2020 Program

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… Read More

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November 18, 2020 | Conference Program

8:30 AM - 9:15 AM
Welcome remarks by Conference Chair Robert Antoniades & 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 byIndustrial 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:   

  • 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  
  • Why Industrial Scientific made the decision to acquire Intelex, and what factors impacted the sale price   
  • Who the key stakeholders were throughout the sales process and how they were influenced
David Greenberg, General Partner, JMI Equity
Mark Jaine, Former President and CEO, Intelex Technologies ULC, (Acquired by Industrial Scientific, June 2019)
Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
9:25 AM - 9:55 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.

Why attend this session:

  • Get the roadmap and understand the exact steps required to successfully plan for a sellside acquisition.
  • Learn how to maximize your company’s valuation even if you have no plan to exit.
  • See where most companies make mistakes in the process and get the tools to avoid these pitfalls.
Colleen Kelley, VP Business Operations, Stratford Managers
10:05 AM - 10:35 AM
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.
Ed Bryant, President & CEO, Sampford Advisors Inc.
Shivalika Handa, Partner, PWC
Bernie Li, Venture Partner, Revel Partners, Co-Founder PURE Energies (Acquired by NRG Energy Inc.)
10:05 AM - 10:35 AM
A2: How To Be a Buyer: When It Makes Sense to Ante Up

Covid is presenting potential buyers with new acquisition opportunities every day – is now the time to consider 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 don’ts 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:   

  • aquahires  
  •  assets   
  • ip   
  • whole co.   

You will learn:   

  • How to choose who to buy (product/culture/revenue) and how to spot acquisition opportunities before other prospective buyers   
  • 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    
  • See the key mistakes buyers make when acquiring new businesses
Darrell Heaps, CEO, Q4 Inc.
Erin Campbell, President, ECMB Capital Partners
Hans Knapp, Partner, Yaletown Venture Partners
10:35 AM - 10:55 AM
Virtual Networking Break
10:55 AM - 11:40 AM
Closing Keynote: Lessons from Seasoned Buyers

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. Covid has flipped the M&A world upside down and back again, so are you prepared for what acquirers are looking for in this new climate?  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 turbulent 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      
  • Hear about the process successful acquirers go through before making an offer
Aly Gillani, Managing Director, Technology Investment Banking, RBC Capital Markets
Shubham Datta, VP Corporate Dev, Clio (Acquired Lawyaw, CalendarRules and Lexicata)
Barry Symons, CEO, Jonas Software (an operating group of Constellation Software Inc.)
Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner, Vertu Capital
11:40 AM - 12:30 PM
Virtual Meet & Greet

November 19, 2020 | Conference Program

8:30 AM - 9:10 AM
Morning Welcome with Conference Chair Robert Antoniades & Opening Keynote Session: Buyside Drilldown – Closing, and Holding Down Acquisitions in Uncertain Times

COVID-19 did more than distort valuations, it shifted buyer/seller priorities within deal terms and normal course due diligence activities.  Opportunities exist, of course, and in this session you’ll hear from two CEOs who managed to close strategic tuck-in acquisitions during the pandemic, while navigating and protecting their new-found asset after the deals closed.   

You’ll hear:    

  • How these deals were progressing before and after the pandemic     
  • How these acquisitions are impacting perceived valuations for the acquirers    
  • Stories about post-merger integration and challenges so that you can prioritize buyside strategies and protect the value of your new asset    
  • About culture navigation in a remote-office world
Tarique Al-Ansari, CEO, Paystone Inc.
Robert Madej, Founder & CEO, PureFacts Financial Solutions (Acquired K2 Digital, Electric Brain Software Corporation, VennScience and Quartal Financial Solutions)
Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
9:20 AM - 9:55 AM
B1: Reverse Takeovers: Going Public as an Option for Liquidity

So…. you need cash for growth, or share currency to make acquisitions down the road – but you want to maintain control. How does a Reverse Takeover work?  What considerations or qualifications should you take into account? Is it achievable in a ‘Covid’ reality?       

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

You will learn:       

  • How a reverse takeover works and the keys to preparing for it    
  • Why a reverse takeover might be the best (or worst) option for your business and how to make this decision    
  • Lessons (and mistakes) from those who’ve chosen this option
Wes Fulford, CEO & Director, Bitfarms
Miriam Tuerk, Co-Founder & CEO, Clear Blue Technologies Inc.
9:20 AM - 9:55 AM
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 if the current climate can actually help you to gain leverage in the negotiation process.       

You will learn:    

  • What “market” is for terms these days and how deal terms have changed during COVID    Considerations if you’re pursuing a sale and running out of cash     
  • 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
Chris Dittrich, Associate - Fasken
Diane Horton, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Tequity Advisors
Eric Green, CEO & Co-Founder, Askuity (Acquired by The Home Depot)
Loren Rafeson, Partner, Growth Equity, BDC Capital
10:05 AM - 10:50 AM
Deal Killers: Preparing for Transaction Challenges

So….someone wants to acquire your company, and you’ve signed an LOI – now what? Will uncertainty in the market slow the process down (or speed it up?)  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 in a post-pandemic world? How can you prepare?  The challenges that are inevitable to this phase must be carefully navigated to avoid the 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.
Gordon Raman, Partner, Fasken
Kyle Feucht, Director, Growth & Transition Capital, BDC Capital
Joel Lessem, CEO & Founder, Firmex (Acquired by BDC Capital and Vertu Capital)
Lyndsay Kerwin, Vice President, Silversmith Capital
David Raffa, President, Valeo Corporate Finance Ltd.
10:50 AM - 11:05 AM
Virtual Networking Break
11:05 AM - 11:50 AM
Closing Keynote Panel: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This candid discussion features conference MC Robert Antoniades with three entrepreneurs that achieved tremendous success in their exits.  You’ll hear their behind-the-scenes learnings on what worked, what didn’t and what they would do differently if they went through their acquisitions again.

Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners
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.)
11:50 AM - 12:30 PM
Virtual Networking Reception