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I’ve been blogging for several months now and I’m glad to have recieved the feedback I have.  I’ve enjoyed the experince and for that reason I’ve decided to take blogging to another level.  I’ll be self hosting my blog and that means you’ll see a lot more creativity in the design, functionality and layout of the new blog.

Check it out:


January 22, 2010 Posted by | 1, A Thought, Ads, Agriculture, Art, Blogging, Books, Brochure, Business, Business Cards, Business Development, Business Model, Carbon Credits, Clean Energy, Co-op, Community Economic Development (CED), Computer Networking, Construction, Creativity, Data Recovery, Definitions, Earth, Economics, Education, Electric Cars, Email, Entrepreneurship, Family, Finance, Geothermal, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Green Roofs, Human Resources, Information Technology (I.T.), Inspiration, Investment, LEED, Life, Marketing, Micro Credit, Not for Profit, Open Source, Packaging, PDA's, Philanthropy, Photography, Politics, Power Piont, Products, Project Management, Quotes, Sales, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Services, Social Enterprise, Social Media, Solar, Sustainability, Sustainable Community Development, Taxes, Venture Capital, Videos, War, Waste, Water, Website | Leave a comment

Selling to Governments (Reasons of Failure)

I’m subscribed to Canada Export a newsletter released by the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, in it I came across the below article and thought it could be beneficial to those businesses trying to win government contract bids.  I had previously hosted a seminar around selling to the government which included presenters who were purchasers and buyers all the way from SAP to the Provincial Government. It covered some of the in’s and out’s of the bid process and I think this  article touches briefly on some of the issues businesses face.


An OOPS! sign

Too often, entrepreneurs spend thousands of dollars trying to win U.S. government contracts with no results. According to one expert, the reasons for failure come down to three common mistakes. Avoid them, she says, and increase your chances of success.

1. Entrepreneurs set unrealistic expectations.

“There is a myth out there that to win a government contract, all you have to do is follow the instructions,” says Judy Bradt, a former trade commissioner who is now Principal and CEO of Summit Insight, a firm that has guided over 5,000 clients to over $200 million in U.S. government contracts.
“Thousands of business owners have discovered that when they follow the instructions on websites like FedBizOpps [the U.S. federal government site that publishes opportunities], diligently hunt down bid notices and pump out proposals, the process does not usually reward their hard work” says Bradt. “They get frustrated by failures, especially when the contracts always seem wired for somebody else. Success takes a lot more than just writing proposals.”

The fix:

Companies that consistently win contracts research those opportunities a long time before competitions begin. They take the time to build relationships with buyers, influencers and partners. They adapt products or services for government buyers, and collaborate with those buyers to develop the specifications that will be published. They create targeted marketing campaigns and tactics to attract these new buyers, says Bradt.

This also applies if you’re a supplier or subcontractor to a bigger company that holds the prime contract with the government. Be sure that investment of time and money fits your risk threshold as well as your plans to grow your company.

Before your next proposal, understand every part of the government business development cycle that your competitors had to master to win their contracts. Decide if you’re ready for that investment. If so, then approach government contracts as a long-haul effort with your eyes wide open and your team ready to learn what winners have already figured out.

2. Businesses pursue opportunities on a shoestring budget.

“If your business is struggling, going after government contracts can hurt more than it helps,” says Bradt. Cash-flow horizons are longer in the public sector than in the private sector, both to develop business and to get paid for your work. Typically, government buyers are risk-averse and cautious about trying new vendors and ideas.

Runaway success in the first year is rare, says Bradt. Expect to spend 18 to 24 months investing money and time to develop relationships, find opportunities and partners, and prepare proposals before you turn a consistent profit. “Many managers rightly decide that it takes too much time and risk to develop a new market. And, unlike in the private sector, most government contracts don’t pay you up front. Unless you negotiate progress payments, you need enough funds to survive until after you do the work, invoice and get paid. That big contract can put you out of business.”

The fix:

First, explore alternate forms of financing. Your current line of credit is often not enough to pursue the contract, win it and finish the project. Even healthy companies are shocked to find that their bankers do not simply extend that line to finance a signed government contract. Asset-based financing is your cheapest money, but takes time to arrange. Alternative financing (aka “last-minute money”) is always more expensive and will evaporate your profits.

