How to Avoid Post-Seed Operational Debt

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https://www.flickr.com/photos/fallsroad/ All growth comes with pain and companies are no exception. The key is to find the stage-appropriate balance between testing and knowing, agility, speed and process and diligence in each key area of your operations. This is often more art than science, but a healthy tension is fundamental for success. I have spent my entire career ...

Stop selling me love and show me traction

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Love ≠ validation. Startups often struggle with how to differentiate between love and validation. Getting this wrong can lead you astray and quite frankly, makes you look naive. Investors don't invest in love, nor should you choose to double down on love. You need to showcase validation through traction and you need to make decisions based on validation. So, ...

Intrinsic Hustle – What Nova Scotia Needs

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There's much talk about what Nova Scotia needs. To me, it's quite simple. Nova Scotia needs scrappiness. You can get this one of two ways: 1. As an output of chaos, despair and hunger. Purposefully cut the proverbial cord or wait for the eventual downfall and force people to survive. 2. Find those who have this intrinsic ...

What a multiple is and why you should care

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Multiples can influence the perceived value for an investor and the actual valuation of your company in significant ways and you should know why. There are numerous ways to value an early-stage tech company. I won't get into the various methods in this post, but you can check out an overview prepared by a colleague of mine, Greg Phipps. One such ...

I am not a token, I just happen to be female

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In my role as a venture capital investor at Innovacorp over the last year and a half, I have attended a fair number of conferences and events. From the start, I noticed many gratuitous mentions of "we need to get more women in tech," "we need more representation of women in VC," blah, blah, blah. Honestly, it ...

7 Questions Interview Series: Angels and Venture Capitalists

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The following post includes my answers to Chris Herbert and Mi6's 7 Question Interview Series: Angels and Venture Capitalists.  You can find the full version here.   When would it be appropriate for a startup to seek investment from you? Warm us up first; let us get to know you. Start with developing a relationship. The best investments are ...

Stop Trying to Predict the Financial Future and Go Make It

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-http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2008-05-08/- Let me start by letting you in on what may be a well-known secret – investors don't believe your startup’s financial projections and never use them as you provide them. The part of the secret that may not be as well-known is that early stage investors don't expect you to have it all ironed out right ...

City Building Part 1: The Downtown Project in Las Vegas, Nevada

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It seems everyone is interested in how to build the next tech hot spot or "Silicon Valley-of-the...". Organizations like MIT (various articles & business reports) and thought leaders like Brad Feld with Startup Communities have a pretty good take on it. Canada is no stranger to "Silicon Valley-of-the North"  thinking, with Ottawa being at the center of it in ...