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  • The Survey Says Ideas Are Easy But Financing Is A Challenge For Canadian Entrepreneurs

14th October 2010

The Survey Says Ideas Are Easy But Financing Is A Challenge For Canadian Entrepreneurs

intuitFor most Canadians, coming up with an idea for a successful small business is the easy part. Finding the money to get started is what’s hard. Nearly 70 per cent of Canadians believe the idea is easy, but even more, 72 per cent, say they’re concerned about finding start up money.

These are among the findings of a second Canada-wide survey commissioned by Intuit Inc., maker of QuickBooks, to determine Canadians’ attitudes around entrepreneurship. The latest effort coincides with the start of Canada’s Small Business Week 2010.

Several key motivators were cited by poll respondents who were interested in starting a small business:

- A desire to no longer work for someone else (43 per cent)
– Control of their own destiny – (43 per cent)
– A means to a better quality of life – (35 per cent – up six points
from February)
– Starting something new – (33 per cent – up nine points from February)

But they’re concerned with the challenges of getting started. These include

- Finding the money for start-up costs – (72 per cent)
– Convincing lenders that they’re a good risk – (71 per cent)
– Navigating the tax and finance requirements – (61 per cent)

HST is also a big factor in Ontario and British Columbia. Half of those surveyed in those provinces believe it will do more to discourage people from starting a business, while only five per cent say it would have a positive impact. This may be why a slight majority of Canadians (51 per cent) believe it’s harder to start a business today compared to a decade ago.

Younger Canadians seem more optimistic about starting a business. Forty-two per cent of respondents between the ages of 18-34 say it’s more difficult to start a business today compared to 61 per cent of Canadians age 55 and over.

Despite this, more than one third of all respondents say they are interested in starting their own business, and 43 per cent of those say they plan to do that within the next two years.

“There’s no shortage of reasons for Canadians to stifle entrepreneurial pursuits but, we’ve found that simply isn’t happening,” said Barb Anderson, Intuit’s product marketing leader for financial management software. “The market uncertainty, grim headlines and general anxiety of the past six months haven’t affected the entrepreneurial drive.” Read the rest of this entry »

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13th October 2010

Clickbox Releases ilumii Social Learning Community and Marketplace

clickboxToronto-based start-up Clickbox Software has unveiled the full commercial release of ilumii.com, the world’s most complete Social Learning Community & Marketplace. ilumii.com allows individuals to take their knowledge and skills and teach them to people around the globe by offering live, online classes–for fun and for profit–and by connecting those who want to learn with those who want to teach.

Clickbox Software CEO, Daniel Del Mastro, says, “ilumii.com is a revolutionary concept because it completely reshapes who can deliver educational services, the earnings potential of teaching, and the breadth of topics a person can teach or learn online. ilumii.com is ushering in an era of collaborative learning that will forever change the face of education.”
ilumii.com gives individuals everything they need to make live, online teaching fun and simple: it lets users offer courses on any subject–ranging from academic tutoring, to language lessons, to hobbies and skills, to whatever else they can imagine. It allows instructors to easily schedule lessons, manage course enrollment, and securely accept payments from learners around the world. And, of course, it provides both learners and instructors with a state-of-the-art Live Learning Space with video and audio, an interactive whiteboard, presentation and file sharing, and other features that replicate the feeling of being in a real-world classroom like never before.

Clickbox Software’s Chief Digital Officer, Raquel Torres, says, “In a time when unemployment has affected millions of people, ilumii.com gives anyone with the ability to teach a channel to transform his or her intellectual capital into a new way to earn a living. Our goal with ilumii.com is to create a space where people can leverage technology to exchange knowledge and skills, and to be able to monetize their services.”

ilumii.com is powered by the concept of “Knowledge on Demand” – the idea that anyone around the world can find live, instructor-led classes on any topic imaginable through a single web destination. Users can sign-up for free at ilumii.com to be a part of the world’s best knowledge marketplace.

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13th October 2010

Ontario Teachers Meet To Examine Violence in Media

Ontario Teachers FederationViolence in the media is pervasive. The destructive influence of violent music videos, video games, music lyrics, the Internet, and television programs is absorbed daily by our children and youth and is directly linked to safety in schools and in our communities. A coalition from trustee, parent, teacher federation, principal and student organizations from both public and Catholic systems, has been working together to build effective strategies to confront the problem.

“There is no question that parents and professionals who work with children and adolescents are gravely concerned about the potential harmful effects of media violence,” said Dr. Peter Jaffe, professor at the Faculty of Education, Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children, University of Western Ontario. “Media Violence is increasing and becomes more graphic every year.”

