Purple Forge is a proud finalist for the following 2011 OCRI Awards:
- Most Promising Startup
- Next Generation Executive - John Craig, VP Sales and Marketing
Purple Forge is also a proud finalist for the following Exploriem Bootstrap Awards:
- Most Innovative Source Bootstrap Capital
- Fastest Growing Startup (Last Three Years)
I had an interesting discussion last week regarding OCRI with a few local entrepreneurs. The general issue being “What good is OCRI?” for entrepreneurs in Ottawa.
There was a lot of negativity about the lack of relevance and the fact that OCRI has increasingly become something of a joke around town due to its public fights with politicians (“The City does not own OCRI!”), lack of transparency and general lack of results. OCRI has serious issues, there is little debate on that point.
However, it is worth noting that OCRI does/has run some programs that, in the past, I have personally found of value and which are worth highlighting:
- OCRI Awards - The annual award program is a great help to local companies from a marketing perspective. It raises awareness of local companies in the region, and for the winners offers ongoing value for marketing as well as during fund-raising and talent recruiting.
- Market Research – It is not generally well-known, but OCRI can offer free market research reports (covering competition, market sizes, market trends) from major research firms. These research reports typically cost thousands of dollars per report and are out of reach for most entrepreneurs at the early stages. The OCRI membership fee alone is worth the value of the marketing reports that OCRI can offer for free.
- Trade Shows – In the past OCRI has co-ordinated international trade show participation where they have provided shared booth space at discounted prices for local companies. For an early stage company this sort of assistance is very valuable as trade show participation is generally costly to plan, execute and fund. In the case I was personally involved in, we were also able to receive partial re-reimbursement for our travel expenses from another government program OCRI was co-ordinating with.
- Venture Capital Forum – I have participated in two forums over the years. I found the preparation for the events and pre-screening coaching provided by OCRI to be constructive and valuable. While no financing came out of the events, there was value to the networking and experience in presenting. The resulting improvements to my pitch were helpful in subsequent VC pitches I gave.
- Entrepreneurship Center – Early on in my entrepreneurial journey, I used the online resources of this program extensively. The material was well-organized and practical… and saved me a ton of time.
- Events – In the past, OCRI has co-ordinated some very relevant, inexpensive and useful networking and educational events. In particular, the Bill Gates events were world-class.
- Job Board – In the past, I have posted jobs to the OCRI job board. Having a job board that is regionally oriented and which doesn’t have outrageous fees associated with it can be very useful to an early stage company when recruiting.
Industry Canada announced on Monday that they will be providing additional funding for BDC.
The funding allocation includes $350M for BDC‘s venture capital activities that will allow it to make additional direct investments of $260 million over three years in Canadian businesses already in the BDC portfolio, as well as investments in new seed technology companies and later-stage technology companies. It will also allow BDC to commit $90 million over three years to private, independent Canadian venture capital funds.
This funding is in addition to the $75 million in venture capital funds allocated in the Government of Canada’s Budget 2008, which is being used to support the creation of a privately run venture capital fund.
This is great news! BDC has been, and continues to be a key player in helping grow Canada’s innovation, economic growth and economic diversity.
Here is a recent call for participants from Dr Tony Bailetti for the 3rd session of the Lead to Win program which starts on July 28th – please spread the word!
INTERESTED IN LAUNCHING A NEW TECH BUSINESS? LEAD TO WIN WANTS TO HELP YOU!
If you are serious about starting a profitable technology business in Canada’s Capital region, we invite you to apply to the next session of the Lead to Win program.
The Lead to Win program is free to qualified applicants – no strings attached, no small print, no surprises. Individuals from 37 organizations are investing to make Lead to Win participants successful for the benefit of the individual and our community.
Details on the program, including past success and testimonials from participants are available at www.leadtowin.ca. If you need additional information over what is at www.leadtowin.ca, please contact:
Spaces in the Lead to Win program are limited – so prospective participants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.
Application instructions are available online at www.leadtowin.ca.
If you know of others who may benefit from Lead to Win, please forward this email to them – help get the word out!
Lead to Win Program
The 2009 Lead to Win program kicked-off this week. The program was originally planned to support 30 participants per session. Due to overwhelming demand from highly qualified candidates the program capacity was doubled and 61 participants were accepted into the May-June program.
The first three days of workshops went exceptionally well. All participants were highly qualified, highly motivated and highly committed. The workshop was intense and there was a lot of interaction between the participants and the program leaders. A breakdown of the participants company types, target markets, etc. is available: Lead to Win May 2009 Portfolio Snapshot
Photos from the first day of the program are available online -