Maple Leaf by HighwayGirl67 ...and would like to highlight some amazing Canadian startups as well as Canadian contributions to the Web world, in general. I'm hoping that my friends at the Globe and Mail will see this and understand the importance of the media in really highlighting and helping their homegrown companies. ;)

(if I've missed your company, please tell me in the comments below)

The Startups

[I've listed the ones here that I've used or am familiar with]


A way cool site where you can build your own online's clean, gorgeous and simple to use. I keep running across it everytime I find a store that I think well-designed. Ottawa, ON.


This totally sweet collaboration application was first shown to us when we attended Mesh Conference in Toronto (another one is one it's way!). We met these two 'ad guys' from a Toronto suburb, Bernie and Scott, and they were talking about finding the money to quit their jobs and start this company that was akin to a BaseCamp for design projects. Complete with experts you can pull from for your own design projects, I find this tool indispensable now. Sudbury (thanks Matthew!), ON.


Michael McDerment, who you would think is living down in the valley from the amount we see him around these parts, is one of the founders of this dynamic company that supports small businesses by handling both your project/time tracking and invoicing all at once. Toronto, ON.


Tom Williams is one heckuva nice guy and has started a community to urge others to be the same. Well, kinda. Give Meaning is where you can tell the story of the work you are doing to change the world and find others doing the same. But, it doesn't only do that. It also allows you to raise money (and donate money) for your fave charities. 100% of the proceeds go to the charities.

GiveMeaning provides unrivalled advantages for both charities and sponsors. For Charities, GiveMeaning offers a new vehicle for raising funds, with minimal resource expenditure and without any costs; for Sponsors, GiveMeaning is the ideal forum to reach highly-targeted audiences, with repeat exposure virtually guaranteed. Toronto, ON.


Need to kvetch, celebrate or just share your recent purchasing experiences with the world? Or perhaps you need to find out what kind of service a certain company provides. Well, Sutori is meant for just that. I've posted on JetBlue (good), u-Haul (nightmare) and some other experiences. Makes for an awesome soapbox. Vancouver, BC & Toronto, ON.


Okay, who doesn't heart StumbleUpon? Helping you discover really cool, neato stuff on the web? They may live down here now and throw big parties, but they are still Canucks. :) Calgary, AB


So, the idea here is social command lines for the web...which is...awesome! If you are into that sort of thing and I know many people that are. YubNub has been around for a while and has built a rather large and loyal geek following. Basically, if you need to search for something, you can do it in one place instead of going to each engine and typing in each type of search. So, you want to see photos of 300 the movie from google images, just type "gim 300 movie". Done. Victoria, BC

Cambrian House

Alright, so full disclosure here. I have been suspicious of Cambrian House ever since they put 'crowdsourcing' in their bi-line and bought Google pizza. However, they are from my home city, and I've met Michael and he's just mostly overzealous on the hype engine and generally a nice guy. Either way, I think they have a pretty cool concept: you put your ideas into a pool, then people vote on it, then others get behind it and make it happen. Kind of what happens in IRC, but more managed. Calgary, AB.


Dick Hardt is one of those personalities that is larger than life, which is rather 'un'Canadian, but has been really awesome in pushing the idea of identity forward. Dick is now working with a wider group of people on helping get wider adoption of OpenID. Vancouver, BC.

The "Successes" So Far (meaning acquisition or totally household names)

iStock Photo

Purchased by Getty Images in 2006, this group remains in Calgary, Alberta and runs (with Getty pretty much hands off) a really, really cool website filled with amazing amateur photographs for really amazing prices. I use them constantly. Calgary, AB.


Everyone knows this 'darling of Web 2.0', and they should. Founded by one Canadian and one American (but she's nice enough to be a Canadian) in a Canadian City, and purchased by Yahoo! in 2005, it is one of the few online communities that I've seen weather such a move. I like to think it's 'cause they're Canadian. :) Vancouver, BC.


The first time I met Albert Lai, I thought, "What a hotshot!" and I believe everyone else who met him thought the same thing. So when his really cool and simple photosharing tool got acquired by Kaboose earlier this year, we weren't surprised. Toronto, ON.

[sidenote: is it just me, or are Canadians kinda good at the photo online thing?] Research in Motion

Okay, so not 2.0, but Blackberries are a staple of early adopters everywhere. :) Waterloo, ON.

The People Behind the Scenes


This Vancouver Drupal shop has been helping people build cool stuff for years and is run by some pretty awesome people. They are also behind the Vancouver BarCamp community and provide alot of encouragement for the web community in BC. Vancouver, BC.

Radiant Core

Jay Goldman, who I met right before moving down to SF through my amazing friend, Carol, owns this dynamic company, who are responsible for the major skin re-designs at Mozilla. And they'll only get better, I know, because they've recently hired the fabulous David Crow. This dynamic team also has been the driving force behind the Toronto BarCamp community. Toronto, ON.

Zero Knowledge

Austin Hill seems to know EVERYONE who has ever had any connection with the web on any significant level. He is also one of the nicest guys around, and has a new startup to watch, Akoha.

The People Even More Behind the Scenes (Canucks in the Valley)

Chris Beard - Mozilla

Blaine Cook - Twitter

Mike Shaver - Mozilla

Mike Beltzner - Mozilla

Mike Connor - Mozilla

Daniel Burka - DIGG

Kaliya Hamlin - who is rocking the identity space and is a big player down here (sorry Kaliya!)

Kim Cameron - at Microsoft who is doing very important identity work

and some other Canuck identity players of note: Paul Trevithick of Higgins, Pam Dingle Nulius Secundus and Laurie Rae.

Of course...there is such a large number of Canadians in the Valley that there is an entire organization formed here to celebrate SanFranada-ism: The Digital Moose.

More Notables (many from David Crow's blog post):

Another great resource to check out is Mark Evans new-ish project, Maple Leaf 2.0, which intends to highlight Canadian tech startups as they emerge. Right on.