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3 must reads about tech’s gender discrimination problem


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3 must reads about tech’s gender discrimination problem

In recent weeks dozens of women have shared their stories about the abuse they encountered while working in Hollywood. Many of these victims — actresses, producers, and editors — disclosed how disgraced movie producer Harvey Weinstein exploited women for decades.

Since then the scandal has launched a national discussion about sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. For those working in tech, the issue is nothing new. The industry’s problems are well documented.

Of course, harassment in tech — like in other spaces — is complex and daunting, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t solvable. Here are three must-read articles on the subject by those in the industry and what can be done to change things for the better.

Cultivate stories, create a paper trail

After Weinstein’s harassment became public other women around the world began speaking up about their own encounters with the film executive. The moment served as an important reminder about how powerful it can be for victims to speak out in large numbers.

“When one woman breaks the silence, others are empowered to tell their stories,” @SoniaoSsorio, president of @NOW_NYC.

When it comes to tech, a groundbreaking exposé by about investors accused of harassing women had a similar effect. It led to more stories (notably, one by the NYT) on the subject and more women publicly coming forward.

Later as a result industry heavyweights, like 500 startups founder Dave McClure and Lowercase Capital’s Chris Sacca, apologized and resigned from their positions. The Informant’s report (and the others that followed it) showcased what can happen when abusers are held responsible. More importantly, it put a brave face on a pervasive issue that transcends companies and cities.

Ensure accountability is the norm

Holding offenders accountable is important. However, creating a space where individuals aren’t given the freedom to abuse people is even more crucial.

Popular podcast Too Embarrassed to Ask tackled this issue in its summer episode. Paradigm CEO Joelle Emerson and Evertoon CEO Niniane Wang discussed how stakeholders create safe work environments by encouraging diverse voices at all levels.

“It’s not about those individual harassers, it’s about creating a culture where there’s accountability for that type of thing. When a culture is created by any homogeneous group, there’s going to be less,” @joelle_emerson of @prdgm.

She’s not wrong. A 2017 study from Pew Research found that while women viewed gender discrimination as a  problem, men were less likely to agree. If the industry is to create sustainable change it will need input from all individuals, not just those at the top.

Concentrate on finding supporters

In 2015, Ellen Pao sued her employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, for gender discrimination. The trial grabbed headlines and pushed the industry’s bro culture into the spotlight.

In an interview with Time magazine she described what women dealing with harassment in the workplace can do. When encountering sexism or racism sometimes leaving is the best thing an individual can do for their career, she advised. Look for allies that will support you and your career goals.

“Get out. These are people who are just not going to accept you. You’re not going to get promoted. You don’t have to prove yourself because there’s no way to do that. If you don’t have other opportunities, try to find someone else to work with within the company.”

The ability to quit and start a new job is a financial risk, not every person can take. If it’s not possible to leave, here are organizational allies that can help you in working towards better goals. Some of these organizations include Project Include, Code 2040, Paradigm and Ally Skills Workshop.

The Fintech revolution: How startups are changing the world of finance

A new generation of financial technology startups are changing the world of finance in ways that were once considered unimaginable. They’re making it easier for businesses to manage their investments using artificial intelligence, transfer funds across borders in less time and help clients raise funds using robo-advisors.

Follow the money

It’s not hard to see why financial technology startups are growing in popularity. This year, they’ve managed to raise $8 billion globally, close 469 deals and push six startups into “unicorn” status.

#Fintech startups won’t put banks out of business anytime soon, but they’re growing in influence.

In years past, most financial institutions focused on partnering with emerging startups in order to better leverage their expertise. Although, all that that may soon change.

As the industry continues to innovate, traditional firms are concentrating less on strategic partners and more on outright acquisitions. This allows them to better integrate new technology into their workforce. It also prevents competing companies from benefiting from that same technology.

The revolution behind the scenes

More institutions are seeing how beneficial acquiring startup technology can be for the bottom line.

A 2016 report by IDC and SAP found a quarter of global banks were interested in buying a fintech company. By 2017, Pricewaterhouse discovered that a whopping 50 per cent of surveyed companies planned on purchasing a startup.

Some of the more notable acquisitions made just this year include JP Morgan’s purchase of online payment service WePay for around $220 million and Moneyfarm’s purchase of online advice service Ernest for an undisclosed amount.

So, what’s driving this change? Money, of course.