Bradt recommends that entrepreneurs forge a closer relationship with their banker. “If you’ve decided to pursue government contracts, and have revised your marketing budget to support that pursuit, review your access to working capital and financing. Then visit your banker to find out about financing options before you launch your campaign.”

3. Resist the temptation to use shotgun tactics.

“Too often, entrepreneurs go to FedBizOpps and pump out proposals for anything that appears relevant,” she says. The result is that most of their efforts are just as scattered and not much reaches the target. “If you go after everything, you might win something but most of your resources will be wasted and nobody has that kind of time and money to spare.”

The fix:

Focus. “When you want to win government contracts, you have to research and focus tightly to win,” says Bradt. Otherwise, you’ll go broke trying, she says. Savvy companies scope out the competition and possible partners in order to position themselves to win the projects that really fit them long before they put serious resources into pursuing those opportunities.

Free websites offer extraordinary amounts of federal contract market intelligence. Look into, Central Contractor Registration, GSA Advantage, and Schedule Sales Query. These are all good sources if you’re testing the waters and not ready for a big investment yet.

Looking ahead

U.S. federal contract spending in 2009 topped a record $550 billion. And Bradt expects 2010 to look much the same. “The U.S. government has set a goal of spending 70% of the stimulus money by fall of 2010. Twelve months out, almost 47% had been allocated for specific purposes. Of that, only 16% has been spent. That means there’s a very stimulating year ahead—if you’re developing opportunities long before the competition begins.”

For more information, visit the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service in the United States.

January 16, 2010 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Great Ideas, Investment, Marketing, Sales, Services | , , , | Leave a comment

Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI)

The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) is a concept in green economics and welfare economics that has been suggested to replace gross domestic product (GDP) as a metric of economic growth.

GPI is an attempt to measure whether a country’s growth, increased production of goods, and expanding services have actually resulted in the improvement of the welfare (or well-being) of the people in the country. GPI advocates claim that it can more reliably measure economic progress, as it distinguishes between worthwhile growth and uneconomic growth.

The GDP vs the GPI is analogous to the difference between the gross profit of a company and the net profit; the Net Profit is the Gross Profit minus the costs incurred. Accordingly, the GPI will be zero if the financial costs of crime and pollution equal the financial gains in production of goods and services, all other factors being constan

Most economists assess the progress in welfare of the people by comparing the gross domestic product over time, that is, by adding up the annual dollar value of all goods and services produced within a country over successive years. However, GDP was never intended to be used for such purpose. It is prone to productivism or consumerism, over-valuing production and consumption of goods, and not reflecting improvement in human well-being.

Simon Kuznets, the inventor of the concept of the GDP, notes in his very first report to the US Congress in 1934:

…the welfare of a nation [can] scarcely be inferred from a measure of national income…

November 30, 2009 Posted by | Business Development, Economics, Finance | , | Leave a comment

Types of Shares (Incorporation)

There are basically two types of shares: common & preferred.

  • Preferred shares: are like bonds: they usually have a set value, and pay a set dividend per year.
  • Common shares: are normally the “residual equity” shares: you get what’s left after paying the company’s debts and preferred shareholders.

You may attach several different types of rights and restrictions to shares, including:

  • voting rights
  • dividend rights: these can be a fixed percentage, or else at the discretion of the directors
  • rights to redeem the shares for a fixed amount
  • company rights to buy back the shares for a fixed amount
  • the right to convert the shares into shares of another class at a set formula
  • restrictions on ownership of the shares

Shares can have a “par value” or not. Ones with “no par value” have no assigned face value. While the historic reasons for the distinction are no longer that relevant, par value shares can be useful for corporate and tax planning in specific situations. Your lawyer can advise you whether these would be beneficial to set up in your case.

You should plan the share structure of the company to provide for future flexibility as well as your present needs. Consult with your accountant or tax advisor to choose the best kinds of shares.  Sit with your lawyer to draft the special rights and restrictions if necessary.  I hope this helps you through your incorporation process.

