Ray Sharma talks about the cold investment climate in the Great White North

The Globe and Mail hosted a moderated discussion this morning with Ray Sharma[pictured]. Sharma is CEO and founder of XMG Studio, Chairman of the board of directors at Xtreme Labs, and a venture capitalist.

In the live chat, moderated by The Globe’s Omar El Akkad, Sharma answers readers’ questions about venture capital, start-ups, and the environments for both in Canada.

Here are few examples of what readers wanted to know, and what Sharma had to say:

[Comment From GuestGuest: ]

Hi all, thank you for putting together the live chat. As a newbie to the mobile development world I am wondering where a company like Xtremelabs in T.O. or other incubators countrywide best provide a fit for the startup. Are the ‘incubators’ best positioned to build an app prototype or take a prototype forward once their is some traction for the product.

Ray Sharma:

Xtreme Labs is one of several incubator-like environments that startups can leverage. The govt is actively involved via projects like MaRS. Check that out if you haven’t as yet. The various incubators have varying value-add. Some its money and officespace, others development, others management consulting. Xtreme Labs excels in providing the entire ecosystem for business acceleration including providing World-leading perspective on some of the most challenging technical aspects of development.

[Comment From KevinKevin: ]

Ray, what’s your view on tablets in general? do you think that class of products will open up new apps that are unique to that class of products?

Ray Sharma:

Tablets are less than 10% of sales at XMG. We like the pricing environment (ie not the same mad rush to $0.99 apps) but the numbers are small vs say the Touch market. Overall tablets will be 50-70 mm units. That’s amazing vs the size of the PC market. So its a growth opportunity and a better UI for rich application experiences. I haven’t seen too many startups focus exclusively on tablet apps but I’m sure they are out there and I like that positioning.

[Comment From ClippedComicClippedComic: ]

I’m Canadian independent IT contractor but have worked in Argentina, New Zealand and the USA. My experience has been that Canada is by far the most conservative and non-risk taking country. Would you agree?

Ray Sharma:

Historically I would agree. What I see now is a rising confidence in this country. The crises showed who was running their financial systems best. The government is the best in the developed World from a fiscal perspective. We have the lowest corporate tax rates in the G8. Our resource wealth per capita is the highest in the World. Our real estate system did not feel the same shocks felt throughout the World. So while other parts of the World are getting more conservative it is now Canada’s time to become more ASSERTIVE. Lets go

You can read the full chat here.