The same report found that acquisitions increase adoption rates and make it easier to integrate necessary technology. “By adopting one of the many solutions brought by innovators, Financial Institutions can gain incremental returns and find a way to expand new products and services and reach new customers.”

To hear more from BusinessCast, hosted by Robert Gold, make sure to visit our official iTunes page.

CBC Dragon Michele Romanow, Upside’s Jennifer Couldrey on bouncing back

Life as an entrepreneur is tough. Constant bootstrapping, non-stop criticism and never-ending capital raising can be overwhelming.

For those that make it — the Bezos, Musks and Zuckerbergs of the world — fame and fortune await. For those that don’t, failure can be a financially (and emotionally) crippling nightmare.

That puts a lot of pressure on founders to always be selling, dealing and, more importantly, winning. But sometimes failing can teach an entrepreneur their most useful lessons. In a world where more than half of all startups shut down knowing how to bounce back has quickly become a badge of honour instead of embarrassment.

If you’re going through a hard time or just not sure if you’ll make it through 2018 here’s some advice from the pros about how to beat back the bad times.

The f-word

Michele Romanow knows better than most the demands founders face. The e-commerce entrepreneur has launched four successful companies before the age of 30. She also regularly wheels and deals investment money as an investor on CBC’s hit show, Dragon’s Den.

When things go south it’s easy to turn negative, but surrounding yourself with entrepreneurs who see the bigger picture and can offer up advice is crucial to long-term success. Invest in people and resources that can help you deal with the inevitable ups and downs ahead of time. “It’s important to have great co-founders and surround yourself with other entrepreneurs who have been successful,” she explains.

“I think when you have people who have done that it makes it so much easier to remind you that ‘oh, there was this time that didn’t go right, but it got better. You always have to be swinging for the fence.”

Keeping your ego in check is also important. Most stories about high-flying entrepreneurs that go from rags to riches gloss over the dark times. Understanding that success doesn’t happen overnight will light a fire under your belt. “You go to 100 meetings and you get three term sheets. That means you’re gonna hear 97 nos and every time you hear a no you have to keep going.”

The art of bouncing back

Jennifer Couldrey works with startups every day.

As the executive director of the Upside Foundation — an organization that inspires high growth companies to give back by donating equity to charity — she gets a first-hand look at some of Canada’s best up-and-coming startups. Sometimes they succeed and end up giving back, but other times they fail.

When it comes to failure she believes investing in personal relationships can act as a great way for entrepreneurs to take their business to new heights. While putting in hard work is important, personal connections can help a business get back on track when it loses its way.

She knows first-hand how real-world connections can help an initiative succeed. A social media campaign she created for “Giving Tuesday” in the organization’s early years failed to take off because few people knew how to engage with the foundation.

“It absolutely did not work the way I wanted it to, but what it taught me is that you can’t depend on the internet to make things happen,” she says. “Especially in the early days, everything is about relationships. It’s about having those connections. Most people who contributed to the campaign did so because I asked them to,” she explains.

Finding people who can help

Couldrey’s experiences are a good lesson for entrepreneurs who can’t seem to find traction for their company’s products or service. “You can move online, use social media and automate things once you have a core set of established relationships, and then use tools like Twitter to maintain and enhance relationships. Until you have those initial in-person relationships you can’t think people are going rally behind you.”

Meanwhile, personal relationships also help ward of self-doubt. In a world where mental health is rarely discussed one-on-one relationships help entrepreneurs ensure that professional failures don’t encroach on their personal life. An entrepreneur’s self-worth should not be dictated by their company’s failings.

“A lot of people wrap up their identity in the success off their business. You have to delineate so that if your company fails you don’t feel like a failure as a person. You have other areas of your life where you feel valuable, like in your personal relationships, so you can keep going when things go wrong.”

How veterans are changing the startup landscape

Approximately 66,100 Canadian Armed Forces members and 21,700 part-time reservists are currently serving, according to a 2015 National Post article. Meanwhile, annually about 5,000 men and women retire or are “released” by the federal government.

This means every year a large number of military veterans who haven’t reached mandatory retirement age must find new careers in the private sector. It’s a difficult transition that can leave many unsure about how to compete for jobs in a tight economy that favours seasonal and part-time workers.

For veterans who entered the military without a college or university degree this transition can be even more challenging. On top of that, the skills honed and perfected in the field aren’t always compatible with private sector jobs.

