Canadian Startup Privacy Analytics Raises Round of Funding to Compete in Database Security Market

“There are vast amounts of health care data which are of very high value for areas including health research to find cures for diseases, for public health research that deals with outbreak detection, such as outbreaks of food borne illnesses and other preventative interventions such as cancer screening,” says Dr. Khaled El Emam, founder and CEO of Ottawa-based startup Privacy Analytics, which protects the privacy of personal data used for analysis and research in the health care industry.

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Justin Trudeau Talks Social Media and Politics with Facebook’s Jordan Banks

“Social media helps to get to know the real people you’re voting for,” said Liberal Party of Canada leadership candidate Justin Trudeau yesterday while chatting with Facebook Canada’s Managing Director Jordan Banks at an event in Toronto.

The “fireside chat” style conversation focused on the future of politics and the social web. Here are some of the highlights.

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Minitrade.ca Launches Kids Clothing Exchange Service

When former fashion design professional and mother-of-two Isabelle Doucet had her first child in 2008, she knew she wanted to make a change in her career. Meanwhile, as her children outgrew their clothes, she became overwhelmed with all of the extra clothing she had lying around the house.

Doucet looked online for a solution but could only find local exchanges on Facebook and via classified websites (like Craigslist) – where parents had to buy clothes in bulk (i.e. a box of clothes for $50).

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Canadian Startup Speakerfile Launches Dynamic Visual Search

Need a speaker for your next conference or media interview but don’t know where to look?

Last week, Toronto-based startup Speakerfile launched a new dynamic visual search solution that aims to make browsing for experts easy on its platform. The Canadian startup is an inbound marketing solution for organizations seeking to better promote their experts and thought leaders as speakers and media sources.

“We believe that the process of discovering and evaluating industry experts, especially in a given geographical region, is still a challenge. The Speakerfile dynamic visual search experience makes discovery and evaluation of experts easier than ever," said Peter Evans, founder and CEO.

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Kara Swisher: Entrepreneurs Must Do These Five Things to Stay Relevant

Whether you’re a Hollywood film producer, a newspaper editor or an entrepreneur, the key to success is to “deliver your product to consumers in a way that they want to receive it,” said Kara Swisher, co-executive editor of AllThingsD, at the Women in Film and Television luncheon yesterday in Toronto.

This means following emerging consumer and technology trends in order to avoid becoming irrelevant.

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SavvyMom Media Collective Connects Advertisers with Canadian Mom Bloggers

According to a 2011 survey published jointly by BlogFrog and The Social Studies Group, “more than 40% of influential women bloggers either remain undiscovered by brands and/or have never been approached by them.”

Meanwhile, “two-thirds of the women bloggers (who do get approached) end up rejecting at least half the pitches they receive from brands.” The survey indicated that women bloggers want “long-term, deeper relationships with a few special brands.”

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Uber Offers a Taxi Service in Toronto Starting Today

Uber Toronto, an on-demand private driver service that you order via your smartphone, is offering a new taxi service to its Toronto customers starting this afternoon—just in time for the Labour Day weekend.

The company has traditionally worked with black town cars, SUVs and limo drivers licensed for pick-up in the city of Toronto.  

The taxi option, which will appear as a new icon within the existing Uber app, will give customers more choice by offering quality transportation options at every price point.

“We think this will help speed the evolution and efficiency of Toronto's transit system,” says Andrew MacDonald, General Manager at Uber Toronto. “Frankly, Toronto's overwhelmed and underfunded transit network needs all the help it can get. We're eager, excited, and damn proud to become a bigger part of what I believe has to be a multi-pronged municipal transit solution.”

The company has already offered a similar service in Chicago and is evolving its model to be about efficiency and quality.

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FreshBooks Redefines the Four P’s of Marketing: Parachutes, Pedicures, Pancakes, and Parking

According to Toronto-based cloud accounting software provider FreshBooks, Jerome McCarthy’s theory of the four P’s of Marketing (Price, Product, Place and Promotion) “have gone unchallenged and unchanged while the world of business has transformed itself in nearly every conceivable way.”

On September 1, the company is launching a fresh and funny campaign that establishes a new set of four P’s: Pancakes, Parking, Pedicure, and Parachute. They're designed to encourage the use of FreshBook's new iPhone app for mobile invoicing.

A FreshBooks spokesperson says that the revised four P’s were “deliberately identified to represent a new crop of entrepreneurship that hinges on mobility and convenience.”

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Facebook Unveils New Platform to Educate Agencies on Creative Advertising Opportunities

The advertising agency community plays an important role in the future success of Facebook.

A year ago, the company polled its agency clients worldwide to find out how to help digital strategists, media planners and buyers get the most out of their advertising efforts with Facebook. One of the biggest needs identified was for inspiration on how to be more creative when developing Facebook advertising campaigns.

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ShopLocket Raises $1 Million in Funding to Grow its Team and Power the Next Wave of E-commerce

Just three months ago, Toronto-based startup ShopLocket officially launched in open beta with a goal to turn the traditional destination commerce model on its head.

Today, the company announced that it has raised $1 million in seed funding, led by Rho Canada Ventures and Valar Ventures, the global investment vehicle backed by Peter Thiel that is making its first investment in a Canadian startup.

Other participants include BDC Capital, Relay Ventures, Extreme Venture Partnersand a group of private investors.

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Toronto’s DRIVEN Accelerator Creates Collaborative Network to Support Women and Minority Tech Founders

According to Toronto’s Education Through Media DIDDI Project, only four per cent of African Canadian youth enter the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) – and only one per cent of those are young women. To help encourage more interest in STEM careers by women and minority groups, Toronto-based DRIVEN Accelerator Groupannounced earlier this week a new collaborative network which will work with minority focused organizations in Canada and the U.S. to support tech founders at various startup stages.

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Toronto’s Verold Studio Enables 3D Artists to Showcase Work and Collaborate in Real Time

Imagine if you could access the work of 3D artists in a virtual studio and provide feedback on their designs. Now, imagine that the 3D models could also be embedded on any website to be viewed just like a YouTube video.

Last month, Toronto startup Verold Studio launched a new platform that would enable 3D artists to share, get feedback and collaborate on their 3D creations with others around the world in real-time.

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The Benefits of Explainer Videos for Startups

Over the last few years, web-based explainer videos have risen in popularity as a way to identify exactly what a company does in just a few short minutes. I spoke with Tony Tie, the founder of a new Toronto-based explainer video startup called THiNK Video to find out why the medium is so effective for startups.

According to Tie there are four key areas where explainer videos are helpful for small businesses: affordability, simplicity, measurability and high impact.

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Uber Expansion: Challenges of Launching a US-based App Business in Canada

In early March, Techvibes reported that U.S.-based startup Uber was expanding into Canada and worldwide. But they’re not the only American startup to do so.

The Globe and Mail recently covered a story about a number of U.S. startups, like Airbnb and Fab.com that are also expanding internationally to combat competition in other markets.

I spoke with Andrew MacDonald, who was recently appointed as General Manager at Uber Canada (running their Toronto business) to find out how the startup, co-founded by Canadian Garrett Camp (who is based in California), is overcoming unique market challenges in Canada as it competes with local businesses like Winston.

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