2023 Program

2023 CONFERENCE CHAIR
Allen Lau
Allen Lau
Co-founder & Operating Partner, Two Small Fish Ventures
"Toronto’s TechExit.io is an event not to be missed! I’m honoured to serve as the Conference Chair for this year’s much-anticipated event. The team has put together an incredible agenda that will help tech entrepreneurs become “M&A-Ready” by learning from others who have gone through the process of buying and selling tech companies.

I hope you enjoy it!"

–Allen

October 25, 2023

7:30AM - 8:30AM
 
Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast
8:30AM – 8:40AM
 
Welcome Remarks by Conference Chair
Introduction by: David Rozin, Vice President & Head, Technology and Innovation Banking, Scotiabank/Roynat
Chair: Allen Lau, Co-founder & Operating Partner, Two Small Fish Ventures
8:40AM – 9:05AM
 
Current State of Tech M&A: Recent Trends and Future Projections

Join us as we untangle the twists and turns of the tech M&A rollercoaster, from its 2022 nosedive to the promising signs of a triumphant comeback in 2024 and learn why 2024 is predicted to be the year of recovery.

Speaker:
Mike Lambrix, Managing Director, Sampford Advisors Inc.
9:05AM – 9:30AM
 
How Canada’s Latest Unicorn is Transforming Strategic Acquisitions

With extensive experience in startups and acquisitions, Phil has positioned Paper as a beacon of inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs and business leaders. During this session, he will delve into key points, including the fascinating narrative behind Paper’s rapid rise to unicorn status, their strategic vision for growth, and how they’ve leveraged acquisitions to solidify their market position.

You’ll hear about the game-changing acquisitions that have shaped Paper’s trajectory, from selection criteria to integration strategies and their impact on the company’s bottom line. Learn how Paper has fostered innovation and synergy within its acquired companies, creating a thriving ecosystem that continues to drive growth and expansion.

Through his session, you will gain a better understanding of the challenges and obstacles Paper faced during its journey and the valuable lessons you can apply to your own business. Whether you’re an entrepreneur, investor, or simply interested in the dynamic world of strategic acquisitions and the growth of unicorn companies in Canada, this engaging and informative session is not to be missed.

Moderator: Douglas Soltys, Editor-in-Chief, BetaKit
Speaker:
Philip Cutler, Founder & CEO, Paper
9:30AM – 10:10AM
 
Deal Killers Discussion (How to Address & Avoid Them)

Join our expert panel as they unravel the complex and nuanced discipline of M&A. Discover the overlooked pitfalls and perspectives that can make or break an acquisition, whether you’re buying or selling.

  • Why do so many deals fail during the diligence phase?
  • What are buyer’s perspectives that are overlooked in M&A deals
  • Negotiation tactics used by buyers and their acquisition teams
  • Strategies to sidestep in the acquisition aftermath
Moderator: Nagar Rahmani, Partner, Capital & Corporate Development, Maverix Private Equity
Panel:
Mattia Flabiano, Principal, Radian Capital
Michael Garrity, Executive Chair, Financeit
Terry Mocherniak, Managing Director, Apex Capital Advisors
Will Shaw, Partner, Fasken
10:10AM – 10:40AM
 
Coffee Break
10:40AM – 11:20AM
 
BREAKOUTS — CONCURRENT SESSIONS
 
Decoding Private Equity: Let’s Get to the Real

Partnering with a private equity firm can be highly advantageous for many tech companies. However, distinguishing between genuine interest and tire-kicking requires a certain level of expertise. In this session, you’ll gain the skills necessary to confidently navigate the Private Equity process. 

Moderator: Shivalika Handa, Partner, PWC
Panel:
Sam Castiglione, VP Corporate Development, Enghouse
Brahm Klar, Partner, Round13 Capital
Stephanie Wood, Vice President, Alate Partners
 
Exit Options: From Complete Sale to Everything in Between

Traditionally, exit options for tech companies and their investors were limited to going public or being acquired. Now, times have changed, and a world of new possibilities opened up. As a founder, navigating exit options can be a daunting task that requires careful consideration of crucial factors such as the relative strength of the company, the makeup of the investors, and the ultimate long-term goals.  

This session will guide you through the different exit options and help you make the best-informed decisions. 

In this session, we’ll discuss:  

  • Considerations for different deal structures  
  • How do you get the most out of your company if you aren’t growing and profitable: Distressed M&A opportunities, options and realities  
  • Transactions – what we’ll see in 2023 given the market: All stock deals, acquires and more.  
  • There are several ways to exit a company. Explore and compare strategic, venture, PE, etc.  
Moderator: Conor Snape, Director, Growth & Transition Capital, BDC
Panel:
Carlos Cerqueira, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Gary Kalk, Founder, CEO & Chairman, GOcxm
John Kirkpatrick, Managing Director, STS Capital Partners
Meryeme Lahmami, Principal, Pender Ventures
11:30AM – 12:00PM
 
BREAKOUTS — CONCURRENT SESSIONS
 
Be the Acquirer, Not the Acquired

Marie Chevrier, the Founder of Sampler, has had experience on both sides of the table, from entertaining offers for her business to be acquired to becoming the acquirer. In this session, Marie will share her first-hand experience and insights on why the right decision for Sampler was to become the acquirer. With two successful acquisitions in 2023, including an NYC-based digital sampling agency called abeo and, most recently, a Toronto-based user-generated content platform called AdMass, Marie’s advice is sure to be valuable for anyone interested in learning how to build an acquisition strategy and successfully integrate teams. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from her lessons learned! 