However, it’s the unique traits veterans possess in spades — their natural leadership skills and ability to adapt — that make them natural entrepreneurs. Time spent working in stressful conditions and an innate ability to problem solve with colleagues are what can make or break an early-stage company and serve them well in the startup community.

Transitions are never easy

Kathleen Kilgour, the program manager for Prince’s Operation Entrepreneur (POE), understands all too well the difficulties veterans face when leaving the military. That’s why she and her small team provide hands-on entrepreneurial training to veterans across the country.

“When veterans have strict discipline it gives them the desire to achieve any goal”

As one of the few groups in Canada that cater to ex-military entrepreneurs, she gets to see how important entrepreneurship can be for returning military members. It can be a lifeline she explains for individuals who have little support. Her team has taught dozens of veterans basic skills like startup accounting and finance basics.

“The goal is to help those in the military transition. When they leave the average age generally is 41. There’s a big opportunity for them to have a new second career and [we] help them do that.”

The veteran entrepreneur

One of the POE’s recent graduates is twentysomething Taylor McCubbin. The infantry sergeant spent the last 11 years working for the military. He currently serves as a firearms instructor in Trenton, Ontario, but will soon launch his own business, Chimera Firearms Training.

The company will open mid-December. It offers — among many other things — virtual shooting ranges to the public — the first of its kind in Toronto. His foray into entrepreneurship is recent, but the idea of being his own boss was never really foreign, he explains. He always wanted to launch a business but didn’t know how to. POE gave him the skills he, and probably many other veterans need, to turn an idea into a reality.

Looking to the future

“There’s definitely more particular technical knowledge that I had no experience with before POE. Like, for example, marketing, accounting or just developing a coherent business plan and projections,” McCubbin explains. “Those are things that I didn’t know how to do. When veterans are taught those skills, they have what they need to change the world. ”

Veterans are often overlooked but would make the best entrepreneurs, he says. They’re an untapped resource and already predisposed to thrive in a demanding environment.

“The number one thing is that the military teaches you a lot of discipline. That discipline is not a restraint, but a freedom. The more discipline you have in yourself the more you’re free to take on other opportunities, because you can manage your time efficiently,” he says. “When veterans have strict discipline it gives them the desire to achieve any goal they set their mind to [so they can] succeed or fail spectacularly and then learn from it.”

Canada’s tech entrepreneurs cashing in on cannabis

Alex Blumenstein, 28, never thought he’d one day end up working in the marijuana business. In his previous job, the entrepreneur worked as a consultant dealing with corporate clients like airline companies and land developers. It was a world he was familiar with and a job he was successful at.

“I was good at it, but it was very unrewarding work. Even when you did win [for your client] it was only incremental gains,” he explains.

But, all that changed in 2017.

Earlier this year he launched a new business inspired by consulting work he did for a local marijuana company. While there are ample opportunities for big firms, support for small-scale entrepreneurs was non-existent, he found. So, he decided to take a chance and build something that did.

Now the twentysomething is the co-founder of Leaf Forward the first cannabis business accelerator in Canada. It helps founders turn their their weed-related ideas into reality.

.@ONgov and Canada are preparing to legalize cannabis by summer 2018.

Since launching in January, Leaf Forward has mentored a handful of startups. It’s also hosted meetups with some of the industry’s’ biggest players and partnered with leading cannabis organizations across the province.

“There’s a lot of opportunities for startups in the marijuana industry outside of just cultivation. Currently the industry is driven by licensed producers [government sanctioned weed cultivators] but it’s the technology, ancillaries and value-added products that will drive real rewards,” he says.

The rise of the weedpreneur

Entrepreneurs aren’t waiting around to find new ways to invest in what is expected to be one of North America’s fastest-growing industries. Many are already cashing in right now.

Big deals south of the border include Casa Verde Capital (known for its partnership with Snoop Dog). Since launching it’s raised a whopping $10 million. High-profile investments include tracking platform Leaflink and point-of-sale company Greenbits. Another well-known Silicon Valley VC firm called Benchmark recently invested $8.1 million in Hound Labs. A startup that produces breathalyzers that trace THC (the component that produces a euphoric high) in users.

