in Canada, Montreal, Startups, Toronto, Up & Coming, Vancouver, Waterloo, You should meet...

Hot Sh!t List 2012

CC-BY-20  Some rights reserved by kyz
Attribution Some rights reserved by kyz

We have been tracking startups and people for a while. In 2011 was the first Hot Sh!t List, but it won’t be the last. There are a number of amazing individuals in the ecosystem like Mark MacLeod (LinkedIn, @startupcfo), Boris Wertz (LinkedIn, @bwertz), Dan Morel (LinkedIn, @dpmorel), Debbie Landa (LinkedIn, @deblanda), Chris Arsenault (LinkedIn, @chrisarsenault), Dan Martell (LinkedIn, @danmartell), Jesse Rodgers (LinkedIn, @jrodgers) and others. Over the past 7 years the community has grown, and connected, and continues to help each other.

But this list is different.

It’s not about the people who have raised the most money, or who have the biggest social graphs. It’s about who we expect to talk about over the next 12 months. Be it the ideas, the companies, the impact, etc. My goal was to find a mix of the unsung heroes, the founders, the developers, the doers, the troublemakers and the faces of different companies across Canada that we think are amazing/interesting. What do I mean by “interesting”? Well it depends. But these people are doing the stuff we’ll be talking about over the next 12 months.

The list is no particular order. But there is no denying it, these folks are the:

StartupNorth Hot Sh!t 2012 BadgeHot Sh!t List 2012



  1. The Circle Jerk of Toronto Tech – too many people missing from this. 

    I’d rename the list to David Crow’s List of People He Wants to Associate Himself With  – 

  2. Awesome list.  Last year’s list did some big things, so this year’s list is going to have double down and do some awesome stuff…

  3. Kudos for making this list…these guys deserve the credit! :)

  4. Looking forward to seeing your unbiased and comprehensive list! 

    If a tree falls in the woods…

  5. granted, this is definitely a subjective list, so it’s no surprise there are some notable omissions and some questionable mentions… for example, to mention andrew louis but not katherine hague behooves reason, much like mentioning devon galloway (hell ya!) and not michael litt leaves me scratching my head (especially when both seto brothers are up there)… also, no oleg kastour? Pair may be the most significant Canadian consumer business since Hootsuite… and where is Alkarim Nasser from BNOTIONS if we’re talking disruptive forces? Or Ted Livingston? Or anyone from the Shopify team? Or Karamdeep Nijjar from iNovia for his outstanding support for Canadian startups? Again, I recognize that this list is subjective, but those are some very notable omissions that are just hard to miss, so I would be curious as to your rationale for omitting them provided you did think of them but decided not to include them in the list. 


  6. You would be surprised how many of these people are not from Toronto, nor they know David Crow that well or at all.

  7. Thanks for the mention, Guy – luckily success isn’t derived from a mention on Startup North. 

    The list does have some amazing folks on it and your additions are bang on. 

    The idea of a Hot List to begin with is obviously going to be subjective – “likers gonna like” 

    I say if he knows who is hot and who is not – he should start a fund and put his money where his mouth is. 

  8. Not that I want to belong/deserve to be on this list, I am interested to learn what qualifications does it take to make this “cut”? What makes these people Hot Sh!ts over other people?

  9. @guygal:disqus  read last years list.  Shopify and Ted were there… 
    And I haven’t seen any VCs on there, probably because they already think they are hot shit enough already (fighting words!!!)

  10. I definitely think Katherine should be on there. 

    The list is a challenge,. it has to be comprehensive enough that it is believable/legitimate but also short enough that it isn’t a drag to read through or talk about.

    So we throw out some names and talk about the ones we really think are going to do amazing things in the next year and we leave out the “seasoned” pros who have been at it for a while (they don’t need the recognition).

    If you take the perspective of who is missing from the list then you miss out on the awesomeness of who IS on the list. Although it sounds like you don’t love some of our selections, but that is cool too, it’s all part of the conversation about who/how/when Canada is going to do great things.

  11. A more appropriate title would be “Rising Stars” –  would spark less controversy for sure and be contextually more accurate. 

