Break time is over. What are you planning for the fall?

Ok. So the summer has been nice. Drinks with friends, long evenings with few worries and beautiful places to see.

The bad news is: that is all over. September is rumbling towards us and if you have been slacking a little on your startups ideas, it’s time to get a plan ready.

You’ve probably promised yourself that you will get out to more events, you’ve also probably committed to waste less time with that Xbox or whatever it is that is distracting you, and you most likely have 3 or 4 decent ideas swimming around in your head.

How are you going to change from relaxing to action?

Don’t promise, DO
Instead of waiting until September to start getting back into the work groove, start now. The extra week might not seem like much, but you’ll prove to yourself that you have the personal control to get busy when you need to, and the last week of August is a slow one for everyone else, so you will have less distractions while you work.

Start talking now
Don’t just promise yourself that you will get out to more *camp and other events “this fall”. Start calling people who you think can help and take them for a beer or lunch NOW. If they aren’t on vacation, chances are that they aren’t doing much at work either. You’ll get their full attention and, hopefully, you’ll have a solid relationship before the September rush.

Set goals
Set some decent personal goals that you want to achieve in the next year. September is the Entrepreneur’s New Year. At least it always has been for me. Do you want to be selling a product this time next year? Have funding? A lot of people will tell you that goals set a year in advance are useless, but they are a compliment to your more immediate goals, and when you hit them, they are even sweeter.

Focus on one idea
It is torture walking around with a couple of decent or good ideas in your head, and when they both start to become excellent ideas, then you are screwed. Pick one early and stick with it. The other ideas will have to be “might have been”‘s for the rest of your life, or the next year at least.

Keep your calendar open in November
Because we are planning an extra cool event. StartupCongress. End of November, best entrepreneurs in the country, best money people and advisors in the country, all in one place. Open format and focused on giving your startup a leg-up. More info to come.

Blognation Canada is here

I had heard rumors it was coming, and now it’s here, Tris Hussey is now writing Blognation Canada for the London, UK based Blognation conglomorate.

All the new national and regional blogs that are popping up in Canada are, we think, reflective of how quickly the Canadian tech scene is gaining pace, and there are going to be some exciting announcements really soon as well.

Let’s hope that as the US Economy starts to grind to a halt, we can pick up the slack here.

Ontario "Premier's Catalyst Awards" nominations open

OntarioOntario Premier Dalton McGuinty and his new Ministry of Research and Innovation (with himself as Minister) have been making waves for the past few years in the Ontario innovation community. McGuinty appears to genuinely love the innovation policy file, and speaks quite passionately on the subject.

While in the past, the Ontario government’s emphasis has been on commercializing University-based research, the mandate for the new Ministry is much broader and bolder – building a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the Province, which is good news to the grassroots startup community here at StartupNorth. Awards are one way to recognize and signal this direction.

The Catalyst Awards provide five awards of $200,000 annually for developing a commercially successful new, or significantly improved, product or service based on a breakthrough technology. Innovations must have the potential to impact Ontario’s economy, society and/or sustainable development.

If your startup is doing something new and exciting in technology, you should apply. Please see the page for the Premier’s Catalyst Awards for eligibility criteria and the application process. The deadline is November 1st, but you may as well start now. Good luck!