Allan Isfan here … I just joined Startup Ottawa and will be blogging here as often as I can in addition to my other blogs (shameless plug) isfanstartup.blogspot.com , connecttheworld.wordpress.com and nastyhockeyshow.wordpress.com/.
My kickoff message to you
"Right now is the best time to do a start-up!"
Am I crazy?? Maybe a little but I’m not alone. Entrepreneurs tend to generally be overly optimistic … we have to be that way or we would never have the courage to take the chances and make the sacrifices we do. Nevertheless, the truth is that some of the best and most successful companies were founded or massively restructured during downturns only to emerge and explode during the boom that followed the bust.
There are many reasons for this such as:
- less competition for customers and investors
- laser focus on creating value in the short term
- more people available to help at a lower cost
- urgent need to get to revenue causes focus on the business model (millions of $ in the bank somehow makes people forget fundamentals)
- market disruptions create opportunities
While I believe all this to be true, I also realize raising money is getting tougher overall, especially in Ottawa. Trust me, I know. We could whine about it or do something to shake things up. Several of us teamed up to shake things up and I’m so glad we did. There are investors with money to place in Ottawa based start-ups and many very high quality founders looking for good investors. Many of them came out in large numbers to the invitation only inaugural Ottawa Founders and Funders dinner last week.
The local event sold out very quickly with people coming from Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Boston. The mood was very upbeat and the room was full of energy. I received many follow up emails thanking the organizers for having put this together. It seems that some very valuable connections were made and I truly hope some of these lead to success for both founders and funders.
So, if you thought the start-up market in Ottawa was dead and all involved have run for the hills, nothing could be further from the truth. We’re all fighting like hell and you’ll be seeing some amazing companies emerge from this downturn.
We’ll be doing another Founders and Funders dinner in a few months so don’t get left out if you missed this one. Also, keep your ear to the ground and your eyes peeled for more inaugural events to shake things up. TO THE TOP!
@isfan on twitterBy Allan Isfan