Solutions to the problem of media violence and its consequences rest in large part in prevention and education. To that end, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation is sponsoring a conference titled When Violence Becomes Entertaining: Recapturing Childhood and Adolescence from the Toxic Influence of Violent Media which will be held from October 15 to 16 at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel, 655 Dixon Road. Registration for the the conference is now closed, but teachers representing every part of the province will be in attendance. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th October 2010

The NFB Announces Full Get Animated Schedule

National Film BoardThe National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is launching the fourth edition of Get Animated!, a series of free animation screenings and activities from October 26 to November 7, 2010, in cities across Canada. An internationally renowned producer of auteur animation, the NFB created Get Animated! as its contribution to International Animation Day, October 28.

Get Animated! will feature new releases from the NFB’s Oscar-winning animation studios, a Fairy Tales for All program for all ages, master classes by renowned NFB animators as well as additional programming in selected cities. The NFB website will also offer a special Get Animated! playlist.

Get Animated! kicks off in Toronto at the NFB Mediatheque, where it runs from October 26 to 31, followed by Montreal at the NFB CinéRobothèque (October 28–31), Winnipeg (October 28–31), Edmonton (October 28), Halifax (October 28–29, November 6–7), Vancouver (October 28–November 1), Moncton (October 31) and Calgary (November 6–7). Please visit the Get Animated! site for the complete schedule.

New releases

Ten new animated releases will be featured in Get Animated! this year, including Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More to Life, a puppet-animated work by Oscar nominees Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Madame Tutli-Putli), based on the book by Maurice Sendak, featuring the voices of Meryl Streep and Forest Whitaker and produced in association with Warner Home Video. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th October 2010

Grow Your Business Smarts

Wired WomanJoin Wired Woman and four fantastic, experienced guest speakers for an evening of interactive roundtable discussions focusing on issues facing technology start-ups. At Growing Your Business: Tips for Entrepreneurs, topics will be focused on financing, legal issues and knowing your market. The evening will conclude with a couple of start-up success stories to finish off the night so you will leave with lots of energy and momentum to take with you into your business.

Date: Monday, November 1, 2010
Time: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Place: ING Direct Café 466 Howe Street, Vancouver
Cost: $35 for members and $40 for non-members (but membership is free)

Speakers and Topics:

Bob de Witt, New Ventures BC on financing your business
Valerie Mann, Lawson Lundell LLP on legal issues for the entrepreneur
Bill Tam, CEO in Residence (Vancouver) on knowing and understanding your market
Jeanette Jackson, CEO , Light-Based Technologies an entrepreneural success story

kpmgKPMG has released its KPMG App for iPad on the App Store. This free app was developed in response to KPMG clients’ desire for faster and easier access to the KPMG’s insight and thought leadership while on-the-go.

The new KPMG App for iPad hosts hundreds of articles, publications, surveys and studies, providing instant and interactive access to a robust library of insightful business thought leadership covering a wide range of topics including Industry, Advisory, Tax and Audit. Every week, new global publications will be added to the app, so users will always find something new, current and relevant. Read the rest of this entry »

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12th October 2010

One Big Country Four Great Events

Winnitron 1000If you’re looking for a game jam, the Winnitron 1000 will be taking place in Winnipeg at the New Media Manitoba office, 1000 Waverly Street (back entrance) beginning on Friday, October 22nd and running until Sunday, October 24th. The jam’s web page needs updating with finalized date and location, but you can register for the jam. You can also get more information about the jam on Infinite Ammo’s blog.

merging media conferenceThere is still a bit of time to get your Masterclass submissions in for Merging Media. The deadline is October 15th, so if you want to attend what promises to be a great event led by international transmedia specialist Anita Ondine-Smith, head over to the registration page to check out the eligibility guidelines.

The Merging+Media Masterclass and Workshops will bring together media producers who have cross-media projects and concepts in development, to fine-tune their cross-media proposals and business plans. The small group sessions mentored by a group of international and local industry professionals will ensure access to high level advice and attention.

All BC participants are eligible to pitch for the Merging+Media BC Film Award of $10,000 if they have a cross-media idea in hand, plus the top five pitches will receive a pass to Whistler Summit 2010 (formerly known as the Whistler Filmmaker Forum), which will take place during the Whistler Film Festival, December 1st – 5th. The Top Five will have the opportunity to pitch at the Merging+Media Pitch Session during the Summit to an International Panel.

