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Angel investors can’t sit on crowdfunding sidelines

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 11.43.11 AMBy Francis Moran

The biggest mistake Canadian angel investors could make if and when equity crowdfunding is made more widely available in Canada “is to sit on the sidelines and do nothing and let crowdfunding pass them by,” says one of this country’s leading legal experts on the subject.

Lawyer Brian Koscak, who will be part of a crowdfunding panel discussion at next week’s National Angel Capital Organization national summit in Banff, said in an interview that the potential broadening of equity crowdfunding in parts of Canada “is a wonderful opportunity for angels to step up and show what they’ve got.” Angels, he said, have a wealth of expertise both in the specific sectors in which they invest and in the investment process itself, making them invaluable participants in any crowdfunding portals that are established.

Angel investors are often the first external source of funding that startups and young companies receive. (A survey of 20 out of NACO’s 24 angel group members reported that angels made 139 investments worth $40.5-million in 2012.) In Canada, as in most other countries, angels must have a minimum income or net worth before being allowed to invest, criteria that shuts out most investors. Securities regulators in Ontario and Saskatchewan have proposed expanding the opportunity for early-stage private investment by allowing companies to solicit small investments from larger pools of individual investors. Even if these proposals never become law, ordinary investors can already, under certain circumstances, participate in early-stage investing everywhere in Canada except Ontario.

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Great articles roundup: Startups, funding, storytelling, PR and feature-market fit

By Daylin Mantykalink

Every Friday we summarize the top articles we read over the week. This week, we loved articles that were published on Entrepreneur, Gigaom, Fast Company, Spin Sucks and memeburn.

First up, an article about the perks of working for a small business rather than corporate giants, followed by a post on raising $2 million online. Third, a piece on how stories can be infectious. Finally, we’ve got an advice post on how PR professionals can become better makers and last, a piece that introduces the concept of feature-market fit.

Startup perks Wal-Mart and Amazon can never offer

In this article, Gene Marks asks how small businesses can compete with corporate giants for talented employees. To him, the answer is easy. Although small businesses may not be able to offer the money, benefits or  sex appeal of the big guys, they can offer less bureaucracy, greater flexibility and a family away from family.

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Great articles roundup: Startup fundraising, growth, performance, investors and marketing stunts

By Daylin Mantyka link

We’re startup-heavy this week for Friday’s roundup and have selected some great content from Forbes, Entrepreneur, ZDNet, the Globe and Mail and The Kernel.

We’ve got two great articles on raising capital and growing your business. We found an interesting post about dealing with non-performers in your company and another about finding that perfect investor for your startup. Finally, we’ve selected an interesting post on marketing: Was it a stealthy marketing stunt or was it a spy’s wallet that was found on a London train?

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September roundup: What does it take to get technology to market?

By Daylin Mantyka2013-September-Calendar-to-Print

Last month’s contents were newsworthy and informative. Leading the pack was David French’s post on confidentiality agreements followed by Francis Moran’s timely piece on angel investing in Ontario. As always, we had some great contributions from our guest bloggers on customer service, forecasting culture in startups, PR agency etiquette and the value of testimonials, among others.

In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:

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Ontario angel investments up 41 percent

By Francis Moranthe Network of Angel Organizations - Ontario

In yet another good sign of growing angel investor interest in backing promising startups, the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario today announced that its members reported a 41-percent increase in direct investment into 77 Ontario companies over a 12-month period in 2012-2013. This comes on the heels of a report two weeks ago from the National Angel Capital Organization that its members injected $40.5-million into 139 young companies in 2012. Although NAO-Ontario did not reveal how much had been invested over the past 12 months, it said its members have put a total of $91.6-million into 169 Ontario companies since 2007.

Angel investors are high-net-worth individuals who are often the first external source of funding for new ventures. Many invest on their own, but increasingly in Canada we’re seeing angels come together in groups to share the due diligence burden and pool their investments.

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