Program

2020 CONFERENCE MC
Robert Antoniades
Robert Antoniades
Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
Robert Antoniades co-founded Information Venture Partners in 2014. Robert has led investments in and currently serves on the Boards of Thoughtexchange, Procurify, YayPay, Flybits, PostBeyond and Q4. Prior boards include Adaptive Insights (acquired by Workday), Placemark Investments (acquired by Envestnet), Varicent (acquired by IBM), ITM Software (acquired by BMC), Igloo Software and Verafin Software, among… Read More

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DECEMBER 1, 2020 | VIP RECEPTION FOR ENTREPRENERS

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
 
Welcome Reception – Tech Executive Ticket Holders Only

DECEMBER 2, 2020 | CONFERENCE PROGRAM

7:45 AM - 8:30 AM
 
Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 8:40 AM
 
Conference Overview by Chair
Chair: Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
8:40 AM - 9:15 AM
 
Opening Keynote: Intelex, an Acquisition Story

This behind-the-scenes discussion dives deep into the June 2019 $750M+ CAD strategic acquisition of Intelex Technologies ULC by Industrial Scientific, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fortive Corporation. Not only was this one of the largest Canadian exits in 2019, it was one of the top five largest Canadian technology company exits in the last decade.

The groundwork for the successful acquisition was put in place many years before the exit. The process itself was tactically grueling with many twists and turns.

After attending this session, you will understand:

  • Things that you can do now to set the stage for maximizing valuation in the future.
  • What strategies were successful and what Intelex may have done differently if they went through their process again.
  • How Intelex maintained process tension throughout their discussions with interested parties
Speakers:

David Greenberg, General Partner, JMI Equity

Mark Jaine, Former President and CEO, Intelex Technologies ULC, (Acquired by Industrial Scientific, June 2019)

9:15 AM - 9:40 AM
 
Are you M&A Ready?
Whether you want to be ready for a knock on the door, or you are embarking on an acquisition strategy,  it takes time (and in some cases years) to check all the boxes. Early and measured preparation is key throughout all phases of the process – from strategy to integration.
Operating efficiently, professionalizing processes, limiting vulnerabilities around IP, source code and accounting records are just some of the things to take into consideration. This session will showcase the most comprehensive, essential must-do’s for getting M&A ready.
Speaker:

Colleen Kelley, VP Business Operations, Stratford Managers

9:40 AM - 10:10 AM
 
The Valuation Levers: What Is Your Company Really Worth Today and How Can You Increase Valuation?

Do you really know what your business is worth? More importantly, WHY? As a business owner in tech, it’s imperative to focus on why specific areas of your business drive value, even if you have no immediate intention of an exit. What is strategic value versus financial value and what can you even do about it? Are you worried about the things that matter the most for valuation growth? This session will explore key value drivers across various tech sectors, so you understand how your company performance impacts your potential value to buyers. Learn how each of these levers optimize your value for both investment and future exit to guide your management of growth. Relevant verticals discussed include:

  • SaaS, Vertical SaaS
  • IT Services
  • Hardware
  • Internet of Things
  • Direct to Consumer E-Commerce
Speaker:

Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

10:10 AM - 10:35 AM
 
Networking Coffee Break
10:35 AM - 11:25 AM
 
Lessons from Seasoned Acquirers

Positioning your company based on your technology, product, team or brand could be the single most powerful factor to ultimately stoke acquisition interest in your firm.  What do buyers look for when assessing a potential acquisition? Growth prospects, bottom line, management team and strategic fit are just a few of the considerations.

In this session you will hear from a broad spectrum of serial acquirers who will help you get in the mindset of active buyers in today’s market, and understand which buyers are buying, and why.  

