I spent a little time at StartupWeekendHamilton3 in April as a mentor and was talking to a young founder who proclaimed that there was one great accelerator in Canada. Who he said it was surprised me a little and got me thinking, what makes an accelerator “the best” and why should an eager founder care? The baseline in my mind is Y-Combinator. No one can argue it is the best seed-stage accelerator based on its results. What is difficult for everyone to agree upon is what does it do to achieve those results or even harder, what defines success?
March break aside, we kept up the pace last month with a great lineup of content that featured some excellent posts from our guest bloggers. Hot topics included opportunities in the global smart TV market, criteria for hiring a worthy writer and the risks and rewards of having a product that is truly unique in the marketplace.
In case you missed any of it, here is a handy recap of our posts, as ranked by the enthusiasm of our readers:
March 20: Calling Canada’s startups: There’s a $200B TV market ripe for the taking, by Jason Flick
March 19: Is that writer worth the cost of the ink?, by Leo Valiquette
March 26: The ballad of the undifferentiated product, by Francis Moran
March 27: The ‘Accelerator Bubble’ will pop, but not for the reason you think it will, by Jesse Rodgers
March 25: Three (not so) simple strategies to avoid ‘losing the plot’ in marketing, by Rob Woyzbun
March 07: Oracles, shamans and storytellers, by Bob Bailly
March 13: It’s still rock and roll to me, by Francis Moran
March 21: Best of: My three buckets of customer segmentation, by Francis Moran
March 06: You can’t rely on the channel to grow sales in new markets, by Jeff Campbell
March 11: Drafting your own patent disclosure document, by David French
March 12: Don’t give your customers reasons to ask for apologies, by Leo Valiquette
March 18: Some dos and don’ts of governance, by Denzil Doyle
March 14: Before you jump on the content-marketing bandwagon …, by Leo Valiquette
March 05: From courting Hollywood’s A-list to navigating the Chinese New Year, by Leo Valiquette and John Hill
The incubator/accelerator market has a growing number of people watching and waiting for its bubble to pop. The reasons cited for this looming pop should be obvious: most accelerators aren’t going to perform as well as some TechStars programs and not even close to Y Combinator. Poor performance (measured in the number of short-term wins) along with the short-term nature of the funding behind most of the accelerator programs will cause them to run out of money and simply fade into startup history.
But that won’t pop the bubble.
By Daylin Mantyka
As a regular feature, we provide our readers with a roundup of some of the best articles we have read in the past week. On the podium this week are Techvibes, MarketingProfs, Co.Create and GigaOM.
Ian MacKinnon talks about the pros and cons of joining an accelerator and whether or not it’s right for your company.
The problem isn’t too little smart money, it’s too many dumb deals
By Ronald Weissman
The meme of the month is “The Series A Crunch.” According to Crunch Theory, many worthy seed-funded startups lack follow-on capital because VCs now have smaller funds or have moved later stage. CB Insights estimates $1 billion in seed financing will be “incinerated” and at least 1,000 companies will be orphaned. Other data suggest that the number of orphans could be much larger.
Those who say the problem lies with VCs (CB Insights isn’t one of them) must argue that the number of Series A deals has fallen sharply. This is not true and the problem lies elsewhere. Whatever the cause, there is, certainly, a capital crunch for seed-funded startups and it is likely to get worse, as the backlog of seed-stage companies needing Series A funding continues to grow.
Damn it, Beyoncé: Now all the pundits will say marketing is unnecessary
December 19, 2013 by Francis Moran
It didn’t take long after music megastar Beyoncé dropped her latest release onto Apple iTunes with no advance warning or usual hype-fest for the armchair pundits and marketing deniers to trumpet that marketing was now dead [...]Read more... -
Five keys to your presentation success in 2014
December 18, 2013 by Anil Dilawri
The good news – 2013 was a good year for most businesses. The bad news – most business presentations delivered in 2013 still sucked. Whether it’s an investor pitch, an elevator pitch, a customer update, or an important sales presentation, here are five ideas to help make your presentations remarkable in 2014 [...]Read more... -
Becoming a more successful you in 2014
December 17, 2013 by Leo Valiquette
It’s that time of year again, when pundits and armchair quarterbacks of every stripe offer up their insights on the year past and their predictions for the year to come. This isn’t one of those posts [...]Read more... -
Best of: I’m sick and tired of hearing that Canadians don’t take risks
December 16, 2013 by Francis Moran
This is the next entry in our “Best of” series, in which we venture deep into the vault to replay blog opinion and insight that has withstood the test of time. Today’s post hails from December 2011. We welcome your feedback [...]Read more... -
Great articles roundup: Social media, Gen Y, communications and entrepreneurship
December 13, 2013 by Daylin Mantyka
It’s officially the end of the working week, which means that it’s time for the Friday roundup where we’ve compiled a short list of the top articles we read and loved [...]Read more... -
Would you kill the Fat Man?
December 11, 2013 by Bob Bailly
Over a number of my previous posts, I’ve written a lot about the concepts of Neuromarketing – a predictive model that uses findings from the sciences concerning the brain (neuroscience and psychology) to improve sales and communication skills [...]Read more... -