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November 23, 2023

Fission, Batteries, and Scaleups FutureTech Podcast Episode 1

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FutureTech Podcast
Fission, Batteries, and Scaleups FutureTech Podcast Episode 1
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Show Notes

The FutureTech Podcast with Jon Irwin and the Startup Coach album art red
FutureTech Podcast
Fission, Batteries, and Scaleups FutureTech Podcast Episode 1

Welcome to FutureTech Podcast with your hosts Jon Irwin and The Startup Coach. We’re your guides to the world of cutting-edge technology, innovation, and business trends.

In each episode, we explore the latest tech developments, share expert insights, and discuss how these innovations are shaping the future. Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, entrepreneur, or just curious about what’s on the horizon, join us on this exciting journey.

In this episode we discuss.

Article 1: World’s largest nuclear fusion reactor achieves first plasma

Article 2: Sulfur Selenium Solid-State Battery From NASA Breaks Energy Storage Boundaries

Article 3: EDC Report Says Canada is Struggling to Convert Startups to Scale Ups

Links Mentioned:

Automated Transcript of Fission, Batteries, and Scaleups FutureTech Podcast Episode 1

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Welcome to FutureTech your weekly source for the latest in Tech Innovation and business. I’m the startup coach and as always I’m joined by my host Jon Irwin. How are you doing today? Jon?

Jonathan Irwin: Good. Thanks Craig. How are you?

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): I’m doing great. I’m excited to dive into some of these articles that you’ve been posting. And so let’s just jump into some of this cool news. So the first one we’re gonna be talking about and for anybody who wants to follow along the links are in the show notes. So take a look there. Japan’s worlds largest nuclear fusion reactor achieves first plasma tell us a little bit about this JT 6 Osa reactor that no one can understand the name of What is it?

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah. Sure.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): And what’s the big deal?

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah, let me copy of this bike. I am by no means a nuclear expert and by no means an expert in any of this Tech that I’m talking about. I’m just a geek that loves to talk about or learn about new tech and new things that are going on. So this is about nuclear fusion So currently all of the reactors that are out there in the world are nuclear fission, which means they split particles in order to create So fusion is kind of what happens on the sun nuclear fusion holds immense promise as virtually in exhaustible source of clean energy, but achieving controlled Fusion on Earth remains one of science Grand challenges due to the extreme conditions required to fuse Atomic nuclei.

Jonathan Irwin: So after over 15 years of construction and testing Japan has made a significant step forward with a successful initiation of plasma in their reactor gts-0sa. Six zero essay. it’s the world’s largest and most advanced experimental Fusion reactor and it’s located at the GAE NACA Fusion Institute. So the Tokamak reactor It’s designed to heat hydrogen plasma to over 200 million degrees Celsius. And maintain it for around a hundred seconds. So that is far so path to capabilities first of proceeding large Fusion devices and I think there was one in France as well. That’s also doing something but I’m not too familiar with that one. So it’s primary goal is to provide crucial data to help optimize plasma stability confinement and performance.

Jonathan Irwin: For this multinational organization called the international nuclear fusion research project. so iter for short is based in France and it aims to be the first Fusion experiment to achieve a net energy gain by the mid 2030s, and I know that sounds far off, but that’s not and with the first plasma Milestone that talk about has hid. It demonstrates its potential to validate key Fusion Technologies and operations critical to iter’s objectives. So if they can continue on this path fusion power can hold the promise to become virtually any gospel source of Base load energy worldwide and the good thing about this is it can replace everything it can replace. we want to replace We want to replace everything so we can be the clean energy that we’re looking for. But it’s still going to take years.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): This reminds me a little bit of the Bill Gates project that he’s working on which is fifth or 6th. Gen. It’s been a while since I looked at it nuclear or that eats its own. Can you tell me a little bit about first of all, this in itself isn’t really a nuclear reactor. It’s just thing to create plasma and eventually they’re going to build this reactor to create energy. So I’m what the purpose of this is just for scientific discovery what and we say it’s going to generate more energy than used to create the thing which usually becomes a perpetual energy machine which is what all science fiction eventually. That’s the thing that blows up right? we can’t shut it down. It’s creating its own energy. We so one.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): We’ve been promised nuclear and all sorts of alternative energy for a long time. 2030 is only seven years away.


Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): It’s not that far.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Are we going to see this? In Our Lifetime

Jonathan Irwin: That’s a great question. so without getting into too many of the details because I don’t want to say things that are inacc I know that as far as technology goes there are huge magnets. which were needed in order to build this test facility and I don’t think the technology was there until recently and So based on where we are with technology and where we’re going. I do think that we’re gonna see this in our lifetime. Are we gonna create a reaction that end up blowing up the world? I don’ think I think that’s why they’re doing this in steps and they’re doing this slowly in order to get to The Tipping Point, I guess

Jonathan Irwin: So I do think that there is that and I wouldn’t think of it as perpetual motion because obviously with perpetual motion and with the way physics are there’s really and…

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Perpetual energy not Motion Picture.

Jonathan Irwin: this is controversial. Protect your energy sorry,…

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, that’s right.

Jonathan Irwin: yes. Yeah it is because it’s going to continue to

Jonathan Irwin: produce energy from a initial start. So it’s a lot safer. That’s a good thing and it doesn’t produce as much byproducts. So if they’re less radioactive and shorter lived as far as Fusion byproducts. whereas fission produces radioactive waste that remains dangerous for thousands of years. So a couple other things to think about too is we’re fission. It relies on where elements like uranium that are non-renewable Fusion uses hydrogen and Isotopes. So it couldn’t Theory be utilized sustably sustainably from seawater, which is kind of cool.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Interesting. I read about the project delays. What were the challenges they faced and how did it affect the overall? reactor project

Jonathan Irwin: is this is taking a long time because they need to get it. So it’s taken almost 15 years to complete.

Jonathan Irwin: To complete what to get to where they had. So it’s been redesigned after having initial issues it recover from disruptions. there was a 2011 earthquake in 2021 a serious problem occurred during testing when a superconducting coil. That’s those big magnets. I’m talking about right had a short circuit. So it damaged connections it required over two years to fix but it could have been much worse if power levels are higher which is why I’m saying they’re doing this in steps to make sure that they’re not gonna blow up the world the incident highlighted the importance of cautious testing so given the much larger scale. So it also showed that unforeseen complications can link in construction just substantially. So this is all new technology and

Jonathan Irwin: if you think about when you’re getting into new technology, for example quantum computers those take forever. So everything is taking much longer because the technology is newer and we’re pushing the boundaries of what we currently know.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, I kept reading if there’s more energy in the circuit. It could have been much worse, but they never actually say…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): what much worse could be. And when we’re talking about this kind of stuff, I like to know if that was 10 times chart of what if we had a hole in the ground and a bunch of people dead or what it just been.

Jonathan Irwin: That’s a good question. to be honest. I don’t know what much worse could be and that would be a question for someone who’s an expert in nuclear energy. But it is a good question. It’s something that we should be thinking about and questioning because obviously we have experts who are doing this and they’re doing it in baby steps to make sure that things catastrophic don’t happen, but you never know. This is new technology and there could be problems that happen that even the experts couldn’t foresee. So Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, they just said much worse five times in the article, but they didn’t elaborate and I felt it was. they were leaving stuff out.

Jonathan Irwin: Yes, absolutely. They’re definitely gonna leave stuff out because this is such a new technology. they don’t want to release too much information and worry people where because if they’re not worried then I guess that might be a good thing. I’m not sure.


Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): little curveball here when we’re gonna get backyard nukes.

