Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Looking for Office Space in Toronto?

The rock stars at LyricFind are looking at some great space in their current building at Yonge & Eglinton that they'd like to share with some other tech start ups.

Layout: 9 private offices, boardroom, kitchenette, bathroom (with showers, for reasons that are not entirely clear), and lots of open space. Windows on three sides with a great view of Yonge St!

Occupancy: August 1st (ish)

If you're looking for a dynamic place to land for short term or longer, please contact Daryl ( to learn more.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

When Lawyers Get Liquidity

I've made no secret of the fact that I think lawyers cannot and should not take equity in the companies (Large and small) they counsel, unless they willing to step aside as company counsel. One exception to this rule arises if lawyers create the company themselves. Case in point:

Last week, FTI Consulting announced that it is acquiring Attenex Corp, a Seattle-based eDiscovery software provider for approximately $88 million in cash. Attenex was originally incubated by Seattle law firm Preston Gates & Ellis, which developed the software to manage its own complex litigation files. (What complex litigation? You should know that the Gates in the firm title refers to Bill Gates' father.)

Attenex was spun out of the firm about 2 and 1/2 years ago with $5 million in venture funding. Preston Gates merged with Kirkpatrick and Lockhart just last year. Assuming that the Preston Gates former partners wrote their merger agreement correctly, the former firm members are now receiving one last hefty payoff from their efforts.

THIS is how you do it.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Granite Ventures Comes North

Those of you looking for signs that Canadian start-ups are attracting new American seed capital should stop and examine our client, Crowd Science. John and Paul raised $2 million from Granite Ventures in San Francisco, and have now launched the public beta for their first demographics service for online publishers. Another great data point on the quality of local start-ups.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

We haven't talked about fashion in a while, and with Seersucker Thursday only a week away, I thought it high time we caught up.

Now, I really should not be invoking the name of fashion without using airquotes here. Consider what seersucker is: a form of cotton specially woven to make its threads bunch together and look wrinkled. In other words, it is used to make clothes that look as if you slept in them. A lot. Yet so compelling is this proposition to many of you that you choose to wear seersucker suits all summer long, even though most seersucker suits are made in atrocious ice cream colours like pink, yellow or baby blue.

You need to stop doing this. Nothing fashionable or manly can come from donning seersucker clothes. Need proof? Here is a photo of several United States senators enjoying "Seersucker Thursday":

For the uninformed, "Seersucker Thursday" occurs every third Thursday in June, when senators are encouraged to wear their finest seersucker attire, as an official rite of summer. Aren't they just the prettiest check and balance to the Executive Branch, ever? Way to go, defenders of the Constitution.

Remember this photo when you are selecting your outfit for your next meeting with your investors. Then back away from your Brooks Brothers catalogue slowly.

Monday, June 09, 2008

J.K. Rowling: A Different Kind of Entrepreneur

If you have not yet done so, run right over to Harvard's website and read the text of J.K. Rowling's commencement address given last week. Speaking on the benefits of failure and the importance of imagination, she has adopted much of the start-up creed as her own.

On failure: "Failure meant a stripping away of the inessential. I stopped pretending to myself that I was anything other than what I was, and began to direct all my energy into finishing the only work that mattered to me. Had I really succeeded at anything else, I might never have found the determination to succeed in the one arena I believed I truly belonged. …. And so rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life."

On the link between imagination and innovation: "Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and therefore the fount of all invention and innovation. ..we do not need magic to change the world…we have the power to imagine better."

Well worth a read in full.