Why you need Canadian VCs

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I was sharing the news yesterday about Canada’s newest VC fund, Vistara Capital Partners, when my friend Boris Mann asked this question. My objective with this post is not to call Boris out. I’m sure many people ask the same question. But as a former Canadian VC and a huge fanboy of the Canadian startup scene, I feel pretty strongly that our companies should raise capital locally. Here’s why:

Local networks: The best companies can get money anywhere. It all looks the same. So, it’s the other stuff that differentiates capital. One area where VCs look to help is in recruiting. If you’re in Toronto, your SF-based investor can’t help much. Yes, their name brand might help. But they can’t actually help you. Whether it’s sourcing local team members, advisors, banks, etc. your homegrown VC can help. Read More

Only ask customers to make one buying decision

As a SaaS guy, I use a wide number of SaaS applications to run my business. Back when I was at FreshBooks, the finance team thought I was torturing them by always introducing new SaaS tools to streamline our workflow. One of the tools that I use to keep on top of email is Sanebox. This helps filter out non important emails so that I can be more responsive with the important stuff.

I got this message in my inbox from them yesterday: Read More

Canadian M & A Review – 1st half of 2015

We’re into the 2nd 1/2 of 2015. So I thought it might be useful to look back on the exits that have taken place so far this year. This analysis is looking only at venture-backed information technology companies. i.e. no cleantech, energy or other sectors that I just don’t understand.

All stats courtesy of Pitchbook.

Deal Count

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The traits of a great Startup Advisor

The two things I love to do most are advise founders &┬átheir teams plus close complex financial transactions. I love those things so much that I created SurePath Capital Partners so that I could do them all day long! It’s been just over two months now since I launched SurePath and it’s going better than I ever imagined. As I’ve settled into this new role, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be a great Startup advisor. Here are my thoughts.

It’s very common for startups to add advisors. Those advisors come in all shapes and sizes. Most advise on the side while they do something else. That can lead to inconsistent experiences. Ironically, the more prominent that person is, the more disappointing the experience is. With rare exceptions, if you have some A list startup celeb advising you, you might get some great intros, but they will be too busy being their fabulous selves to really engage.

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