This session will dive into:

  • The metrics that matter most to different buyer personas 
  • Lessons these buyers have learned along the way 
  • How did cultural fit impact the purchase process
  • If you just want to take some cash off the table, what kind of partner or buyer is right for you 
Moderator: Aly Gillani, Managing Director, Technology Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets
Panel:
Barry Symons, CEO, Jonas Software (an operating group of Constellation Software Inc.)
Lisa Melchior, Founder and President, Vertu Capital
Shubham Datta, Corporate Development, Shopify
11:35 AM - 12:20 PM
 
Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
 
A1: Selling to a Third Party – Who Do You Need On Your Side (and What Will It Cost)?

If you want the biggest possible exit one day, you’ll likely want to “run a process” to attract multiple bidders for your company. This probably means that you will need a team of experienced professionals helping you, after-all, the sale of a business involves many moving parts, making it the largest and possibly most complicated transaction of your life. You can’t do this alone. The right team will get you the best price, terms and most importantly, ensure that the transaction closes.

After attending this session, you will understand: 

  • What “running a process” looks like.
  • What the ideal exit team is, and how to select the best advisors for your business.
  • What your exit team will cost and how they’ll be paid.
Moderator: Ed Bryant, President & CEO, Sampford Advisors
Panel:
André Perey, Partner, Osler
Bernie Li, Venture Partner, Revel Partners, Co-Founder PURE Energies (Acquired by NRG Energy Inc.)
Vince Kadar, CEO, Telepin Software Systems (Acquired by Volaris Group., an operating group of Constellation Software Inc.)
Shivalika Handa, Managing Director, Corporate Finance, PwC Canada
 
A2: How to be a buyer: When it makes sense to ante up.

Considering growth by acquisition? Whether it’s about competition, consolidations in your industry, or team talent, you may need to consider growth by acquisition strategies. Before you are ready to buy a company, however, you need to understand what problem you are trying to solve.  

This session will address the essential do’s and dont’s for getting buy-side ready and identify some of the significant mistakes companies unknowingly make which end up limiting their options and impacting the outcome of potential acquisitions.  This session will discuss reasons to become a buyer and the strategy behind it including:

  • acqui-hiring
  • assets
  • ip
  • whole co.

  You will learn:

  • How to choose who to buy (product/culture/revenue)
  • How and what to prepare
  • Obligations & liabilities to look for
  • How to handle intellectual property issues 
  • Why company culture fit is important
  • Why cost & length of integration is important
Moderator: Kristine Di Bacco, Partner, Torys
Panel:
Darrell Heaps, CEO, Q4 Inc.
Rhu Hashemi, VP Acquisitions, WeCommerce
12:20 PM - 1:05 PM
 
Networking Lunch
1:05 PM - 1:40 PM
 
Luncheon Keynote: Are you Desirable and Acquirable?

This session features tactical/practical stories looking in the rear view mirror of the acquisition of Wave HQ by H&R Block.  The conversation will focus on two key areas of the transaction: Cultural/people ) + Structure/Financial.

Moderator: Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
Panel:
Paul Marshall, COO, Wave HQ (Acquired by H&R Block)
Ashira Gobrin, Chief People Officer, Wave HQ (Acquired by H&R Block)
1:50 PM - 2:30 PM
 
Workshop (Concurrent Sessions)
 
WORKSHOP 1: “Minority Private Equity Case Study”

In this session, you will learn about a few scenarios in which entrepreneurs took on a minority private equity partner in their organization.  In these scenarios, the founders were able to take chips off the table, secure additional capital for growth, and achieve the benefits of having an institutional equity investor at the table.  Learn about different situations in which a minority investor might be able to help with your business objectives.

Speakers:

Mike Notto, Partner, Growth Equity, BDC

Loren Rafeson, Partner, Growth Equity, BDC Capital

 
WORKSHOP 2: Manage These Metrics to MAX OUT the Valuation of your SaaS Company

For SaaS businesses, it is well known that key metrics such as growth, profitability and churn are essential to increasing the value of your business. What is less well understood is the full set of metrics different potential buyers look at when acquiring your company. This workshop will dive deep into all of these metrics that buyers use to evaluate growth, and guide you on how to measure, report and maximize these to get the optimal valuation for your company. As well, the presenters will present examples of the common deadly sins most SaaS companies commit in properly presenting these metrics in the sale process. You’ll leave this workshop with guidance on the right data to compile and the best practices in presenting the value of your SaaS business.