Jonathan Irwin: It actually funny enough. in I think the 50s 60s there I think was GE that was touting and it could be wrong. I’m touting these individual nuclear reactors for homes. And I do honestly think that we will get to that someday. I won’t be It could be nuclear fusion, but he doubt it because of the byproduct but it could be a hybrid of something but I do think we are going to get to something like that. We have people right now who are dropping off the grid because of the advances in solar technology now, so I don’t know what that looks like. But our great can’t sustain all of the electronics and everything that is currently on it. All of the amperage that people are pulling it’s too much we need something that’s going to solve that so

Jonathan Irwin: Is it nuclear fission? I don’t know. It’s a nuclear fusion. I doubt it, but it’s something.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): And between you and me, it’s my understanding that the military is already using these so-called backyard nuclear reactors to power, remote posts or whatever they’re doing. But hey, that’s the conspiracy. We’ll move on.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah, yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Our Second Story. It’s all about batteries. You’re talking about, Batteries there’s always a topic of batteries. And before we get into this I want to say there’s always been that saying you’ve probably heard it and when it got There’s Liars. There’s still feet dirty filthy disgusting liars, and then there’s battery Engineers. So for every Tech project for everything, they promise they’re gonna deliver this thing and they deliver nothing anywhere close to it. So sulfur selenium solid state batteries from NASA breaks energy storage boundaries. So this is obviously a Hot Topic we’re talking about dropping off the grid and being able to do things. What is this sulfur slantinum battery?

Jonathan Irwin: So this is cool because this is potential for avionics. So as we know batteries have been powering clean energy, but right now the best battery out there that we currently have is lithium ion technology. That is a scalable technology that is available. It’s in your cell phones. it’s in everything pretty much that you use. But the energy density and safety of lithium-ion as you’ve heard batteries have blown up on the plane exploded they’ve overheated there’s a whole bunch of problems with them because they’re unstable if you could do an experiment. I don’t suggest you do this. But if you take a lithium ion battery and you hammer and you destroy it, it could potentially overheat so it’s very unstable.

Jonathan Irwin: So NASA has this program called the Solid State architecture batteries for enhanced or chargeability and safety Sabers for short and they’ve been researching batteries Beyond lithium ion for critical applications. And like I said Aviation So the latest development is a sulfur selenium solid state battery and I like to say it’s a prototype because obviously it’s demonstrating great potential to advance Air energy storage. So what that means is with an energy density essentially. It has an energy density that’s double that of lithium ion. The other thing is it has an ability to rapidly charge. and also withstand harsh conditions

Jonathan Irwin: so there’s significant cost barriers that remain before we can commercialize the technology so There are some event there’s lots of advantages over lithium ion. but obviously there’s still some barriers as far as commercializing and scaling it all that sort of stuff.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): So I understand that there’s no liquid in these

Jonathan Irwin: No, these are solid state. So I’m what that means is that there’s without getting into battery chemistry or how batteries are made. it’s just that there is How do I explain it?

Jonathan Irwin: it’s just all of the pieces within the battery are solid if that makes sense.


Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, I’m just saying so we’re not going to get leakage. And based on…

Jonathan Irwin: No.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): what I read because there’s no water You don’t have to package at the same way. So It’s lighter.

Jonathan Irwin: No, it’s lighter. yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): You don’t have to wrap every individual cell you can plunk it together.

Jonathan Irwin: exactly Yeah, and that’s funny you say you don’t drop each individual cell because if you actually look inside the battery of a Tesla.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): It’s a bunch of Triple A or double a batteries. Yeah, I know people that realize that it’s just a bunch of single batteries wrapped together

Jonathan Irwin: That’s what it is.

Jonathan Irwin: Build your own if you wanted right you just go to buy a bunch of duracells or Energizer not sponsored by either those but yeah. Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, I’d rather those are brands are probably the better ones to get honestly, they leaked too much. If you leave them around and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): packages and stuff anyway, yeah.

