All Posts Tagged With: "business"
LeadSift is evidence of hot Atlantic tech sector
The student founders of LeadSift, a company whose software combs through Twitter and Facebook data to generate sales leads, set out last fall in search of $500,000 of investor cash.
It was an easier than expected hunt.
The Halifax startup pulled in $1.13 million, including $500,000 from OMERS Ventures (the venture capital arm of OMERS, one of Canada’s largest pension funds), as well as a contribution from Dan Martell—Canada’s 2012 angel investor of the year, according to KPMG and Techvibes.
The LeadSift foursome, international students from Dalhousie University and Acadia University, could have raised more money, but decided to cap their fundraising round and ultimately turned away some interested investors.
Today entrepreneurial grads like him find plenty of help
Jordan Smith was desperate. It was July 2009 and he was unemployed and struggling. A recent graduate, his business degree from Memorial University was proving to be poor bait for potential employers. To top it off, it was mid-recession.
“I couldn’t find a job,” he recalled. “Nobody was hiring. If anything they were laying people off.”
So the 23-year-old devised a plan. He printed off a stack of resumes and constructed a large sign from a piece of a refrigerator box. It read: “NEW GRAD. NEED JOB.”
Two are in Ontario
Startup Genome has released a global ranking of Startup Ecosystems and three of the top 20 entrepreneurial cities are in Canada. The ranking is based on eight components: startup output, funding, company performance, talent, support infrastructure, entrepreneurial mindset, trendsetting tendencies and ecosystem differentiation. Toronto is eighth, Vancouver is ninth and Waterloo, Ont.—the only small city on the list—punches above its weight class at 17th. Here are the top 10:
Entrepreneurship bootcamp in St. John’s
Students at Memorial University are helping Canadian Forces members transition to civilian life by training them to run their own businesses. Nineteen veterans and soon-to-be vets, including some discharged for injuries, participated in this week’s “entrepreneurial bootcamp” in St. John’s. Business owners, faculty and students trained them in everything from marketing to social media. The Department of National Defense worked with the local chapter of Students in Free Enterprise to develop the Based in Business program, which is offering the training with support from Canadian Youth Business Foundation and Prince’s Charities Canada. For more, see The Telegram.
Halifax graduates turn to the underground economy
By Veronica Simmonds
Jess Ross graduated from Dalhousie University in 2009, straight into one of the worst economies in a generation. Her degree in anthropology hardly made her a standout in a Halifax job market with an unemployment rate nearing 15 per cent.
“My only options were to go back to the job I didn’t want to go back to, work for a catering company, get a master’s degree, or just do something on my own. Which I guess was the moment I tapped into my entrepreneurial spirit,” she says.
She and some friends set up a farm stand on Agricola Street in Halifax’s North End neighbourhood and started selling her homemade, German-style bread. They conduct their business under the table, without concern for the legalities of zoning or taxation.
Subject rankings for psychology, law, economics…
Here are the top five highest ranked universities in the QS World University Rankings by Subject and the rankings of all Canadian schools for arts, humanities, and business. For science, engineering, and health disciplines click here. For the full rankings, visit TopUniversities.com.
1. Harvard University (United States)
2. University of California, Berkeley (UCB) (United States)
3. University of Oxford (United Kingdom)
4. London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) (United Kingdom)
5. University of Chicago (United States)
16. University of Toronto
33. McGill University
40. University of British Columbia
45. Queen’s University
51-100. Université de Montréal, University of Alberta
101-150. McMaster University, Western University, Université du Québec, University of Waterloo, York University
151-200. Carleton University, Concordia University, Dalhousie University, Laval University, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, University of Ottawa, University of Victoria
Pettigrew applies logic to the debate over the value of arts
We scholars of the arts are used to the attitude that what we do is a luxury at best and a silly waste of time at the worst. But one rarely sees that contempt stated as baldly as it was last week by Luisa D’Amato in The Guelph Mercury.
For now, let’s just remember that people do other things than work. They vote, and serve on juries, and raise their kids, and make a thousand critical judgements over the course of their lives.
Wouldn’t it be nice if some of them had been taught to think about more than how to build and market the next generation of smart phones?
