Helping entrepreneurs understand legal issues & connect with lawyers

Helping entrepreneurs understand legal issues & connect with lawyers 3250This last tuesday, we had LawyersLounge, the first of its kind in Montréal. The goal was simple: raise awareness of legal issues that tech entrepreneurs have to go through, and at the same time, connect with practising lawyers willing to reach out to the community. Like accountants and other professionals who support tech entrepreneurs (VCs?), lawyers solve specific problems that require education, experience and savviness to find the right structure, and help the company save time & money. Many technology entrepreneurs, especially those who come from a heavy engineering background, or first-time entrepreneurs, are tempted to shy away from legal issues, perhaps by lack of understanding, perhaps fearing the costs associated with legal counsel, or perhaps with a conviction that all available time and resources should be allocated to product design and development. And they can choose freely to do so, but at their own expense & peril, as the   Read more…


LawyersLounge, an opportunity to get your legal questions answered

phillips-lounge-2-21572-regular 3214We're excited to bring a new event that aims to bridge the gap between tech entrepreneurs and lawyers. The event is called LawyersLounge, and as the name suggests, is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to connect with Montréal lawyers and get answers from their legal questions. The event is planned Sep 27th and is done in association with Mike Citrome from Spiegel Sohmer, and the NewTech group. Mike recently co-organized IgniteMontreal 2011, while most know about NewTech events, such as the NewTech demos, co-founders and TheBugHunt. The event will have a series of presentations for tech startups, with advice on how to setup your company, dealing with your co-founders, local agreements, as well a presentation from a local successful tech entrepreneur. Here's the list: Frank Zylberberg - a Beginner's Guide To Setting Up Your Company Adam Saskin - What Start-Up Entrepreneurs Need To Know About Non-Competition Agreements (Especially While You Have a   Read more…


Manyeta gets funding from AngesQuébec and RealVentures

Screen Shot 2011-08-24 at 5.11.32 PM 3137AngesQuébec announced today that an investment in tech / healthcare firm Manyeta. The Montreal company does a remote surveillance system where elderly people can get in touch with nurses or doctors, just from cable TV. The system is integrated so there's no long configuration required from the user. What's especially interesting is that Manyeta systems can provide details about medical protocols and medecine, saving time for customers who don't need to go regularly to clinics anymore for basic health protocols. The funding is from a group of 7 angel investors from AngesQuébec, and led by Robert Brouillette (also head of law firm brouillette). RealVentures was also a "big part of that funding round". With the new funds, the company hopes to finish clinical tests in the US and commercialize the product. It's an interesting investment, especially when see demographics shifting in North America, for many years to   Read more…


iWeb completes privatization

iweb-privatization 2871 I was at an official event last week, where Éric Chouinard, CEO of iWeb Technologies, announced the new iWeb partners, and also at the same time announced what's upcoming for iWeb. If you remember well, iWeb announced at the beginning of the year that the company will undergo full privatization, retiring itself from the Toronto Stock Exchange, with shares and stock options being bought by a private equity group. At last week's event, Novacap, La Caisse des dépôts, Fonds d'Action CSN, BMO, plus also other actors such as Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton, were unveiled for the first time as the group who were the new business partners of iWeb. The goal of course is to support financially iWeb, and at the same time accelerate iWeb to a $100m hosting company. Éric Chouinard announced they will be taking 100 days to   Read more…


Copyright in Canada: Let’s promote the emergence of new business models

Copyright in Canada: Let’s promote the emergence of new business models 2074There is now currently an active online campaign to fight the upcoming Bill C-32, with various artists' organization launching Facebook petitions, creative Youtube videos, and also websites such as culture equitable. Here's a recent Ottawa video by Biz (from rapper group Loco Locass) The material is convincing, with direct calls to the viewer to save artists and bring justice and fairness to the digital world. One of the clever twists is equalizing copyright to culture and naming their fight culture equitable. It's hard to be against any of their arguments, even more so when the most popular cultural icons in Quebec are voicing against Bill C-32. As a result, they now have 8900 signatures for a petition asking for full rights for artists, without exceptions. Of course, this is a legitimate movement and a much-needed debate. Revenues have been crashing for media and production companies, with the growth of online distribution   Read more…


Québec Government makes way for open source software in IT infrastructure

Québec Government makes way for open source software in IT infrastructure 2065In what appears to be a 180 degree turn, Michelle Courchesne, Présidente du Conseil du Trésor of the government of Québec, announced that any governmental organization and any other entity depending on the government must consider open source software for any IT project, at the Salon du Logiciel Libre in Québec city "Must" is highlighted here since she repeated it multiple times, with a sense of urgency and wishes to get ahead in open source software (article in French). Not so long ago, local IT companies with an expertise in Linux and open source software, such as Savoir Faire Linux, had to file lawsuits at government agencies just to have the right to bid. IT directors from the government then didn't took seriously "open source heads", with maybe a belief that serious infrastructure needed multi-million dollar licenses from Microsoft or Oracle. The new directive from the QC government is   Read more…


Nimonik helps businesses meet legal ISO 14001 requirements

Nimonik helps businesses meet legal ISO 14001 requirements 1408Nimonik.ca, launched earlier this month, is a new website for companies wanting to be certified ISO14001, and then manage and track ISO14001 requirements, for companies planning on international expansion, and need to be "certified green".  As I understand it, the Canadian law landscape is complex, with provincial, municipal and federal laws and regulations on waste water, air emissions, management of hazardous materials and so on. Corporate environmental managers typically have to delve into paper documentation and books, track different levels of regulations, and be able to update them as soon as they change. Nimonik is at its core a reference, with a regulary updated database of regulations. Environmental managers can go through the regulations, track the relevant ones to their company, collaborate and discuss with other colleagues, and use the tool to set goals and metrics for their company. To be honest, It took me a while to understand what Nimonik is   Read more…


P2P website ordered to stop operations

P2P website ordered to stop operations 779QuebecTorrent, a quebec-based torrent tracker, was ordered by the Superior Court of Quebec to close the website late last week. To my knowledge, it's a first in Canada, where file-sharing is still legal (well, until bill C-61 comes). Here, the legal team from media groups Musicor, Zone 3 Musique, TVA Groupe Inc, succeeded into making the administrator of the website, M. Sébastien Brûlotte, admit that the website was damaging the entertainment industry. They were in fact threatning M.Brûlotte of $200.000 in damages if he won't "play nicely". QuebecTorrent has had 100.000 members during its lifespan, with torrents tracking in total 2700To. Compared to other websites like isohunt or thepiratebay, it is a relatively small torrent tracker though; and it's likely that the owner of the website didn't want to go through all these legal hassles for a website which is obviously a side-project. The court judgement is interesting though because it   Read more…