In technology, mergers and acquisitions are a regular occurrence and can be a path to growth. Every tech company needs to be “M&A Ready”. Learn from the biggest exit success stories, the multiple exit stories, and connect with the players that made them happen.


From Nearly Bankrupt To 8-Figure Exit: The 4 Decisions That Transformed Canvaspop

After a great head start, Canvaspop almost went bankrupt from the team spreading itself too thin. Coming back from the brink required five years of hard work, but it ended in a $30 million exit. Speaking with TechExit.io, Canvaspop Co-Founder & CEO Nazim Ahmed shared more about the key decisions he made to turn the company around—and why he gets frustrated with people who balk at “small” 8-figure exits.

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How Wanting An Exit Changed How Aaron Gould Built OneComply

The exit you want should affect your growth plans—but you should also strive to build a strong company regardless of a buyer. That was the tightrope Aaron Gould and his co-founder Cameron Conn walked as they built OneComply from founding to exit. Speaking with TechExit.io, Aaron shared more about how wanting an exit from day one factored into business decisions.

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4 Ways Board Members Can Accelerate Acquisition-Led Growth (Without Taking Over)

M&A looks different depending on if you’re the person selling, acquiring, or advising on the transaction. Richard Hungerford has been all three—first by selling his startup to Hootsuite, second by leading Hootsuite’s corporate development team, and now as a board member and investor. Speaking with TechExit.io for the second time, Richard shared how his approach to M&A changed as his position evolved.

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How Inkblot Went From A $1.7 Million Seed Round To Being Acquired By GreenShield In A Single Step

The traditional path for a VC-scale company is to raise a Seed, Series A, and possibly a Series B, C, or D before going public or selling privately for a huge sum. Inkblot, the virtual mental health company that Luke Vigeant founded as a side project, took a different path—the company went from raising a Seed round directly to being acquired by GreenShield. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of the Toronto conference, Luke explained more about why he sold “early” and how he structured the company’s exit for everyone’s maximum benefit.

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How To Avoid M&A “Quicksand” As A Buyer Or Seller

Whether buying or selling a company, you will have a lot of work on your plate. You’ll also have a lot of pitfalls you’ll need to navigate. In his 20-plus years of banking experience, David Rozin, now the Head of Technology and Innovation Banking at Roynat Capital | Scotiabank, has seen every kind of M&A deal and knows the opportunities and risks. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his conference talk, David shared more about how founders can avoid the “quicksand” of M&A deals.

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How To Stay Ahead Of The CEO Curve During M&A-Fueled Expansion

Just as startups need to mature in terms of go-to-market, sales, and product, CEOs need to evolve as well, particularly as the company goes through rapid M&A-fueled change. This is a challenge Michael Garrity experienced multiple times as Financeit has both been acquired and been the acquirer. Speaking with TechExit.io, Michael shared his insights on how he stayed ahead of the CEO curve.

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Inside Sampler’s Founder-Led M&A Growth Strategy

Marie Chevrier’s scale-up Sampler doesn’t have an M&A team nor does she have a private equity background. Yet Sampler just completed two acquisitions in a four-month period, bringing beauty sampling startup Abeo and user generated content platform AdMass into the fold. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of her Toronto conference talk, Marie peeled back the curtain of her informal founder-led M&A growth strategy.

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The Exit You Want For Your Startup Should Affect Your Growth Plans

Choosing what kind of exit you want might seem hubristic when you’re still early-stage or finding product-market fit. That said, having an idea of how you want your startup journey to end is essential to your planning—it’s a simple fact that you’ll need to make different decisions if you want a healthy 7-figure sale compared to a multi-billion dollar IPO, for instance. After building and exiting two companies, most notably selling Karen HR to Alexander Mann Solutions in 2019, Noel Webb has seen this firsthand as a founder. Speaking with TechExit.io as a Steering Committee member, Noel shared more about the inner workings of building Karen HR—and how knowing he wanted to exit the company affected his decision-making.

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3 Mistakes Founders Make With M&A-Focused Public Relations

Did you just buy a company? Or get acquired? Great! Get the PR announcement ready—you want to ensure outlets like TechCrunch, BetaKit, or the Globe and Mail find it appealing. But you need to know the press coverage on announcement day is only one small part of M&A-focused public relations. Speaking with TechExit.io, Sara Padidar, a co-founder and partner at TalkShop, explained how to avoid the three mistakes founders often make.

