Browsing articles in "The Digital Puck"
Jun 13, 2011
Robert Chaplinsky

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Jun 9, 2011
Robert Chaplinsky

Is $300 million the new $100 million?

Over this past year, three Canadian tech companies have sold with a transaction value exceeding $300 million, marking the best liquidity cycle we’ve seen in more than a decade.

The roll continues with Parametric Technology Corporation (PTC) buying Waterloo-based application lifecycle management solution maker MKS in May in a deal valued at $303.5 million. (Prior to this deal, IBM bought Clarity Systems in Oct. 2010 and acquired Radian6 in March 2011 for $326 million).

With 350 employees, MKS built a global customer base among manufacturers across multiple industries, including automotive, aerospace and defense, high tech electronics and medical devices. Continue reading »

Jun 3, 2011

FounderFuel launches Montreal-based accelerator program

The team behind Montreal Start Up and the recently-launched seed fund Real Ventures together today announced a commitment of more than $2 million dollars to the newly-created Montreal based accelerator program called FounderFuel.

Montreal Start Up is an investor in Beyond the Rack, the fastest-growing e-commerce company in North America in 2010. Real Ventures is a $50 million seed-stage fund.

Returning to Montreal after many years in Silicon Valley, Ian Jeffrey, former vice president at Tiny Pictures and marketing director at Shutterfly after its acquisition of Tiny Pictures, will launch the FounderFuel program and become its general manager. Continue reading »

Jun 2, 2011
Howard gwin

Picking the right funding partner

An entrepreneur asked me a question last week that I get a lot when I meet founders/CEOs: How do I pick the right VC partner?

My answer to that question reflects a bias from being on the operating side of the board table far longer than the funding side.

But here’s what I tell a CEO: If a company is in the fortunate position of having more than one venture firm interested in funding them, consider two requirements that every VC partner should bring to the table before making a choice. Continue reading »

May 30, 2011
Howard gwin

First Mentor Tuesday a success!

Our first Mentor Tuesday in Vancouver got off to a great start.

Over 40 senior technology executives from the Vancouver area attended the event, where they had the chance to hear from Dan Cordingley, president and CEO, Teradici, Ryan Volberg, CEO and chairman, Vivonet and Thierry LaVasseur, CEO, email2. Our guest CEOs provided insight and feedback on three great companies.

We could not have pulled together the event on fairly short notice without Clark Wilson LLP, (our gracious host), BDC, BCIC and CapWest. Continue reading »

May 19, 2011
Howard gwin

AceTech expanding to Ottawa

Ontario-based AceTech is expanding to Ottawa, opening a Roundtable Group there to provide CEOs with professional development and peer mentoring.

Don Chapman, corporate director and AceTech Ontario board member, will lead the Ottawa Group.

AceTech Ontario sponsors in the Ottawa area include the law firm Gowlings.

Programming for the Ottawa group includes the Annual Retreat at Blue Mountain Village from May 31 to June 2, quarterly dinners and power sessions in Toronto, together with the members located in the GTA. The backbone of the programming will be the Roundtable Sessions held monthly in Ottawa. Continue reading »

May 16, 2011
Howard gwin

Four ways to win the talent war

Mario Laudi, founder of the Toronto-based executive search firm Laudi Group, recently blogged about how similar the current tech market is to the late 1990s bubble. In his post, It’s looking Like 1999 again, are you ready for the party? he writes that jobs at tech companies are going unfilled longer as the war for talent escalates.

I agree with Mario wholeheartedly (and not just because we share an office space and are both grizzled tech veterans). There is nowhere near enough world-class talent to go around in the Canadian market.

Here’s why. We’ve got a great start-up environment right now, thanks to lower barriers to entry and web-based products that entrepreneurs can get to market sooner. The downside of this stampede is that the talent pool is getting watered down. Attracting the best is now a massive recruiting issue.

So what can you do to attract the best talent? Continue reading »

May 9, 2011
Robert Chaplinsky

Register to attend Rand Schulman Webinar May 10

Join for an hour-long webinar with guest Rand Schulman on May 10 at 1 p.m. EDT. We are asking people to register once at in order to access Rand’s webinar and all future DigitalPuck webinars and video content.

Seminar: Building a Profitable Business from the Freemium Business Model

Guest: Rand Schulman, founder and principal of Schulman+Thorogood Group, a business strategy consulting practice advising startups & new media companies. In 2005, Rand began popularizing the term “content engineer” to describe marketing’s new role in creating, distributing and optimizing the different types of content required to engage customers on the interactive web. Continue reading »

Apr 18, 2011
Howard gwin

Execution Excellence: Little Things Matter

Ahmad Badruddin, CEO of Simpleafy, and Louis Tetu, Executive Chairman of Coveo, have never met. Yet the two men have a lot in common.

Louis, who I know because I sit on Coveo’s board and was a board member of his very successful company Taleo, is a veteran working on his third great outcome. Ahmad, who I met at Mentor Monday, is a newcomer in this highly competitive industry. So what do they share that is integral to winning in a very competitive space? They are both deeply prepared and understand the value of “focused” networking. Continue reading »

Apr 14, 2011

Jennifer Brooy on the EDC’s investment direction

We recently interviewed Jennifer Brooy, vice president, equity, at Export Development Canada about some of their recent deals, the EDC’s vast global network and how Canadian startups can benefit from a relationship with the EDC.

DigitalPuck: Can you tell us a bit about EDC and its investment direction?

Jennifer Brooy: Export Development Canada (EDC) is Canada’s official export credit agency. It is a Canadian Crown Corporation that provides financing and risk management services for the purposes of supporting and developing Canadian export trade and investment. Under one roof, EDC hosts three basic business components: insurance, lending and equity investments. Continue reading »


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