Tickets for Toronto’s GamerCamp GamerCamp are now on sale. Taking place on November 13th at the Toronto Underground Cinema and 14th at the School of Design at George Brown College, GamerCamp is a celebration of the art, creativity and fun of video games, and with an offering of over 50 games and 30 guest speakers, GamerCamp offers a great return on investment with tickets for the entire event priced at only $30.00 each.

Attendees will have the opportunity to take part in demo and concept talks from developers with a property currently in development, get in on some arcade action, as well as screen short films whose focus is on games and party the night away at the 1UP Bash with Anamanaguchi and Star Scream (tickets for the Bash are sold separately).

Anomaly H20Meanwhile, back in Vancouver, Anomaly H2O has confirmed the addition of a new keynote session, Starcraft 2 “The Making of Kerrigan”, presented by Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior LookDev Artist, Steven Chen, and Cinematic Character Supervisor, Xin Wang.

Other featured artists include: Anna Fehr, Cesar Rizo, Craig Mullins, Daryl Mandryk, Jake Collinge, Jason Stokes, Jesse Turner, Marco Menco, Matthew Barrett, Richard Anderson, Thomas Scholes, Tran Nguyen and Ty Shelton.

Anomaly H2O, an event which melds together a dynamic showcase of talented 2D/3D artists from across North America, an art workshop and a party is an evening of shared inspiration and creativity. This year’s event will take place on October 30th at the Vancouver Aquarium. Tickets are $65.00 each ($55.00 for students) and include:

* Admission to Anomaly presentations and party
* One year CGmovement membership
* Raffle ticket for door prizes
* Complimentary event t-shirt
* Snacks throughout the event

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10th October 2010

Voices.com Releases Educational and Interactive Webinars

voicesVoices.com has released its newest educational offering, Voices.com Webinars. Webinars produced by Voices.com feature top voice over consultants and industry professionals with how-to sessions in one convenient place.

Stephanie Ciccarelli, co-founder/CMO, hosts the interactive webinars and Scott Lumley, Job Postings Manager, moderates the much anticipated virtual events. The company’s webinar series offers free on-going training for those new to voice overs or those looking to learn more about the industry and about Voices.com. The hour long webinars are designed to educate, entertain and engage the listener, allowing them to participate live during the event and ask questions of the experts on the line.

‘I’ve found our webinars to be incredibly useful and informative for our subscribers and even our staff. It seems like every time we get someone to join us and share their knowledge, I learn something new,” Scott Lumley says. “We’ve had people join our webinars and freely share so much information that it becomes a problem trying to remember it all. That’s why we provide audio recordings of the webinar material.’’

Broken into two parts, participants receive a half hour filled with pearls of wisdom from industry professionals followed by a half hour question and answer period. Registered users of Voices.com and their fans on Facebook are informed of these opportunities in advance and can call in to participate on the live webinar. Audio recordings of the webinar are then emailed to those who registered to enjoy again at their convenience.

An archive of all free webinars has been made available and is frequently updated for anyone who can not make it to the live events. Mobile users can subscribe to Voices.com’s webinars via iTunes.

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8th October 2010

Communitech Hub Opens For Business

communitechLess than a year after provincial support for a major digital media innovation centre was announced, The Communitech Hub has officially opened for business, ready to foster the next-generation of digital media innovation in Ontario.

The Hub, which occupies 30,000 square feet of a renovated downtown Kitchener Tannery building, is now home to start-up companies, small-medium enterprises, and global multi-nationals all aiming to accelerate the pace of development of new ideas and products in the digital media sector. Leaders from business, government, and community organizations gathered at The Communitech Hub today to recognize the expansive effort that has now created a leading-edge facility customized to meet the needs of its occupants.

The Hub grand opening

Iain Klugman, Communitech, Tom Jenkins, Open Text, and Kevin Tuer, CDMN at The Hub grand opening

“Ontario has a tremendous legacy of innovation in digital media and ICT, and this sector is exploding around the world. The Communitech Hub will help launch more made-in-Ontario companies, create good jobs and better lives for families,” said Glen Murray, Minister of Research and Innovation.

The Communitech Hub will not only serve as a collaboration centre for resident companies, but will also link to other digital media centres across Canada as part of the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN). The CDMN headquarters reside in The Hub along with Communitech offices.

“Creating this facility has been a collaborative effort between community organizations, industry, all levels of government and the community itself, making this a truly remarkable achievement,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO of Communitech.

Founding partner companies who have contributed to the establishment of The Communitech Hub include: Canada’s largest software company Open Text Corporation; leading-edge visual technologies company Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc.; and high-tech heavyweight Research In Motion (RIM). The Communitech Hub — a $100 million project — was created with contributions from the provincial government, the federal government, the City of Kitchener, and private industry.

