Jacob Serebrin

Journalist and author


Jacob Serebrin

Business reporter at the Montreal Gazette



Cuba's emerging startup scene given a Canadian tech boost

Few countries are as technologically isolated as Cuba. Home Internet is rare, data plans are non-existent and, in a country where doctors make the equivalent of around $70 a month, paying almost $3 an hour for government-run WiFi is too steep for many. Yet, even here, tech startups are beginning to emerge and they’re getting some help from Canada.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Finally some good news for Lac-Mégantic

Two years ago, things looked bleak for small businesses in downtown Lac-Mégantic. The train disaster that killed 47 people in the community of 6,000 in Quebec’s Eastern Townships also destroyed much of its historic town centre. Thirty buildings were levelled in the explosion and the fires. Another 37 downtown buildings that were still standing after the flames were put out were torn down over what town officials described as fears of contamination from the millions of barrels of crude oil spilled from the derailed train.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

‘There’s an inevitable headwind against entrepreneurship in Canada’

As Canada’s population continues to age, immigration will play an increasingly important role in the creation of new businesses but it won’t be the only solution. A recent study released by the Fraser Institute suggests that the demographic shift towards an older population is already dragging down the number of new businesses starting in Canada.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

What small business means to big-city mayors

Canadian politicians love to talk about supporting small business and nowhere is that more true than in some of our largest cities. But what does it actually mean? The Globe and Mail asked the mayors of Canada’s four largest cities about their their challenges, big wins and why small business matters to them and the cities they represent.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Hobbyists see success turning their passions into businesses

When Tom Jansen and Amanda Buhse started making candles together they expected to sell 15, maybe 20. Four months later, their products are in 11 stores and will be in the gift bags that go to nominees at the Oscars and the Grammy Awards. The Winnipeg-based pair, who sell candles under the name Coal and Canary, are now thinking about quitting their day jobs.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Canada is good at inventing, not so good at selling

In the late ’90s, Moncton-based Micro-Optics Design Corp. had the best eyeglass manufacturing machine on the market. By 2003, it had raised $50-million in funding, including $34-million in venture capital. Its intellectual property was picked up by a competitor in Germany. Four years later, the handful of machines the company had sold were still being used and they were still highly regarded.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Medical marijuana companies find creative ways...

When Chuck Rifici and his business partners set out to promote their startup, they didn’t buy advertising. Instead, they took the company public. It was an unconventional move, but Mr. Rifici’s company isn’t exactly a conventional one. Tweed Marijuana is one of Canada’s new batch of legal medical marijuana growers and while these companies sell directly to consumers, they’re banned from advertising.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Canadian franchise owners unfazed by Quiznos bankruptcy filing Add to ...

Quiznos Corp. franchise owners in Canada claim they’re not worried that the sandwich chain’s parent company has filed for bankruptcy protection in the United States. But experts say it’s too early to tell just what the filing will mean for franchise owners and for the class action lawsuit a group of current and former franchisees are bringing against the company in an Ontario court.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Federal budget part 2: small businesses question long-term impacts

Small business groups say they’re generally pleased with Tuesday’s federal budget, but questions still remain about its long-term impact. While the budget was light of big promises it did include some measures that could help small firms save money. But Lionel Miskin would have preferred more details.
Toronto Star/Star Business Club Link to Story

Butcher, baker and shoemaker: what’s old is new for young entrepreneurs

Across the country, many young entrepreneurs aren’t taking the high-tech route of making apps or software or hardware. Instead they’re building small businesses in traditional, and sometimes artisanal, fields.
The Globe and Mail Link to Story

Past Visions Of A Future That Never Came

Montreal wears many of its ambitious failures on its sleeve but others have been forgotten. Some never made it off the drawing board, others were built only to be scrapped when the city changed. Here are six of Montreal’s forgotten visions of a future that never came. Introduced in 1968, the Turbo was Canada’s first – and only – attempt at high-speed rail.
SiLO Montreal Link to Story

Toronto’s Canopy Labs brings big data analytics to small, medium business — needs scale

Toronto-based Canopy Labs is only a year old, but they’ve already run pilot projects on their data-mining analytics platform with a diverse group of big names, including the Toronto Argonauts, the Canadian Opera Company and deal-of-the-day website WagJag. The early success has come fairly easily, but further expansion means increasing overhead, and if the company’s strategy for building out it’s platform isn’t directly on the mark, scalability will be handicapped by the cost of development and winning new customers.
Toronto Star/Star Business Club Link to Story


Jacob Serebrin

I'm a business reporter at the Montreal Gazette. Before that, I spent four years working as a freelance journalist.

I've covered trends in venture capital, young people starting traditional businesses and how medical marijuana companies are dealing with marketing restrictions for The Globe and Mail.

I've written about two federal budgets and a provincial election in Ontario for the Toronto Star's Star Business Club.

I've written hundreds of briefs and covered dozens of earnings calls for the Ottawa Business Journal.