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What Founders Can Learn From Mik Kersten’s Experience Selling His Company To Planview

In April 2021, Tasktop announced a $126 million growth equity raise. By May 2022, the company was sold to Planview. Mik Kersten, Tasktop’s founder and CEO, joined Planview as CTO along with most of the team. Now a year post-acquisition, Mik spoke with TechExit.io after his live conference talk. He shared more detail about why certain things went well and why one mistake in particular is now a key priority to fix.

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Kim Kaplan: Startup M&A Isn’t Just About “Company​​” Growth

Selling a startup carries a lot of pressure for founders and early employees. Kim Kaplan knows the experience well, having spent 10 years at the dating site Plenty Of Fish (POF) and working through its acquisition by Match Group. Now, the founder of Gen-Z dating platform Snack is looking back on her experience. In a conversation with TechExit.io, Kim shared the key question that helped her structure her career as a startup employee going through an acquisition.

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How To Use M&A To Launch Your Startup In A New Country

A common M&A growth strategy is geographic expansion. For instance, a Canadian company gains a foothold in the US by acquiring an American startup. But what about a Canadian company acquiring a UK startup to gain a foothold in the US? This kind of multi-step approach is what business software company Sage has been doing for years. Speaking with TechExit.io, Aziz Benmalek, the President of Sage North America, shared his strategies for M&A-led geographic expansion.

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Understanding The Board’s Role When You Sell Your Startup

When you sell your startup, your board disbands completely. But until that moment, they are a critical part of your overall exit “team.” Fraser Hall, Partner at Rhino Ventures, knows this well, having been on multiple boards for startups that exited–and selling his own startup to Intel in 2015. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his conference panel talk, Fraser shared more about the role your board should play when you sell your startup.

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“It’s A Noose”: John Ruffolo’s Advice For Founders Navigating Fear-Based Markets

The exuberance of 2021 and early 2022 kept John Ruffolo–and his company Maverix–largely out of the investing game. To him, the spread between internal company valuations and what founders wanted was far too high. But he’s excited about 2023 because the market is scared–which means there’s opportunity. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his Vancouver conference talk, John shared his advice for founders navigating fear-based markets.

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How OJO Canada CEO Karen Starns Found Autonomy Within RBC After Getting Acquired

Joining a large enterprise can feel like a behemoth that wipes away all your startup flexibility and creativity. But it doesn’t need to be that way—you can still forge your own identity, which is exactly what Karen Starns did when she stepped into the CEO role of OJO Canada after it was acquired by RBC. Speaking with TechExit.io, Karen explained more about how built autonomy within a global corporation.

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How To Not Botch An M&A Deal (As A Buyer)

Matt Diederichs has been in the M&A world for some time–both at Hootsuite and Invoca, a Santa Barbara-based conversational AI platform–and integrated multiple startups from the buyer side. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his live conference talk, Matt shared his insights on how to not botch an M&A deal as a buyer.

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How To Measure The Health Of An Acquisition

Justin Ouyang has been on both sides of the acquisition table, working at Slack when it was acquired by Salesforce and now as an investor with OMERS Ventures. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his conference talk, he explained what it takes to make a post-deal integration succeed–and how to measure it.

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What To Do When You No Longer Care About Your Startup

Common advice says to not start a tech company unless you want to build a unicorn, deca-corn, zebra, centaur, or any other animal-turned-startup-descriptor. It’s advice Kevin Sandhu believed in when he founded Grow Technologies, a B2B fintech platform, in 2014. Yet in 2019, he hit a wall–he lost his passion–and sold the company for what was a life-changing amount, but a far cry from the billion-dollar exit his ambitions wanted. Speaking with TechExit.io, Kevin shared more about the raw emotional journey of figuring out the right next step once you realize you won’t reach your grand ambition.

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How To Build a “Minimum Viable M&A Team” For Acquisition-Led Growth

Acquisition-led growth is exciting. But you want to make sure you’ve got the right skill sets to make it a success. Rajini McRae, the President of WealthTech company PureFacts, knows this world well. She has integrated multiple companies and helped Purefacts acquire small businesses over the years, working with Founder & CEO Rob Madej and Head Corporate Development & CFO, Gerard Daniels to do it. Speaking with TechExit.io, Rajini shared how to build a “minimum viable” M&A team to start your acquisition-led growth strategy.