Three quarters plan to hire
A new poll shows that a Master of Business Administration may be a smart choice for 2012. The Graduate Management Admission Council’s 2011 Year-End Poll of Employers shows that 74 per cent plan to hire MBA graduates in 2012. That’s up from 58 per cent in 2011. And nearly one-quarter (22 per cent) of companies plan to increase the number of MBA grads hired in 2012 over 2011, compared to just six per cent last year. The GMAC surveyed 209 employers at 216 companies. The GMAC administers the test most students write to apply to management schools.
Hint: the top three aren’t in Toronto
Canadian Business has released its annual MBA Guide and, along with it, a slideshow that shows potential students what they want to know most—which MBA gets the best return on investment?
Here are the top five MBAs in Canada by R.O.I.
1. Desautels (McGill, Montreal, Que.)
Entering Salary: $49,000
Starting Salary: $112,000
2. Dalhousie (Halifax, N.S.)
Entering Salary: $33,000
Starting Salary: $67,000
Business? Engineering? Arts? You may be surprised.
Engineering students have been known to curse friends in other majors. That’s because they often spend hours sitting in their residence rooms sweating over near impossible differential equations while their non-engineering roommates leisurely read a couple chapters and then head out to party.
Then again, ask an arts major how hard they’re working and they’ll start rattling off the number of essays they have due.
But finally, it’s settled. Engineering students study more. The new release of the National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) shows that North American Engineering students spend 19 hours per week, on average, preparing for class. Arts, humanities and biology majors study 17 hours per week. Social science and business students study only 14 hours.
But don’t assume all non-engineers are slacking. Business students study the least, but they aren’t socializing any more. Instead, they work seven hours more per week at paying jobs. In fact, if you add jobs and study together, business students work the most—30 hours per week. Social sciences students work the least overall (27 hours). Engineering students are in the middle (28 hours).
NSSE, considered the gold standard of student surveys, involved polling of senior year students at 683 U.S. and 68 Canadian institutions in 2011. It had a response rate of 33 per cent.
Six programs for ambitious undergrads
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on sale now. Story by Sandy Farran.
It’s the stuff of dreams: in early 2009, University of Waterloo engineering student Ted Livingston set out to design an instant messaging app while taking part in Waterloo’s VeloCity Residence program, an intense four-month incubator for student start-ups. The program provided Livingston with regular access to an entrepreneur-in-residence, use of the latest technology, a collaborative work space, exposure to community mentors and the support of like-minded peers.
The entrepreneurial skills that Livingston acquired while in the VeloCity program propelled his instant-messaging app from the idea phase, in early 2009, to a downloadable app in the fall of 2010. Since then, four million users have downloaded the free technology (called Kik Messenger), investors have come knocking, and Livingston has donated $1 million to his alma mater to help other student entrepreneurs.
Where does your business school stand?
The Economist has released its annual ranking of full-time M.B.A. programs. Below, we show you all the Canadian schools on the list, with their 2010 ranks in parentheses. The thing that jumps out here is how much Montreal’s two primarily English-language programs have climbed. After winning a long fight with the Quebec government to charge tuition in line with what other schools charge, McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management leaped onto the list at 64th. It’s unclear whether those two facts are related, though the upped tuition did begin in 2009-10. Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business also made a significant gain. Congratulations to all.
Tantrum tactics don’t lead to social change: Urback
When a toddler is exasperated, he will hurl himself on his back and kick his feet up in the air. The action rarely wins him the coveted extra cookie or forbidden toy of mystery, but incapable of more advanced reasoning techniques, the child becomes subservient to his own uncontrollable desires. Eventually, this child will learn that he might acquire an extra Oreo by sweet-talking mom or taking on additional chores. He’ll come to realize that flailing and shouting may win him a feeling of persuasiveness, even though he’s actually just hurting his cause.
Trouble is, this youngster will regress again when he hits that tumultuous stage of young adulthood. Armed with terrible rhyming couplets about capitalism and a ‘Twitter for iPhone’ app (oblivious to the irony), he’ll march with his comrades, protesting for a vague, better tomorrow free of corporate greed.
Such men and women have taken to the streets of New York over the past few weeks, ostensibly with the aim of achieving some sort of goal. I say “ostensibly,” of course, because protesters have yet to put together a coherent, unified explanation of what they hope to accomplish by taking over the Brooklyn Bridge and releasing rainbow balloons into the air. A prettier skyline, perhaps?