Jonathan Irwin: I do know with the sulfur technology is not the only one that’s being developed. there’s lithium selenium. There’s sodium ion. There’s a whole bunch of different batter different battery technologies that are being developed that we don’t need to get into today. but the reason why this one’s cool is because when it comes to planes, I’m the problem with the current batteries is they’re too heavy and that their energy density is to low which means amount of power that you need the weight is too much for the amount of power that you need. So all there are some electric airplanes out there, but none that can sustain a long flight like what we need currently for a commercial airplanes.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, and you mentioned charge fast, so I didn’t see the charge fast, but I read the discharge fast. So I guess that gives you your plane taking off power boost that it needs but How fat much faster does it charge when you’re talking about planes and that’s great. I think we’re gonna see it in other things depending on how rare so first selenium the content of the batteries are Because unless the price is too high. We’ll see commercial use in other areas first before, planes How fast faster is the charger versus lithium lithium?

Jonathan Irwin: From what I read it’s able to discharge 10 times faster than then lithium ion.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): But does that mean it can charge that much faster? Okay.

Jonathan Irwin: Yes, I don’t know if I can chart but I know that it can charge and discharge faster. I don’t know how much faster can charge but I know based on the article that I read. it can discharge about 10 times faster.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, because EVS are big topic and we’ll get to that probably in the next episode or shortly anyway, and one of the big drawbacks is it even with the fast charger can take an hour to charge and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): if you start thinking about, going to the gas station and standing there for an hour. it’s not attractive. So if you can get that down to minutes it becomes a different proposition.

Jonathan Irwin: Absolutely, then it’s just like filling up your gas tank and there’s other issues with that. So the issues with the discharging and charging is the energy density around the lithium ion batteries as well. so In order, so it’s out when you’re charging a battery you’re adding more and ions into it. And so the quicker you can get those in the quicker. They can come out if that makes sense.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Absolutely. what are the challenges for reaching commercialization? When are we going to see something like this?

Jonathan Irwin: So the thing is okay that again this is a prototype. So there’s the performance metrics you promising but there’s issues around. Like I said the battery cost they’re testing certification protocols that can take years. So even though they’re touting this is safe technology, even it’s still in Prototype phase. So, as they continue testing and testing to certain specific certification protocols, they could run into additional issues, but what they’re saying in this articles that early testing is showing promising. and the thing is for aircraft if we wanted to use this in aircraft the cost would need to decrease significantly and I don’t know what that number is but also because it’s a prototype they still need to improve energy density cycle life, which is really critical and lifetime energy throughput they need to make sure that all of those are more viable so advancement


Jonathan Irwin: They is advancements that demonstrate five to ten year lifespan under flight thermal pressure Cycles, which could support initial electric commuter plane deployments. They’re seeing 2030. so again follows that timeline maybe we’ll get Vision before we get these new batteries, but so fully certifying designs suitable for Trends Continental passenger Jets may require even longer. but again in order to overcome that for now if they wanted to they could come up with some sort of hybrid solution. It would be better than what they have now.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): They have to come up with something for cars because if people haven’t noticed the second hand market for electric cars is non-existent. They wear down faster and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): then you can’t resell them. So they don’t last as long per number of reasons like the tires where faster because they’re heavier. And so the question is in the batteries,…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): usually 70% of the car, what’s gonna happen to the auto market in four or five years. When most these EVS batteries aren’t working the way they used to and you need to trade them in specially in place like Canada. I’m

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Optimistic about something like this because of the solid state nature of it in cold weather.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): We lose a lot of power and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): on your batteries and whatnot. And it has an impact and people it’s all great if you’re in California, but if you’re here in Toronto and Canada anywhere and every year we have at least one if not multiple traffic jams on the 400 where people are stuck in the snow for 11 hours. Do you want to be that in your Tesla when it’s negative whatever outside and…

Jonathan Irwin: No.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): your batteries at what level and you’re just trying

Jonathan Irwin: No, you lose about half of your range in the winter. Almost like you can it’s crazy. It’s absolutely nuts. The other thing too Craig to think about too is recycling these batteries it’s ly it’s nearly impossible. I think I could be wrong but it’s very difficult very costly and I know over in Asia, I think it’s China or Japan they’ve developed some technologies. This isn’t a solution but they’ve develop Technologies where instead of sitting there charging they take your car in.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): You drop the battery. Yeah.

