September: New Year's Resolutions and a few events

The summer is usually a time when things go a little slower, a little less gets done and people are hard to get in touch with. I’m not sure what is in the water this year, but it seems like nothing has slowed down for the sunny weather. People are still scheming, startups are launching and I am still hearing a dozen new ideas a day. Love it.

September is the January of the Startup world. If there was ever a time to restart, give it one last shot, or to set new goals, September is that time.

Take some time and look back at what you’ve accomplished since this time last year. Did you get a failure under your belt? Did you start something, but didn’t take it all the way? Did you raise your first round? Did you get your first exit?

A lot of people seemed to spend the last year just finding out about the Startup community in Canada. Connecting, learning and sharing. Now is the time to start to create something of your own. We’re all here, waiting to hear about it, and we want to help.

With September about to swing in and kick our butts, there are a handful of great events already lined up.

DemoCamp Edmonton 3 is on September 17th. There were over 100 people at the last DemoCamp in Edmonton. That is some of the best news this year. Cam Linke has been doing a great job organizing and promoting DC Edmonton. I can’t wait to get out to one.

Launch Party Vancouver is the first one, taking place on September 18th. Launch Party is such a great name, and there are always incedible startups on the lineup.

StartupCamp Waterloo is happening on October 8th at the Accelerator Center. I have said it before: This is the orignial and most community-focused StartupCamp.

And then there is StartupCamp Montreal, on November 27th. Patrick Lor will be coming down from Calgary to talk about what he is up to and share about his experience at iStockPhoto. The guys at Embrase always run a fantastic event. Thanks again Phillipe and Vincent.

What about Toronto you say? Oh, we have some great things planned. Founders and Funders, StartupCamp, DemoCamps, and even something a little bit secret. I say we kick it off with some beer, a patio and some big ideas. I’ll post details soon.

backtype – Search blog comments from all over the web

Comments on blog posts have always been the forgotten son of web content. When you make a comment, you never know how it will be read, where it will end up, and because of spam issues, they rarely show up in search engines. Also, because of NoFollow, your links don’t matter either.

BackType, a YCombinator funded company started by Toronto’s Christopher Golda and Mike Montano is the first tool that just may solve these problems. Some have gone in this direction before, but have had technically top-heavy models.

Instead of creating a new standard, or trying to convince blog authors to make changes to their site, BackType scours the web just like other search engines and it scrapes the comments, or they pick up the comments RSS feeds, which tools like WordPress output on request.

The moment I used BackType for the first time, I had a total “aha!” moment and I knew exactly when and why I would use the service.

Chris and Mike’s first startup was iPartee, a beautiful but underused (at least in Canada) event tool. Austin Hill also interviewed them here on StartupNorth just over a month ago.

yourteledoctor – Online Patient/Doctor Consultations

YourTeleDoctor is a Montreal based startup that wants to transform how we think about a visit to the doctor.

I have no doubt, absolutely zero, about the role that telemedicine will play in healthcare delivery in the future. You can search for data from Gartner, Forrester or anyone, they all predict that TeleMedicine is going to be a big deal. 

YourTeleDoctor is trying to be one of the first providers to come to market with a consumer-ready system to allow for video-based visits to a doctor. Quebec is a good example of a province/state with a huge rural population and a government that needs to stretch every dollar in health care delivery.

If Mehdi can be the one to bring a new level of efficiency to governments, HMOs and clinics, then there is a lot of money to be made. The flip side, however, is that this is medicine. Medicine, for all the research and great thinking that goes in to it, changes very little. It is incredibly bureaucratic, even in the private sector, and care-delivery, the component that startups like YourTeleDoctor will attempt to shake up, sees even fewer changes than other parts of the sector.

It seems likely that the first market for a tool like this would be private clinics who are relatively autonomous and well heeled. Just a few great case studies and a decent sales team might be all you need to start breaking in to an early market.