October 24, 2009 Posted by | Business Development, Finance | Leave a comment

Incorporation Checklist (BC)

This is a nice little website with affordable rates and good answer to some of the most commone questions.  If your starting out or don’t have any expertise in this field I would suggest spending the extra money (appx. $300 Cdn) and getting your accountant or lawyer to do it.  

I usually give my accountant a call anyways… Let him know he’ll be doing another business, plus I can get some expert advice from him!

Name Approval Requests BC Federal
Fee $ 60.00 $ 60.00
Applicable taxes $ 7.20 $ 7.20
Total $ 67.20 $ 67.20
Incorporation Service BC Federal
Our incorporation fee $ 99.00 $ 99.00
Customer support incl. incl.
Preparation of incorporation documents incl. incl.
Filing of incorporation form incl. incl.
Mandatory post-incorporation documents $100.00 $100.00
— directors’ organizational resolutions incl. incl.
— first shareholders’ resolutions incl. incl.
— share certificates incl. incl.
— directors/officers register incl. incl.
— shareholders register incl. incl.
— articles/bylaws incl. incl.
Corporate records binder with custom tabs incl. incl.
Government incorporation fee $351.50 $200.00
Delivery of corporate records $30.00 $30.00
Total incorporation fee (excl. taxes) $580.50 $429.00
Applicable taxes $27.56 $27.48
Total incorporation fee (incl. taxes) $608.06 $456.48
British Columbia Registration Fee Included *See Below

The Incorporatin Checklist:

1) Corporate Name  If you’re giving your corporation a specific name your name choice will need to be approved by the government.

If you don’t have your name choice approved yet we’ll submit an approval request to the government on your behalf as part of our incorporation service.

If you already have approval of your name you’ll need to provide us with the name approval information you received from the government.

For a British Columbia incorporation, if you already have your name choice approved we’ll need to know the Reservation Number (which starts with NR) and the Expiry Date indicated in the approval you received. If you don’t have your name approved yet we’ll submit an approval request to the government on your behalf. For a British Columbia name approval, up to 3 name choices can be included in a single request. If the name choice(s) listed in a name request are not approved, another name request must be submitted which will be subject to additional fees. For that reason, many people decide to include 2 or 3 choices in each request but that is optional.

For a Federal incorporation, the government requires that a NUANS Report be obtained prior to name approval. If you don’t have a NUANS Report we’ll obtain the NUANS Report on your behalf as part of our incorporation service. If you already have a NUANS Report for your name choice, we’ll need to know the Reservation Number and Production Date indicated in your NUANS Report. If you already have your name choice approved by the government we’ll also need to know the Client Number and Request Number indicated in the approval you received. If you don’t have your name approved yet we’ll submit an approval request to the government on your behalf.

If you’re creating a numbered corporation then no government approval is required and also, for Federal incorporations, no NUANS Report is required.

A numbered corporation is what we call a corporation that has for its name a number assigned by the government followed by “B.C. Ltd.” in the case of a British Columbia corporation and “Canada Ltd.” in the case of a Federal corporation.

Before proceeding with a particular name choice you should also research whether any other businesses have a similar name so as to minimize the possibility that your name choice will be rejected or could infringe upon the name or trade-mark rights of someone else. For example, you could review telephone listings, business directories and other available publications and search the internet.

2) Contact Information You will need to provide us with the address where you want us to send your corporate records and also your telephone number and email address so we can reach you if necessary.

3) Share Structure You’ll need to know whether you want your corporation to have a simple single class share structure or our standard multi-class share struc¬ture. See below.

One Class Structure

Class A Common shares
Voting, dividend and equity participating shares

Multi-Class Structure

Class A Common shares
Voting, dividend and equity participating shares

Class B Common shares
Non-voting, dividend and equity participating

Class C Preferred shares
Non-voting, dividend, equity participating, redeemable and retractable with price adj. clause

Our Class A Common shares are the only voting shares in our share structures and, as such, will be the only shares that entitle a shareholder to vote in the election of directors each year.

Our Class A Common shares and Class B Common shares are discretionary dividend shares, which means the holders of the Class A Common shares and Class B Common shares will be entitled to receive dividends at the discretion of the directors. The Class A Common shares and Class B Common shares are also equity participating shares and will be treated equally in any liquidation, winding up and dissolution of the corporation and any related distribution of assets, subject to the priority given to the Class C Preferred shares (see below).