Legal cannabis sales in Canada are expected to grow to $22.6 billion by 2021 and surpass medical use. cc @BDSAnalytics

Meanwhile, in Canada, we’re starting to finally see that same momentum. Earlier this week, Constellation brands (the maker of Corona beer and other alcoholic drinks) purchased a 10 per cent stake in weed company Canopy Growth for $245 million. In the last year alone investors have dumped approximately $700 million into Canadian cannabis companies, according to wealth management firm Canacoord Genuity.

Homegrown talent

One of Canada’s most recognizable homegrown success stories is Ample Organics. The Toronto-based startup produces seed-to-sale software that manages plant cultivation, shipping, and purchases. Like most of today’s weedprepreneurs, the company’s founder,  John Prentice, earned his tech stripes outside of the weed business.

As Canada’s novice marijuana industry matures new opportunities will be born out of tech innovation created by forward-thinking entrepreneurs. Enter: Prentice who launched a successful business based on this ingenious thinking.

“The cannabis industry will be gigantic… because of the strict regulations and the unique ways in which the cannabis industry operates, adaptation and modification need to happen. When that’s impossible, new products need to be created,” he says. “It’s a brave new world out there, and we’re all looking for innovative technologies to help maximize the opportunity.”

The future of Canadian ‘cannabiz’

For techpreneurs looking to enter the space, the potential rewards are big. Everything from plant growing systems to weed patches and marijuana-infused edibles will require technical expertise.

Jordan Rodness, the marketing manager for Emblem, sees a new world open up for tech startups interested in creating ancillary products that help businesses like his. In fact, his company already works with a local tech startup called Strainprint that helps users track intake. The licensed producer cultivates marijuana out of its 24,000 square feet facility in Paris, Ontario.

“As a company, we’re very much trying to get ahead of the trends. We’re looking for anybody who’s an innovator and has a really great idea that they want to bring to the market or that’s going to be really useful in the industry.”

Michael Garbuz agrees. The lawyer — who works at CannaRoyalty in a corporate strategy role and mentors early-stage companies through Leaf Forward  — understands how competitive the industry is.

He sees innovation and technology playing an important role in the developing cannabis industry. Especially, since Canada’s product market is less developed than the U.S, which saw a handful of states legalize cannabis in some form as early as 1996. At home technology will be key to the country’s growing cannabis industry and maintaining its edge in the international market.

“A lot of individuals nowadays are working on really advanced technologies to improve and optimize the formulation and delivery of cannabis. We are seeing new technologies that control how quickly you feel the effects, the consistency of effects, and the entire consumer experience. Tech innovation and ongoing R&D are ingredients that the industry needs to continue to mature and grow.”

Secrets of a tech reporter: How to get your company media exposure

It’s no secret that entrepreneurs who can get their company mentioned in popular publications often benefit from the exposure. For journalists tasked with writing about the latest in tech, finding companies to feature can be hard. Especially for busy journalists like Jessica Galang.

Everyday entrepreneurs bombard the BetaKit news editor with emails about their new “revolutionary” products, company or partnerships. It’s all in a bid to get her to write about their company for her publication. That means she’s forced to sift through dozens of email pitches almost hourly. It can exhausting  since she’s  charged with staying up-to-date with Canada’s tech ecosystem and also writing about it.  

“I’m basically responsible for most of the [BetaKit] editorial planning, I look at what’s happening every day in the tech ecosystem and I sort of evaluate what’s priority and what’s not priority,” she explains. “Pretty much my job is to keep on top of the Canadian ecosystem and to decide what news we’re going to cover and how.”

In this one-on-one Galang shares what she looks for in a startup and how entrepreneurs can get journalists, like herself, to pay attention to them.

This interview has been edited for clarity.

Q: How do you evaluate what company or product is “newsworthy”?

Jessica Galang (JG): I mostly look at the sort of traction they’ve had so far. For example, I look at the number of customers they have, their target market or if they’ve reached a unique milestone. Sometimes even if they’ve partnered with a big enterprise that helps make them (or their product) stand out.

Q: What’s the best way to pitch a story?

JG: I think, email is usually the safest way, because journalists are expecting pitches in their inbox. For me, personally, DMs [direct messages through Twitter] are totally fine as well. I find my DMs are also less crowded, so I don’t mind and it’s easier to read through messages.

Q: What should entrepreneurs do before pitching a journalist?

JG: I think sometimes entrepreneurs make the mistake of just sending an email with a link to their website and saying ‘hey, we just launched this [and] hope that you cover us. Please follow up if you want more information.’

But I don’t have time to follow up with every single person to get more information about their company.

