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  • VenCorps and Ryerson Looking For Top Toronto Start-Up

15th February 2011

VenCorps and Ryerson Looking For Top Toronto Start-Up

Reminder: Economic Development Canada and Big Fish Games are holding a webinar on February 17th, the topic is Doing Business With Big Fish
Reminder: The Hand Eye Society Social #11 is on February 17th in Toronto and will feature speakers Jason Kaplan of Game Prototype Challenge and Damian Sommer from Griddle Jam as well as Miguel Sternberg and Andrew Pilkiw Spooky Squid Games.
Reminder: Interactive Ontario is hosting iLunch 9.04 on February 25th, when the topic will be Details of the Deal: Making Sense of Interactive Digital Media Red Tape

centennial collegeThe Centre for Creative Communications, Centennial College, is seeking innovative and forward-thinking proposals from Canadian media, interactive, creative, technology, business and social entrepreneurs for the next wave of children’s media and multi-platform projects to qualify for $50,000 federal development grants.

The new kidsmediacentre, an industry and creative content think-tank at Centennial College, will hold an information session to interested developers, on Thursday, Feb. 24 at 5:30 pm at The Centre for Creative Communications, located at 951 Carlaw Avenue, Toronto.

Centennial College’s Applied Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) has received ten $50,000 Federal Development grants, some of which are available to help small and medium enterprises in the kids’ technology industry launch the next big idea in children’s media. The grants are part of a coordinated strategy between the federal government and colleges to accelerate innovation and productivity in southern Ontario by asking business partners to collaborate on projects and work “hands-on” with college faculty and students in developing new and innovative technologies and services. Businesses are asked to contribute at least $25,000 towards a project in cash and/or in-kind.

“Canada has been a leader in the creation and production of internationally successful children’s entertainment properties for many years,” says Nate Horowitz, Dean of The Centre for Creative Communications. “These federal grants represent an important opportunity for entrepreneurs in the kids’ animation, gaming and interactive industries to build competitive products here and on a global scale. We’re committed to helping nurture these businesses.”

Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media and Design is currently the only college in Canada offering a post-secondary program in children’s content development and is focused on writing, production and business management in the gaming, interactive, educational, publishing, TV and film industries. A key goal of the kidsmediacentre is to act as an innovation catalyst partnering the talents of the College’s students with children’s industry entrepreneurs.

The kidsmediacentre and Applied Research and Innovation Centre will work with qualified partners to ensure their early-stage businesses have the strategic counsel and creative brand development supports to move their innovation forward.

The kidsmediacentre is exploring kids’ media futures by investing in research critical to understanding their 21st century media interactions. Working with Centennial College’s Children’s Entertainment – Writing, Production and Management program and early childhood development specialists, the kidsmediacentre’s goal is to provide a range of R&D support to cross-platform, media and entertainment content providers to ensure the kids’ media industry in Canada is vibrant, indigenous and committed to the healthy growth of children. For more details or to register for the information session, contact: Debbie Gordon, Director, kidsmediacentre, 416-289-5000, ext. 8770.

financial fitness challengeYoung Canadians are invited to take part in the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) ‘Financial Fitness Challenge‘, an online contest that uses videos, Facebook and Twitter tips to help youth get financially fit. The contest is aimed at helping youth increase their financial literacy and offers them the chance to win an Apple® iPad or a grand prize of $2,000.

The Financial Fitness Challenge runs from February 15 to April 15, 2011 and uses interactive tools and scenarios to raise awareness of important financial concepts such as balancing needs versus wants, budgeting, saving and investing. This year, visitors to the site will see four new entertaining and informative videos on budgeting, credit cards, investing and investment fraud.

“With close to 60,000 youth actively participating in the challenge over the past four years, the CSA has presented financial literacy education in a format that resonates with youth,” said Bill Rice, Chair of the CSA and Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Securities Commission. “We encourage parents and teachers to continue to develop financial literacy skills in youth by using the Challenge as a fun and informative learning tool.”

The bilingual contest is open to Canadians ages 15 to 21 and offers youth the opportunity to invite friends to join the Challenge, and to compete and engage with contest participants at a local and national level. Classroom materials including lesson plans are available to download from the Teacher and Parent Resource Centre. At the close of the contest, 13 entries – one from each province and territory – will be randomly selected from eligible participants to win an Apple® iPad, and one national grand prize winner will be awarded a $2,000 scholarship.