Jonathan Irwin: Not the battery putting anyone and I don’t think that’s the solution either but I think that we absolutely do need some sort of new battery technology. And I know there’s a lot in the works. This is just one. I thought it was cool because it’s NASA and in case you didn’t know NASA is the one that gave us our wireless drills high torque high power wireless drills, they developed that for working out in space and that technology now is what we use every day, so

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): That I did not know.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah, yeah something cool.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): So we got one more article here a little bit more up my alley as it were about the other stuff isn’t and we’re gonna talk about EVs and another episode because that’s a rabbit hole in itself. So what’s this article from beta kit that says? Canada is struggling to convert startups to scallops.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah and being you and being in the startup world, I think we definitely mirror that statement. All right, at least I’ve seen it and so a new report that came out from EDC which is export development Canada found that While Canada’s startup sector has experienced impressive growth growth in recent years the country still faces challenges in helping young companies transition to large-scale Enterprises. And what they say for that is that they cite inadequate levels of private sector R&D spending as well as difficulties accessing later stage finance and financing options as factors hindering Canadian startups. from achieving scale compared to peer Nations

Jonathan Irwin: On top of that what the analysis found was that conversion rates from startup to establish businesses, leg International standards. So in the article itself. It’s summarizes key findings of the EDC report which suggest that policy and programming adjustments are needed to strengthen Canada’s competitiveness in converting Innovative startups into globally significant scale businesses, and I know that Canada also dropped so there’s this report that comes out on global the amount of R&D that’s coming out of each country. I know Canada has dropped in that as well.


Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): So when they say comparative countries, I know you probably don’t have the answer to this and I always hate when you see stuff like this…

Jonathan Irwin: important

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): because is that pair by GDP by population is the US to comparative?

Jonathan Irwin: I didn’t.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): So Canada struggles for multiple reasons we’re one of the largest countries in the world. Physically, and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): we’re spread out. So it is hard to Target a large enough market in a single geographic area in Canada. Where in a European country of the same GDP it wouldn’t be So that’s a big thing. But secondly, that’s it. We just got to keep that in mind. I’m not making excuses. it’s just harder. So, I always suggest you you tackle a small Market here in Canada get your stuff down and then if you’re ready, let’s attack the US.

Jonathan Irwin: Go. Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah. you might get it, it’s easier to figure out your messaging in your market and all that kind of stuff here your product Market fit and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): then use, Government funding you can talk more about that in a bit about some of the stuff you can use to go International but Historically and I’m gonna say some baby controversial things here because this is the way it is. Unfortunately the government’s been going about these things much the wrong way. I’ve seen them give lots of money to IBM Google big companies that are based elsewhere. They give them millions of dollars to help startups. So they help small businesses and whatever and the most promising ones they buy and they take to the US. So wait a minute. Why are you giving this money to US company to deal our IP and take the best IP away. are you not seeing what’s happening here? it’s just why are you doing that?

Jonathan Irwin: Absolutely.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): so I Focus on keeping the IP here, why are we not with BDC future preneur even with an organization like mine working with the governments and all right with these accelerator programs. Why can’t we work out a thing where we keep the IP here? Why can’t we get a percentage of Ip that actually go to the Canadian government?

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): We’re a socialist society what the hell and then that funds incubator and accelerator gives us more money to prop up the clean tech industry. Secondly, why are we not adopting these Technologies? If we have these homegrown great Technologies and great startups. Why are we not getting our cities municipalities giving them funding to adopt these things and being a leader. So there’s a few things here.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): I’m gonna get thrown over you because I can rent all day on this particular thing. Why do you think we’re struggling from startup to scale up?