Our Class C Preferred shares are redeemable by the corporation and retractable by the shareholder at a redemption price that is set by the directors at the time of share issuance and also contain a price adjustment clause for tax rollover purposes pursuant to section 85 of the Income Tax Act (Canada). The shareholders of the Class C Preferred shares will be entitled to receive dividends at the discretion of the directors and will be entitled to receive the redemption price for their Class C Preferred shares in connection with any liquidation, winding up and dissolution of the corporation and any related distribution of assets in priority to any other class of shares. The Class C Preferred shares should be used only with tax and legal advice. No Class C Preferred shares can be issued with our online service.

All of our standard classes of shares contain no par value shares. Par value is simply the minimum value at which the par value shares can be issued. In other words, there is no minimum value assigned to the classes of shares in our share structures which is an accepted and standard practice.

Our multi-class structure also allows the directors to dividend to one or more dividend classes of shares to the exclusion of other classes.

4) Shareholders The owners of a corporation are called shareholders. A corporation must have at least one shareholder. A shareholder’s ownership is evidenced by the number and class of shares they hold. For example, if a shareholder holds 100 Class A Common shares and no other shares are issued then that shareholder owns all of the issued shares which makes that shareholder the 100% owner of the corporation. On the other hand, if another shareholder is issued additional 100 Class A Common shares then each of the shareholders will own 50% of the corporation (i.e. 100 shares each or 50% of the total number of shares issued).

You need to know the full name and address of each share¬holder and the number and class of shares they will be given as part of your incorporation.

If your corporation will have only one shareholder then it really doesn’t matter how many shares are issued in terms of the percentage of ownership the shareholder will have in the corporation. For example, you could issue 100 shares or 1000 shares to the shareholder. Regardless of the number, the shareholder will own 100% of the total number of shares issued and, as a result, will be the 100% owner of the corporation (assuming no other shares are issued).

5) Direcotors A corporation must have at least one director. The directors of a corporation are ultimately responsible for the management of the corporation’s business but can delegate some of their responsibilities to others, e.g. a President.

You need to know the full name and address (which can’t be a PO box) of each individual who will be a direc¬tor. Please note that at least 25% of the directors of a Federal corporation must be Canadian residents. There is no residency requirement for British Columbia corporations.

6) Officers A corporation is not required to have any officers, e.g. a President. If your corporation will have one or more officers then you need to know their full names, addresses (which can’t be a PO box) and titles (e.g. President).

7) Auditor  A corporation is not required to have an auditor so long as all of the shareholders agree to waive the auditor requirement and not appoint one.

An auditor is an independent accountant that reviews the financial statements and the financial affairs of a corporation to help ensure the statements accurately reflect the corporation’s financial affairs.

Auditors can be expensive so most small business corporations decide to rely on the financial statements prepared by their accountant and not to require the appointment an independent auditor to audit their accountant’s work. However, if you want an auditor to be appointed as part of the incorporation process you will need to provide us with the auditor’s name. Otherwise we’ll prepare a waiver of the auditor requirement for the corporation’s first year that you can have signed by the shareholders after the incorporation is completed.

8) Registered Office A Federal corporation must have a registered office where its corporate records must be kept and any lawsuits against the corporation will be served.

A British Columbia corporation must have a registered office and a records office which must be in British Columbia and are usually located at the same place. The records office is where the corporate records must be kept and the registered office is where lawsuits will be served on the corporation if the corporation is ever sued.

You will need to know the address where the registered office, if a Federal corporation, or the registered and records office, if a British Columbia corporation, will be located (which can’t be a PO box).

Corporations often prefer to have a law firm act as their registered office or registered and records office. If you would like information on Simply Legal Law Corporation’s registered office package please send an email request to

October 24, 2009 Posted by | Business, Finance | , | Leave a comment

Can you cash a cheque with a stop payment on it? YES

At one point or another a Small Business has proabably put a stop payment on a cheque.  But guess what, it still can be cashed! That’s right,  places like Money Mart cash the cheque even with the stop payment.

