Are you a one app wonder or the next big thing?

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I spent the morning pouring over entries for the Top 20 Most Innovative Companies in Canada as part of the Canadian Innovation Exchange, and I have to say I’m impressed. As one of this year’s judges, I’ll have a say in who’s hot and who’s not on the list. Which is pretty cool…almost as cool as the up and coming tech companies about to burst onto the scene across the country.

Taking place November 27, 2012 at MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) is the foremost destination for key leaders in the innovation economy to learn from one another, explore new relationships and accelerate the development of ground-breaking technologies, products and services that will propel the Canadian economy forward. Despite my tweeting it out across the Manitoba tech community network, I was disappointed not see any of our homegrown talent make it into the top 20.

However, by participating in events like Start Up Weekend, maybe I’ll have a hand in changing that. It would be nice to see more Manitoba companies on next year’s roster. Hey, I know you’re out there; we have some formidable, creative tech entrepreneurs with a significant contribution to make. You’re probably too busy working on your next big idea to have noticed this opportunity.

There’s a wave of activity and interest in entrepreneurship sweeping the country and it’s always encouraging to see Manitobans getting caught up in the action. Personally, I believe we prairie folk are hardwired to be entrepreneurs. Which isn’t to say the journey of starting and growing a business is any less easy.

StartUp Weekend could be the ticket that gets you through the gate. You’ll find out fast if you’re a one app wonder or the next big thing. The good news is you’ve come this far and innovation isn’t geographically exclusive. And remember, this isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. Good luck, have fun and may the spirit of the great and wonderful Woz be with you.

 About the author

Kathy Knight believes that there’s no better or rewarding job than being an evangelist for Manitoba’s tech community. As early as 1998, she started the province’s first-ever post secondary education programs in gaming, digital animation and new media. She has run businesses, organizations and fund development programs for the past 25 years. Today, through her role as CEO of ICTAM, she builds connections for our entrepreneurs at home and across the country that will help to grow Manitoba’s tech sector.