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Going For The “Second Bite”: How To Tell If Private Equity Is The Right Growth Strategy

Every founder hits an inflection point where the question is either to keep growing or find a way out. For those that want to keep growing, multiple choices exist—something that’s both comforting and confusing for a lot of founders. Speaking with TechExit.io, Kristin Smith, Principal at Novacap, explained the different growth strategies available to entrepreneurs and how to tell if private equity is right for you.

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Why 2023 Will Be The “Return To Rationality” For Tech M&A

After the scorching hot fundraising and acquisition market of late 2020 and early 2021, it’s easy to feel disappointed or uneasy about how things went in late 2022. However, Ed Bryant, founder of Sampford Advisors, has multiple reasons to maintain a positive outlook on the tech M&A market. Speaking with TechExit.io, Ed shared the factors that lead him to believe we’re headed for a “healthy market” next year.

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Inside Vertu Capital’s 19-Point Evaluation System For Acquiring Companies

If a founder isn’t quite ready to ride off into the sunset, picking the right growth partner—whether it’s a strategic acquisition, merger, or private equity firm—is a critical decision. Lisa Melchior experienced these transactions over 20 years in private equity; now she started her private equity firm, Vertu Capital, to continue doing deals and helping entrepreneurs grow. Speaking with TechExit.io, Lisa lifted the curtain back on the proprietary 19-point checklist her company uses to evaluate acquisitions.

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The Series B That Wasn’t: How Lane’s “Reverse Due Diligence” Led To a Sale Instead of a Raise

When real estate software company VTS announced its acquisition of Toronto-based proptech startup Lane for $200 million in October 2021, the Canadian tech community celebrated. But what many didn’t know is that Lane was just two days away from announcing a significant Series B round and continuing on its meteoric growth trajectory. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his keynote panel appearance at the in-person conference on October 19th, 2022 in Toronto, Lane co-founder Clinton Robinson explained how conducting “reverse due diligence” ultimately led to acquisition rather than a raise.

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Why Latif Nanji Sold Roadmunk Despite Huge Growth Potential

When Roadmunk sold to Tempo.io in November 2021, it was another celebrated exit in a thriving Canadian tech market. Before the sale, though, founder Latif Nanji wasn’t sure he even wanted to sell the company. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his conference talk in the Toronto Edition on October 19th, 2022, Latif explained the three factors that led to him selling the business he founded nearly a decade earlier.

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After a $770 Million USD Exit, Stuart Lombard Shares His Keys for a Successful Acquisition

Stuart Lombard didn’t want to sell his company, ecobee. But in the process of exploring an IPO, he found the perfect acquirer in Generac—the deal was announced in November 2021 with a reported $770 million USD price tag. Post-acquisition, Stuart is still the CEO of ecobee with no plans to sail off into the sunset. Looking back on the acquisition ahead of his live talk at TechExit.io Toronto Edition on October 19th, 2022, Stuart shared what he felt were the keys to his successful acquisition.

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3 Ways Founders Can Structure A Transition After Selling Their Company

Someone wants to buy your company! Now what? Paul Yancich is familiar with this problem. As Managing Director and Co-Founder of Arcadea Group, a growth-oriented, long-hold majority investor, Paul and the Arcadea team have collectively been involved with  over a hundred investments. Speaking with TechExit.io, Paul shared the three most common pathways founders take when they sell their company and what you need in place to make that transition successful.

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The 3 Questions Every Founder Should Ask Before Pursuing Growth Via M&A in a Downturn

Let’s agree that economic conditions are shifting. Our ecosystem is facing new potential headwinds while at the same time uncovering upside opportunities as we hunker down into this bear market. If you’re still considering getting into the ring of M&A right now, then you’re not alone. There are certainly interesting opportunities out there that have likely experienced a dip in deal premiums if the acquirer is prepared, strategic, and can stomach the risk. Speaking with TechExit, Devon Thompson, the Director for Western Canada at RBCx, shared the three questions every founder should ask before pursuing growth via M&A in a downturn.

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3 Ways to Source Deals for Acquisition-Fueled Growth

Acquisition-fueled growth can be huge for a startup. A successful acquisition will generate more customers, revenue and potentially an increased valuation. But finding the right company to acquire is a difficult task with a lot of nuances. It’s something Randeep Janjua, Director, Growth & Transition Capital, in BDC Capital’s Vancouver office understands well from his years of assisting companies with capital to acquire. Randeep shared his insights on three ways to find potential companies to acquire as part of your growth strategy.

