Hot Sh!t List 2012

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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


GrowConf Super Early Bird Pricing

GrowConf Aug 22-24, 2012 in Vancouver

Register for GrowConf »

The Grow Conference  just released their first 50 “super early bird” tix at 50% off and sold out in less than a day!  StartupNorth was able to secure 20 more “super early bird” tix for the StartupNorth audience to get that same price. Just register with the promo code – “startupnorth” and you’ll get the $295 price too (it says $395 – but you’ll get the discount).

Be sure to check out Debbie and Jason on their cross-country tour. I’ve heard that they’ll each be “manning” a kissing booth in Waterloo for their Valentine’s Day stop.

GrowConf is a great event that offers something for every entrepreneur.

Red flags

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This is an unfortunate story that entrepreneurs should read and understand.

We start companies for a number of different reasons. We want to change the world. We want to solve problems. We are unemployable. We are crazy. And we stay up at night worrying about taking care of our employees, our customers, our investors.

So it is hard to understand how well regarded funds wind down companies without providing information to employees.

Investor immorality: The strange case of Blue Noodle

Start-ups fail all the time. But there is a right way and a wrong way to do it. This is an example of the wrong way.

On Monday, most employees of social media startup Blue Noodle didn’t get paid. They called their lead venture capital firm, which wouldn’t discuss the situation with them. They called their former CEO, who refused to pick up the phone. They called their lender, who said to call the venture capital firm. And thus the circle began anew.

“In my more than 20 years of working in Silicon Valley, I’ve been involved on more failed companies than I’d like to admit, but there is always an orderly win-down process,” says John Montgomery, chairman of law firm Montgomery & Hansen. “It sounds like the VCs in this case are treating the company like a car they abandon in a parking lot with the keys in the ignition.”

Read on…