Jonathan Irwin: I first off I love the shred program the excited research and experiment to development. It’s Canada’s largest funding program at over 3 billion dollars. But the problem is they make it so prohibitive to be successful. And I know there’s fraudulent claims and all that sort of stuff, but we’re the only country and I’ll tell this We do give back the largest tax credit out of any nation that I know of. I’m pretty sure 60 in Ontario 63 cents on the dollar. but

Jonathan Irwin: The way so everywhere else. It’s called the R&D tax credit. It’s based off the frascad Emanuel which for doing R&D, but Canada has decided to hone it in. So you have your R&D project which covers a lot more cost than you have your shred which covers a sliver of that R&D cost. So I think that they did make some positive changes to The Shred program in the recent years, and that was Jason’s shop home great guy from Array, he made some great positive changes and they’re going back to kind of making it easier but they’re still challenges there. It’s still very convoluted program still very difficult and the biggest thing outside of the terrific being a tax credit. The biggest thing is there’s a huge disconnect between what an actual startup is and what the government sees as a startup.

Jonathan Irwin: And the government sees a startup as well. You’ve been in business for two years. You probably have some Revenue you have some employees. That’s not a startup is they’re fresh. there may be pre Revenue. There may be bootstrapping like they’re struggling about to an MVP they’re struggling to get to appeal and so what the government needs to recognize and hopefully some people hear this is that they need to recognize that there are the startups there that are struggling to find funding because there’s nothing really out there because of these definitions that the government has


Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): There’s also a grant and I can’t remember what it’s called. But it allows you to go into the US for example and do a bunch of marketing and whatnot. That is something that’s interesting. I always like that program. I’ll throw it over in second, but my thought also is why doesn’t the government

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): streamline that they have a whole department that actually helps you we say, okay, The conference is here here who got discounts will show you how to roll this out? Because we want you to scale. Why are we not spending money doing these things rather than saying? startup that we’ve defined as a company that has some Revenue maybe employee or two. I’ve been two years of business you go figure it out rather than saying here you’re going into the us. We have a whole program that’s gonna help you and we have people designed to when you’re ready. We know we have this criteria and here’s where we help you. I like the program as it exists what you tell me? What’s it called?

Jonathan Irwin: Can just get the plan export to me yet? Yeah, they’ve reduced it.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): and what do you get for that?

Jonathan Irwin: You get 50% up to $50,000 used to be 75% up to 75,000. so the other thing with that too is it’s now it used to be open all the time. You just apply and in whatever used to be rolling intake now, it’s not and that’s the other problem with a lot of these funding programs is they’re closing all the time. So they’ve got the small Windows of opportunity. If you don’t know about it, you’re gonna miss the boat. And back to you Craig is like okay, that’s great. That’s to help companies expand outside of Canada.

Jonathan Irwin: And if there’s someone out there that knows about a good program, please let me know. But What about promoting products within Canada to help them grow within Canada and get to a point within Canada? So I know there used to be the built in Canada program. I don’t know if there’s something that’s still around like that. But that one was very different to apply for and the one other thing with can export is that you need at least a hundred thousand dollars in revenue and the product before you can apply for it. So again, there’s the disconnect we’re saying between what is an actual startup is and what the government sees the startup.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): yeah, and let’s face it straight is great, but other people have told me was it EA and all these huge development houses are taking advantage of coming here and hiring people they’re not exactly startup. So it’s not just them that take advantage of that particular program.

Jonathan Irwin: No.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): I go back to why do we have and I’m not trying to knock any of these programs? I’m gonna mention just so why do we have Founders Institute?

