Make your pitch stand out

The blogosphere is littered with posts on how to prepare an investor pitch. Many VC firms have even posted their preferred format. As an example, here is Sequoia’s.


Imagine if you’re a VC hearing 3 pitches/ day, 5 days per week. That’s over 700 pitches per year! If every one followed the same format, you’d tune out.  Continue reading Make your pitch stand out

Achieving big exits in the SMB sector

I gave a talk this week at the Small Business Web Annual Summit on how to achieve big exits for startups serving the SMB Sector. If you don’t know about the Small Business Web Association (and your startup serves SMB), you should sign up. The event featured execs from 400 SMB-focused companies. It was a great opportunity to connect and compare notes on growing great companies in this sector.

Anyway, my talk was on SMB exits. The SurePath team helped me crunch a bunch of data, looking at IPOs, acquisitions, who the most active SMB buyers are and what the key success factors are for companies that achieved great exits in this space.

Here are the slides. Continue reading Achieving big exits in the SMB sector

Exits in Canada: April 2016

Screenshot 2016-05-01 22.41.34

After a strong March, April was a pretty tepid month for software exits in Canada. Highlights:

  • 11 deals announced (15 last month)
  • 2 deals had a disclosed value, the largest of those being $ 14M.
  • 3 of the companies were in Toronto, 2 in Ottawa, the rest were distributed
  • 2 of the 11 companies were VC-backed, the rest were either bootstrapped or had not raised any institutional funding
  • 5 of the buyers were Canadian, 3 were from the US, the rest were distributed
  • 5 of the buyers were public
  • Median time to exit: 15 years (11 years for last months’ deals)
  • Shortest time to exit: 5 years (although there was one stealth company that may have been younger
  • Longest time to exit: 37 years!
  • All of the buyers were strategic. No private equity deals this month. Same as last month.

All in all, a pretty underwhelming month.

It was nice to see Toronto’s Wattpad show up as an acquirer having bought stealth company Anirobo.

As always, I report on these each month. If you’re interested in seeing the underlying data, I keep it here.