Speaker:
Marie Chevrier Schwartz, CEO & Founder, Sampler
 
Current State of Valuations

Valuations in different markets are currently experiencing a blend of highs and uncertainties. In the aftermath of recent economic challenges, some valuations have demonstrated resilience in some sectors, while others have faced ongoing challenges. It’s difficult to predict when things will improve, and buyers and sellers share contrasting views. Buyers may see this as an opportunity to acquire assets at potentially lower valuations, while sellers may be cautious and wait for a more favourable market. If you’re a business owner, it’s important to know the true value of your business.  

In this session, our team of experts, who have successfully acquired and advised acquisitions, will provide valuable insights on the state of valuations today and guide you through the levers you need to optimize your desired results. This session is a must-attend for those who want to maximize the potential and value of their business. 

Speakers:
Niamh Barry, Investor, Georgian
Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors
12:00PM – 1:00PM
 
Networking Lunch
1:00PM – 1:25PM
 
Observations from “Too Many” Years of Public and Private Deal-Making

In this keynote, Brice Scheschuk, a seasoned M&A expert with decades of experience, will delve into the secrets of successful M&A processes, with a specific focus on founders. With a remarkable career spanning senior positions at Globalive Technology and Pragmatic Solutions, Brice will tap into his extensive background in building and operating companies to share his tried-and-true strategies, best practices and success stories.

This session will not only highlight the principles of M&A, but will also bring them to life through captivating case studies and anecdotes. Drawing from his roles as the former CFO of WIND Mobile, CEO of Globalive Communications, and advisory positions across various industries, Brice will offer a unique perspective that blends theory with real-world experience.

Speaker:
Brice Scheschuk, Managing Partner, Globalive Capital
1:25PM – 1:55PM
 
Growth Through Strategic Acquisitions

Welcome to the era of Canadian technology companies on the rise! In a landscape where innovation is limitless, two standout players, PureFacts and eSentire, are leading the way. Their recent accomplishments – an impressive $37 million strategic financing round and a remarkable $1 billion valuation – have set the stage for an inspiring journey of growth through strategic acquisitions. 

Join PureFacts CEO & Founder, Robert Madej and eSentire’s President & Chief Operating Officer J.Paul Haynes as they sit down with David Rozin, VP & Head of Technology and Innovation Banking at Scotiabank/Roynat, to share insights and strategies on pursuing strategic acquisitions.

Moderator: David Rozin, Vice President & Head, Technology and Innovation Banking, Scotiabank/Roynat
Panel:
J. Paul Haynes, President & COO, eSentire Inc
Robert Madej, Founder & CEO, PureFacts Financial Solutions (Acquired K2 Digital, Electric Brain Software Corporation, VennScience and Quartal Financial Solutions)
2:05PM – 2:45PM
 
BREAKOUTS — CONCURRENT SESSIONS
 
Establishing an M&A Mindset

Discover the intricacies of the M&A process, roadmap, and steps to ensure successful outcomes for both sell-side and buy-side acquisitions successfully. Learn how to efficiently manage your business operations while seamlessly integrating processes that will improve M&A outcomes. 

Moderator: Dan Wilson, Partner & National Technology Industry Sector Leader, KPMG
Panel:
Joe Graci, CEO & B2B Business Builder, JOVA Ventures
Diane Horton, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Tequity Advisors
Mano Kulasingam, Managing Partner, Flair Ventures
 
Growth By Acquisition: What You Need to Know Before Buying a Business

Learn everything you need to know when buying a technology company. Discover how to spot strategic opportunities, what to be cautious of, what to avoid, how to successfully integrate acquired companies and how/when to build your corporate development team. 

Moderator: Laura Levine, Partner, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
Panel:
Marie-Claude Drouin, Partner, M&A, Deloitte Corporate Finance Inc.
Navaid Mansuri, Chief Financial Officer, Dialogue
Jordan Mayes, VP, Corporate Development, Top Hat
2:45PM – 3:15PM
 
Afternoon Networking & Coffee Break
3:15PM – 3:45PM
 
Finding A Permanent Home For Your Employees, Customers and Products

The quest for stability and long-term success has never been more vital. Join us for an insightful and forward-thinking session designed to empower you with the knowledge and strategies to acquire businesses with untapped growth potential, skillfully manage them, and ultimately build a sustainable future. 

Moderator: Yves Boudreau, CEO, CareerBeacon & Alongside
Panel:
Jerry Canada, President Healthcare Group, Harris
Jean Soucy, President Public Sector Group, Harris
3:45PM – 4:25PM
 
The Things They Don’t Tell You When You Get Acquired

Hear from a panel of CEOs and founders who have recently exited and can now 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 factors go into selling your company  
  • Reasons behind the founders’ decision to sell 
  • What they wish they had known, their key learnings and what they would have done differently 
  • If you join another team, what it’s like to go from being in charge to being an employee? 
  • The emotional aspects of selling and walking away from a venture you put so much time and energy into building 
  • Each founder’s personal growth and development from the experience of selling their company and what you can take away from your own company’s journey 
Moderator: Allen Lau, Co-founder & Operating Partner, Two Small Fish Ventures
Panel:
Monique Simair, CEO & Principal Scientist, Maven Water & Environment / Contango Strategies Ltd (Acquired by Alexco)
Mark Steele, President, Level Access Inc. (Merged with eSSENTIAL Accessibility)
Amar Varma, Co-Founder & COO, Autonomic Inc (Acquired by Ford Motor Company)
4:30PM – 5:30PM
 
Happy Hour

*PROGRAM, SCHEDULE, AND SPEAKERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE

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