ICT Toronto: Getting It Yet?

No, not yet. But there’s hope.

For a refresher on ICT Toronto‘s intentions and missing the point, see Joey’s critique and his great series on “How to be Silicon Valley” here, here, here and here.

Thanks to Estelle (Recovering VC) Havva, Jay, David and I were invited as representatives of Toronto’s BarCamp community to speak to the ICT Toronto committee at their most recent breakfast meeting, held on Thursday June 15th, 2006. While David was convalescing with DVDs of Battlestar Galactica, Jay and I represented. Jay introduced attendees to the concept of BarCamp, its successful history in Toronto, its values of participation and community and invited members the ICT Toronto committee to come to the next event, DemoCamp7 on July 4th.

As the policy nerd of Toronto’s BarCamp community, my message was about what BarCamp represents to the technology industry in the Toronto region and to ICT Toronto’s stated economic development objectives of creating the 5th largest and most vibrant technology cluster in the world and the 2nd largest in North America. These are laudable goals, but I have yet to see an articulate outline of how they plan to achieve them other than a marketing campaign to attract foreign investment, which is the standard tool of industrial-era economic development policy.

Continue reading “ICT Toronto: Getting It Yet?”

Auditions for “The Dragon’s Den” with Sean Wise

Sean Wise is someone I got to know during my Tercina startup days when we were pitching our Enboard product idea to the now-defunct Excelerator tech incubator at U of T’s Innovartions Foundation. Well look what he’s up to now.

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Some of you will recall my recent ideas on extending on DemoCamp’s success with a startup pitch contest with seed money as a prize to the winning idea…my working title was “DemoCamp: Monster Island”. Well, it looks like Sean and others have taken up the challenge with a Canadian version of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den franchise on CBC.

Some excitement around startups and an injection of dynamism in the community are definitely needed and appreciated. I look forward to watching and hope to see some familiar faces. Auditions are this Saturday, June 24th, so polish your pitch and show up for the call.

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Librarians are Hot!

I recently had the opportunity to talk to a number of librarians and fell in love. Librarians are unsung heroes. Scholars and caretakers of ancient knowledge throughout the history of civilization, the modern librarian continues this tradition in a world that is increasingly information rich, but often context and knowledge poor.

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Our community public libraries are hubs of civic engagement and culture, social development, commerce, technology access and lifelong learning. Librarians are connectors and libraries are sites where social capital is accumulated and distributed for the public good. Librarians are also eminently practical, with strong ties to their communities. They have the potential to function as interdisciplinary resources and community builders who enable innovation and creativity.

In a rapidly transforming society, resources this valuable need to exploited much more intensively. Librarians have a critical role to play in helping us grasp our collective and individual futures and enhancing our quality of life.

Hug a librarian today.

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Please support my Bike Rally fundraising efforts!

As many of my regular readers know, I will be cycling from Toronto to Montreal the last week of July to benefit PWA Toronto. After sprinting to a client project deadline in July, 6 days and 600km of cycling is my masochistic reward!

I would greatly appreciate your support of my fund-raising efforts. I need to raise $2000 by June 30th in order to keep my place on the ride, and hope to raise much more beyond that. Please donate what you can using this online donation page. (https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/StartUp.aspx?SID=989685). You will receive a tax receipt directly from PWA Toronto.

And a big thank you to everyone who has already pledged their support!

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The Toronto People With AIDS Foundation provides critically needed services and support to people in the Toronto community who are living with the devastating physical, emotional, economic and social effects of HIV and AIDS. They are a fantastic organization that help people dealing with a fatal disease, many of whom are socially ostracized or rejected by family members.

Here are some of the programs your donation will support:

  • $150 supplies a family for one week with groceries (Food Bank),
  • $70 provides a massage once a week to a PHA suffering from neuropathy,
  • $60 covers 1 naturopathic appointment,
  • $50 covers 1 month of naturopathic medication,
  • $45 buys a 2 month supply of glutamine (helps alleviate wasting),
  • $35 buys 1 week of meals (Food For Life Program),
  • $30 buys 1 bottle of vitamins.

Thank you for your support!

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