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2019 Program

April 10, 2019

7:45 am
 
Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast
8:45 am
 
Conference Overview by Chair
Chair: David Raffa, President, Valeo Corporate Finance Ltd.
8:55 am
 
Keynote Market Overview

This session will address the key trends for growing and exiting a tech company in Canada

Speaker:

Cameron Burke, Partner, Technology & Innovation Banking, Fort Capital Partners

9:20 am
 
Morning Keynote, Fireside Chat: Adaptive Insights, A Looming IPO went Acquisition Instead

Join Robert Antoniades, General Partner with Information Ventures Partners as he sits down with Robert Hull, Founder of Adaptive Insights, which was acquired by Workday for $1.6 Billion, after a recent IPO announcement. Presented by RBC

Speakers:

Robert Hull, FOUNDER — ADAPTIVE INSIGHTS (ACQUIRED BY WORKDAY)

Robert Antoniades, Co-Founder & General Partner, Information Venture Partners

10:10 am
 
The Buying Journey: A Purchaser’s Perspective

There are different types of buyers in the M&A continuum: strategic, private equity, corporate dev teams, among others. Understanding your potential buyer universe will help you clarify your objectives for selling and what you want success to look like. In learning about the different classes of buyers, you will quickly see that it isn’t a one size fits all game. It’s about the best fit for the type of business you are building.In this session you will hear from different buyers and what influences their purchasing decisions.

Speakers:

Marc Drouin, REGIONAL DIRECTOR, TECHNOLOGIES GROUP — BDC

Igor Faletski, CO-FOUNDER & CEO — MOBIFY

Richard Hungerford, VP, BUSINESS AND CORPORATE DEVELOPMENT — HOOTSUITE

Yong Kwon, PARTNER — NOVACAP

Hamed Shahbazi, CEO — WELL

10:50 am
 
The Valuation Levers

It is never too early to be thinking about your exit strategy – even if you don’t plan on selling right away. Most entrepreneurs don’t get nearly what they should because they weren’t prepared, and this can gravely affect the value of your company. Furthermore, a successful exit for your shareholders can be very different from what you, the entrepreneur, defines as a success. 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.

Speakers:

Jackie Cook, FOUNDER & CEO — FUNDVOTES (ACQUIRED BY MORNINGSTAR)

Paul Emond, FORMER CEO — VERSATURE (ACQUIRED BY NET2PHONE)

Brenda Irwin, GENERAL PARTNER — RELENTLESS VENTURE FUND

Meredith Powell, VENTURE PARTNER — VOYAGER CAPITAL

Alex Mackay, STRATEGIC M&A ADVISOR — TEQUITY

11:40 am
 
Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
 
A1: Deal Killers: Common Deal Challenges & How to Address and Avoid Them

The LOI is signed. Great! But challenges lie ahead that must be carefully navigated to avoid collapses or changes to the negotiated deal. Buyers and sellers often have different needs and objectives – and the idea of providing unfettered access to your confidential business information is scary. This session will look at real-world examples of how to structure your company well in advance of a potential sale; help you consider all of your business options to reap the benefits and avoid pitfalls; and tactics to avoid major post-sale surprises. This is your opportunity to learn about common “deal breakers” so that you and your advisors can prepare well in advance.

Speakers:

Paulin Laberge, PRESIDENT — ICOMPASS TECHNOLOGIES (ACQUIRED BY DILIGENT CORPORATION)

David Levine, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT — CORUM GROUP LTD.

Mark Longo, Managing Partner — Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Tea Nicola, CO-FOUNDER & CEO — WEALTHBAR (ACQUIRED BY CI FINANCIAL)

 
A2: Liquidity vs. Exits

Finding a potential suitor for your business is the most monumental decision you will make in your life. Depending on the size of the business you are operating and your personal goals, there are different financial options to consider that will make your venture profitable. Strategic or private equity buyers might be your most lucrative exit strategy, but there are other liquidity options to help you put growth capital to work. This session will feature experts from tech-specific private equity firms, classic strategic buyers, other financiers.

1:00 pm
 
Roundtables Discussions with Industry Leaders

Meet the day’s experts during this interactive discussion with conference thought leaders and other subject matter experts who will give you the tactical take-aways you need around IP strategy, negotiating deal terms, debt financing, governance, etc.

 
Roundtable Discussion – Crossing the Final Hurdles: Keeping Your Leverage Throughout the Transaction

Join David Levine and Joel Espelien from Corum Group, the leading seller of software and related technology companies, to discuss how to do more than just get a deal across the finish line The only way to get an optimal outcome for your company—best price and structure—is to have multiple buyers at the table, by running a carefully managed global process. But after you’ve chosen a buyer and entered the “no-shop” period, how do you maintain that leverage? We’ll discuss war stories, best practices and strategies that you’ll want to understand well in advance of signing that LOI.

Speakers:

Joel Espelien, PRESIDENT — CORUM GROUP LTD.

David Levine, SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT — CORUM GROUP LTD.

