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The Toronto Region Board of Trade’s Trade Accelerator Program (TAP), which helps companies develop an export plan with the help of mentors, is getting $5 million; an additional $1.7 million will go to expanding TAP into Northern communities. TAP aims to help 1,000 Ontario companies export. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The funding is part of the government’s six-year $1.1 billion Export Diversification Strategy designed to increase exports by 50 per cent by 2025. When the strategy was announced in November 2018, the government said Canada has relied on a single trading partner, the U.S., for too long. Ng’s appointment to the new Export Promotion file in July 2018 came during a time of strained U.S. relations amid USMCA negotiations; that tension continues today as USMCA still has not been ratified. In Monday’s announcement, the government said its participation in USMCA, the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement, and the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership gives Canadians access to 1.5 billion customers abroad. Ng told The Logic that the TAP program received funding due to its track record; of the 530 businesses that have received support, 47 per cent experienced sales growth and 85 per cent explored a global marketplace.

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Fernández won 48 per cent to current Argentine President Mauricio Macri’s 32 per cent. The peso dropped over 30 per cent, and the country’s main stock market fell 35 per cent. (Financial Times, BBC)

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Talking point: If Fernández can maintain his current support levels, he’s on track to win the presidency during the October 27 general election; Argentine law grants victory to a candidate with over 45 per cent of the vote, or over 40 per cent with a 10-point lead. Fernández’s priorities include boosting workers’ rights, expanding pensions and undoing many of the austerity measures Macri has put in place since 2015. Macri has opened the country up to foreign investment and focused on a number of business-friendly policies. The election also has significant implications for the International Monetary Fund, which provided its largest-ever loan, US$56 billion, to Argentina and has backed Macri. Fernández has repeatedly suggested that loan should be renegotiated.

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Bond Capital has commitments for the full amount of the fund, which it disclosed in a Securities and Exchange filing. The venture capital firm was co-founded by Mary Meeker and other former employees of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a top Silicon Valley fund. (Axios)

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Talking point: Every May, Meeker releases an Internet trends report that’s a must-read for the industry. The 2018 edition, for example, mapped the increasing number of sectors in which Big Tech companies are competing, identifying Amazon’s big move into advertising months before it started to receive widespread coverage. At Kleiner Perkins, Meeker backed the likes of Slack, Uber and Spotify. Bond plans to spend more of its money outside the U.S. than Meeker’s former employer, but that likely means Asia rather than Canada—she devoted an entire 24-slide section of the 2018 report to China’s tech sector.

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The report found that communities with a heavy influx of pot shops have not seen a decline in housing prices, and that some regions actually see what looks like a pot-related uptick. In particular, some parts of eastern Canada with cannabis production facilities—like Smith Falls, Ont.—have had real estate booms. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The results counter a January RE/MAX consumer survey, which found that 65 per cent of Canadians would not want to live near a cannabis storefront—at the time, the firm interpreted this result as a risk for local housing prices. Canadian survey respondents seem to overestimate pot’s effect on real estate—another survey conducted by listings firm Zoocasa in early October found that 32 per cent of Canadians think dispensaries lower housing prices in an area, though that figure is down 10 per cent from a year ago. Overall, legal cannabis has added $8.26 billion to Canada’s GDP since legalization a year ago, though the industry has faced significant hurdles, including a dearth of storefronts, lower-than-expected sales and the widespread decline of pot stocks.

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The chipmaker will buy Smart Edge, which increases computing speeds by splitting up data and storing it closer to users. Pivot is signing a preferred partner agreement with Intel, which makes the Canadian tech company an authorized reseller of Smart Edge software. (The Logic)

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Talking point: This deal is a key part of Intel’s new push into 5G tech after Apple bought most of its modem business in July. It hasn’t traditionally focused on telecommunications networks, but shortly after closing the deal with Apple, Intel CEO Bob Swan said his company would be doubling down on 5G. Edge computing is a major focus for the technology, since it helps reduce latency and increase speed. For Pivot, this is an opportunity to offload a business that’s been struggling to grow—according to the firm’s security filings, Smart Edge didn’t generate significant revenue in the first half of this year. Meanwhile, the preferred partner agreement puts Pivot in position to eventually benefit from Intel’s developments of Smart Edge technology.