When pitching journalists entrepreneurs should be prepared. They should look at press releases as examples of what a pitch could possible look like. They should be prepared to explain why their product is valuable, what market they’re targeting. And, perhaps why their product is different from any other one that’s launched in that sector as well. They need to be able to answer why I would cover them versus a competitor. Why I would spend time writing an article about them now instead of six months from now.

Q: What are some helpful additions entrepreneurs can include in their pitches that will set them apart?

JG: Media kits are always helpful and having pictures if a startup is announcing something specific — like funding or a partnership — is great.

If it’s just a simple pitch then I suggest writing three paragraphs explaining what their news is about. If I like their story I can follow up later. The biggest thing is that they need to be explicit about what news or product they think I should be interested in.

Q: Should startups hire a PR agency to help generate some media buzz or just do it themselves?

JG: That’s a little tough to answer, especially if you’re an early stage startup hoping to get coverage. It can be tough for some to afford PR services. If they can’t there’s so many free resources out there that can help them do it on their own. You don’t need to hire PR, but it can help.

If you’re in an early stage startup I think just learning best practices can go a long way. I’ve worked with a lot of companies that don’t have in-house PR or a PR agency, but they know the BetaKit brand. They know what we cover and send us really targeted pitches that work.

Q: Is it bad etiquette to reach out to more than one reporter at the same time?

JG: I accept that sometimes [entrepreneurs] are going to reach out to other reporters. If it’s a huge announcement then I understand why they would reach out to other publications for embargos or big news. I think it’s key that you make sure you’re really transparent with everyone.

It’s my expectation that other publications are probably going to cover this news if it’s big. But when you’re shady and you pitch something to a journalist and you give them one time and then you give another journalist another time, that’s when it’s really bad.

I think it’s also bad etiquette when someone is pitching me, but they forget to change the name of the publication in the email. So, it would say ‘Hi Jessica, I think this would be a great pitch for the Financial Post’ and I’m left thinking, like, oh, thanks, that’s really nice do you even want us to cover your company.

Looking for more about how to get your startup media ready? Check out our previous post about public relation and communication with Erin Richards.

Entrepreneur Kelly Hoey on how to network (and negotiate) like a pro

Kelly Hoey — investor, entrepreneur and networking guru — is a household name right now, but that hasn’t always been the case.

Before she became a successful investor and author behind “Build Dream Your Own Network” she worked as a lawyer. While she never had a “burning desire” to practice law she enjoyed it. Her ambition to continue working up the corporate ladder all changed after she met Janet Hanson — founder of 85 Broads, a global business network for women. The “visionary leader” inspired her to trade law for entrepreneurship and launch a brand new career.

Below the acclaimed business consultant dishes on how she’s managed to transform her career and how others can throughout their careers.

[This interview has been edited for clarity]

You’ve successfully reinvented your career over the years multiple times. How can others emulate your success?

Stay curious and stay connected to your networks. I’m a former corporate lawyer who has networked her career into becoming a published author. A professional milestone I never imagined adding to my resume. From my initial jobs as an attorney to my numerous career-changes (law firm management, president of a global network for women, consultant, director and co-founder of a startup accelerator) my career is only explained by my ability to network and build relationships.

You mention in your book that part of your professional growth and achievements is down to “marketing” and self-promotion.  Why is this important?

Your career is your best investment. Be prepared to put the time and effort into that investment. Venture capitalist Jessica Peltz-Zatulove outlines how she “cold-emailed” her way into the Madison Avenue advertising industry in chapter three [of my book]. And, one of my favourite case studies is Joe Styler a manager in the aftermarket department at GoDaddy. He shares in the book how he networked from an entry-level position at the company to a recognized industry-expert in a coveted role.

Another career networking lesson: Don’t overlook the possibility you can pivot and advance your career within the same company!

What advice would you share with  entrepreneurs who want to take their careers to the next level?

No one ever goes it alone. Our careers or projects or initiatives are propelled forward with the help of other people. Find mentors around you. Having mentors as well as being a good mentor is critical for learning how to master a new skill or navigate the dynamics of the business community.

Mentoring comes in a variety of forms – it can be one piece of advice, a blog post or a podcast. It does not have to be a 1:1 coffee date. It does not have to be a lifelong commitment. In reality, just as you don’t have time, that dream mentor may not have the time either for regular 1:1 coffee dates with you. Most people do have the time to answer a well thought-through email. Mentors are there to guide you through thorny work or professional challenges. If someone can help you sort out a work challenge by answering a question (once), well, why isn’t that considered mentoring?

