How a Canadian-made Rosetta Stone for the human genome could cure everything from cancer to autism

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Canadian researchers have developed a computer program that could prove the Rosetta Stone of genome research and one day translate the building blocks of everything from cancer to autism. Scientists have had a map of the genome — essentially the recipe behind each human’s DNA — since 2003, when the multi-billion-dollar global Human Genome Project wrapped up. But there’s still no proven method to “read” the entire genome. Scientists have mostly understood bits and pieces that affect one specific disease — until now. Read Article

One Year Later: Looking back at the seven Canadian wearable tech companies changing the world

Fri, 19 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Back in November of last year I introduced seven Canadian wearable tech companies working on technologies that were set to change how we live our everyday lives. From gesture control armbands to brain-sensing headbands, many of these companies now have wearables on the wrists and foreheads of users around the world. As we are nearing the end of 2014, I thought it was a good time to look back on what these wearable tech pioneers have been up to this year. Read Article

The Best And Worst Countries For Business 2014

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Forbes’ annual ranking of the Best Countries for Business grades countries on 11 different metrics, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance. This year Denmark returns to the top spot, where it ranked three straight years between 2008 and 2010. Canada ranks 6th, ahead of the UK (13th), Australia (16th) and the US (18th). Read Article

Crowdfunding boosted the growth of these tiny Canadian startups almost overnight in 2014

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
There was $1.3 million raised for high-fidelity wireless speakers, almost $1.2 million for specialty drones and $820,000 for smart-bikes. In 2014, three tiny Canadian companies went from teetering in obscurity to making headlines on tech blogs around the world thanks to successful crowdfunding campaigns that spurred exponential growth almost overnight. Once the domain of hobbyists and tinkerers, crowdfunding is increasingly becoming a growth strategy for real — but still small — companies with big ideas. Read Article

‘Uber for tow trucks’ launches for $9 a month

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Toronto-based startup Rapitow, billing itself as the “Uber for tow trucks,” enables members to hail the nearest available operator by GPS, and to track its progress on a mobile device. The app was launched for use in the Toronto area last week, with membership costing $9 a month for a single car, no matter who is driving, with additional cars costing $7 more a month. The only additional fee members could face is a $2 a kilometre charge after the first 100. Read Article

Promoting Job Creation and Economic Growth - Government unveils new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Today, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander announced that Canada will unveil a pilot program in January 2015 to attract experienced business immigrants who can actively invest in the Canadian economy, stimulating innovation, economic growth and job creation. The new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital Pilot Program is part of a series of transformational changes that build on the Government's commitment to build a fast and flexible economic immigration system. Read Article

Hubba closes $3.1 million in seed funding, blows past growth targets

Wed, 17 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Hubba, a cloud-based product information network has doubled its team, raised a $3.1M seed round from Brightspark, The Social + Capital Partnerships, and other investors, and blew past the growth targets, onboarding over 1,000 companies in just five months. Hubba provides a product information platform for brands, distributors, vendors and retailers to manage and share product information like product descriptions, reviews, images, videos and marketing assets, all in one place. “We’re in a B2B software space, helping brands, retailers and trade partners to share product information. Today, product information sharing isn’t efficient, to the point where only 25 per cent of product information consumers look at is accurate. Brands are overwhelmed with the amount of rich and unstructured product information, from video, images, marketing materials, to consumer reviews, size, and product specs,” Howard Lis, COO of Hubba told BetaKit. Read Article

Music industry veterans launch incubator for "artistpreneurs"

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
It seems like every week a new incubator or accelerator pops up to guide ambitious young entrepreneurs and contribute resources to Toronto’s startup ecosystem. Rob Lanni and Eric Lawrence founded one by accident. Having spent 25 years running Coalition Music – one of Canada’s first boutique artist management companies – the pair decided it was time to give back. Read Article

A snapshot of Toronto’s entrepreneurs

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Each year, MaRS conducts a survey of our “ventures,” the startups we support with venture services. As part of Data Catalyst’s work trying to discover trends and patterns in the innovation economy, we thought the MaRS venture survey results would provide an interesting window into the startup ecosystem in Toronto and surrounding region. The survey results aren’t all encompassing, of course, but with 597 companies reporting, it’s a valuable dataset that provides a snapshot of what’s happening in and around the city. Read Article

Canada, United States and Mexico Enhance Leadership on North American Energy Cooperation

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The outcome of today's meeting supports a strategic approach and the recent commitment of North American leaders to build the most competitive and dynamic region in the world, creating a more secure and integrated North American energy approach. Ministers agreed to strengthen government-to-government relationships and support business-to-business engagement in the energy sector. As countries with abundant energy resources, integrated infrastructure systems and extensive research, development and technological capacities, Canada, the United States, and Mexico have a global competitive advantage, which is enhanced through greater cooperation. Read Article

