Another foreign financial player set to enter Canada via acquisition

Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
For the second time in about six weeks, a foreign financial player has entered the Canadian market. But rather than build from the ground up, the financial players, Spanish in one case and French in the other, have made their entry through the acquisition of an established player. In mid-September, Banco Santander, S.A. announced the $298-million acquisition of TSX-listed Carfinco Financial Group Inc. Headquartered in Edmonton, but with operations in all provinces, Carfinco specializes in non-prime consumer vehicle financing. It works with more than 2,200 dealers and purchases loans made by those dealers — provided they are done according to Carfinco’s standards. Read Article

Starter Company helps young adults pursue entrepreneurial dreams

Thu, 30 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Small business has been the backbone of the Canadian economy for generations, and although starting a small business may come easy for some, for many it is an endeavour that requires patience, focus, and trust in others almost as much as trust in self. This last point is part of the impetus behind the province of Ontario's new Youth Jobs Strategy and focus on young entrepreneurs: Starter Company. Ontario residents ages 18 to 29 may have a great business idea, but many don't know who can help make that idea a reality. In short, they require trust in others (e.g. government services) to get that first business going. Read Article

Bionic Eye Helping Blind People See For The First Time

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
It's not exactly the bionic eye that gave the Six Million Dollar Man of 1970s TV fame extraordinary vision, but a new implant is helping some people with virtually no sight due to degenerative retinal diseases make more sense out of light and dark images, and it may one day dramatically improve their ability to see. Doctors at Toronto Western Hospital have implanted the Argus Retinal Prosthesis System in the first two patients as part of a 10-person clinical study, the first such operations performed in Canada. Read Article

Toronto's UHN ranked #1 in Canada’s Top 40 Research Hospitals 2014 list

Wed, 29 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Toronto's UHN is first on Canada's Top 40 Research Hospitals 2014 list with a research income of $312.3 million in 2013. This was followed by Hamilton Health Sciences ($182.1 million), Hospital for Sick Children ($179.4 million), McGill University ($170.5 million) and Ottawa Hospital ($136.8 million) to round out the top five.? In a press release issued Oct. 29, 2014, Research Infosource Inc. stated the data from 2013 indicates research activity in Canada has stalled on flat research income, leaving large institutions to advance and smaller hospitals to retreat. Click for full release. Read Article

What Makes the Gaming Industry So Hot Today

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The gaming industry is becoming one of the most important segments in Canada’s thriving tech sector. Gaming employs 16,000 people and contributes $2.3 billion to Canada’s GDP annually—and both figures are rising fast. “The business of games includes everyone from very small gaming companies with one or two people working out of a basement, to very large companies like Ubisoft,” explains Christa Dickenson, executive director of Interactive Ontario on this week’s Business Cast podcast. “It’s an industry to watch.” Read Article

India-based startups to come to Ryerson's DMZ

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Five India-based startups will arrive at Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ) on Nov. 2 for two weeks to further their business development. The startups — AdSparx, Flip Technologies, Konotor, Shield Square and Vidooly — work on web and mobile-based products. These businesses were the winners of the Next Big Idea Contest run by Zone Startups India, a joint venture consisting of Ryerson Futures and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute, along with the Government of Ontario and IBM’s Global Entrepreneurship Program. The winners were among 200 contest applicants. Read Article

Ontario Secures More Investments in China: Projects Valued at About $442 Million Will Create up to 340 Jobs in Ontario

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Ontario secured significant new investments from Chinese partners today, as part of Premier Kathleen Wynne's first trade mission to China. These investments will create jobs in several communities, including Toronto, Ottawa, Markham and Niagara Falls. Greenland Group, a global property development company based in Shanghai, will build a pair of residential towers in downtown Toronto. Construction on the $400-million project is scheduled to begin within six months and will create up to 200 jobs. Read Article

My own courtside view of the evolution of the Canadian startup ecosystem

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The ecosystem has significantly improved with the arrival of new seed to early-stage venture funds including iNovia Capital, Real Ventures, Version One Ventures, Rho Canada, McRock Cap, Relay Ventures, and more recently our own fund White Star Capital as well as Gibraltar Ventures in Toronto and Build Ventures in the Atlantic provinces. OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension fund has become more active at supporting the Series B funding stage, funding HootSuite and Shopify, which raised $160-million and $100-million respectively. iNovia Capital has also supported LightSpeed Retail in a $35M Series B round with Accel Partners, another example of deeper Canadian support. Read Article

Canada's Drones Taking Off

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Getting approval to use a drone is much simpler in Canada, according to Roger Haessel of the Canadian Centre for Unmanned Vehicle Systems. "You can apply to Transport Canada for what's called a Special Flight Operating Certificate. And what you’re doing there, is you’re making the case to Transport Canada what you’re going to be doing," he said. As long as he lists flight details and safety procedures, a drone operator is free to take off, as long as the drone weighs less than 50 pounds, doesn't fly above 400 feet, and does not leave the operator’s sight. "You're basically making the case that what you're doing is legitimate and not going to cause any safety concerns," said Haessel. By some estimates, the Canadian drone industry is almost a decade ahead of the United States. Read Article