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Allen Lau’s Four Pillars of a Successful Exit

When Wattpad exited for $750 CAD million to South Korean tech company Naver, the Canadian tech community celebrated the new wealth and opportunity. For founder Allen Lau, though, the exit wasn’t about the money. At the time, he was focused solely on Wattpad’s growth and was considering an exit, an IPO, or a larger growth round to become an active acquirer. Speaking with TechExit.io ahead of his conference keynote, Allen looked back on the acquisition and shared why selling made the most sense and his four pieces of advice for founders considering an exit.

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Here’s What Startup CMOs Need to Know about Post-Acquisition Marketing

After building Wild Apricot’s revenue with inbound digital marketing, Shiv Narayanan was instrumental in selling the company to a PE firm in 2017. He stayed on post-acquisition and learned firsthand how different things are in marketing a startup pre- versus post-sale. He now runs How to SaaS, a consultancy that helps SaaS companies create enterprise value after acquisitions. Speaking with TechExit.io, Shiv shared the key mindset evolution all CMOs must go through in order to thrive in marketing after an acquisition.

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After a $1B Exit, Galvanize CEO Laurie Schultz Shared Her Framework for Finding the Right Buyer

Courting with buyers – whether inbound or outbound – is an exciting but delicate time in a business leader’s career. In particular, how do you know when you’ve found the right one? It’s a question Laurie Schultz knows well. As CEO of Galvanize, she spoke with multiple potential acquirers and capital partners before ultimately selling to Diligent for $1 billion. Speaking with TechExit.io, Laurie shared her three step decision-making framework for founders courting a buyer.

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Why a Merger Made More Sense for Allocadia Than Growing Independently

Kristine Steuart had specific growth goals in mind for her company Allocadia and determined the way to reach them was to bring on an investment partner with expertise and investment to continue to scale the business as a stand-alone company. Yet the process to bring on a growth partner resulted in the unexpected outcome of selling the company to a private equity firm and merging with German SaaS company BrandMaker. Speaking with TechExit.io, Kristine shared why a merger made sense and the lessons she learned about successfully exiting the company you founded.

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The 3 Scenarios Where It Makes Sense to Sell Your Mid-Stage Startup

Knowing when to sell your startup is a controversial topic. Internally, you have stakeholders to think about. Externally, there will always be detractors who say you sold too early. Brent Holliday, co-founder of Garibaldi Capital Advisors, knows about this dilemma all too well. Starting his career as a tech founder, he sold his company and went first into venture capital before settling into tech mergers and acquisitions. Now, Brent advises mid-market tech company founders looking to sell for a price between $15 million and $100 million on average.

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5 Things Founders Should Pay Attention To When Potential Acquirers Come Knocking

Whenever a company gets acquired, employees celebrate. But the real winners are the investors who took a big bet and won. In Canada, few have successfully made as many big bets as JMI Equity (‘JMI’), investing in successful companies like Eloqua, Intelex, Benevity, and PointClickCare. Dave Greenberg, a General Partner at JMI, has seen all of these exits and many more in his 15 years of experience. Over the years, he’s also seen trends emerge about what founders need to think about when a potential acquirer comes knocking on their door.

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Why This Founder Turned Down 3 Acquisition Offers and Asked Lightspeed to Buy His Startup Instead

We’re lucky in Canada today that the phrase “IPO” is increasingly common. When JD St. Martin took on venture funding for his Montreal-based startup Chronogolf in 2014, selling the company was considered an inevitable outcome. Still, he managed to make the best of it, selling to Lightspeed and joining the team, where he still works today as Chief Revenue and Chief Customer Officer. Speaking with TechExit.io, JD explained why he turned down three other acquisition offers then asked Lightspeed to acquire his startup instead.

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Why Thinkific Chose IPO Over Acquisition or Private Funding

Thinkific recently closed its massive IPO, joining the ranks of only a few Canadian tech companies on the public markets. However, an IPO was one of three options that Thinkific’s founding team was considering in 2020. Thinkific co-founder Miranda Lievers explained the options on the table and the process the team went through to eventually choose IPO.

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The 3 Questions FreshBooks Uses to Assess Potential Acquisitions

Don Epperson, the CEO of FreshBooks, likes acquiring companies if it makes sense. But that doesn’t mean he sees it as anything more than a tool in a CEO’s tool shed. Speaking with TechExit.io, Don shared his insights on what acquisitions mean to FreshBooks and the three questions he uses to assess potential acquisitions.

