Red Herring on Canada

Canada’s High-Tech space is front and center on the August 27th issue of Red Herring digital magazine with articles touting a Canadian venture capital revival as well another profiling 10 Hot Canadian Startups. This Canadian-friendly issue comes just in time to promote the Red Herring Canada 2007 event in Montreal from September 5-7th.

In an article tilted North Country Gold, Mira Schwirtz reports on investment activities by both Canadian and U.S. VCs, outlining the strength of each Canadian province. She reports that there is plenty of innovation… more than the amount of capital available. This vacuum has drawn some U.S. firms across the border, but not without igniting some resentment.

In Hot in Canada, Red Herring’s intrepid New York City-based correspondent, Ken Schachter, identifies 10 Canadian startups that kept coming up in conversations with investors and entrepreneurs during his research. Two of them caught my eye – Victoria based Mixpo and Vancouver media darling NowPublic.

Wish you could hire documentary maker Ken Burns to shoot a promotional video of your business, but don’t have the budget? Mixpo may have the answer. The software lets users insert videos, still photos, links, and comments into a “Mixcard” that can be inserted into a business web site, blog, or social network. The service is designed to make it easy for professionals and operators of small businesses like real estate agents, restaurateurs, and tour operators to showcase their businesses. Backers include Madrona Venture Group, based in Seattle, and Canadian venture firms GrowthWorks, Yaletown Venture Partners, and Springbank Tech-Ventures.

The wisdom of crowds or the madness of crowds? Whichever it is, NowPublic Technologies has struck a chord with its citizen journalism site. The company is the parent of, one of the most active sites that let volunteers post news stories and images on a web site and rate them on their merits. Meanwhile, the web site acts as a showcase for the parent company’s citizen journalism software platform. In July, NowPublic reportedly passed up acquisition offers and closed on a $10.6-million A round from Brightspark, Growth-Works, New York City-based Rho Ventures and Rho’s Montreal-based affiliate.