Jeff Musson, the brains behind the Maple Leaf Digital Lounge (MLDL), wrote a guest column in the Globe and Mail today about his experience at South By Southwest (SxSW) and his plans to use the MLDL as a promotional platform across the US.
Here’s a sample of the column but I encourage you to click over to read it in its entirety.
Canadians lead the global marketplace in the social, mobile and digital media start-up space, but we rarely hear about these success stories.
The start-up community is falling behind by failing to promote itself south of the border and around the world. It’s difficult for a small business to make inroads in the United States, and one of the most significant challenges is the lack of promotional channels for Canadian companies.
The No. 1 event in the United States for firms in this space to promote themselves is the South by Southwest (SxSW) conference in Austin, Tex., held annually in the second week of March. It’s where Twitter gained notoriety and came onto the worldwide scene in 2007. If you are a start-up in the social, mobile or digital media space, SxSW is the place you need to be.
As an annual attendee, I came to the realization during last year’s conference that there were many Canadian start-ups in attendance, but we did not have a collective focus or presence and we were getting tuned out. When I returned to Toronto, I reached out to my fellow entrepreneurs and as an industry-led initiative we formed the Maple Leaf Digital Lounge (MLDL), a place where Canadian companies would be able to collectively promote themselves to the attendees of the SxSW festival.
Musson believes that it’s vitally important for Canada’s startup community to stand up and be noticed and has plans to use the MLDL platform at other conferences where Canadian startups can promote their achievements.