Back in 2013, Interview Rocket was going to be the next big tech success. Reported Bill Power in the Chronicle Herald:

Interview Rocket Ltd. of Halifax can accelerate development of new features for its online interview service after securing more than $250,000 in seed funding.

Some of the cash, announced Monday, will be used to launch a comprehensive marketing strategy, the company said.

“We have been approached by a number of organizations in various industries looking for schedule-independent video interviewing solutions,” Craig Brown, founder of Interview Rocket, said in a news release.

“It turns out that video interviewing is not just for recruiters.”

Interview Rocket said it secured the seed money from various sources, including the First Angel Network, Cabot Technology Solutions and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

The online interviewing system combines video recording technology with an easy-to-use interface that allows recruiters to screen candidates up to 10 times faster than using traditional methods.

According to the developers, clients can save about $6 on wages and associated hiring costs for every $1 they spend using the Interview Rocket online recruitment tool.

Power seems to have scooped the Herald’s in-house government propagandist Peter Moreira, who caught up with the story the next day on the Entrevestor website:

Interview Rocket, a Halifax startup that offers interview technology for recruiters and jobseekers, has landed more than $250,000 in funding from the First Angel Network, foreign investors and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

In an exchange of emails, CEO Craig Brown declined to reveal specifics of the funding other than to say it was above $250,000.

Well, here’s one of the specifics: $116,370 of it of $232,740 (not “above $250,000”) came from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

And now the company has defaulted on about half that amount, $57,849.43. ACOA last week went to court to demand the money (plus interest) from the company, which according to the Registry of Joint Stock Companies went kaput around the end of last year. Weirdly, however, the company’s promotional vid (above) is still live on its website.

Starting a company is risky business — I should know. Most new businesses fail within a few years. Craig Brown had what seemed to him a good idea and ran with it — there’s no shame in that, or in that for whatever reason the idea didn’t resonate in the market.

The problem isn’t with Brown or Interview Rocket, but rather with some bureaucrat in Moncton or on Argyle Street who thinks they can read the market and make investment choices on the public’s dime. Leave that guesswork to the so-called “angel investors.”

Supposedly, the angels are super-rich and super-smart and get to decide which new companies live and die by applying their private wealth in super-discerning ways and with super-oversight and super-involvement in the companies they choose, but increasingly I’m coming to believe that the angels’ angle is at least in part to leverage public investment in order to cover a super-tax dodge. It’s all one big paper shuffle, the angels and bureaucrats skimming what they can off the top, with the rest of us left holding the bag.

Oh, there’s a newspaper column devoted to covering start-ups, but you didn’t hear about the collapse of Interview Rocket in that column. Funny, that, eh? It’s almost as if the columnist is getting paid to avoid telling the public when start-ups fail.