BDC broadens support for entrepreneurs

The development bank is deploying $700 million to increase financing for the most promising Canadian clean-tech firms

BDC broadens support for entrepreneursA record 56,000 entrepreneurs receive support from the Business Development Bank of Canada, a 14 per cent increase from last year, according to the BDC’s 2017-2018 annual report released on Thursday. “The ambition, agility and creativity of entrepreneurs inspires us to go further, faster – because when entrepreneurs succeed, Canada succeeds. We not only boosted…

Soup’s on: major upheaval awaits the food industry

Kraft Heinz may not get its hands on Campbell Soup, but the industry still faces major consolidation and widespread change

Soup’s on: major upheaval awaits the food industryCampbell Soup Co. stocks soared after news suggesting the company could be bought by Kraft Heinz Co., one of 3G Capital and Warren Buffett’s pet projects in the food sector. Even though the deal is highly unlikely, the rumours point to a much larger story in food processing. Since 2013, the acquire-and-cut modus operandi has…

It’s halftime! Are you winning?

Most small business leaders have no defined goals, they’re unsure what to keep track of and they’re floating from year to year

It’s halftime! Are you winning?“How do we win?” I asked. “We need to score baskets,” they answered. “How do we score baskets?” Donncha asked. “We need to pass and we need to shoot,” they answered. Our questions went on and on. The scoreboard told the story. It was halftime and our team was down by six points. The girls…

The decline … and fall … of Tim Hortons

How an iconic brand lost its Canadian identity and why its corporate masters probably don't care

The decline … and fall … of Tim HortonsThe bad news keeps piling up for Tim Hortons. Leger and National Public Relations recently released their annual report ranking Canada’s most admired companies. Google and Shoppers Drug Mart topped the rankings of most respected companies, regardless of where the company resides. Google has been No. 1 for six years. Kellogg’s, in eighth place, is…

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weak

The venture capitalist is actually looking for a the reason not to invest in your company

How a venture capitalist knows your deal is weakIt is an industry accepted standard that venture capitalists will fund one of 100 deals. Some entrepreneurs will not be given more than a few minutes to pitch, others will get a longer meeting, while a lucky few will move into a process of successive interviews and discussions. But, in the end, only one deal…

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalists

Learning these five facts - even if you don't want to hear them - will save you time and frustration

5 facts to know before approaching venture capitalistsEvery year hundreds of entrepreneurs and investors congregate at the base of the mountains at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Over the course of two days, approximately 50 IT, life science and cleantech companies make their pitch to an audience of venture capitalists and angel investors. Panels, speakers and networking round out the…

Raising capital is not always the only option

Instead of pitching for investor money, start to focus on pitching for revenue

Raising capital is not always the only optionMost of us in the entrepreneurial space, whether building, supporting or funding early stage companies, assume attracting investor capital is just the normal course of business. We have been conditioned to believe or accept that once an entrepreneur gets a business underway raising investor capital is just part of the plan. Some entrepreneurs begin crafting…

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalist

If you can't make your pitch within 10 minutes, however, you're not ready

There is only one way to meet a venture capitalistHow you approach a venture capitalist (VC) can be the difference between receiving a quick glance or gaining direct attention. It can be very tempting to cold call venture capital web search results or chase down a harried VC at an entrepreneur event. While those attempts may work, it's a low probability tactic and just…

How to put a value on your technology startup

Attributing value is a source of countless rolled eyes, smacked foreheads, arguments and sometimes outright failure

How to put a value on your technology startupWhen a new company is launched, the odds are stacked heavily against the entrepreneur. It is stacked especially high against the tech entrepreneur. University of Tennessee Research tells us that more than half of all new businesses fail by the end of year four but only 37 per cent of technology businesses remain operable by…

All venture capitalists are not created equal

Some entrepreneurs who complain about their venture capitalists remind me of that guy who gets mad after buying a car without first performing his due diligence

All venture capitalists are not created equalMost times, raising capital is a tough haul. Endless pitching, grueling due diligence and an enormous commitment of time and money is usually required. But once in a while there is a company that rises up and grabs the attention and the imagination of a swarm of venture capitalists (VCs) in a relatively short period…

Beware the bad investor

Here are a few warning signs that you may be falling into the clutches of a bad investor

Beware the bad investorIn an ideal scenario, your deal has attracted such interest that you have the luxury of choosing your investor. Most entrepreneurs are not afforded this luxury and will often need to take the investment dollar that is offered. This I understand. Raising money for emerging companies can be incredibly difficult, so when money is offered,…

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymore

The differences between angels and VCs used to be vast, but the variances are no longer quite so clearly visible

Not much difference between angel investors and VCs anymoreThe start-up is going well and now it’s time to pursue capital. The friends and family networks are running thin. Who are you going to call? Angel groups exist across the country and there are VCs (venture capitalists) you might want to see. The rule of thumb is to call them all: both angels and…

Why won’t Canadians invest in our future prosperity?

Trillions of dollars in Canadian-controlled funds should be driving our economy. Yet our prime minister is forced to look for foreign investment help

Why won’t Canadians invest in our future prosperity?Prime Minister Justin Trudeau travelled to Davos, Switzerland, this week to spark interest in trade and investment in Canada. This kind of rhetoric usually gets a bit of press but is largely ignored by the general public. Should the average person be interested? In order for our society to operate effectively, every citizen is expected…

The wisdom of raising the minimum wage

The discrimination against human capital is one of capitalism's most egregious errors. It’s an error Tim Hortons’ franchise holders are making now

The wisdom of raising the minimum wageGovernments in Alberta and Ontario have finally taken the plunge – starting on Jan. 1, they've raised minimum wages. Predictably, the pushback from business has been ferocious. You'd think aliens had landed. Provincial politicians are perceived to be either dangerous anti-business zealots or champions of the little guy, depending on which side of the capital/labour…

Fed’s small business tax tweaks won’t help the middle class

The uproar across the country to Ottawa’s small business tax reforms has triggered more back-pedalling, but no good solutions

Fed’s small business tax tweaks won’t help the middle classBy Charles Lammam and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party were elected for, among other reasons, their commitment to a more prosperous economy, particularly one where the benefits flowed to the middle class. Since coming to power in 2015, there’s almost nothing the federal government has done without first couching…