Joining Hill+Knowlton Strategies

I wanted to formally share some exciting news from my professional life. Effective yesterday, Ascentum Inc has been acquired and will be joining the Hill+Knowlton Strategies family.  I’ve been with Ascentum for 3 years and as you probably know Ascentum specializes in helping businesses, government and not-for-profit organizations facilitate and create dialogue with stakeholders via online, in-person and social media-based strategies and tools.

The problem with Dropbox Teams

I’ve been a long time user of Dropbox and have had the 100GB personal account for several years now. I’ve been very happy with the way the system works and I’ve setup it up on all my computing devices. My wife now shares the account and we use it to save files we want backed up or accessible across multiple devices.

When Ascentum, my employer decide to use Dropbox too initially it was all good and we just shared files between users. Eventually we started running out of space with different users who only had the free account or small paid accounts. I also noticed that my work files were taking up space in my 100GB personal account quota. So we decide to subscribe to Dropbox Teams, which gives us more storage across all users. The system is priced at $750/year for the first 5 users and $125/year for each user after that and includes 1000GB and 200GB per additional user.

Well.ca gets Funding

Well.ca has announced funding today from a group angels, including the Maple Leaf Angels in Toronto. I first met Ali Asaraia, Well.ca founder & CEO, at a Maple Leaf Angels breakfast meeting. I was impressed with how well Ali presented the opportunity and I knew it was only a matter of time before he’d getting funding. I think Well.ca will have great success with their business.

Maple Leaf Angels has also been active with funding for Homestars.ca recently. Maple Leaf Angels is a relatively new group but has invested in 9 companies for a total of $4m since its inception in 2007.

Its great to see both a Canadian startup, in Well.ca and a Canadian Angel group like Maple Leaf Angels working together.

Openness

I wrote earlier about StartupCamp and I was impressed to see all the companies that have applied disclosed as part of the review process. Anyone can see the applicants here:

StartupCampToronto1

I’m a big fan of openness as part of a review process. I think it helps both the quality of the event and the community overall.

Platform Partnership

I forgot to mention Platform Partnership as part of my DemoCampToronto9 write-up. Platform Partnership didn’t actual present but they did do an annoucement at the being about their service. Basically they provide a connection service between the non-profit community and technology start-ups. The non-profit community gets access to new technology and technology start-ups get a very creditable user base and some good feedback. I think its great service and I hope it grows along with the Toronto technology community.

Canada as a Web Powerhouse

Over the past few months I’ve been very impressed with the quality of startups in Toronto and Canada in general. The list of startups that I’ve interacted with include:

And recently Flickr took the web by storm for photo sharing. There seems to be more and more every few weeks, most of my initial exposure has come through DemoCamp or to a lesser degree CaseCamp. Its really interesting time to be in Toronto and there’s a real buzz building with all the different companies networking and pushing the envelop of what they can innovate.