Speakers:

Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

Geoff Hansen, Senior Advisor, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

2:40 PM - 3:25 PM
 
Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
 
B1: Reverse Takeovers: Going Public as an Option for Liquidity

So…. you need cash for growth, or to simply take chips off the table – but you want to maintain control.How does a Reverse Takeover work?  What considerations or qualifications should you take into account? Is it realistic? 

This session will explore first hand what steps owners took on their road to RTO and share their reflections now that they (and their advisors) are on the other side.

Moderator: Dani Lipkin, Innovation Sector Head, TMX Group
Panel:
Miriam Tuerk, Co-Founder & CEO, Clear Blue Technologies Inc.
Wes Fulford, CEO & Director, Bitfarms
 
B2: Typical Deal Terms and Negotiation Points for Selling Entrepreneurs

In every acquisition, there are a number of key terms (including price but much more) that are at stake. As a seller, your bargaining power diminishes when you go “exclusive” with a prospective buyer – hence it is important for you to be well prepared and know in advance what are your desired outcomes on a number of fronts. This session will explore what terms could or should be on your table, and even how to gain leverage in the negotiation process.

You will learn:

  • What “market” is for terms these days
  • How to maximize leverage and bargaining power while you have it
  • Common terms included in transaction structures
  • Do terms correlate to the type of tech company? (eg: services companies vs software companies vs MSPs, etc)
  • Earn-outs – how to make them more favourable
Moderator: Will Shaw, Partner - Fasken
Panel:
Eric Green, CEO & Co-Founder, Askuity (Acquired by The Home Depot)
Diane Horton, Partner, Tequity Inc.
Loren Rafeson, Partner, Growth Equity, BDC Capital
Prashant Matta, Partner, Panache Ventures
3:25 PM - 3:50 PM
 
Networking Coffee Break
3:50 PM - 4:40 PM
 
Deal Killers: Preparing for Transaction Challenges

So….someone wants to acquire your company, and you’ve signed an LOI – now what?  Negotiating the sale of your business requires providing unfettered access to some of the most confidential aspects of your business – sharing that information can be scary. 

As a seller, what will buyers be looking for? How can you prepare?  What The challenges that are inevitable to this phase must be carefully navigated to avoid collapse of the deal. 

You Will Learn:

  • Why so many acquisitions fail during the due diligence phase
  • Areas that buyers will focus on that you may not have thought about
  • Negotiation tactics used by savvy buyers and their acquisition teams
  • Tactics to avoid major post-sale surprises.
Moderator: Gordon Raman, Partner, Fasken
Panel:
David Raffa, President, Valeo Corporate Finance Ltd.
Joel Lessem, President & CEO, Firmex (Acquired by BDC Capital and Vertu Capital)
Kyle Feucht, Director, Growth & Transition Capital, BDC Capital
Lyndsay Kerwin, Vice President, Silver Smith Capital
4:40 PM - 5:25 PM
 
Keynote Panel: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

This candid discussion will feature select entrepreneurs sharing their behind-the-scenes learnings on what worked, what didn’t and what they would do differently if they went through their acquisition again.

Moderator: Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
Panel:
Kirk Simpson, Co-Founder & CEO, Wave HQ (Acquired by H&R Block)
Nicky Senyard, Founder & CEO, Fintel Connect, Former Founder & CEO of Income Access (Acquired by PaySafe)
Vince Kadar, CEO, Telepin Software Systems (Acquired by Volaris Group., an operating group of Constellation Software Inc.)
5:25 PM - 5:30 PM
 
Closing Comments
5:30 PM - 6:30 PM
 
Happy Hour