Stories of the Sleepless


Today's Capital Markets for Tech

May 5, 2015

The early stage capital markets are in constant motion. Low oil prices have shuttered the investing wallets of many Alberta business owners as they deal with the negative market impacts assaulting their businesses. Sometimes that’s actually true and other times it’s a very convenient excuse to decline a deal. The latter half of 2014 and the start of 2015 has tested the resolve of many entrepreneurs as they attempt to capitalize their businesses. Alberta still sees many tech startups get their “friends and family” rounds done but face a much cooler reception when venturing outside the circle of personal relationships for capital.  As it always happens, a tighter market requires a much better prepared entrepreneur and this in the end is actually good for us all. Too many deals get done in loose markets. Unprepared entrepreneurs get funded when there’s lots of cash sloshing around and the poor resulting investment returns damage the credibility of investing in this sector. In tighter markets such as this, we are seeing investors become more careful with their capital and demand that entrepreneurs are more careful as well. Investors are taking either i)a more hands-on approach, or ii) instead opt for deeper pre-investment due diligence and more thorough post-investment reporting in lieu. Deals might be harder to complete but the best prepared are still getting it done. Some of the entrepreneurs are becoming much better at assessing necessary capital allotments to complete stage funding. Some entrepreneurs raise $500k and see how far it’ll take them. Investors willing to take that approach are usually disappointed later and fewer of these now exist. Other entrepreneurs have done their homework and have “what-if” analyzed their forward-looking cash flow statements and generated expectations on the back of thoughtful and often tested assumptions. Those entrepreneurs are very clear about the utilization of every dollar and how it will provide the fuel to the next stage whether that next stage is market proof, growth or scale. They will make it to the next plateau or they won’t but everybody is on the same page going in. If they do make it, those investors will usually be there again at the next stage regardless of the price of oil. 


How to Create Massive Change

April 21, 2015

In 2012, my son asked me to join him and go for a run. Excited by the prospect of doing something together, I readily agreed and laced up my sneakers. I ran 4 blocks before my legs decided that this was quite enough. I was shocked. I was shocked because I was regularly running on a treadmill and I found out that it is not at all the same as running outside. My son was too. He looked at me with that look that must have been disappointment. I’m not sure what it looked like, because I couldn...

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Why do you eat out? No really. Why bother?

September 21, 2014

You can find great recipes online that will, with even a modicum of effort, churn out a dinner that would outperform most run of the mill restaurants. Maybe you’re looking to have someone else do the work, but it’s more likely that you simply want to be out and have a good time. Eating out is usually about an experience. With restaurants that make a real and concerted effort, you’ll usually find great fare or a great vibe, but rarely both. Achieving “both” is very hard. Nestled insi...

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Five Distinct Entrepreneur Personality Types and How They Each Run Their Startups

September 21, 2014

True entrepreneurs wrestle the future and bring it to us as they are the commercialization propellant of innovation.

Entrepreneurs create efficiencies, make things easier/better and sometimes even save lives. They also bring us entertainment, fun, fashion and better pie. These are an amazing people to know because they are generally glass half-full, forward-thinking builders who want to make a positive change in the world.

As we previously had a bit of fun withventure capitalist personality pro...

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