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Commons_Stock_May_2012– All the News of the Commons

PEI has own Dragon’s Den for StartUps

Hannah Bell (+ a few friends) is organizing PEI’s first Start Competition – here are the details:

Are you the right candidate?

Start Up PEI Challenge

Have you dreamed of starting your own small business, but haven’t been able to take that first step?  What would it take to get you started?  You know you don’t need much – an idea, a plan, some cash, some support.  Here’s your chance – tell us about your idea, and why you should be the one to win the first Start Up PEI Challenge, and you could win a package of capital, business and management skills to launch your entrepreneurial idea to the next level.
Challenge Award and Benefits: Updated April 26

Start Up Business Package now valued at over $3000, including:

  1. Cash prize of $500 ~ Donated by Hannah Bell, winner of the ACE Regional Competition
  2. Business and project planning consultancy ~  Service and mentoring provided by The Solution Agency (approx. value: $500)
  3. Domain name registration and website design ~ Service and mentoring provided by Logikl (approx. value: $500)
  4. Social media and marketing consultancy and launch ~ Service and mentoring provided by Tinker Media (approx. value: $500)
  5. Search engine optimization, Adwords setup and Google analytics setup ~ Service and mentoring provided by Top Search Result (approx value: $500)
  6. One month full membership at Queen Street Commons, providing meeting and work space, mail and intranet, printing and phone as well as invaluable networking opportunities (approx value: $200)
  7. 500 c0lour single sided business cards plus basic setup from KwikKopy Printing
  8. Valuable media exposure
  9. Ongoing mentorship and networking opportunities

Eligibility Criteria

  • Applicants must be residents of PEI for at least 6 months of the year.
  • No age restriction applies – minors must have the support of an appropriate legal guardian for any financial and legal requirements.
  • If applying as a group rather than an individual, please ensure there is a single point of contact who is nominated as the lead for the submission.
  • All entries must be in English.

Submission Criteria

  • REQUIRED: Name, email, phone number for primary contact
  • Other team members info if applicable
  • Describe the business you want to start, and why it is innovative and/or impactful.
  • Why are you qualified to make this idea happen?  What makes you a (potential) entrepreneur?
  • What are you doing now – are you a student, do you have a day job, is this business idea your ‘passion project’?
  • How would this award make your business happen?  What do you plan to do?
  • What else can you tell us that you think we should know?

Submission Method

Written submission, no more than 3 pages


YouTube Video submission, no more than 3 minutes

Email written submission or YouTube link to

Submissions must be received by 11:59 pm ATL May 20, 2012.  Submissions received after that time will not be considered.

Key Dates

Competition Launch                      April 23 2012

Competition Close                         May 20 2012

Evaluation of Submissions           week of May 21-25 (extend to May 30 if volume required)

Award Announcement                 on or by May 31 2012

Follow Up (6 months)                   December 1 2012

Why a Networked Artisanal Economy will work for PEI

This is a great future for PEI and is in our reach. This is why the QSC is backing StartUp Canada and their visit in the week of May 7th.

If you like this vision – join us at the QSC on May 8th – details here

One of the most challenging parts of PEI’s situation is that we don’t have enough young to sustain our society in the next 25 years. This problem is shared by all the Provinces in Atlantic Canada.

For a generation, governments have tried to change this by doing their best to attract large employers to set up operations here. This has not worked and, as the industrial model further concentrates, has even less chance of working now.

So we have a government sector that is too large, on PEI 65% of GDP, a large group of people living off the social system, a few people with jobs and a lot of ultra small businesses. The only sector here that has any chance of keeping our young home and of attracting young from away is the very small.

In the past the very small was only for hobbyists. The web now makes it possible for once were hobbyists to access a global market. Young women in villages in England sell knitting patterns to a market in the millions. Authors self publish books on Amazon.

For what is also new is that there is a large and growing market for products and services that people can trust – defined as those made by persons and not faceless organizations. Grass Fed Beef versus Feedlot Beef. Real soap versus chemicals. Real IT support versus and Indian Call Centre. Real Toys versus dangerous ones.

So who would come and do this? Are not all the young going to the cities? Yes many still leave the boonies for the city. But many of the city folk are now leaving the city. Those that are leaving the city are among the most aware and thoughtful.

