2022 Program

Lisa Melchior
Lisa Melchior
Founder and Managing Partner, Vertu Capital
Welcome to TechExit.io! I’m pleased to be hosting the inaugural TechExit Toronto. This conference is the only of its kind in Canada –focused solely on mergers and acquisitions strategies for technology companies. Whether you’re a Founder, Investor or M&A advisor, you will hear actionable ideas to navigate M&A opportunities - directly from some of Canada’s most experienced deal-makers.

I hope you enjoy the conference!

View Full Bio »

October 19, 2022 | Conference Program

7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Networking & Continental Breakfast 
8:30 AM – 8:40 AM
Welcome Remarks by Conference Chair 
Chair: Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner, Vertu Capital
8:40 AM – 9:10 AM
Opening Fireside Keynote: Raising $37 Million to Pursue Strategic Acquisitions 

Watch out! Canadian technology companies are becoming more and more acquisitive. Including FinTech startup PureFacts Financial Solutions, which closed a $37 million strategic financing round to pursue more acquisitions to fuel their growth. Purefacts acquired K2 Digital in 2017, Electric Brain Software Corporation in 2019, and most recently acquired CRM consulting firm, VennScience and Quartal Financial Solutions, Europe’s leading provider of fee billing and commission solutions for the financial and insurance industries in 2020. And they have plans for more. 

Join PureFacts CEO & Founder, Robert Madej and PureFacts President, Rajini McRae as they sit down with April Fong, Executive Editor at The Logic to talk about how 35% of Purefact’s total growth will come from M&A.  

April Fong, Executive Editor, The Logic
Robert Madej, Founder & CEO, PureFacts Financial Solutions (Acquired K2 Digital, Electric Brain Software Corporation, VennScience and Quartal Financial Solutions)
Rajini McRae, President, PureFacts Financial Solutions (Acquired K2 Digital, Electric Brain Software Corporation, VennScience and Quartal Financial Solutions)
9:10 AM – 9:35 AM
M&A Market Overview

Two years into the global COVID-19 pandemic, large numbers of tech companies have benefitted from the drive towards digital transformation. It’s accelerated growth in almost every sector. But after a period of rapid growth, the market has slowed down, we’re seeing mass layoffs across the industry and a recession looms (if not, is already here). 

In this conversation, Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO of Garibaldi Capital and Margaret Wu, Lead Investor at Georgian will discuss the changing market dynamics and what it means for fundraising dynamics, M&A and your business.

Michelle Scarborough, Managing Partner, Thrive and Women in Technology Venture Fund, BDC
Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors
Margaret Wu, Lead Investor, Georgian
9:35 AM – 10:00 AM
10:00 AM – 10:40 AM
Buying Companies to Fuel Growth: Secrets to a Successful Acquisition-Focused Growth Strategy  

Acquisitions can generate tremendous value (and can add to your capabilities). But this approach to growth can be risky and if done poorly it can have huge negative consequences. Join this dynamic discussion and get a behind-the-scenes look at companies making acquisitions to fuel their growth: 

You’ll learn: 

  • Challenges of integrating products, companies, teams and cultures (and how to overcome them) 
  • What it took to close the deal 
  • Protecting and growing your asset after the deals close   
  • How these acquisitions are impacting perceived valuations for the acquirers 
David Rozin, Vice President & Head, Technology and Innovation Banking, Scotiabank/Roynat
Meryl Almeida, Director, Corporate Development, Inovia
Shubham Datta, VP Corporate Dev, Clio (Acquired Lawyaw, CalendarRules and Lexicata)
Grant Hughes, VP, Corporate Development, Pointclickcare (Acquired Collective Medical And Audacious Inquiry
Want to Get Acquired? Lessons Learned from Hundreds of Acquisitions

In M&A, nothing quite beats experience. To help demystify the deal-making process we’ve brought together a panel of 3 longtime M&A experts, with hundreds of acquisitions under their belt, to cover topics like: 

  • What buyers look for when assessing a potential acquisition 
  • The metrics that matter most  
  • What works and what doesn’t  
  • Hard earned lessons  
  • The process successful acquirers go through before making an offer 
Shamil Hargovan, Managing Director, STS Capital Partners
Daniel Eisen, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Arcadea Group
John Kirkpatrick, Managing Director, STS Capital Partners
Janelle Teng, Vice President, Bessemer Venture Partners
10:50 AM – 11:30 AM
Creating Enterprise Value in the first 100 days post-acquisition   

The first one hundred days after an acquisition are critical. You need to grow revenue faster, be more profitable, and integrate additional companies. In this environment, ramping up your sales pipeline is a major component of meeting board expectations.  

In this session, you’ll learn: 

  • Which marketing metrics actually matter for revenue growth
  • How to profitably ramp up demand gen
  • How to build the marketing team you really need
Shiv Narayanan, Founder & CEO, How To SaaS
What’s Your Company Worth? Valuation Check-In 

Do you know what your business is worth? This session will explore how to enhance the value of your business from the get-go and what levers you need to “push or pull” in order to optimize the results you are looking for. These experts have acquired and advised acquisitions and will teach you: 

  • The mechanisms that buyers use to evaluate growth and retention.  
  • How buyers will predict the future growth of your business and the value of your business.  
  • Valuation techniques 
  • What steps you can take to increase your value 
  • What drives exit value 
Tyler Kirk, Director -Credit Advisory, RBCx
Lily Shaw, Investor, OMERS Ventures (Investor in Shopify, Klue, Wattpad, Wave, Jobber, Hopper, Hootsuite and more)
Jeff Yim, CFO, Borrowell
11:40 AM – 12:20 PM
Deal Killers Discussion (How to address & avoid them) 

The discipline of M&A is a complex and labyrinthine one, peppered with its share of false starts, thrilling chases, and heartbreaking shortfalls. This panel of experienced lawyers, investment bankers and serial acquirers discuss why deals are falling apart in 2022 from both the buyer and seller perspective.   

