Archive for February 10th, 2009

Entrepreneurs, Persistence and Impact on the Economy

Original post on 9 February, 2009

By Jacqui Murphy

February 9th, 2009 Jacqui Posted

We work everyday with entrepreneurs who are battling on the frontlines of this economy. It seems that as the news gets worse and worse, these entrepreneurs and management teams are getting even stronger, more focused, and more creative.

It has never been more apparent to me that entrepreneurs and people who choose to work for emerging technology companies thrive in challenging situations, and they do not frighten easily.

Entrepreneurs are going to build Canada out of this recession and they are using everything they can as ammunition.

I thought I’d start a list of “weapons” available to Canadian entrepreneurs:

  1. There is amazing talent on the street right now. Many of these folks have received severance packages and are approaching the job market with “flexibility” in mind. Reach out to these people and engage with them as advisors, employees who are interested in working for equity, and/or potential co-founders/partners.
  2. Map your industry ecosystem, identify strategic partners and customers, prioritize them, and use FREE social media tools (LinkedInTwitter) to reach out, ask for introductions, and ask for help — shorten your path to market any way you can.
  3. Attend the “unconferences” (StartupCampBarCampDemoCampmesh) to meet people like you who are wanting to roll up their sleeves and help others (and themselves) build companies with limited resources. These entrepreneurs are not waiting around for venture capital, they are building in the absence of financing with customers, value propositions, revenue and profits in mind.
  4. Look to existing government programs for support. Make sure you are filing forSR&ED Credits and applying for the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. Introduce yourself to your local IRAP and OCE representatives to see if they have any programs you might qualify for.
  5. Reach out to MaRSCommunitech, and OCRI and hook in to their Entrepreneur-In-Residence programs. These organizations are very knowledgeable about tools that are available to entrepreneurs and they know how to efficiently access a number of government programs.
  6. Check out the Microsoft BizSpark program for free development resources and support.

I will be adding to this list as I come across other resources — please do the same.