Money Marts’ view on the matter:

“What we need is better consumer education about the obligation that comes with writing cheques in the first place”

– Money Mart

So your out the amount on the cheuqe and decide to sue to get it back… guess what you’ll lose and the court costs are on you, don’t forget to mention your time.   How do they win, they use an old law from the 1890’s called  The Bills of Exchange Act.   The act basically says the person who writes the cheque is responsible for it.

September 5, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Products, Sales | , , , , | Leave a comment

Online Resources for Small Business


Government Resources

Entrepreneur Advocates, Blogs and Magazines

Entrepreneur Resources for Women

Entrepreneur Resources for Specific Groups

Entrepreneur Resources for Youth

September 5, 2009 Posted by | A Thought, Business, Business Development, Business Model, Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Grants, Human Resources, Marketing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Resources for Small Business

I’ve compiled some resources for people wanting to start a business in Canada. British Columbia seems to be leading the way when it comes to small business as they make up 98% of the Business Sector and employ almost 50% of the people who live in the Province.   The list below focuses on Business in BC, if your looking for other provinces I suggest you google these words; “Small Business & Economic Deveopment Ontario” (or whatever province your looking for)

Statistics related to small business are available at:

Statistics related to small business

553 Superior St.

Box 9410 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, B.C. V8W 9V1

Telephone: 250 387-0327


Information on provincial government programs and services can be found at:

Ministry of Small Business and Revenue, Small Business Branch

Box 9805 Stn Prov Govt

Victoria, B.C. V8W 9W1

Telephone: 250 387-4699


Information on federal government programs and services can be found at:

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Suite 700 – 333 Seymour St.

Vancouver, B.C. V6B 5G9

Telephone: 604 666-6256

Toll Free: 1 888 338-9378


The Government of Canada’s main site for business information

Canada Business

1 888 576-4444

Online tool to help quickly and easily identify permit and licensing requirements for business activities

BizPaL Business Permits and Licences

Business counselling and assistance for new and existing businesses in rural British Columbia.

Community Futures Development Corporation of British Columbia

1 604 685 2332

e-business information resources for small and medium-sized businesses

eBC eBusiness Connection

1 604 775-7532

Online business registration and change of business address

Online business registration and change of business address

1 877 822-6727

Province-wide access to government services including key government transactions for business

Service BC

1 800 663-7867 (Enquiry BC) to be transferred to the

nearest Service BC Contact Centre

Comprehensive business information and business planning resources for starting and growing a business in British Columbia

Small Business BC

1 800 667-2272

Business information counselling and skills training for women entrepreneurs

Women’s Enterprise Centre

1 800 643-7014

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Development, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Grants, Human Resources, Investment, Marketing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Best Province to do Business in Canada

Small business is a driving force in in British Columbia’s economy, employing over one million people and making up 98 per cent of all B.C. business.

  • In 2007, 98 per cent of all businesses in B.C. were small businesses, employing over one million people.
  • 46 per cent of all employment in B.C. is generated by businesses with fewer than 50 employees or self-employed workers.
  • Approximately 379,700 small businesses were operating in the province last year.
  • From 2002-07, the number of small businesses in B.C. grew by 8.8 per cent or by approximately 31,150 businesses.
  • Over 56 per cent of British Columbia’s private sector jobs are with small business – the highest rate in the country.
  • British Columbia’s small business GDP accounted for a third of total provincial GDP – the highest of all provinces.
  • 36 per cent of the self-employed in British Columbia were women – the second highest rate in the country.
Statistics related to small business are available at:
BC Stats
Data Services
553 Superior St.
Box 9410 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9V1
Telephone: 250 387-0327

What is the size distribution of small businesses? The majority of small businesses in British Columbia are micro-businesses with fewer than five employees. In 2007, there were 314,200 such businesses comprising 83 per cent of the province’s small businesses. Of these, 58 per cent were operated by self-employed persons without paid help and the remaining 25 per cent employed one to four individuals.