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 strategies used by savvy buyers and their acquisition teams     
  • Tactics to avoid major post-sale surprises. 
Snita Balsara, Early Stage Investor, Graphite Ventures
Ed Bryant, President & CEO, Sampford Advisors Inc.
Christen Daniels, Head of Customer Success & Corporate Development, Georgian
Chris Dittrich, Associate - Fasken
12:20 PM – 1:20 PM
Lunch Break
1:20 PM – 1:50 PM
The Ins & Outs of the Big Global Private Equity Players 

Hear and learn from the very active, global PE players that write the big checks. What’s happening, the dry powder, the deals and more. 

Sean Silcoff, Business Writer, The Globe and Mail
Ben Meyer, Partner, Hg
Kristin Smith, Principal, Novacap Private Equity
Mac Williams, Principal, JMI Equity
2:00 PM – 2:40 PM
IP Strategy for Your Exit 

IP strategy involves a range of topics including management of employees, contractors and suppliers; dealing with NDAs and other contracts; branding; and building a patent portfolio. In this session, IP experts, Jim Hinton, Natalie Raffoul and Jean-Nicolas Delage will discuss IP management focused on the guiding question, “Will this increase the valuation of my company when I exit?”  

You’ll learn: 

  • The importance of developing a continuous IP process 
  • Asset value-based IP strategy 
  • IP pitfalls to avoid 
Jean-Nicolas Delage, Partner, Fasken
James Hinton, Founder, Own Innovation
Natalie Raffoul, Co-Founder Fortress.Legal™ (an Intangible Asset Management (IMS) System) & Managing Partner, Brion Raffoul LLP
Founder Story Untold: What You Need to Know About Exiting Your Company

A behind-the-scenes tell-all from tech entrepreneur, Latif Nanji. You’ll hear Latif’s behind-the-scenes learnings on what worked, what didn’t and what he would do differently if he’d go through an acquisition again. 

Latif Nanji, CEO & Co-Founder, Roadmunk (Acquired by Tempo.io)
2:50 PM – 3:20 PM
Your Liquidity Options: Partial Exits & Two-Part Exits 

You’ve taken a lot of risk in putting your time, energy and often equity into your company. But the path to liquidity is years away.  This session will help you seek solutions to eliminate distractions, alleviates the financial pressures of being a founder and reduce the appeal of exiting early — a win for you as a founder and your investors — while still allowing you to focus on the long-term growth of the company 

In this session, learn about recapitalizations and other liquidity options allowing you to take some chips off the table, while you still grow your business and play the long game. If it can destress your life, and help you go long — it’s a win-win-win. 

Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors
Teresa Lee, Managing Director, OMERS Growth Equity
Joel Lessem, CEO & Founder, Firmex (Acquired by BDC Capital and Vertu Capital)
Buyside Considerations: Lessons from Seasoned Buyers 

What do buyers look for when assessing a potential acquisition? Growth prospects, financial health, management team and strategic fit are just a few of the considerations.   

In this panel, buyers will discuss the metrics that matter most to them, lessons they have learned along the way and what to consider if you are just looking for liquidity options. 

Shivalika Handa, Partner, PWC
Parth Khanna, CEO, ACTO (Acquired Scrimmage)
Steffen Schebesta, CEO North America & VP Corporate Development, Sendinblue
3:20 PM – 3:40 PM
3:40 PM – 4:25 PM
Closing Panel: The Things They Don’t Tell You When You Get Acquired 

Hear from a panel of CEOs + Founders who have recently exited and now can reflect on the process in the rear-view mirror. Let them help you build and broaden your frame of reference by sharing their own tales from the trenches. 

You’ll hear: 

  • What goes into selling your company 
  • How and why founders decided to do it 
  • What they wish they had known, their key learnings and what they would change. 
  • If you join another team, what it’s like to go from being in charge to being an employee? 
  • The emotional side of selling and what it’s like to walk away from something you put so much time and energy into building.  
  • What each founder learned from that experience of selling the company, how it helped them grow, and what you can learn looking at your own company’s journey. 
Douglas Soltys, Editor-in-Chief, BetaKit
Grace Almendras-Castillo, Founder and President, Self Care Catalysts (Acquired by Alira Health)
Dr. Lindy Ledohowski, CEO & Co-founder, EssayJack Inc (Acquired by Wizeprep)
Clinton Robinson, Co-Founder, Stealth Startup
4:25 PM – 4:55 PM
Closing Fireside Keynote: How I Landed a $770 Million Dollar Exit 

In November 2021, Wisconsin-based Generac Holdings acquired Toronto smart thermostat startup Ecobee for $770 million USD. To grow ecobee, CEO Stuart Lombard, considered all the options: venture funding, SPAC, IPO, and acquisition. In this talk, Stuart shares how he landed a $770 million dollar deal that worked for his fast-growing company. 

Lisa Melchior, Founder and Managing Partner, Vertu Capital
Stuart Lombard, Founder & CEO, ecobee (acquired by Generac)
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
Happy Hour