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The former prime minister will be an adviser to Beatdapp Software, a firm using blockchain to detect when a song is played on streaming services to try and collect royalties for artists and music labels. The company also raised $3.2 million in a round led by Panache Ventures. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Harper’s involvement is the latest boost for Beatdapp, which already partners with Entertainment One’s music label. Artists and large labels are eager to find a way to audit what Apple Music and Spotify pay them. It’s a simpler route than suing the firms, like Eminem is doing to Spotify, or trying to launch a competitor, like the struggling Tidal. Beatdapp promises to find up to 15 per cent more royalties for songs than would normally be allocated. Streaming services in the U.K. made about $1.4 billion in 2018, of which artists and labels took home about $789 million. A 15 per cent increase, in other words, could lead to tens of millions in additional revenues in that one country alone. As Beatdapp tries to expand overseas, it’s banking on Harper’s connections around the world, particularly in India; tracking music from Bollywood productions could be quite lucrative for the company.

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About 60 per cent of Netflix’s global audience watches its children- and family-oriented content every month. As the streaming wars heat up, it’s investing heavily in the division to keep that audience. (New York Times)

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Talking point: The gambit comes as the November 12 launch of Disney’s own streaming service looms. Netflix is losing the rights to all Disney content, including popular titles like the Pixar movie Coco, which will reappear on Disney Plus. The Mouse’s service will also be cheaper than Netflix, at US$7 a month compared to US$13. But ahead of the Disney launch, Netflix has snapped up former Disney talent, including signing a multi-year deal with Kenny Ortega, known for the High School Musical franchise. It’s also bought the rights to iconic youth-focused titles like NBCUniversal’s Jurassic Park franchise, and has even made a deal with late author Roald Dahl’s widow to revamp classic stories like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The effort has cost billions, but the biggest issue may be quality control: its new film Tall Girl, about a teenage girl who’s ostracized for being over six feet tall, has debuted to weak reviews.

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Equation Angels will consist of 200 investors from three southern Ontario-based angel groups: the Golden Triangle Angel Network (Kitchener-Waterloo), Angel One (Burlington) and Southwestern Ontario Angels (London). Jess Joss, previously executive director at York Angel Investors, will lead the alliance. (The Logic)

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Talking point: The three groups that make up the alliance focus on early-stage tech companies—collectively, their existing portfolio covers a wide range of sectors within the industry, from Big Data to health and social media. The network is promoting itself as a catalyst for Canada’s transition from a resource-based to tech-based economy. But Canada’s tech sector faces major challenges before it can claim a major part of the country’s GDP—last year, my colleague Zane reported on an internal government document that cautioned Canada’s tech sector was falling behind the rest of the world. Among the challenges it laid out was the outsized role of subsidiaries of foreign companies in the sector—an issue a stronger domestic investor presence could help address.

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The share of people aged 15 to 64 years old with jobs hit 74.7 per cent, the highest rate since 1976, the first year for which Statistics Canada has comparable data. The agency’s Labour Force Survey showed the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.5 per cent, a 0.2 percentage point month-over-month reduction. The public-sector workforce and self-employment rose in September while the private-business staff count fell, although it is still up 2.3 per cent compared to 2018. (The Logic)

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Talking point: Ontario and Quebec account for almost all the job gains over the last year. That follows the industry trends in employment. The health-care and social-assistance and accommodation and food-services sectors saw the largest increases in September (30,000 and 23,000, respectively), and larger provincial populations mean more people to serve. There were conflicting signs in the innovation economy. While STEM workers are doing well, the sectors that include many tech and science-based businesses posted mixed results. Employment in professional occupations in natural and applied sciences—a field that includes engineers, statisticians and IT workers—was up 16.7 per cent compared to September 2018, and that growth accounted for over a quarter of the total increase in employment across Canada. Employment in the information, culture and recreation sector—which bundles in some tech businesses—was down 2.9 per cent, while professional, scientific and technical services rose 8.2 per cent.

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The appliance company had also planned to build an electric car from scratch in Singapore, but said that was no longer commercially viable. The company had 523 employees working on the project. (Financial Times)

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Talking point: Founder James Dyson had planned to use the company’s proprietary battery systems and high-tech manufacturing to build electric vehicles that would compete with the likes of Tesla and transform the British company, known for its high-end vacuum cleaners. Dyson had earmarked about US$2.7 billion for car and battery development, but hasn’t said how much it’s spent on the endeavour since announcing its plans two years ago.