GRIT - Ed.05 - Magazine - Page 24
Chau and Chris Simair. Its headquarters were located in Winnipeg, and
had a strong presence across Canada
and the USA before it was acquired by
Just Eat in 2016 for $200M. Andrew
is now a co-founder of Neo Financial,
a fintech company with the mission
to build a better financial experience
for all Canadians. Chris is the founder and CEO of Harvest Builders Fund,
investing in prairie-based startups.
Layer 6 was originally founded
by Jordan Jacobs and Tomi Poutinen and acquired by TD Bank in
2018. Both founders continued with
their investments with AI by later
co-founding Radical Ventures and
the Vector Institute.
The folks from Workbrain, David
Ossip, David Stein and Daniel Debow, grew Workbrain
from zero to $100M in sales in six years. All founders
continued to invest and influence the tech ecosystem
in their own ways. Ossip went on to be the CEO of Daystar, and now leads Ceridien and is a prolific angel investor. Stein and Debow co-founded Rypple, which was
acquired by Salesforce in 2011. Stein is now the founder and CEO of Leaders Fund, a VC firm that invests in
SaaS companies, which has invested in Ada (N36 ‘12),
Kindred, Top Hat among others. Debow also co-founded Helpful with Farhan Thawar, which was acquired by
Shopify in 2019.
A different type of startup and success story is Adam
Felesky, who helped build Horizons Exchange Traded
Funds. This was sold to a Korean firm and Adam is now
the head of Portage Ventures, a venture firm founded
by Paul Desmarais Ill and Power Financial. They have invested in Dialogue, Wealthsimple, Koho, Flybits, League
and many more.
So, over and over and over, we see that as people
build great companies and have their exits, it starts the
virtuous cycle of renewed investment in the ecosystem.
WHAT’S GOING TO COME NEXT?
Verafin was sold for over $2.75B; Wattpad was sold
for over $800M — that money is going to come back
into the country’s startup ecosystem, and it's intelligent
capital. It's patient capital. It's committed capital.
Today's Canada is vastly different
from that of four decades ago. We
have evolved from a nation of savers in the 70's and 80's, to become
a nation of investors in the 80’s,
90’s and 2000’s. In the 2010's,
we became a visionary nation of
risk-takers and now we are a nation
that is committed to innovation
and our startup ecosystem.
THE CANADIAN FUTURE
We have committed
$500 million in community
investment by 2030 to help
There are many benefits to being
located in Canada. Our employment costs are lower than those
of our American counterparts and
we benefit by having a significant
number of academic institutions in and around the innovation epicenter. In southern Ontario alone, we have
University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University
of Western Ontario, University of Windsor, Ryerson University, York University, Queen’s University, and a range
of colleges. It is imperative that we harness that brainpower, retain it in Canada, and support the dreams and
ambitions of our entrepreneurs.
We also have a significant influx of new Canadians,
who are highly skilled, well-trained, and well-educated.
New Canadians that are so excited to be here; so proud
of their new country and are often risk-takers, committed to building something really spectacular. Because
to them Canada is the land of opportunity.
The future of Canada will be companies solving significant global problems, which are founded, funded, supported, and accelerated right here, in this great nation.
THANK YOU, JOE
Silver link cufflinks, a small
token of our appreciation for
a true champion of Canadian
innovation from all of your
friends at NEXT Canada.
Life can be unpredictable. At Scotiabank, we believe it’s important that everyone has the ability
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it has to be nurtured and invested in over time. ScotiaRISE is our 10-year, $500 million initiative
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