Minister of State Holder Delivers Address on Innovation to Canadian Universities

Tue, 28 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The Honourable Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), delivered a keynote address at the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) Innovation Dialogue today. In his speech, the Minister of State outlined Canada's approach to research and innovation, which focuses on developing talent, knowledge and partnerships. He cited internationally renowned programs, such as the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, the Business-Led Networks of Centres of Excellence and those of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, which provide complementary support mechanisms to grow talent and foster innovation. Read Article

Swedish brand J. Lindeberg is opening its first Canadian flagship at Queen and Spadina

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Stockholm-based J. Lindeberg, an upscale lifestyle and sportswear label with flagships all over Europe and the States, is opening its first Canadian store at 433 Queen West, just east of Spadina. The brand, which showed its latest menswear collection at New York Fashion Week, specializes in sporty apparel for golf and ski enthusiasts, plus cozy knits and fur-trimmed scarves. (Its luxe winter apparel is currently stocked in stores like Sporting Life.) According to its new website, the flagship will open in a few weeks—just in time for the Collingwood crew to stock up on all their après-ski essentials. Read Article

Planet Fitness Announces Company's First International Expansion into Canada

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
A solution has finally arrived for the nearly 81 percent of Canadians who are put off by the price, intimidation, and inconvenience associated with gym memberships1. Planet Fitness, the inventor of low-cost, high-value, judgement-free health clubs, and the fastest-growing full-size health club franchise in the U.S. with over 850 locations, is set to open its first international location in December at the Galleria Mall in Toronto, Ontario (1245 Dupont Street). "Canada represents a huge opportunity for Planet Fitness, as we believe that the value, quality, and non-intimidating atmosphere we provide members is truly unmatched by any other gym in the industry," said Chris Rondeau, CEO and co-founder of Planet Fitness. "We are confident that our winning formula will resonate with Canadians and shake up the fitness landscape." Read Article

Construction of Oxford's EY Tower Approaching Grade

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
A block west of the construction site for the Bay Adelaide Centre's east tower, another office tower will soon be rising from the ground. Oxford Properties' EY Tower at 100 Adelaide West will add 900,000 square-feet of commercial space to the heart of Toronto's Financial District, at the site of the former 16-storey Art Deco Concourse Building, the façade of which will be reconstructed and incorporated into the 40-storey office tower. Read Article

Building the pieces of a new blue edge

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
When Waterfront Toronto earlier this year opened Corktown Common, the 18-acre riverside park that is the centrepiece of the burgeoning West Don Lands neighbourhood, it was a poignant moment for the agency’s leader John Campbell. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Corktown Common is built atop a massive flood-protection landform, or berm, intended to prevent a severely swollen Don River from pouring into the downtown core. Without that landform, Campbell points out, none of the development in the West Don Lands — a mixed-use riverside community located on former industrial lands at the foot of Bayview Ave. — would have been possible. That includes the 2015 Pan Am Games athletes’ village, which is nearing completion in the new Canary District neighbourhood, with the Games now months away. Read Article

EDC and IFC partner to help connect Canadian cleantech business with Chinese buyers

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
Export Development Canada (EDC) announced today their sponsorship of the International Financial Corporation (IFC) second annual Climate Business Forum in Hong Kong. The forum, running on October 28th and 29th, will bring together industry leaders from around the world to highlight climate investment opportunities in key clean technology sectors, including resource efficiency, renewable energy and water sanitation. “China is the world’s top investor in renewable energy. The opportunity to showcase Canadian innovation to regional investors will go a long way to opening doors for attending companies and encouraging greater awareness of cutting-edge Canadian cleantech capabilities,” said Clive Witter, Senior Vice-President, Insurance, EDC. Read Article

Global Business Leaders Series – Belgium and Luxembourg

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The Global Business Leaders Series features business leaders and policy makers from across Canada, Belgium and Luxembourg. Keynote presentations, panel discussions and investor testimonials will highlight Canada’s attractive investment opportunities in the advanced manufacturing, life sciences, and information and communication technologies. A Canadian delegation comprising members of the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA) – a group representing 11 of Canada’s largest cities – will participate and meet one-on-one with business executives to discuss the many investment benefits and opportunities in Canada. Read Article

Global Business Leaders Series – United Kingdom

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The Global Business Leaders Series features business leaders and policy makers from across Canada and the United Kingdom (U.K.). Keynote presentations, panel discussions and investor testimonials will highlight Canada’s attractive investment opportunities in the financial services, information and communications technology, and life sciences sectors. A Canadian delegation comprising members of the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA) – a group representing 11 of Canada’s largest cities – will participate and meet one-on-one with business executives to discuss the many investment benefits and opportunities in Canada Read Article

Global Business Leaders Series – Germany

Mon, 27 Oct 2014 00:00:00 GMT
The Global Leaders Business Series features business leaders and policy makers from across Canada and Germany. Keynote presentations, panel discussions and investor testimonials will highlight Canada’s attractive investment opportunities in the advanced manufacturing and information and communications technology sectors. This initiative will take place in Stuttgart, targeting all business executives from Stuttgart, the Baden-Wuerttemberg area and neighbouring federal states that are interested in Canada as a potential business location. A Canadian delegation comprising members of the Consider Canada City Alliance (CCCA) – a group representing 11 of Canada’s largest cities – will participate and be available for one-on-one meetings with business executives in Stuttgart to discuss the many investment benefits and opportunities in Canada. Read Article