Founder Institute Sponsors

Spiegel Sohmer

 Spiegel Sohmer is a firm of attorneys offering state-of-the-art expertise to a diversified business clientele seeking solutions that are innovative, concrete, and pragmatic. Our firm groups some forty five attorneys who concentrate principally within three broad specialties: business law (including Intellectual Property), tax law and litigation.  Spiegel Sohmer has extensive experience representing companies at all stages of their life cycle, from start up through to exit, and also represents a wide array of investors: www.spiegelsohmer.com 

Richter

Richter is, above all, a financial consulting services firm offering strategic support and has been a recognized member of the business community since 1926. Richter entire team consists of more than 450 partners, experts, high-level professionals and administrative employees. Because of this collective expertise, our firm has an unrivalled reputation and has earned the respect of the business community.

Futurpreneur Canada

Futurpreneur Canada is the only national, non-profit organization to provide financing, mentoring, and support tools for every business stage to aspiring business owners and startup founders: www.futurpreneur.ca

Kruger

Founded in 1904, Kruger Inc. is a major producer of publication papers, tissue, lumber and other wood products, corrugated cartons from recycled fibres, green and renewable energy and wines and spirits. The Company is also a leader in paper and paperboard recycling in North America. Kruger operates facilities in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Newfoundland and Labrador and the United States. (www.kruger.com

 


 

Community Partners

NACO Canada

The National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) accelerates a thriving, early-stage investing ecosystem in Canada by connecting individuals, groups, and other partners that support Angel-stage investing. NACO provides intelligence, tools and resources for its members; facilitates key connections across networks, borders and industries; and helps to inform policy affecting the Angel asset-class.

Anges Quebec

Anges Québec’s mission is to help its angel investors make profitable investments in innovative companies in a wide range of industries and in all regions of Quebec. To this end, Anges Québec identifies the best entrepreneurs and business projects and supports the Anges Québec members who finance them.

RJCCQ

Le RJCCQ soutient un réseau de jeunes chambres de commerce et d’ailes jeunesse à travers le Québec, représentant plus de 8 000 jeunes professionnels, cadres, travailleurs autonomes et entrepreneurs âgés de 18 à 40 ans.

JCCM

La Jeune Chambre de commerce de Montréal (JCCM) est un regroupement de près de 1 600 jeunes cadres, professionnels, entrepreneurs et travailleurs autonomes âgés de 18 à 40 ans, ce qui en fait un des plus grands réseaux de jeunes gens d’affaires au monde.

Hacking Health

Hacking Health is designed to improve healthcare by inviting technology creators and healthcare professionals to collaborate on realistic, human-centric solutions to front-line problems.

NM

Noticias Montreal is a Spanish-language media based in Montreal and founded by a group of immigrant journalists. Its main goal is to provide the latest news, information and features about Montreal, Quebec, Canada. NM wants to offer a helping hand in the immigration and integration process of the numerous newcomers as well as promoting the Spanish language.

La Gare

La Gare is a collaborative workspace. A place to work, connect and learn in the heart of the Mile End.

 

Identifying Your Competition

Posted by Jonathan Greechan on 2014-09-04

Founder Feedback gives you insight from the startup trenches.

In this post from his blog, George Deeb, Managing Partner at Red Rocket Ventures, explains the various levels of startup research and how to go about identifying your competition. He suggests starting with high level industry research and digging deeper to assess your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses.

George is a Mentor for the upcoming Autumn semester at the Chicago Founder Institute, which is currently accepting applications. If you or someone you know could benefit from expert training and feedback to help launch a technology startup in Chicago, then click here to apply today

"Lesson #19: How to Identify your Competition" originally appeared on the Red Rocket Blog. It has been republished with permission:

Lesson #19: How to Identify your Competition

Webster's Dictionary defines a competitor as "one buying and selling goods or services in the same market as another."  Pretty self explanatory at the high level.  But, I can't tell you how many times executives do not properly assess their full competitive set.  The goal of this post is to teach you how best to not miss any competitor that could get between you and your goals.

I typically start with high level industry research.  Find the major trade association in your industry and see who they are talking about as key players in your space.  Then do Google searches with the same keywords that will be important for your business, to see who is advertising around those keywords.  If those keywords are important to those advertisers, they are most likely directly competitive with you for all, or at least a part, of their businesses.  That should pick up the launched businesses.  But, you should also look in the venture capital funding records at sites like Crunch Base and Venture Beat, as well as as searching patent registrations at the USPTO to see if anything new is in the works, that directly overlaps with your business.

Once the high level research is done, you need to start digging even deeper.  This will include asking prospective customers of your business, if they are aware of any similar businesses in the market.  And, similar businesses could also include tangential businesses that could easily pivot into your space if you are successful.  For example, if you are launching an online restaurant reservation software, competition could easily pop up from tangential players like point of sale register manufacturers (e.g., Micros, Radiant) or other large online businesses in the restaurant space (e.g., Restaurant.com, OpenTable.com, Zagat.com).

Another example includes making sure you think about all players that are aggressively going after the same target audience, even if in very different businesses.  Let's say you are building a fishing website.  In addition to all the fishing websites, you are also competing with magazines like Field & Stream, cable networks likes Sportsman Channel, retailers like Cabela's, fishing gear manufacturers like Daredevil lures and online portals like Yahoo (that may have a fishing content section).  All of these businesses will be putting a lot of consumer marketing muscle to work to own the online fishing space, so prepare for a lot of competition from many different businesses all looking for the same fisherman eyeballs.

Once you fully assess who your current or potential competitors are, then you have to assess their strengths (e.g., customer base, revenue base, cash resources, product offering) and weaknesses to see if you can build a better "mouse trap" within your budget.  Some companies decide not to move forward at this point, because it is simply too much of an uphill battle to win the space, or will require much more monies than are available to spend.  But, if you are confident you can offer a better product, better pricing, better marketing tactics or bigger budgets than your competitors, then "bring it on!"

For more startup insights from George, check out more from the Red Rocket Blog and follow him on Twitter @GeorgeDeeb.

(Concept of team and competition in business image by Shutterstock)

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