The protesters have said they are against corporate greed, climate change, occupation of Indigenous land (uh… perhaps ‘Occupy Wall Street’ was a naming oversight), corruption, militarism, and whatever else will fit on the press release. Might I suggest Sarah Jessica Parker romantic comedies and ubiquitous displays of public affection as well?
We lucky Canucks are not immune, poised to receive our first demonstrations October 15 in Toronto and Vancouver. The “Occupy Toronto” movement is, as of yet, just as poorly focused, if not more. Spokesperson and college student Bryan Batty told the Toronto Star that we, too, have many issues that merit sitting in the street, including youth unemployment, growing debt, environmental destruction, and the increasingly illustrious issue of corporate greed. The Vancouver protest will happen at the Vancouver Art Gallery for some reason—down with Emily Carr paintings!
The movement is unfocused, but that’s nothing new. Conflicting messages clouded the G20 protests in Toronto last summer, the unfortunate havoc that greeted the end of Vancouver’s NHL season this year, and the recent rioting in Britain where protesters were divided in their quests for social change and free sneakers. These sorts of demonstrations, void of any remnant of pragmatism, inevitably turn to clashes between protesters and police.
Those truly enslaved by the inequities of “corporate greed” don’t have the luxury of taking the day off work to protest, and the police, confronted with hoards of unpredictable demonstrators, usually react with an inappropriate amount of force.
So if we know it tends to end badly, if we know it’s not going to compel social and economic reform, why do so many people paint posters and hit the streets anyway?
Well, for the same reason that rogue senate page Brigette DePape donned a “Stop Harper” sign in the House of Commons last June, and why our lustful little toddlers kick their feet up in the air when they want a cookie. Because it makes us feel good. It makes us feel as though we’re making a difference. Brigette wasn’t going to “stop Harper” with her sign, and Occupy Toronto protesters aren’t going to stop corporate greed with their catchy rhymes. But occupying a street, or throwing a temper tantrum for a cookie, is a much more cathartic, immediately gratifying expression of discontent than working to reform legislation, which is what actually leads to change in democracies.
Canadians are fortunate in that they have the freedom to work within the system to compel social and economic reform—however slowly. Yet we so often opt to stage demonstrations in the name of “awareness,” and revert back to our lives when our voices become hoarse. Children eventually learn the key to cookie autonomy is to change the wafer power dynamic through negotiation or economic independence. If they can retire their temper tactics, we youth may find a better way too.
But will business degrees really lead to better jobs?
Communication, critical thinking and problem solving are just a few of the skills that are gained from an arts education. But for many students, that list of skills doesn’t add up to a job, so they’re choosing business instead.
Worries about the decline of the Bachelor of Arts aren’t new. But when Ontario universities welcomed their biggest class ever this year, the headlines masked the fact that arts programs shrunk in size again in the province, this year by 0.3 per cent. Job-focused programs such as business accounted for much of the growth, increasing 2.9 per cent.
It’s not a new trend. Data from the Ontario Universities Application Centre (OUAC) show that between 2006 and 2010, in the average year, arts confirmations for first-year students coming from high school decreased on average by five per cent (that includes fine and applied arts, humanities, and social sciences). Business and commerce saw an increase of approximately 12 per cent.
Should government funding go to lab coats or white collars?
As defenders of the downtrodden go, Roger Martin deserves points for chutzpah at least. It’s harder to feel sympathy for Martin’s chosen underprivileged group than it would be if he were sticking up for, say, orphans and widows—because Martin has spent much of the year arguing that Canadians, and especially their governments, aren’t giving enough money to the country’s business schools.
At first glance, Canadians might be reluctant to shed a tear. Martin is the dean of the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, not conspicuously a hardship case. The school has raised $130 million on its way to a $200-million fundraising target, timed to coincide with next year’s opening of a new 15,000-sq.-m building in downtown Toronto. But its successes, Martin maintains, come despite the lack of adequate government support, especially from Ottawa.
School raised price by nearly 90 per cent
Before the 2009-10 school year, the program had cost only $3,400. Last year, they raised the price by nearly 90 per cent to $29,500, prompting the Ministry of Education to fine them $2.1 million for breaking regulations. Quebec requires universities to charge domestic (Quebec) students a uniform rate, which is currently just over $70 per credit for most programs. A typical 30-credit school year costs roughly $2,100.