“Open Text and the other founding industry partners are committed to innovation; The Communitech Hub will enable R&D projects that might not have been possible without this unique environment,” said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman & Chief Strategy Officer at Open Text, and Chair of the CDMN.

Renovating the 30,000 square foot space in the former Tannery building and transforming it into a state-of-the-art facility for digital innovation was no small undertaking, given the size and scope of the project. The facility features unique amenities such as a four-sided 3D ‘immersive environment’ provided by Christie Digital powered by Christie’s 3D stereoscopic projectors, enabling display of vast amounts of data. The Hub has an open concept area for the established companies to brainstorm and collaborate, and private office areas for entrepreneurs to ‘incubate’ ideas in close proximity to tools and services they need to succeed. Companies have access to a suite of expert resources including entrepreneurs in residence, project manager support, and marketing & branding expertise.

“This facility is a dream come true for many of the people who celebrated The Communitech Hub opening today who can now envision the innovative technologies that will undoubtedly have their start in this facility,” said Kevin Tuer, VP Digital Media of Communitech and CDMN Managing Director.

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8th October 2010

Certified ScrumMaster Training Vancouver BC – November 3rd – 4th, 2010

Certified ScrumMaster Training

SolutionsIQ Certified Scrum Master Training gives you all the tools and information you need to effectively apply Agile Scrum Project Management principles to your project or program.

Students will learn how to:

  • Maintain and use a burndown chart
  • Manage Product Backlogs
  • Plan Releases and Iterations (Sprints)
  • Conduct Sprint Planning, Daily Scrums, Sprint Reviews & Retrospectives
  • Track and Report progress
  • Effectively apply the principles of the Agile Manifesto

All SolutionsIQ Agile training courses are highly interactive. Students will participate in discussions group-based exercises, and simulations.

When: November 3rd – 4th, 2010 – 9:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. each day
Where: Empire Landmark Hotel – Vancouver, BC

$960 Early Bird
Also, 5th Seat Free!
When registering 5 or more, registration for 5th student is free

Who should attend:
All software team members, including project managers, team leads, development managers, product managers, architects, developers, testers, as well as executives (e.g. CIOs and CTOs).

Note: This course provides a ScrumMaster certification through the Scrum Alliance.

PMI Credits: This course can be claimed for 14 PDUs with the PMI institute.

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6th October 2010

Digital Day Speakers Announced

The Canadian Marketing Association and Marketing Magazine have unveiled the full roster of featured presenters at the annual Digital Day conference “Navigating the Digital Labyrinth” to be held November 2, 2010 in Toronto.Digital Day

Considered one of the most comprehensive and leading conferences on digital in Canada, this year’s program includes many of the brightest minds in digital in the country.

“We are so excited with the calibre of talent at this year’s conference and know that it will be a rich and enlightening discussion on all things digital,” said Lisa Charters, SVP Digital, Random House of Canada and co-chair of the conference. “The digital world continues to evolve at such an unbelievable pace that this year we are focusing on content creation, mobile and SMS, community engagement, digital retail experience and social media for leading brands.”

Featured Presenters include:

Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia
Joseph Jaffe, author of Flip the Funnel
Jordan Banks, Managing Director of Facebook Canada
Claude Galipeau, Executive Vice-President, Digital media, Rogers Media Inc.
Matthew Idema, Vice-President, Country Manager, Yahoo! Canada
Graham Moysey, General Manager, AOL Canada
Chris O’Neill, Country Director, Google Canada
Paul Burns, Vice-President, Digital, Canwest
Brad Ross, Director, Corporate Communications, TTC
Jennifer Evans, Founder, Chief Strategist, Sequentia Environics
Angus Frame, Vice-president, Digital, Globe and Mail
Michael Procopio, Social Media Lead, HP Software
Steve Levy, President, Canadian Market Research, Ipsos Reid
Mike Girgis, President, OneStop Media
John Roe, Director of Marketing, Sporting Life
Sean Moffit, author, Wikibrands
Ferg Devins, Chief Public Affairs Officer, Molson Coors Canada
Heather Travis, Director of Public Relations, Beef Information Centre

In addition, Ipsos Reid will be release the fifth annual Digital Marketing Pulse report, a Canada-wide survey of Canada’s top marketers and agencies and how they view digital media.

Tickets for the November 2, 2010, conference are $499 and can be purchased online. The conference will be held from 8:30a.m. – 5:30 p.m. at the Allstream Centre, 105 Princes Blvd. in Toronto, Ontario.

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