For 3 years I’ve worked hard to build my name globally. I’ve done paid speaking events at YPO & EO chapters in 18 countries, on 5 continents. I coach CEOs in Geneva, Berlin, Mexico City, Australia, the UK, USA & Canada. However, I realized when I was writing my 2013 Vivid Vision (formerly Painted Picture) that I’d forgotten my home market of Vancouver.
So I recalibrated.
During the next three year sprint, I’ll still work to deliver awesome speaking events globally, especially with EO & YPO. I’ll still mentor and coach CEOs globally as well. However, I’m now going to work hard to build my personal brand in the Vancouver market as a coach, mentor and board member for entrepreneurial companies. I’m going to hyper focus that effort even further, on companies that are Angel, VC and Private Equity funded to grow. I’m the guy to help them grow from $1 Million to $100 Million. And with less travel time, I can really dig into their companies even more to help them be successful faster.
Last week, I attended Mentor Tuesday and also attended the largest CVCA conference in 23 years (Canadian Venture Capital Association), with 650 attendees including about 100 from the United States, Europe, China and Brazil drawn to Canada’s economic stability and a private equity scene that is having successes not seen since before the global economic crisis.
This is the first time Bing Gordon of Kleiner Perkins came to Vancouver. He was fantastic. And I sent out about 20 Tweets during his panel appearance as well. Some other people too like Jeff Clavier of SoftTech VC attended and the whole room stopped buzzing to hinge on his every word.
American VCs coming up here like what they see in Vancouver. There is a crisis of venture capital supply available in Canada and a surplus of innovative Canadian technology companies that could use the funds.
Steve Hnatiuk, the CVCA Conference Chair said:
“(Here in Canada) we’re funding fewer and fewer SME’s with less and less money and we’re working very hard to attract more domestic and foreign capital into our industry so we can recycle that money into more high growth companies.”
“Venture capital tends to move in long-term cycles. This particular one has been a bit more long-lasting and a bit deeper than usual. But, there are increasing signs of green shoots starting to spring up – there have been some quality exits lately and new funds being launched.”
“The giant tech firms (the Microsofts, Intels and Ciscos of the world) are sitting on $500 billion – and are going to have to invest some of that money in the companies in our portfolios if they want to keep one step ahead of the competition. Just look at Microsoft and Skype as one indicator of what lies ahead.”
On the PE side, it’s much brighter for Canada:
“Canadian buyout (private equity) returns are 16.8% over 5 years, compared to 5.3% in the US and 8.3% in Europe. So Canadian private equity returns outperform the US by a factor of more than 3x and Europe by a factor of more than 2x. Canada outperforms both the US and Europe by a wide margin over a 10 year horizon as well.”
These are all pretty exciting numbers – and it certainly feels like a wave of activity in the PE & VC space is starting to happen in Vancouver. We’re fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the north.
It’s a surprisingly small, focused & vibrant community here in BC too. I’m on a plane to Kelowna right now to attend MetaBridge as a VIP. It’s a joint Silicon Valley & BC Tech mini-brain trust of about 50 big thinkers in the space.
Sure feels good to be focused for the next three years again… Fun to be learning again too.