When should you get on the VC train?

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I think we can all agree that the startup industry pays too much attention to VC. Our conferences, press, and tweets are dominated by VC-related news. Which fund just raised more capital? Who got funded? Who’s the latest unicorn? I contribute to that fixation in this blog all the time. 

With the rise of accelerators, the holy grail for young startups these days seems to be to get into YC as early as possible and then go on to immediately raise from VCs post demo day. 

There are certainly some massive successes that have followed this hype-laden path: Airbnb, Dropbox and Gusto are some of the biggest winners that come to mind. Closer to home, YC grad Vidyard is crushing it. But they passed on the hype in the Valley. They came back to Canada and took their time. Continue reading When should you get on the VC train?

The role of Canada’s Startup Accelerators

The National Post published two articles (here and here) this week questioning the role / impact of Canada’s startup accelerator programs. In the first article The Post asks “Is Canada’s Accelerator Model Broken?”. In the next it goes on to say that “accelerators are failing to produce the next Hootsuite or Shopify“.

Having been deeply involved in FounderFuel, one of Canada’s leading accelerator programs, I’ve got some thoughts on this.

Continue reading The role of Canada’s Startup Accelerators

Saas Math Case Study: Dropbox

I’m guessing that most everyone who reads this blog uses Dropbox. The four year old company has over 50M users and adds a new user every second! It can be dangerous to use such run away successes as lessons when building your own startup. After all, most startups never achieve this level of success.

Still, a recent article in Forbes Magazine shed some light on their numbers and their success. If nothing else, these should serve as high level targets showing what is possible with a freemium SaaS company.

Continue reading Saas Math Case Study: Dropbox