I’m a loser baby…

Can someone please tell me how paying $3M to a business startup is not “picking winners and/or losers”? Especially to a company that was ALSO paid over $5M startup funding in Manitoba?
How many other business startups in the past eight years have received $10K/employee in training/startup funding? [looks out at dearth of hands being raised] That’s what I thought.
Couldn’t this money have gone to post-secondary institutions for workforce training? Maybe to Aboriginal bands to be used for training and education? Maybe to laid-off industry (mining, oil) employees for training in a different industry/job?
I just don’t understand how anyone can claim this isn’t cherry-picking. It’s also *completely* weird. Just like SPUDCO was. If the provincial government IS in the business of providing $10k/employee for training in startups, how do other businesses go about applying for this funding? Who do we talk to? What are the rules and guidelines?


3 responses to “I’m a loser baby…”

  1. Stooky Avatar

    Hey Cenobyte,

    I happened upon your blog because I searched for “sasktel phone hookup”. I think you know the article.

    The Skip thing is just one of those things. If you look at it from a pure business/capitalism perspective, you have to tip your hat to Skip for getting it done. I suspect they have some hard hitters in their corner, and maybe the SK government wanted to show MB what’s what. (NOTE: there are some bigger start-up initiatives brewing that I fear will waste a lot more money).

    If you look at it from a socialist/Saskatchewan point of view, you can argue about the other uses of that money forever.

    I wouldn’t give too much credit to the SaskParty on this one. I suspect that after the MB deal, the gears (of Skip related people, owners, board members, VCs, etc) were turning on “how can we do the same in SK?”.

    I don’t know how much you know about Skip, but they appear to be growing with success, but they still have a long ways to go to get ahead of the loaned money.

    The upside to the province is they are hiring a lot of people, and those people will spend those salaries. The company is renting office space, which puts money back into the economy, employs custodians and other people.

    There might be better places for the 3mil, but there are certainly worse places as well.

    Being close to the start-up / tech community in Saskatchewan (and a couple of doors down from Skip), it would be nice to see a HootSuite or RIM emerge on the prairies, and maybe they are the ones to do it.

    If it makes you feel any better, all of the other start-ups (especially tech) were sobbing the loudest about the allocation of funds. “What about me” kind of stuff.

    Although Skip is not a guaranteed home-run, the stuff they are doing is more of a sure thing than Spudco. My hope is that it creates more opportunity/revenue for the province than the 3mil.

    1. cenobyte Avatar

      I think my biggest bugbear about the whole thing is that this was THE startup that received support.

  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt Avatar

    Give the 3 million to consumers – let them spend it to support the companies they want to. Far less wastage.

i make squee noises when you tell me stuff.

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