Technologies co-founder Lee Lau, Dayforce co-founder David Ossip, and Rypple co-founder Dan Debow.

via Canadian Startup Lands in Y Combinator Winter 2013 Cohort – Techvibes.com.

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Kelowna based Vineyard Networks acquired for $28M

Procera Networks, the publicly-traded Fremont, CA-based provider of policy enforcement services to carriers, is buying Vineyard Networks, a Canada-based specialist in deep-packet inspection, for 28 million Canadian dollars, C$15.4 million in Procera common stock and C$12.6 million in cash.

via Procera Networks Buys Vineyard Networks For $28M To Beef Up Its Deep Packet Inspection Capabilities | TechCrunch.

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Local universities are key to a city becoming a tech hub

Sims said that for start-ups, it’s all about the talent, “where the talent’s going and where the talent’s getting trained.” And she says that today’s talented young graduates and recent graduates prefer to work in start-ups more than older companies.

Local universities also play a big role in whether a city will become a successful tech hub.

via A ‘phenomenal’ year for Canada’s young tech companies – Technology & Science – CBC News.

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A phenomenal year for Canadas young tech companies

Overall, Canadas tech sector has just finished an excellent year and the prospects for 2013 look at least as good.

via A phenomenal year for Canadas young tech companies – Technology & Science – CBC News.

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Last night we discovered local blogs at #geekbeers

If you came last night: it was great to see you! We had the idea to have publishing a roll of folks at Geek Beers who have blogs.

Here are the blogs from the folks who attended last night:

n3wt0n! by Kyle Newton

Trademark Okanagan by Mike Poznanski

KaziaMullin.com by Kazia

Hands on Gratitude by Teresa Deak

Code Ninja by Marty Dill

JustinJackson.ca by me

Special thanks to Kevin Poole, from the City of Vernon, for buying the appies last night!

If you missed last night: we’ll see you in 2013!

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Okanagan startup creates easy alternative to QR codes

..duo is essentially an inexpensive, simple and entirely customizable alternative to QR codes, making digital addresses easier to say, write, spread and remember. Companies can switch up the content linked to their ..duo, simplifying promotional campaigns and helping them maintain consistent branding. It has many applications, both online and offline, and can be used nearly anywhere to attract audiences to digital content.

via B.C. startup makes it easier to brand (and browse for) digital content « IT Business Blogs Canada – Innovation.

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Building your MVP in WordPress

Are you a developer who wants to cut down the amount of time it takes to build a prototype? Are you a product person who can’t code? Do you have a product idea that you want to validate quickly?

If any of those describe you, you’re going to love this 2-part interview Justin had with Daelan Wood on building an MVP using WordPress.

Product People is a new podcast that Justin records out of his Vernon office, with his buddy Kyle Fox from Edmonton.

Listen to the podcast now >>

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Can B.C.’s tech sector join the best in the world?

“Attracting entrepreneurs to this city is a very tough job,” said Wertz.

The process has to start very early in schools, with role models and a recognition of entrepreneurial endeavours as worthwhile and a career choice worthy of respect.

“In the end, it’s all about the entrepreneur,” said Wertz. “If you have a mediocre entrepreneur, it doesn’t matter how much money you give him, he’s never going to build the next Amazon, the next HootSuite.”

via Can B.C.’s tech sector join the best in the world?.