STEM has received a lot criticism for its lack of diversity. What can insiders do to help change those statistics?

Again, be a mentor. Hire interns. Volunteer at hackathons at local libraries or community centers. Make it a career priority to expand your network and to share your interest in STEM with a more have a diverse group of people. [That means] industry, geography, tenure, experience, gender, education and whatever else you can think of.

A broad, diverse network is going to allow you to provide others with more opportunities (and you’ll get more ideas and feedback too). Keep in mind: the power of networking is not just the person you’ve just mentored or tutored or trained. [Networking] is all the people that person is connected to, too.

What books, tools or technologies would you recommend for people in the early stages of networking?

I always recommend Katharine Graham’s “Personal History”. Katharine led her family’s newspaper through Watergate.

Whether you want to be a fiction writer or not you should also read Stephen King’s “On Writing”. It is as much about how to dedicate yourself to your chosen craft as it is on understanding how you come up with new ideas and communicate them.

Watch Ray Anderson’s Ted Talk “The Business Logic Of Sustainability”. There’s also Phil Hansen’s novel called “Embrace The Shake,” too. Also, join the CreativeMornings breakfast lecture series community.

To hear more of Kelly Hoey’s advice, personal guidance or to ask her questions in person attend this upcoming event at the DMZ for free.

Is Canada the next global leader in tech? Yes.

Some of today’s biggest game-changing startups call Canada home these days. This includes local high-growth companies  like Shopify, WattPad and Element A.I., which secured an eye-watering $135 million investment earlier this year.Even America’s top tech companies have pivoted north in recent years; lured by Canada’s thriving tech scene.Google, Uber and Microsoft have launched new satellite offices this year, while Amazon — the godfather of e-commerce — is considering Toronto for its new North American headquarters.

Canada on the world stage

These new developments may come as a surprise to some, but it really shouldn’t. Canada has one of the most liberal immigration policies in the world and some of the top tech incubators — which churn our new talent and companies every day — are located in the city. However, Toronto’s greatest strength lies in its talent base. Tech innovators attracted by our world-class institutions that include Google’s artificial intelligence lab and million-dollar Vector Institute bring with them investors and venture capitalists that help transform the city.

Of course, Canada’s quickly maturing tech landscape can be confusing. Enter: The DMZ. The startup incubator’s new podcast entitled BusinessCast powered by the DMZ tackles the latest in tech news and innovation.

The first episode in the series investigates Canada’s winning tech streak. Chartered accountant and host Robert Gold chats with DMZ Executive Director Abdullah Snobar about the state of tech entrepreneurship and, more importantly, why the world should care about Canadian startups.Make sure to check out our BusinessCast podcasts here. 

The top 4 money podcasts every startup should listen to

Cash. Dough. Moolah. Money.

No matter what you call it, everyone wants it or is desperately trying to find a way to hold on to it. For entrepreneurs, a hefty serving of money can be the thin line that separates success from abject failure. Unfortunately getting (and staying) rich isn’t so easy and something people have been desperately trying to figure out for years.

Here’s a list of the best business podcasts that focus on money. They cover everything from money management to investor relations and the ins and outs of proper budgeting, so entrepreneurs can keep their company financially healthy.

Mostly Money With Preet Banerjee

The title says it all. This podcast will teach you everything you need to know about basic financial literacy. Whether it’s the best ways to organize expenses or budget for day-to-day finances, this program has it all.

If the name Banerjee seems familiar to you it’s because you’ve probably seen his name in print before. The TEDx speaker is a financial columnist for the Globe and Mail, money expert for the W Network and best-selling author behind a series of self-help books. If you’re interested in a money podcast that covers a wide range of issues then this show is for you. Head over here for the all the latest episodes.

Being Boss

Being Boss is a podcast designed with women entrepreneurs in mind. The show looks at ways entrepreneurs not only how to create great products, but continue “making bank” while doing it. The brainchildren behind this show — Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon — cover a wide range of topics like personal finance and money management. Although, not everything is strictly money-related. The duo cover other related topics, like the best strategies entrepreneurs can employ for finding new hires.

Bonus: These bosses put an emphasis on interviewing female innovators, so you’re sure to hear from some of the best women in the industry. Grab a coffee and listen to every episode on iTunes right now.


