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First-time entrepreneurs: There are big ideas, and then there are doable ideas

This is the second article in a continuing series chronicling the growth path of ..duo, a startup based out of Kelowna B.C. that creates simple keywords that use your name, brand, slogan or any other word combination as a shortcut to content on the web.

By Alexandra Reid

Daylin Mantyka, cofounder of ..duo, is reconsidering her entrepreneurial path and the future of her startup following counsel from a mentor who said her idea might be too “big.”

To advise a first-time startup founder to avoid shooting for the stars is like telling a child Santa Clause doesn’t exist. It’s the kind of stuff that crushes dreams. But there might be some merit in talking first-time startup founders down from the clouds and encouraging them to focus on smaller ideas that can be more easily realized.

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Pitch perfect: Startups should focus on problems, not platforms

This is the ninth article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Alexandra Reid

Not everyone understands a platform. But everyone understands a problem.

That’s a hard lesson a lot of startup teams fail to grasp.

You’ve seen this pitch before — The technical cofounder goes on at length about the ins and outs of the wonderful new technology his team is bringing to the world. He explains what it is, what it does, and shows you all of its cool features. But when you look to your left and right, you see your fellow audience members’ eyes glazing over, and before you know it your mind begins wandering to dinner plans.

He was enthusiastic in his pitch, and it’s awesome technology, yet he failed to reach you.

Why?

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Meet ..duo

This is the first article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of ..duo, a startup based out of Kelowna B.C. that creates simple keywords that use your name, brand, slogan or any other word combination as a shortcut to content on the web.

By Alexandra Reid

Our Francis Moran first met ..duo cofounder Daylin Mantyka while on Startup Canada volunteer duty at Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start:Challenge, a pitch competition for technology companies and entrepreneurs. He was one of the judges who selected Daylin as a top entrant who would receive as a prize eight weeks of expert training, coaching and mentorship to improve her pitch and increase her chances of raising capital.

It was Daylin’s first pitch ever, and, while she had struggled to communicate this idea in the past, she felt she translated it perfectly at Jump:Start.

“It’s a simple concept, but it’s entirely new,” she said.

When asked on the phone what ..duo is all about, Daylin opted to first explain what it is not about.

“We’re not like a web address that can be lengthy and difficult to remember and pass around in conversations, and we’re not like QR codes with which most people have a love-hate relationship,” said Daylin.

So, what is ..duo?

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Inbound marketing: An alternative to traditional PR?

This is the eighth article in a continuing monthly series chronicling the growth path of Screach, a startup based in Newcastle upon Tyne in England’s North East. Screach is an interactive digital media platform that allows users to create real-time, two-way interactive experiences between a smart device (through the Screach app) and any content, on any screen or just within the mobile device itself. We invite your feedback.

By Alexandra Reid

When we last caught up with Screach, then called Screenreach Interactive, the startup was in the process of hiring a PR firm to promote its existing platform and to give the world an idea of the diverse projects that it was helping to create.

But just two months after beginning its relationship with a London-based firm, Screach decided to try a different approach to garner the attention of media, the general public and prospective customers.

“We couldn’t have been happier with the overall support we got from (the PR firm), and we’re definitely open to working with them in the future,” said chief strategy officer David Weinfeld. “However, the decision came down to the whole idea of how we were going to promote ourselves as a startup in a crowded market.”

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June roundup: What does it take to bring technology to market?

By Alexandra Reid

We are bringing you our roundup a little earlier than usual this month because we will be celebrating Canada Day early next week when this post would otherwise be published.

We covered a lot of ground this month on our blog, from RIM to training your boss, tribal marketing to productivity tips. We even launched content marketing as a new service offering.

In case you missed any of our posts, here’s a handy roundup:

June 6: Getting the marketing right at an event product launch by Francis Moran and Alexandra Reid

June 14: Putting Ottawa’s puzzle together by Leo Valiquette

June 18: Balancing investment, Minimum Viable Product, and time to market by Peter Hanschke

June 20: Training your new boss by Francis Moran and Leo Valiquette

And on a related note…

In addition to our series, our associates and guest bloggers were also busy writing on a great range of topics. Here are our other posts from June, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

June 4: Why RIM could and should bounce back: Mobile needs to innovate by Jesse Rodgers

June 5: Levering the power of teamwork to drive a successful content marketing program by Alexandra Reid

June 11: The evolution of branding and advertising by Rob Woyzbun

June 26: Ottawa entrepreneur Scott Annan comments on the relaunch of Mercury Grove by Alexandra Reid

June 12: Content marketing tips: SEO implications for rebroadcast articles by Alexandra Reid

June 7: We launch new content marketing service offering by Alexandra Reid

June 19: 10 questions B2B companies should ask before selecting a content marketing service provider by Alexandra Reid

June 27: 7 ways to stay sane and productive by Leo Valiquette

June 21: PR people really are dead and mindless sheep by Francis Moran

June 8: Is it spring time for venture capital in Canada? by Francis Moran

June 13: Product marketing vs. brand marketing: Separate your product or separate your users? by Ken Rosen

June 25: Tribal marketing for ‘Generation Me’ by Bob Bailly

June 28: Why is there a lighthouse on your brochure? by Francis Moran

June 22: Social Media Breakfast Ottawa: Digital measurement and consumer understanding by Alexandra Reid

Image: Michel Z Binden

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