Over the past five years, the province’s small business count expanded by an average of 6,000 per year or 1.8 per cent.1 The fastest-growing group in British Columbia’s small business sector has been businesses with five to 19 employees, which grew at an average annual rate of 3.2 per cent, with an average net addition of 1,500 new businesses per year. In terms of actual numbers, most of the new businesses were in the self-employed without paid help category, which grew an average of 2.7 per cent or 5,200 businesses each year over the five year period. Despite the overall increase in the number of small businesses, there were declines in some size categories. Businesses with one to four employees averaged a net loss of -0.6 per cent or 600 businesses per year, while those with 20 to 49 employees experienced an average net loss of -0.8 per cent or 100 businesses per year.

  • Small Business – There were approximately 379,700 small businesses operating in British Columbia in 2007. These operations accounted for 98 per cent of all businesses in the province. Micro-businesses, with fewer than five employees each, comprised 83 per cent of small businesses.
  • Small Businesses Per Capita – In 2007, British Columbia had more small businesses per capita than any other province with 86.7 small businesses per 1,000 people. Long-time leader Saskatchewan ranked second among provinces with 86.6 small businesses per 1,000 people followed by Alberta with 79.7.
  • Employment – Approximately 1,048,000 people were employed by small businesses in British Columbia in 2007. These jobs accounted for 56 per cent of private sector employment in the province, the highest rate in the country.
  • Employment Growth – Between 2006 and 2007, small business employment in British Columbia grew by 2.5 per cent, slightly faster than the national rate of 2.4 per cent.
  • Self-Employed – On average, the self-employed tend to be older, are more often men and are more likely to work longer hours than paid employees. Thirty-six per cent of the self-employed in British Columbia are women, the second highest rate in the country.
  • Gross Domestic Product – Among Canadian provinces, British Columbia had the highest proportion of Gross Domestic Product (approximately 33 per cent) attributed to small businesses.
  • High Technology Sector – Small businesses constituted about 96 per cent of employers in the high technology sector. In 2007, there were approximately 8,225 small businesses in the high technology sector.
  • Regional Focus – The Kootenay and Thompson-Okanagan regions had the highest rates of growth in self-employment over the last five years at 27.3 per cent and 24.9 per cent respectively.
  • Exports – Small businesses in British Columbia shipped approximately $12.2 billion worth of merchandise to international destinations in 2006, almost 37 per cent of the total value of goods exported from the province.

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Business, Business Model, Economics, Finance, Government | , , | Leave a comment

Business ER Hotline

Business BC Launches “Business ER Hotline”:

Economic Climate a Hot Topic for Small Business Sector

Vancouver – Small Business BC (SBBC) has launched the “Business ER (Emergency) Hotline” providing BC’s small businesses with the solutions and business strategies to deal with the current economic conditions.

The Business ER Hotline, 1-800-667-2272, will enable SBBC to quickly address and respond to crisis-related business issues.

In addition to a 1-800 number, clients can ask questions and access information via email, or they can go to the Business ER Hotline website,, or visit the SBBC Vancouver office in person, 601 West Cordova Street.

SBBC Consulting CEO, George Hunter, explains the reason for launching the Business ER Hotline: “Our staff has noted a significant increase in questions relating to changes in the economy.  For example, people want to know what kind of training programs are available for upgrading skills, or, which sectors are showing promise for new business opportunities, such as BC’s healthcare sector.  There are many people newly out of work who are now exploring the idea of starting a business.”

SBBC also reports an increase in questions regarding financing options and business strategies for tougher economic times such as how to cut expenses and build revenue, as well as a significant number of inquiries regarding labour standards.

“The Business ER Hotline offers a direct way to get timely information out to business owners and their employees as well,” says Hunter, “The small business community is important to our economy and SBBC is pleased to be able to provide a link to current information and provide support as small business owners navigate a changing economic landscape.”

Hunter encourages small business owners to contact SBBC via the Business ER Hotline, or go to their website,, to find out more about the comprehensive services SBBC offers, such as financing options and sources, government acts and regulations, one-on-one business counseling, market research and consultation, business planning services, business seminars, e-business information and an education and resource centre

August 29, 2009 Posted by | Ads, Blogging, Brochure, Business, Business Development, Business Model, Creativity, Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Government, Grants, Great Ideas, Human Resources, Investment, Marketing, Micro Credit, Packaging, Products, Sales, Services, Venture Capital | , , , | Leave a comment