2012 Predictions for Montreal’s Tech Startup Community

Some people love ‘em, some people hate ‘em … but regardless, predictions are fun, and now is a perfect time for some of Montreal’s tech community leaders to make their own. I asked a number of people to share their predictions for 2012 and encourage you to share your own in the comments below.

Here are some of the answers:

Hugh McGuire from Pressbooks has a few predictions:

1. We’ll start to get a sense of the worth of incubators

The city is now packed with them, with YearOneLabs (RIP), FounderFuel, and more, giving small amounts to tens of short-term projects, along with coaching. Do incubators make for more successful companies? We’ve had a few good signs so far, notably LocalMind. I hope we can get the YComb model working in this city, because it seems like a better path to successful companies than a more standard VC approach.

2. Many of the Best Incubator & Lean Startups will Leave Montreal

If I had a dollar for every time someone said: “If you want to raise money/succeed, you should leave Montreal and move to San Francisco, New York or Boston…” I would have, well about $20. In general I think they are right. You don’t NEED to be elsewhere to succeed, but Montreal has a problem: we don’t have that many successful entrepreneurs to talk to. And that, I am convinced, is the X-factor that helps build success: talking to other successful startup entrepreneurs. Talking to other entrepreneurs who’ve done it is worth about a million blog posts about Lean Startup methodology. So: many companies will heed the advice. Some won’t. Hopefully we’ll maintain a growing and increasingly successful startup scene in Montreal. Maybe some of those big-shots will come back.

Hugh shares a bit of concern around the lack of exits in Montreal as well:

There were a couple of exits in the Montreal tech scene in 2011: Tungle and Coradiant. Were there others? Will we see more? If we don’t see more, we’ll have to start scratching our heads and wondering what’s wrong with us.

Mark MacLeod from Real Ventures is much more optimistic and bold:

At the risk of being controversial, I predict that Montreal will become the #1 city for startups in Canada.

Why?

* Density: between Founderfuel and Real, a lot of seed funding is happening.

* Capital: As above. Plus now iNovia has a shiny new fund and will likely invest part of it here. Rho will likely also have a new fund.

* Visibility: these funds, founderfuel demo days and events like International Startup Festival are shining a big light on what’s happening in Montreal.

I don’t know if that’s really controversial, but it’s definitely bold. Toronto saw much more capital raised and many more exits than Montreal. If you include Waterloo as well, Ontario pulled far ahead of anywhere else. We’ll see what happens in 2012.

For more information about Montreal’s tech community. Click here.

Tips on choosing the mobile and internet service provider for startups

Choosing the right mobile and internet service provider is one of the most difficult things these days because there are lots of models available that you can’t even decide that which mobile and internet provider is going to be perfect for your needs. The beginners, that are choosing the mobile for the first time, make lots of mistakes and they always make a wrong decision unless they take help from an expert.

Today, we’re going to share some informative tips on how you can find the best mobile and internet service, provider. We’re going to address the options that can help you all around the world because if we talked about a particular country, the rest of the people would still stay confused about making their decision.

So, we have targeted the most common options that can help you in any part of the world. Taking a look at these tips would help you make an informed decision.

Research

The research is the key element to find the best option. You can ask your friends about the internet service providers in your country or you can also find the list on the internet. Once you have found the names of all the service providers, you need to create a list and start searching for their positive and negative aspects.

Create a list of these aspects and then compare them with each other and try to find the perfect service for your needs. If you rely on others to find the best service provider, you won’t be able to make the right decision because their needs are different from yours.

Prepaid or postpaid

One of the major problems that most of the beginners face is that they find it difficult to choose between the prepaid and postpaid data plan. We recommend that prepaid datentarif is the perfect option for you as a beginner. You can move to the postpaid plan later but in the beginning, you should only choose the prepaid data plan.

Reliability

Reliability is another important aspect that most of the people overlook in the beginning. You should always be careful about the mobile and the internet service provider you’re going to choose. A reliable option will help you save your money in the long run otherwise, you’d have to change your mobile after a few months or even after some weeks.

Data plan

You should choose the data plan according to your personal needs. There are some internet providers that provide good quality services at a higher rate with limited data while there are others that provide poor quality services with unlimited data. We recommend that you should always choose the internet provider that provides you the good quality services because there is no benefit of choosing the low-quality services as it will only waste your money.…

Start-Up Chile is a Great Experience But Be Careful Too

Ken Seville is currently at Start-Up Chile with his company, CiviSide. He’s an ex-Montrealer (OK, he was born in Montreal and lived there for 6 months), who prior to going to Chile, lived in Ottawa. With the latest news about three Montreal startups going to the Chilean incubator, and yesterday’s post from one of the founders, Naysawn Naderi (founder of Art Sumo), I thought it would be interesting for Ken to share his experience as well. As you’ll read, most of his experience has been very good, but it’s not all perfect. There are some financial issues to receiving $40,000 of “free” money. As they say, “nothing in life is free” or “money doesn’t grow on trees”…and in Ken’s case he found that the financials aren’t as simplistic or rosy as expected. I want to thank Ken up front for sharing his story and wish him the best of luck!

My Mixed Experience at Start-Up Chile – But Still Highly Recommended

Start-Up Chile Party

Congratulations to Ateneo Digital, Bespoke Mobility, and Art Sumo on their acceptance to Start-Up Chile. As a Canadian in the the current cohort with CiviSide.com, I can personally attest that it will be a worthwhile and enriching experience, but not without challenges. The first challenge, ironically, is money. The promise of Start-Up Chile is that you will receive $40K as an equity free grant, and that is absolutely true…if you have enough money up front to access the entire grant. The issue is that the grant is given on a reimbursed basis and they only allow startups to request reimbursement once monthly, so unless you bring roughly $10K with you, you will not be able to access your full grant (assuming that you are pre-revenue).

The Reimbursement Process

Here’s how their process works:

  1. Spend own money brought with you for business expenses
  2. Apply for reimbursement. Eligible expenses such as salaries, marketing, operations (including housing and salary), reimbursed at 90% of claim
  3. Receive reimbursement approximately 21 days later
  4. Rinse and Repeat

The good news is that it shouldn’t be too difficult to raise all or most of the seed capital that you need from friends and family (to get started), since 90% of it will be reimbursed by the program. Technically you only need to pay 10% of reimbursable expenses, so you should only need $4K in total to access your entire grant….technically. The reality is that not everything is reimbursable. You won’t be able to reimburse the agent fee for finding your apartment, you won’t be able to reimburse your deposit for your apartment, you won’t be able to claim the minimal salary you are allowed to claim ($750 CAD) in the first month. In total that added up to about $1,500 I wasn’t able to claim of the $5,000 I brought, so this was quite a setback for me. In addition, upon arrival there is about a 2 week lag between when you can sign your contract, add another week until you can get your first reimbursement appointment with an account executive, and then add up to another 21 days until you receive your first reimbursement in the bank. You need almost 2 months of money on hand before you see a peso from the program. That is the bad, now the good.

For more information about how to start a business online. Click here.