I’ve been working with Canadian entrepreneurs for over a decade and lived the evolution of our tech ecosystem. When I started my career in venture capital in 2010, the truth is that I had to spend a lot of time explaining to people what it was. It is truly amazing to see how far we’ve come and I consider myself lucky to be a part of it.
Warning, the following is typical, corny and… true.
I absolutely love what I do. I love structuring business models, solving complex problems and measuring the results. Helping entrepreneurs build and achieve their dreams is intellectually stimulating and fun. I would do it for free. In fact, I have!
The early days of my career in venture capital
7 years ago, back when the Canadian start-up ecosystem was starting to blossom, most large accounting, advertising, consulting and law firms wouldn’t give start-ups the time of day. I spent a lot of time connecting my network of keen young professionals with entrepreneurs struggling to build a link with their local business community. I would hear an entrepreneur tell me about how much of their precious resources they used up trying to figure out their online marketing strategy and think: “If only you could have spent 45 minutes chatting with someone at a large ad agency and you would have cut your waste in half!”. So, I teamed up with a few of my peers and we co-founded Committees for Entrepreneurs which curated advisory committees composed of Canada’s most talented young professionals and paired them with local entrepreneurs. For free. After years of working with dozens of entrepreneurs, I’m proud to say that we recently shutdown Committees for Entrepreneurs. The ecosystem had evolved to a point that it didn’t need us anymore. Most major professional services firms now have a start-up program. VC investment in Canada has increased from $1 billion in 2009 to $3 billion in 2016. Much of the gap has been filled.
White Star Capital
There’s still much work to be done to develop the Canadian start-up ecosystem and I’ve recently joined the team at White Star to continue down this path — to do my part and back the next generation of Canadian tech giants. I’m also excited about leveraging my experience in working with and investing in B2B tech companies to support my colleagues in Montreal, New York, London and Paris.
After 7 years in venture capital, I chose to join White Star because I believe in the thesis of backing entrepreneurs with global ambitions. White Star has established itself as a leader in the Canadian VC landscape by filling a gap of building global businesses through its international network. My colleagues have built a strong reputation in the start-up community by going above and beyond to help entrepreneurs succeed in Canada and abroad. Heavy on the work and light on the bullshit. I’m proud to be joining the team.
If you are building the next ambitiously global business out of Canada, please reach out. I am always keen to help in whatever way I can.