Running a successful company is about more than just attracting the right investors. Robert Gold — a chartered accountant and host of BusinessCast — knows that better than most. Gold has spent 10 years interviewing some of Canada’s most innovative and successful entrepreneurs about their secrets for success. This program is more than just a look at run-of-the-mill finance problems. It also examines how companies should deal with the competition in a crowded tech market.

Engaging guests detail their struggles, journey to success and what it takes to maintain a competitive edge. With podcasts being on average only 15 minutes, it’s an easy, commitment-free way to learn something new while on the go. Check them out online here.

Entrepreneur on Fire

Entrepreneur on Fire is a must-listen for founders looking for fast and dirty tales about money pitfalls and successes. In every episode host John Lee Dumas features one new guest who details their money woes or wins and shares advice about what they’ve learned.

While sometimes their tips are a little too U.S.-focused there’s still great overall lessons to be learned. Listen to it here.


The 4 best entrepreneurial comeback stories of all time

There’s nothing people love more than a redemption story and the tech world is full of ‘em.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some of the best business stories involve entrepreneurs who persevered against all odds. While not an easy thing to do, it can be done with the right product, timing or, most importantly, people by your side.  

If you’re looking for a little motivation after a hard day at work or inspiration to fuel your next big idea look no further. From an entrepreneur who spent a decade following his dreams to a founder who was unceremoniously ousted from the startup he co-founded, there’s something that everyone can relate to in our list.

Jame Dyson

The straight-talking British billionaire may have revolutionized how people clean their homes, but his success didn’t come easy. It took the entrepreneur 15 years to perfect his bagless vacuum cleaner and turn his idea into a reality.

During the time he spent working on his invention, he mostly relied on his wife’s income to make ends meet. He also made a whopping 5,126 prototypes before he was able to create his company’s trademark device, the DC40. While some of his peers mocked his early attempts, Dyson’s commitment never wavered and ultimately paid off.

After his vacuum became a hit in Japan he turned that momentum (and cash influx) into a worldwide success. Since then, his company, Dyson Ltd, has brought in annual revenues of $4.5 billion and now sells a wide range of home appliances around the world.

Lesson: There are no shortcuts when it comes to winning. Find dependable, trustworthy people who believe in you and can help support your vision.

Bill Gates

Journalists might now refer to Bill Gates as the ‘Father of the Internet’ but before he found fame, money and success he was just a regular, ol’ entrepreneur struggling to pay his bills.

Gates and his partner, Paul Allen, launched their first software company called Traf-O-Data in the 1970s. It analyzed traffic data and provided analytical reports to local governments for a fee.

The duo’s startup would become obsolete in 1989 when the state of Washington would provide the same service for free. It wasn’t a total loss, though. The entrepreneurs took all the business know-how they learned and software created and apply it to their next company, which they initially called ‘Micro-Soft’.

Lesson:  Take all the lessons learned from past failures to use to make future businesses better.

Arianna Huffington

The Huffington Post is one of the most-read online publications around the world and operates international editions in India, Greece, the U.K. and South Africa.

Before its creator, Arianna Huffington, turned the online magazine into the success it is now she faced off against critics who derided its unpaid blogging model and dismissed its editorial content.

After launching in 2005, it took years before it turned a profit and generated enough buzz to sustain itself. But Huffington didn’t let that deter her (or her team). All their hard work eventually paid off, because in 2011 AOL purchased the website (and its related verticals) for $315 million.

Lesson: Focus on your goals and ignore the competition. Success is dependent on finding an untapped resource or avenue and exploiting it.

Steve Jobs

There’s no greater comeback hero than Steve Jobs. The entrepreneurial genius is just as well known for his failures as he is for his successes.

Early in his career, he was ousted from Apple, the company he helped launch. Later he would return and transform it into one of America’s most influential tech companies. Instead of giving up after being dumped by his company in 1985, he launched a competing startup called NeXt, with a few fellow employees.

Not long afterward, a floundering Apple would go on to acquire his startup and reinstall the notoriously ill-tempered entrepreneur as CEO. Later Jobs would shake up the industry by introducing game-changing technologies like the Macintosh computer, iPod and iPhone.

The rest is, as they say, history.

Lesson: Don’t let professional or personal setbacks deter you from pursuing your entrepreneurial dream. Learn from your mistakes and use them to grow.

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