Shannon Byrne Susko
Shannon Byrne Susko
Former President & CEO — Subserveo (Acquired by DST Systems); Author "3HAG Way"
Shannon has 18 years of experience leading financial technology services companies in North America. Her technical expertise is coupled with extensive sales, marketing and operations experience. Shannon has served on for-profit and not-for-profit boards at a regional, national and international level.

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


8:00 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast
9am - 9:10am
Overview by Conference Chair
Chair: Shannon Byrne Susko, Former President & CEO — Subserveo (Acquired by DST Systems); Author "3HAG Way"
9:10am - 9:35am
Opening Keynote: M&A Megatrends & The Changing Landscape of Liquidity for Technology Companies

Canada has the talent, capital and innovation to build global tech giants. There are now more options than ever to take chips off the table.  This quantitative session will address key sectors, trends multiples and global trends for full and partial exits in tech.

You will walk away with:

  • An understanding of the current market trends with respect to mergers and acquisitions for technology companies.
  • Insights into industry sector consolidations and new business and liquidity options.
Daniel Lee, Managing Director, Technology & Innovation, CIBC
Kathy Butler, Managing Director & Head, CIBC
9:35am - 10am
Are you M&A Ready? Behold: The Checklist!

Whether you want to be ready for a knock on the door, or you want to raise money for growth, it takes time (and in some cases years) to check all the boxes.  There is a reason (actually, many) why a large percentage of acquisitions fail – early, measured preparation is key.  

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, honed “checklist” the essential must-do’s for getting M&A ready.

Shannon Byrne Susko, Former President & CEO — Subserveo (Acquired by DST Systems); Author "3HAG Way"
10am- 10:50am
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 who they’re 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 
  • 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
Jeremy Billan, Partner, Growth Equity, BDC Capital
Leah Nguyen, Business Enablement Director, Telus Ventures
Lyndsay Kerwin, Vice President, Silver Smith Capital
Sureel Sheth, Principal, JMI Equity
10:50am - 11:20am
Networking Coffee Break
11:20am - 12:05pm
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 exit possible 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: David Raffa, President, Valeo Corporate Finance Ltd.
Alex Loukas, Vice President, GrowthPoint Technology Partners
George Reznik, Chief Financial Officer, Intrinsyc Technologies (Acquired by Latronix Inc)
Jay Rhind, Partner, Rhino Ventures
Tiffany Jung, VP Strategy & Ops, Commit Dev
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 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:

  • acqui-hiring
  • Acquiring assets
  • Acquiring IP

  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: Hans Knapp, Partner and Co-Founder, Yaletown Partners
Erin Campbell, President, ECMB Capital Partners
Harry Chemko, CEO & Co-Founder, Elastic Path Software
12:10pm - 1pm
Networking Lunch
1pm - 1:30pm
Fireside Chat: Are you Desirable and Acquirable?

This session features a conversation with a tech entrepreneur that achieved maximum strategic exit value from an unexpected acquirer.

Cameron Burke, Managing Director - Advisory, PwC
1:30pm - 2pm
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

Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors
2:05pm - 2:50pm
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
Barbara Kinnaird, CEO, Response Biomedical
Dan Blondal, CEO, Director and Founder, Nano One Materials Corp
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
Moderator: Oksana Horsman, Partner - Deals, PwC
David Ferguson, Former CFO, Aquatic Informatics
Mark Longo, Managing Partner — Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Praveen Varshney, FCPA, FCA, Director, Varshney Capital Corp.
2:50pm - 3:15pm
Networking & Coffee Break
3:15pm - 4:05pm
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?  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: Joe Timlin, Managing Director, CIBC Innovation Banking
Iain Mant, Partner, Fasken
Keith Marett, President, Home Energy Mgmt, Generac Power Systems, Former CEO Neurio Technology Inc. (Acquired By Generac)
Kyle Duignan, Director, Growth & Transition Capital, BDC Capital
Shivalika Handa, Managing Director, Corporate Finance, PwC Canada
4:05pm - 4:50pm
Tactical 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: Shannon Byrne Susko, Former President & CEO — Subserveo (Acquired by DST Systems); Author "3HAG Way"
Jade Bourelle, Founder, Talemetry, (Acquired by K1 Investment Management)
Matias Marquez, Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Buyatab (Acquired by Stored Value Solutions)
Bruce Townson, Former CEO, Ecotagious (Acquired by Uplight)
Nicky Senyard, Founder & CEO, Fintel Connect, Former Founder & CEO of Income Access (Acquired by PaySafe)
Closing Comments
Shannon Byrne Susko, Former President & CEO — Subserveo (Acquired by DST Systems); Author "3HAG Way"
5pm - 6:30pm
Happy Hour