Pitching to Investors

What is the goal of a pitch? Besides the raw business, investors are looking for a story. Lance Laking, Advisor, MaRS Discovery District and Investment Director, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, discusses how you can use the power of storytelling to grab an investor’s attention and deliver an effective pitch.

How to Build a Great Pitch

Your pitch begins as soon as you step through an investor’s door. Matt Golden, Managing Partner at Golden Ventures Partners, highlights key building blocks, ​as well as common mistakes to avoid, in preparing a pitch that makes you shine.

What Sets Your Pitch Apart?

Investors see several pitches every day, so it’s crucial to stand out. Ronald Alepian, General Manager at NATIONAL Equicom, explains how confidence can be a powerful differentiator when pitching your story.

Impact Donor Advised Funds: A Scan

MaRS’ SVX platform and Tides Canada have released a joint report on a new financial instrument in the philanthropic sector—the impact donor advised fund.

Tips from Venture Capitalists

Damien Steel and Daniel Klass share tips for entrepreneurs ready to raise venture capital. Find out how to best partner with venture capitalists and what your company needs to succeed in the long run.

How to Find the Right Investor

There is more to it than getting an investor to write you a cheque. In this talk, Damien Steel and Daniel Klass share advice on what it’s really like working with investors and why it’s key to understand how the business of venture capital works.

It’s 2016: The current VC landscape

Damien Steel and Daniel Klass look at the current venture capital landscape in Canada. They discuss how the global market has seen an unusual amount of new risk capital in the past five years.

Source of Early Capital

Marc Faucher, COO & CFO, Unata, says that before pursuing early sources of capital, it is critical to ask yourself a set of key questions. As a former venture capitalist, Marc highlights why his current company has yet to ask investors for any big cheques.

How to Raise Your First Round of Capital

Michael Katchen, Founder & CEO, Wealthsimple, raised over $30 million in the first two years in business. Michael shares insights on how Wealthsimple succeeded in finding investors and closing a large round early on.

25 Lessons Learned in Financing

Katherine Hague, Founder, Female Funders, learned a great deal on her fundraising journey. In this talk, Katherine shares 25 lessons for aspiring entrepreneurs, ranging from financing to perseverance to the need to maintain a work/life balance.

A Crash Course in Venture Capital

Janet Bannister, founder of Kijiji, shines light on her approach to venture capital as a general partner at Real Ventures. Janet discusses the characteristics that make a startup a great partner for an institutional investor

Lessons From Kijiji Founder Janet Bannister

Hear from Janet Bannister, Founder, Kijiji, and General Partner at Real Ventures, as she delivers key advice she’s learned as an entrepreneur. She advocates being proactive and deliberate in your career, creating your own opportunities, following your passion and treating people well.

How to Develop a Growth Mindset

Jennifer Corriero, Co-founder of TakingITGlobal, explains how working with a possibility mindset—that is, thinking about what could be possible—can help entrepreneurs develop a growth mindset. Jennifer also advocates that incorporating what you love into what you do will inspire better results and lead to growth.

How to Build a Movement

Chakameh Shafii, Co-founder & CEO, TranQool, explains that good leaders need to be able to understand the needs and wants of individual team members and to communicate their vision in ways that are meaningful to different audiences.

From Small Business Owner to Franchise CEO

Kristen Wood, CEO & Creator, THE TEN SPOT, recommends that aspiring entrepreneurs create a “to-do” list and then focus on those individual tasks. Hear how Kristen used the power of the to-do list to help her build her business into a Canada-wide franchise.

What Makes Great Teams?

Kevin Smith of The Story Architect says there are three critical elements that you need to get right to form a great team, including ensuring alignment around values and vision, and having the proper expertise. But the most important element is trust.

How Will You Lead?

Leadership coach Mic Berman advocates that to achieve cultural excellence in your team, you must be a strong, mission-driven leader. She underlines the importance of aligning your product, marketing and engineering, and of creating a system that values your employees and focuses on performance and motivation.

Building a Culture of Innovation: CIBC Live Labs

Daniel Estoesta and Emily Kok work with the digital strategy and innovation team at CIBC. See how using a startup mindset in a large corporate environment can change the culture to be more innovative. Their team strives to deliver rapid iterations and challenge established processes (legal, risk, operations) to improve agility and outcomes.

How to Find and Hire Top Talent

Mandy Gilbert of Creative Niche and RED Academy says you need to understand what you really require in a new role and honestly can offer candidates. She explains that you’re not hiring to fill a job, you’re building a team and a company. Your first hires set the tone for the future.

A New Hiring Paradigm

Michael Fox of Brightlights looks at why using buzzwords like “full-stack developer” doesn’t always yield the most talented candidates. Learn how to reframe your recruiting strategy and adopt a new paradigm of hiring that focuses on solving complex problems, maximizing your startup’s workflow and attracting outstanding people.

Seven Tips to Create an Employer Value Proposition

Whether you’re hiring one employee or 100, you have to be able to answer the question, “why should I work for you?” Daneal Charney, Senior Director of Human Resources, NexJ Systems Inc., shares seven tips to define your employer value proposition (EVP) to help you attract talented ambitious people to join your startup.

Part 3: Meet the Entrepreneurs Social Innovation

Four social innovators share how they lead proactively and focus on results while adapting and learning at each stage of their businesses.

Part 2: Meet the Entrepreneurs Social Innovation

This panel of four entrepreneurs discusses the challenges their startups face on a daily basis while on the leading edge of social innovation in business.

Part 1: Meet the Entrepreneurs Social Innovation

Kevin Taylor of the MaRS Centre for Impact Investing asks this panel of social innovators about their moment of inspiration to become entrepreneurs. They speak about thinking beyond traditional boundaries, leaving stable employment and, most importantly, embracing change.

Transforming Health Market Insights Series

Driven by a more conducive policy environment, enabling technologies, novel business models and more ubiquitous info-structures, the Canadian healthcare system is undergoing transformation. As captured in the infographic below, the transformation of healthcare can be summarized with five major shifts. … Read More

Forecasting Revenue

Michele Middlemore, Senior Vice President, MNP LLP, shows you how to build a bottom-up financial model. This pre-revenue model will help you calculate the potential revenue for your company by multiplying the number of likely sales for your product and is the preferred model for angel and VC investors.

Building a Solid Financial Model

Dave Conte, Managing Director, Bright BLU Advisors, tells us how to create a financial model that tells your company story, sparks important discussions within your team, and confidently pitches your business to investors, using clear financial assumptions.

A VC’s Perspective on Startup Finances

Aaron Bast, Senior Investment Manager, MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, knows startups do not have historic financials. However, he explains that entrepreneurs do have data they can use and can use this to communicate potential startup growth and scaling. Aaron discusses how to get investors excited and aligned by using your financial model as a core communication tool to advance your startup.

Challenges Scaling Outside Canada

Nancy Peterson, Founder & CEO, HomeStars, shares her experience in scaling outside of Canada. The critical strategies every long-lasting company needs to succeed in new markets are common—be ruthlessly focused, keep it simple and have extra funds in case the initial plan doesn’t work (or costs more).

Five Things Skateboarding Taught Me About Startups

Brennan McEachran, CEO & Founder, SoapBox, grew up skateboarding. It’s a sport filled with failure. Brennan relates how he leveraged lessons learned about grit, iteration and risk-taking into his career as an entrepreneur.

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