Wanted: Startup Revolutionaries

We have some really great stuff cooking and we want to get more people involved.

Our goal with StartupNorth has been pretty simple: We want to write about great startups, help some get funded and also throw the occasional party.

The truth is however that sitting here in Toronto, we have a tough time covering the great stuff that is happening East to West and North to South. I have written a bit about how much I love Canadian cities and how I think that each one is unique and ready to do great things.

If you are like us and want to do something great for the startup community in your city, then please get in touch ASAP. I’d love to tell you what we are cooking up.

StartupIndex: Canadian Startup Map

We just launched a neat new mapping feature on StartupIndex.

As more data gets entered by the community, a lot of the entries contain address information. We weren’t really using this in any special ways until Ali really started thinking about a map.

The map is dynamic and thanks to some slick programming, it will auto-cluster elements in order to make things more intuitive as you zoom in and out.

Is it useful? We don’t know yet. We will constantly be trying things on StartupIndex and we will be testing them to see if they are valuable or not. So please, let us know what you think.

startupindex.ca – Free our data, free the community

Tonight at StartupCamp Toronto we are launching Startupindex.ca, an open, community-managed and free startup tracking database for the Canadian startup community. This is Version 1, and we will be putting a lot of work in to it in the next few weeks and months.

When we began tracking startups here on Startupnorth, there was no other decent source of publicly accessible coverage of startup activity in Canada. In the last year we have tracked over 100 startups, investments and events related to the startup community. While this blog has kept us up to date on a lot of what is going on, we are still only covering a small fraction of what is really going on.

Why are we doing this?

Most of us have a pretty good idea of what is going on in our own city. We get to hear about new startups, rumors of the latest deals are always flying around and we have some idea of who the best entrepreneurs are, but the truth is you don’t have to travel very far until things become less obvious. From Vancouver to Victoria, Toronto to Waterloo, Ottawa to Montreal, Halifax to Moncton, we can make a very short trip but still not know who’s who and what’s new.

By tracking startup activity nationally we can start to build more awareness of which startups are worth watching, we can also quickly find out which Investors are doing deals and which ones are less active. The “Wheat from the Chaff” as they say.

This is also an opportunity to find out the truth about the Canadian Startup community. Is it dead or alive? We can either put grand claims to rest, or we can light a fire under them.

A lot of startup activity and almost all of the funding activity in Canada is actively tracked. These databases are closed off from the public and charge access fees nearing $10,000 (that is seed funding for some companies!). They also offer no value back to the very community that needs this data the most. Startups and Investors, who are the basis of the data being captured, either have to pay the subscription fee or live without the data.

We believe that this data should be free and that it is a liability if startups and Investors do not have a clear and concise place to access this information. We are betting that our open, accessible and equal approach will bring more value to more people, and that is something we think is worth doing.

So please, head over to startupindex.ca and make sure your startup has a profile. We will be adding new features, such as ratings, email subscriptions and commenting in the short term, and we want your help in building this as it grows.