Incubators: the Entrepreneur's Alternative to Government-Supported Programs.

Posted by Maher Arar

The Canadian government has established many programs to help high-tech entrepreneurs. These programs, while useful in providing information and support to some entrepreneurs, they are still bureaucratic in nature. Entrepreneurs who have tried to get money from the government or from government-funded organizations know this first hand. From the amount of paper work to fill out to the time and effort it takes, these programs discourage many first-time entrepreneurs from even trying to start the process. I do not blame them because we live in the Internet age where the execution plan has be implemented very quickly or competition will take these entrepreneurs by surprise.

Luckily, entrepreneurs now have more effective alternatives. Incubators such as Bootup Labs in Vancouver, Extreme Venture Partners (EVP) in Toronto and Montreal Start Up in Montreal are doing a very good job in filling out this gap. These incubators provide seed money and mentorship during the incubation period (which ranges from 3 to 9 months after which entrepreneurs can seek follow up financing or continue to bootstrap their newly-born venture).

It is extremely encouraging to see that these incubators, while they are less than two years old, have already made a noticeable impact. Consider, for example, the fact that two out of five companies that won the Facebook Fund were part of EVP’s portfolio. I can almost sense that the success of these incubators can also be attributed to the fact they talk the E-generation language to whom the new entrepreneurs belong

I have no doubt that more incubators will emerge as time goes by (I am involved in establishing one in Ottawa) . The future of our economy and prosperity very much depends on how quickly we adapt to rapid changes and the establishment of such ventures is only the first step in the right direction.

Company:
Bootup Labs
Website:
http://www.bootuplabs.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Bootup Labs is a seed accelerator in Vancouver, BC that helps founders and companies go "from concept to company." Bootup Labs recruits promising entrepreneurs and provides mentorship, ongoing support and office space to help define their business and, if required, secure venture financing. Companies receive $150k in financing. Focus exclusively on Internet based businesses including casual gaming, consumer... more

Company:
Montreal Start Up
Website:
http://www.montrealstartup.com
Location:
Montréal, Québec, Canada

We invest in entrepreneurial teams with big visions and global aspirations looking to establish companies in Montreal. We provide seed level financing, as well as strategic and operational input, in order to help them turn their ideas into successful companies. We are looking to invest in software-based businesses in the Internet, wireless and media spaces. Our team has a deep understanding of, and extensive... more

Company:
Extreme Venture Partners
Website:
http://www.extremevp.com
Location:
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Extreme Venture Partners is focused on providing early stage venture capital. We recognize that sometimes all that is needed to propel a good idea into greatness is a small amount of funding and support from a seasoned team of technology and business alumnus. We bring together the agility and eagerness of an angel investor with the structure and support of venture capitalists. more


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Maher Arar

Maher Arar

Maher Arar is a technology consultant, a blogger and an adjunct professor at the School of Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Ottawa. Maher has been an entrepreneur at various stages of his life. His first entrepreneurial adventure was in running a currency trading micro-business (mostly trading with friends and family members) while he was only 12 years old. He also launched... more



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