Jonathan Irwin: whoa

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): A program run from the US but we have Canadian people running here. But they take a percentage of the company. And again, it goes back techstar similar thing us-based. These are the main type of accelerator programs that way now we have the Ryerson DMZ.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): That’s great. sorry it’s just DMZ because it’s Toronto metropolitan University. I think I’m still gonna call it Ryerson.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): But we have some of these other programs that we need to really be thinking about. All right, let’s do some homegrown stuff here. Let’s keep the IP here. let’s have a stars program where we’re the IP here and taking a percentage of the business and like I said rolling that over to fun more programs. So we start doing it here rather than letting all of this stuff go to the US and yeah, I think we need to have more To eat our own dog food in Canada for lack of a better This is startup word phrase and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): that we stop Canadian that we start looking at all these things here. I am not a big fan of when our prime minister is going out and dancing around on the world stage unless he’s trying to bring money and investment back here seems like more time. He’s trying to figure out where he’s gonna throw our money and resources elsewhere in the world versus, let’s talk about how we gonna fix our inflationary economy. How are we gonna get everyone back to work? How are we going to do all these things and small businesses and startups are at the heart of that.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah, and I know you’re talking about the DMZ there’s a couple that are decent like that. I should not decent they’re good. We’ve got one 11, we’ve got the accelerator Center. I think those are two really good ones. I know Community Tech is good still. I think the other big problem too is you have a lot of these companies because there’s lack of fun here. We do have Angel Investors for sure. We do have a bunch of different things, but we don’t have enough.

Jonathan Irwin: that are available and that have enough funding to support these companies which is why a lot of these companies are becoming almost foreign owned because they have to go outside of Canada to get their funds. So the other flip side to that outside of government funding is the private sector is in the private funding and all that sort of stuff. So we’ve got the dilutive and the non dilute of and they’re getting there. I know there’s a lot of new funds that are coming out that are specific. I know There’s one for women in Tech, which is awesome, but there’s still a huge gap there.


Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): I agree Community Tech’s great 111’s gray, but 111 is just new from a government-funded kind of a place that was privately held before. But also they’re not National they’re not International.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Jonathan Irwin: No.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): In Vancouver. There’s no Community Tech all over this is what I’m talking about. We don’t have a nationalized program. We don’t have it funded to say let’s get the best companies and the best ideas from all over and figure out how to bring them to the Forefront rather than just saying, I run Toronto starts with the largest startup community in Canada. I mean we have access to all these great resources here and we help as many startups as we can. But that doesn’t mean

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Vancouver Calgary Pei Newfoundland have the same access to these resources, especially when they’re localized so It’s not the same level across the country. They won’t have the same skills the same teachers the same level of mentoring that they would necessarily in Toronto. You might get better ones. Don’t get me wrong. But because we’re isolated or…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): nicely concentrated here, as you know,…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): a tech Mecca and a place to get funding really most of the deals happen in Toronto. That’s why people come here to try and get the funding. All…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): that’s not what we have across the country. So what should the Canadian government be doing about Community Tech? Lab and are these things we should be replicating? how do we futurepreneurs a great program to start here and go up the ladder? There’s a lot of great programs. At least that one is nationalized. So it’s across Canada. But this is I guess my point is they’re at very early stage. Once you get up there. There’s creative instruction lab. There’s a lot of great programs around. It’s just that they’re either privateized or very local

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah, and the problem is with us being that the mecca the Silicon Valley of the north here possible but not because of that but cost of living is high and so that’s also cost prohibitive for the startups to come here and to Startup even though this is where they would get access to the incubators and accelerators and different things like that. So we’ve got to think about obviously now post pandemic there’s a lot more options out there to do virtual. But again, and I’m a big proponent of hybrid work.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): it’s not the same.