The new deal redefines the program as a “specialized MBA” with a focus on international business and a “mandatory study trip abroad.” Specialized MBAs are not subject to the same strict regulations. Concordia offers an EMBA with tuition at $34,000. McGill and the HEC Montréal offer a joint EMBA that costs $72,000.
Some student groups have criticized the decision. The Fédération étudiante universitaire du Québec, the province’s largest student lobby group, and the McGill Post Graduate Students’ Society issued a joint statement describing it as a step towards two-tiered education.
However, another student group — McGill’s MBA Student Association — supports the school. They condemned the government’s fine and released a survey claiming that 70 per cent of students in the program supported the increase.
Line Beauchamp, the Minister of Education, wrote that McGill is not getting special treatment. “This isn’t an exception, because there are other institutions in Quebec that already offer programs with a similar status,” she said.
McGill’s new price may allow it to better compete with other schools. The University of Toronto charges residents $40,000 per year for its MBA program; the University of Western Ontario’s one-year MBA program has a price tag of $73,500 for Canadians.
Wilfred Zerbe, Memorial University’s Dean of Business, suggested in May that tuition fees there should climb too. Currently, Memorial charges MBA students $4,400 per year. He says the school could attract better students and offer more support with tuition fees closer to $10,000 per year.
Three schools make Forbes’ Top 12 ranking
Each year, business magazine Forbes ranks international M.B.A. programs based one single statistic: the return on investment realized five years after graduation. They call this the “5-year M.B.A. gain.” Three Canadian schools round out this year’s Top 12 Non-U.S. M.B.A. Programs:
10. York (Schulich)
The class of 2006 started with an average salary of $36,000 and were earning $121,000 by 2010.
Less tuition, fees and forgone compensation, the “5-year M.B.A. gain” is $47,000.
11. McGill (Desautels)
The class of 2006 started with an average salary of $43,000 and were earning $134,000 by 2010.
Less tuition, fees and forgone compensation, the “5-year M.B.A. gain” is $40,000.
12. UBC (Sauder)
The class of 2006 started with an average salary of $31,000 and were earning $92,000 by 2010.
Less tuition, fees and forgone compensation, the “5-year M.B.A. gain” is $21,000.
To see a comprehensive list of Canadian M.B.A. programs and how they compare, buy the Canadian Business M.B.A. Guide. All figures above are in U.S. dollars.
Is sharing notes cheating?
It was two o’clock in the morning on the night before her physiology mid-term when Jennifer Hidy turned on her laptop and saw what she calls “the blue screen of death.” A virus had killed her hard drive, erasing all of the carefully curated lecture notes that she was planning to read in the wee hours of the morning before her nine o’clock exam. She had visions of failure. She considered calling a friend. Then she remembered hearing about a new website called Notesolution.
Hidy headed to the school library, entered her University of Toronto email address into the site and—much to her relief—found that someone else had uploaded notes for her physiology classes. She printed them off and studied. A mere seven hours after recoiling from the blue screen, she sat down and aced her exam.
Inuit can train as accountants without moving south
Nunavut’s students will finally be able to get a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration without moving south.
That means they will be able to become Chartered Accountants without leaving their own territory, possibly increasing the likelihood they will stay and work in the territory.
The four-year program will build on the existing two-year Management Studies diploma program. The school will partner with a Southern Canadian university on curriculum.
Nunavut Arctic College in Iqaluit received a $150,000 charitable donation from the Royal Bank of Canada to fund the new program over three years, starting with 15 to 20 students in 2012.
Bad news for graduates in Waterloo Region
Canada’s former smartphone leader Research in Motion announced Monday it will eliminate 2,000 jobs. The Waterloo, Ont.-based company will be cutting about 11 per cent of its workforce worldwide. That’s bad news for commerce and engineering graduates in Waterloo Region whom were often hired by the company upon graduation.
The BlackBerry maker said in a statement that the layoffs are a “prudent and necessary step for the long-term success of the company.” RIM’s first quarter profits fell 10 per cent this year, while its market share dropped nearly five per cent. Analysts attribute the company’s losses to its inability to keep up with competitors Apple and Google. After RIM cuts the jobs, it will continue to employ 17,000 people worldwide.