Absolute SoftwareVancouver-based Absolute® Software Corporation will be expanding the distribution of its consumer solution LoJack® for Laptops in partnership with SYX Distribution, a company that is an affiliate of, and provides distribution services to, TigerDirect, CompUSA and CircuitCity.com.

“Our research indicates that 40% of consumers have more than seven computer devices in their homes – many of these are treasured laptops, MacBooks and PCs. These represent a substantial investment and target for would-be thieves,” said Mark Grace, vice president of consumer business at Absolute Software. “By making our solution widely available through TigerDirect’s trusted shopping venues customers use to purchase these devices, we are making it that much more convenient for consumers to get proven anti-theft protection.”

Beginning in the first quarter of calendar 2011, LoJack for Laptops will be available to consumers as part of their computer purchasing experience at major online, B2B and retail locations including: CompUSA, TigerDirect, and Circuit City. In addition, these retailers will offer LoJack for Laptops as part of all of their computer service offerings (for example, repair services, technical support services, and software installation services). The product may also be purchased as part of Service Warranty Plans and from the TigerDirect and CompUSA’s B2B sales teams.

“LoJack for Laptops gives computer owners a degree of peace of mind that contributes to a better experience owning a computer,” said Gilbert Fiorentino, CEO of TigerDirect. “This offering is a good addition to the value we can offer our customers.”

LoJack for Laptops is the industry’s leading computer anti-theft solution for home computer users. Powered by patented Computrace® technology, LoJack for Laptops is the chosen consumer theft recovery solution of the world’s leading computer manufacturers.

Features of the subscription-based service include:

* Geolocation – For day-to-day use (in non-theft scenarios), consumers can keep track of their computer on an internet-based map.
* Device freeze – If a computer is suspected to be simply lost and not stolen, customers can freeze their computer and display a custom message for whoever finds it. In addition, an unauthorized user cannot access the content on the computer, keeping private information safe in an effort to prevent identity theft.
* Remote data delete – To protect their personal information, customers can choose to delete a pre-set group of files or all files, including the operating system.
* Managed theft recovery – If a computer is stolen, the Absolute Theft Recovery Team will work with local law enforcement to recover it.

VenCorps is proud to announce the launch of vencorpsthe ‘Top of Toronto’ start-up challenge. The goal of the Top of Toronto Challenge is to invest $25,000 in the best tech company in Southwestern Ontario.
Ryerson University
Making the announcement at the Ted Rogers School of Management, Sean Wise, Founding Partner at VenCorps also revealed that the Entrepreneurship department at Ryerson University would support the competition. “Ryerson is clearly a hub for Innovation and Entrepreneurship” said Wise “and we are interested in seeing which startup the Ryerson community tells us to fund.” Unlike other venture capital funds, VenCorps invests seed capital (typcially $25,000) based on the collective opinions of thousands of entrepreneurs, students, professional service providers and angel investors (whereas traditional venture funds rely on a handful of experts).

With one of the largest entrepreneurship departments in Canada, Ryerson students are taught by experienced entrepreneurs and venture capitalists that have themselves started dozens of companies and helped hundreds of entrepreneurs raise financing.

“Our department is committed to furthering a culture of entrepreneurship and the facilitation of start-ups in Canada” said Dave Valliere, Chair of the Entrepreneurship Department at the Ted Rogers School of Management, “working with VenCorpsis directly in line with other entrepreneurial initiatives at Ryerson University including our: StartMeUp Ryerson program and of course our incubator, the Ryerson Digital Media Zone.” Wise agrees, “With everything else that Ryerson is doing, it only makes sense that Ryerson be involved with the hunt for Toronto’s Top Startup” said Wise.

Launching on February 15th, 2011 the Top of Toronto challenge gives early stage tech companies in Ontario an opportunity to showcase their products/services in order to attract community member votes. The winner, as chosen by the community, will receive a $25,000 equity investment. VenCorps will take a 5% equity position in the winner and allow them to leverage the VenCorps community to facilitate rapid growth. Top of Toronto is one of twelve challenges VenCorps plans to pursue in 2011, with future challenges focusing on: mobile software, mass collaboration and women lead startups.

Registration is now open for members of the public to become community members. Participation through comments and votes earns members virtual points. Points which can be redeemed for real and virtual prizes or even a stake in VenCorps companies.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 11:59 am and is filed under Associations, Business News, Careers, Contests, Education, Events, Government, National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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