  12. That’s actually a different list. 

    David Crow’s List of People He Wants to be Associated With
    * @howardgwin:twitter 
    * @dossip:twitter 
    * @johnolilly:twitter 
    * @ddebow:twitter 
    * @jevon:twitter 
    * @michaellitt:twitter 
    * @bostonvc:twitter 
    * @fdestin:twitter 
    * @bradfordcross:twitter 
    * @startupcfo:twitter 
    * @fredwilson:twitter 
    * @wmougayar:twitter 
    * @aprildunford:twitter 
    * @aliasaria:twitter 
    * @schwartzPJ:twitter 
    * @beltzner:twitter 

    This list is neither complete or sufficient. But if you’re reading this thread, you already know the inadequacies of my list building skills. 

  13. All lists are subjective, and all these comments prove that this one has accomplished what all great lists do: Generate debate and discussion. Nice work, David!

  14. Everyone likes a list they are on so therefore I highly approve of this list :)
    Also, I like being associated with David Crow except for the hangover parts.

  15. Ah, I knew I was on some list…even after being turned down twice by @davidcrow:disqus over an offer to drink Bourbon. 

  16. That’s a great list and what’s even better about it that EACH and everyone of these companies or people have incredible stories and are doing great stuff that needs to be written about more. 

    I’m not singling out SUN which does a great job, but I think that @techvibes, @betakit:disqus and the Canadian mainstream media should write more articles about Canadian tech startups similar to what @nextmontreal:disqus 
    is doing for the Montreal segment. 

    Someone with investigative journalism skills- go talk to these companies and write-up each day 3 articles about what they are doing. 

  17. This is frankly what SUN started doing,. most of our articles were profiles of startups. Our goal was only to make sure that Canadian startups had at least some small platform for exposure.

    Over time our role has changed,. I think BetaKit is doing the best job of industry and/or company profiles right now and they have the staff who can do it. 

  18. We should probably just refer to people on the list as “The Association” which makes it sound much more mob-like and therefore cool. 

  19. I fully agree with what William is suggesting –  next montreal does fantastic posts and lots of good interviews. They also have local people such as Chris Arsenault (INOVIA capital), Didier Leconte (MSBIV) and Helge Seetzen (Tandemlaunch) contribute to their articles. 

  20. Please include this troublemaking Owl from Vancouver in this “sub-list” :)

Comments are closed.


  • Hot Shit List 2013 » StartupNorth | StartupNorth June 16, 2012

    […] or we make you hate me a little more. As stated in the previous comments, this could very well be The List of People That David Crow Wants to Be Associated With (but I think I established that is a different list). Either way, the commenter is correct, the […]

  • The only model that matters: Founders First » StartupNorth | StartupNorth June 16, 2012

    […] to many startup communities. Founders are the anchor of community. Every year or so we publish the Hot Shit List and we focus on profiling founders who are taking pushing our communities to the next […]

  • Hitchhiker's Guide to Toronto Startup Ecosystem | StartupNorth June 16, 2012

    […] Farhan Thawar Follow @fnthawar – VP Engineering at Xtreme Labs. Absolutely amazing. I think he’s Hot Shit. […]

  • » We can’t all be founders | StartupNorth June 16, 2012

    […] I tried to highlight a mix of founders and the people behind the scenes on the Hot Sh!t List (2011, 2012). There are the founders that we always talk about, but there are people behind the scenes that are […]

  • » Extreme Demo Day | StartupNorth June 16, 2012

    […] covered some of the cohort including Shoplocket, and we think a number of cohort qualifies as Hot Sh!t (Jeff Lawrence (LinkedIn, @datajeff) of Granify; Michael Curry (LinkedIn, @mikecurry) […]

  • Blog | Verelo Featured on Nibletz June 16, 2012

    […] the world in the space. They interviewed Co-founders Andrew McGrath and Mike Curry (ya, he’s Hot Sh!t) to see who’s crazy enough to try and make the internet a better and more reliable […]

  • » Hot Sh!t List 2012 | StartupNorth « Tom Denison's Blog June 16, 2012

    […] on Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Categories: Uncategorized Comments (0) […]

  • Blog | Hot sh!t June 16, 2012

    […] just wanted to share the news that our CTO and in house crazy man Michael Curry has been declared Hot Sh!t according to David Crow. Michael Curry, Hot Sh!t in 2012: Who would have thought […]