Jonathan Irwin: I love it. but if you’re always virtual. You’re not gonna get Same amount of support here. it’s unless someone can come up with a solution right now. Currently, it’s not the same as going into and sitting one-on-one with people and in mingling and talking with people. so

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): We recently had our mentoring magic event. I talked to the mentors and the individuals our next one will be virtual and everyone I said that too said, it’s not the same as in person on it’s not the…

Jonathan Irwin: yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): They would rather drive three hours pay the 50 bucks for parking and come to the event they’d rather do that than be able to flip a switch and…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Zoom so I think there is a right balance again. I love being able to do hybrid stuff because I’m not actually live in Toronto. I’m about an hour outside. So it’s a pain in the butt for have a coffee with someone in Toronto where we get approach all hey, let’s go for coffee. But yeah, the hybrid approach really works but it’s not the same as when you’re in person. You don’t make the same relationships. You don’t make the same connections and I don’t know understand enough about the psychology of human nature the pheromones the body language the interactions that makes that in person relationship different or more long-lasting from a memorable point of view than a virtual one.

Jonathan Irwin: Absolutely. Yeah, I know virtual is better than a phone call because you’re meeting someone face to face, but it’s never as good as meeting someone in person ever and that connection that you established over a drink over lunch. Whatever is a stronger connection than virtual but I must say I do like that. We do have a virtual option now that helps to kind of in that transition period in that kind of that middle ground, but just having a zoom call or teams call or something. Maybe it’s more getting focusing more on Virtual presence technology or something that’ll help but I don’t think so. We’ll have to see what comes up. Maybe we can talk about Futuretech when it comes to Virtual presence or something in the future. But yeah.


Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): absolutely, I think I don’t want to get too often tangent because about to wrap this up. But yeah, we miss something here. The educational system is missed something when it goes hybrid. You lose something from focus from an educational point of view. Definitely a feature topic…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): but speaking of it we see each other or once a month, maybe twice a month physically,…

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah. Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): but text we’re on messenger or sorry LinkedIn mostly. And then we do the zoom thing when let we’re working on this.

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Let’s chat and that works great. It’s just you’re right about the hybrid aspect of it. So we don’t always physically have to be in the same space, but I gotta say I went into the office the other day down to house love workhouse, and I enjoyed working out of there all day. Versus working by myself. So it’s something to definitely think about

Jonathan Irwin: when I went into workhouse and met you the other day, I got to run into Ryan Spears who’s the CEO and him and I had a great conversation, which we probably wouldn’ if I hadn’t had gone into the office. So

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): Yeah, shout out to work house. By the way, great partners of Toronto starts. They have nine locations. I think access drop in space 24 hour access to one location plus access to all the other ones is 350 bucks a month. It’s nothing that mean you can have offices all over town. So check them out. I know it’s not really an ad but they’re a partner of ours. It’s great. So don’t Absolutely.

Jonathan Irwin: we’re awesome. Yeah.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): So this has been a wonderful speaking of networking. Check us out at startup drinks We do a monthly networking event Jon’s usually there I’m always there. it’s open bar pizza craft beer from a local brewmaster startup come out and join us. There’s rapid fire pitches startup drinks to get your Tickets and check out Toronto for all our upcoming stuff. What do you got to promote today?

Jonathan Irwin: What that’s yeah, I’m gonna help promote. When is the next one? I think we have one coming up in November right Craig.

Startup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): November 23rd

Jonathan Irwin: Yeah, and yeah nothing. I’m just guys if you have any questions about Futuretech, if you have any questions about government funding about where you’re at with your startup, feel free reach out to Craig reach out to myself happy happy to vet any questions and happy to have more conversations if anyone has solutions to any of these problems that we’ve identified, especially when it comes to Government funding when it comes to private funding would love to hear it because we do have the ears of a lot of people and it does help sometimes I know it moves slowly with government, but every little bit can help sometimesStartup Coach TorontoStarts (The Startup Coach): If you’re an expert in one of these areas, we’re talking about and our incident coming on and discuss this stuff with us. Let us know reach out to us. Those links will be in the show notes. We’d love to hear about it. If you’ve got something interesting or articles you’d love us to send that in as And again all that in formation. All the links our contact info will be in the show notes. I really appreciate you taking the time this week I really appreciate all those listeners. Remember to subscribe on your local podcast app so you can get us every week. Thanks a lot for your time today Jon and thanks everyone for listening to Futuretech podcast.

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