They cannot make a good living in the big city anymore.

For they too cannot get the paid work that will enable them to pay the high prices for housing. Many also don’t trust the faceless organization as an employer anymore either. They don’t trust them to keep their word as an employer or keep the quality of what they do.

They see no future for themselves as employees of the big or as citizens of the big.

These people want to make a difference. They want to raise their kids in a real world. They don’t care about the flash and the glitz. They want to do real things and so be real and live in a real place.

They want to find a REAL HOME.

PEI is a great place to do this from.

There is a huge spread in housing costs in favour of a move here to support you. A 700 square foot condo is priced at about $350,000. You can buy a mansion for that here or say 50 acres and a home for half of that in Eastern PEI. You can find the home at a price that will not be a millstone. A low housing cost is a prerequisite for a life of meaning.

Then we offer community. Not a thousand friends on Facebook – but a real human community. There are networks of Foodies, Film makers, Artists, Musicians, Programmers, Marketers, Teachers, Writers – You will find support right away.

We offer a REAL BRAND – for with all our faults – this is still a REAL community and we are SMALL and will never be that corporate.

And so what do these people do for us? 10,000 families that have these values moving here in the next 10 years would change everything for the better. We would restore the vitality of our society. We woud build the economy that can sustain us in difficult times.

We would have a future. So I ask – Get Behind this – I know of no other way.


Do you want to take charge of your health? Learn More at the Queen St Commons April 11

Are you interested in taking charge of your health? If so we, Robin and Robert Paterson,  are putting on a short Lunch and Learn at the Queen St Commons 224 Queen St at 12 noon April 11. We plan to give you a glimpse at why this is possible, what pragmatic steps you can take and what are the best resources that we have found in the last 12 months that have helped us the most.

You can email me or go to our event facebook page

About a year ago we made a big decision. We were going to take charge of our health. We were blessed with some excellent advice from one of the world’s top scientists on aging, Dr Michael Rose, and we went off and did a lot of homework on the new science of health and aging.

By taking some straightforward steps in diet and how we lived, we have pulled ourselves back from the brink. Not only have we lost a lot of weight, but more importantly our health has improved. I, Rob, went for being pre diabetic to having the metabolism of a 25 year old. Robin’s chronic and painful arthritis has gone.

You can prevent chronic illness and you can get well if you have it.

In this 45 minute session we will:

  • Show you the new science of how to age well
  • Offer you our hard won pragmatic advice for how to change what you eat and do and how to cope with the deep desires to go back to our old ways
  • Offer you a guide to the best people and information that we have found in a year of searching for good material on the web – so that you can help yourself understand more

The Time for a Redesign of Capitalism is Here – Even the 1% Agree

From Davos via Bloomberg

International investors say capitalism is in crisis, with almost one in three backing radical changes to the system, according to a Bloomberg survey.

As the global financial and business elite gather in Davos for their annual forum, a majority in the Bloomberg Global Poll agree that income inequality hurts the economy and that governments need to do something to address it — ideas at the heart of “Occupy” protests worldwide. Those surveyed also voice reservations about the financial industry’s role in society, with seven in 10 seeing at least some truth in the argument that banks have too much power over governments.

“Capitalism is in crisis because there is a huge and growing disparity in income/wealth distribution in Western economies, and an equally divisive generational disparity,” poll participant Michael Derks, chief strategist for FXPro Financial Services broker in London, said in an e-mail.

“It requires government intervention on an enormous scale, because an economy cannot survive if it does not invest in the younger generation,” Derks said.

More than 70 percent of those polled believe the system is in trouble, with 32 percent saying it needs a “radical reworking of the rules and regulations.” The other 39 percent think the turbulence will ebb on its own, according to the quarterly poll conducted Jan. 23-24 of 1,209 investors, analysts and traders who are Bloomberg subscribers. Fewer than one in four say free enterprise is working as it should.

Seventy percent of those surveyed say Europe’s economic troubles will cause social instability in 2012, including riots or other unrest.

I am encouraged!

Fine Wines, Inspired Art & Good Company at the Queen Street Commons

Our artists will be: Stephen B. MacInnis, Kris Santos, Geraldine Ysselstein and Renee LaPrise!

Our wineries will be: Newman Estate Wines, Matos Winery and Rossignol Estate Winery