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Five acquisitions later, Tarique Al-Ansari explains Paystone’s M&A growth strategy

Paystone CEO Tarique Al-Ansari shares things he’s learned after years of closing acquisitions. His advice to entrepreneurs: while acquisitions should help you serve your customers better, they should not be the only thing driving growth. And, don’t expect to try to take on due diligence without some very experienced help from lawyers who know the ins and outs of closing a deal.

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Navigating deals in challenging times

Uncertainty is seemingly part of the “new normal” as businesses learn to navigate through uncharted waters in the wake of the global pandemic and economic recession. When it comes to acquisitions, what are buyers looking for? What, if anything, has changed as a result of the pandemic? How do sellers prepare for a sale, and… Read More

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Deal Killers: Preparing for Transaction Challenges

Gordon Raman, a partner at Fasken in Toronto, practises in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and corporate finance. We recently chatted with Gordon, who is  part of the TechExit East Deal Killers: Preparing for Transaction Challenges expert panel, about the challenges that can cause a deal to go sideways, or worse!

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A leading expert talks finding the right opportunities to grow, optimize and evolve your business

As Managing Director, Technology Sector, for PwC Canada, Cameron Burke knows a thing or two about scaling technology companies. He has his finger on the pulse of the tech market, specifically the opportunities and trends within the changing and expanding liquidity landscape. Here’s a preview of his insights and thoughts he will be sharing at the upcoming TechExit.io session M&A & The Changing Landscape of Liquidity for Technology Companies.

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Talking Reverse Takeovers with Miriam Tuerk

Join Miriam Tuerk, Co-Founder and CEO of Clear Blue Technologies, as she weighs in with her insights during the TechExit East and West panel discussions, “Going Public as an Option for Liquidity.”  In the meantime, Miriam previews that discussion by sharing some of her expertise with us here.

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Be M&A ready and achieve the best valuation

“Businesses should always be ready for an exit. You can’t plan exactly when a sale will take place so you need to be ready at any time. In my first business, we ran it as if it was going to be sold from the first year. This may sound simple, but it’s easy to get pulled into the daily operation of the business and then not dedicate the time required to prepare for an exit,” she says.

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Who might acquire your company?

As a tech entrepreneur, you need to anticipate what type of potential future buyer may be interested in your company early on – even if you have no immediate acquisition on the horizon. While a target acquirer may change as the company matures, identifying acquirers early will help your leadership team determine how to best position themselves to increase shareholder and company value.  There are two extremely common 3rd-party buyer types in the Canadian tech ecosystem: 

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Insights from TechExit 2019

On April 10, 2019, Vancouver Startup Week attended TechExit.io 2019 at the Vancouver Convention Centre with over two hundred delegates. Throughout the conference, delegates learned how entrepreneurs can develop successful exit strategies and form connections with key investors, venture capitalists, and accelerators who can make it happen.

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[Daily Hive] The second annual TechExit.io returns to Vancouver this April

It’s time to learn about the ins and outs of buying and selling technology companies – and there’s no better place to do that than TechExit.io TechExit.io, entering its second annual year, educates technology entrepreneurs and investors on how to navigate through acquisitions, mergers, and exits. It’s not just for companies who are looking to make an exit – it’s about being reactive and “exit ready” from day one.

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[BIV] Your tech company is hot, happening, high-growth – but is it exit-ready?

In tech, as in theatre, there are good exits and bad exits. In both cases, planning ahead will prevent disastrous fumbles on your way out. In describing how to get exit-ready, Lisa Shields, CEO of the Vancouver business-process-management software firm Fi.Span, uses the analogy of selling a house. Maybe you aren’t ready to sell yet. Still, it’s good to have everything in order. “You might leave the bathroom unpainted. The new owner can take care of that. But you know they will want a solid roof in place,” says Shields, a speaker at the TechExit conference being held April 10 at the Vancouver Convention Centre (East).

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[Betakit] What Carol Leaman Learned from Scaling a Company and Selling it to Google

When Carol Leaman was 17, she told her aunt she was going to be CEO of her own company one day. Fast forward two decades and Leaman has been a CEO of four different companies, with one, PostRank, exiting to Google. Speaking to BetaKit ahead of her appearance at TechExit.io on April 10th in Vancouver, the serial CEO shared her lessons learned from leading multiple companies, and reflected on starting, growing, and eventually exiting PostRank.

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