Wattage to Make Creating Hardware Easy as Playing a Game

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
More and more people might be making their own electronic devices these days but the technical skill required means building hardware is still limited to dedicated hobbyists and professionals. Jeremy Bell wants to change that. “The idea is ultimately to democratize the creation of electronic things,” Bell says. “When we look to the future, everything is going to be personal, everything is going to have an IP address.” Bell is the cofounder and CEO of Wattage, a Toronto-based startup that wants to make hardware design as easy and accessible as a game. Read Article

Canada Funds Eleven New Global Health Innovations in India

Tue, 16 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Grand Challenges Canada, funded by the Government of Canada, has announced an investment of up to $3.1 million CAD in 11 innovations in India, designed to save and improve the lives of women and children. Ten proof-of-concept projects will receive $112,000 CAD each and one Bangalore-based project, proven successful in trials, is now deemed ready for a $2 million CAD scale-up. It enables a mobile phone to work as a glucose metre for diabetics. Read Article

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche announces its 2014 economic impact and exciting first details for 10th edition in 2015

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The City of Toronto today announced the economic impact of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014, Toronto's free annual all-night celebration of contemporary art. In addition, preliminary details for next year's 10th edition were revealed and organizers extended an invitation for artist submissions to three different programs. Based on the findings of an Ipsos Reid survey, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2014 generated an economic impact of about $40.5 million for Toronto. The popular event held on October 4 attracted both local and out-of-town audiences, with an estimated attendance exceeding one million people and including close to 200,000 out-of-town visitors. Read Article

Mitacs and Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education address labour market needs

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Mitacs and the Centre of Excellence in Financial Services Education (CoE) are partnering to help financial service institutions firms bridge the gap between the supply and demand of talent for the sector. The partnership aims to increase the access to talent in Canada by linking top researchers enrolled in graduate and postdoctoral programs across Canada through Mitacs’ Accelerate and Elevate programs to Toronto’s financial services sector. Read Article

Toronto-based financial firms boast global footprint

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Toronto is commonly ranked among the top global financial centres, according to a new Conference Board of Canada report. In a companion report, the Conference Board of Canada adds close to 40% of the Toronto-based financial institutions surveyed report a quarter or more of their revenues come from overseas. “The financial services sector is an integral part of Toronto’s economy but, even more encouraging, is it [has] reach beyond Canada’s borders,” says Michael Burt, director of Industrial Economic Trends for the Conference Board of Canada. “Having an international presence positively enhances the reputation of our financial institutions.” Read Article

Meet ‘SoCo’ – Toronto’s mini-Manhattan – the neighbourhood that condos built

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
When Ms. Lee opened Simcoe Cleaner in 2009, she started having doubts. Her closest neighbour was a coffee and ice cream shop. “It was a little scary around here,” she says. “There was nothing. But I kept thinking, they are going to keep on building — they are going to keep on building.” And they did. Ms. Lee’s neighbours now include a pharmacy, a dentist, a corner store, two sports bars, a whisky bar, a taco joint, a gym, a sandwich shop, a grocery store, a state-of-the-art aquarium and a state-of-the-art public square where fans gather to watch games on a video screen outside the ACC, multiple coffee shops, a cluster of residential condo towers, new office buildings, construction cranes heralding more to come, plus the most recent arrival — a fully booked out, 567-room Delta Hotel that opened two weeks ago. Read Article

Fastest Asia-U.S. Shipping Route? Canada’s Ports

Mon, 15 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Prince Rupert, British Columbia, is a 1,000-mile drive from Seattle and far from major manufacturing centers. But last year, the port in the northwestern Canadian province was a key North American entry point for Asian-made products, and nearly all of the goods it received went to the U.S. Cargo traffic bound for the U.S. has risen 11% so far this year at Prince Rupert, the smaller of Canada’s two West Coast ports. To take advantage of growing demand, the port is moving ahead with plans to boost its container-handling capacity. Read Article

Doing business abroad pays dividends for Toronto's financial services sector and Canada's economy

Fri, 12 Dec 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Toronto is commonly ranked among the top financial centres in the world and its global presence remains strong, according to the Conference Board of Canada report, Performance and Potential: Toronto's Financial Services Sector 2014. In the companion report, Going Abroad: Examining the International Footprint of Canada's Financial Services Sector, also released today, close to 40 per cent of Toronto's financial institutions surveyed reported that one-quarter or more of their revenues comes from overseas; meanwhile, more than half of the survey respondents operate in 11 or more countries. Read Article