 
Roundtable Discussion – The Metrics That Matter

Join Brent Holliday and Geoff Hansen from Garibaldi Capital to discuss the metrics that matter. How you measure customer acquisition and manage churn rates are two essential areas your potential acquirer is going to want to examine once an offer is on the table. This Roundtable discussion will dive deep into the mechanisms that buyers use to evaluate growth, churn, and essentially how they will predict the future growth of your business.

Speakers:

Geoff Hansen, Senior Advisor, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

 
Roundtable Discussion – Think Like A Buyer

Are you confident you’re able to position yourself and your company to attract the attention of a buyer? How do buyers think differently from VCs? Join PwC Canada’s Shivalika Handa, Managing Director, Corporate Finance to uncover how you can attract attention of different buyer groups, regardless of your company size. We’ll discuss strategies to help you think like a buyer and position yourself in the best light to ultimately get you the offer.

Speaker:

Shivalika Handa, Managing Director, Corporate Finance, PwC Canada

1:45 pm
 
Luncheon Keynote: Setting the Table for Acquisition: Why Knowing What Kind of Company You Are Building From Day One Will Be The Key To Your Success

Positioning your company based on your technology, product or brand, among other factors will become the determining value drivers in your time to exit, capital needs and costs, and ultimately the exit price you will get. This session will feature a global story of a tech entrepreneur and his or her major investors who achieved a strategic exit value.

Speakers:

Kevin Collins, CO-FOUNDER & CEO — BIT STEW SYSTEMS (ENTREPRENEUR, ACQUIRED BY GE)

Hans Knapp, Partner and Co-Founder, Yaletown Partners

2:20 pm
 
Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
 
B1: Building & Leveraging Your Board to Win

This session will explore how best to work with your board, who should be on your board at the different stages of your company’s life-cycle, and how to run an effective boarding meeting. Whether you are fundraising, scaling up, or planning your exit strategy, the people who accompany you on this journey need to be right for you. Hear from top VC firms, as well as entrepreneurs who have exited, as they share best practices for how to leverage this integral extension of your team.

Speakers:

Hannes Blum, VENTURE PARTNER — ACTON CAPITAL

Catherine Dahl, CEO, Beanworks (acquired by Quadient)

Amielle Lake, EVP, SALES AND MARKETING — CARBONET & FOUNDER & BOARD MEMBER, TAGGA (ACQUIRED BY CAMPAIGN MONITOR)

Julie McGill, MANAGING PARTNER — FULMER CAPITAL PARTNERS

Catherine Warren, CEO — VEC

 
B2: Taxation: Effectively Structuring Your Company for Selling

If your business is acquired, you will inevitably face a significant taxation bill. If you’re not careful, you could find yourself with less than half the purchase price in your pocket. How options are taxed, for example, can leave many business owners and their employees, deeply disappointed! Fortunately, with the right preparation and enough time to implement, there are a number of opportunities to reduce or eliminate tax burdens. In this special focused session we will look at real-world examples, how to structure your company well in advance of a potential sale or recapitalization so you have to consider all of your business options to reap the benefits and avoid the pitfalls.

Speakers:

Ian D. Heine, PARTNER, NATIONAL TECHNOLOGY SECTOR TAX LEADER — PWC

Sheryne Mecklai, PARTNER, MANNING ELLIOTT

Peter Mogan, PARTNER — MOGAN DANIELS SLAGER

George Reznik, Chief Financial Officer, Intrinsyc Technologies (Acquired by Latronix Inc)

3:05 pm
 
Networking & Coffee Break
3:20 pm
 
The Checklist: How to Prepare for Your Exit

Once you have decided on what you want your exit outcome to look like, you need to be thoughtful around all of the decisions leading up to your sale. Operating efficiently, professionalizing processes, limiting vulnerabilities around IP, source code, accounting records, are just a some of the things to take into consideration. This session will address the essential do’s and don’ts for getting exit ready and identify some of the significant mistakes companies unknowingly make which end up limiting their options and reducing value.

Speakers:

Caroline Dunn, PRESIDENT AND CEO — VIVONET

Brent Holliday, Founder & CEO, Garibaldi Capital Advisors

Monique Janower, SENIOR MARKET RESEARCH AND BUSINESS STRATEGIST — CATAPULT STRATEGY

Iain Mant, Partner, Fasken

4:00 pm
 
War stories: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Plenary
War stories: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Speakers:

David Raffa, President, Valeo Corporate Finance Ltd.

Carol Leaman, CEO — AXONIFY (FORMER CEO POSTRANK, ACQUIRED BY GOOGLE)

Lisa Shields, FOUNDER & CEO — HYPERWALLET (ACQUIRED BY PAYPAL)

Derek Spratt, SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR AND INVESTOR — FORMER PRESIDENT & CEO, MOBIDIA TECHNOLOGY (ACQUIRED BY APP ANNIE)

Shannon Byrne Susko, Former President & CEO — Subserveo (Acquired by DST Systems); Author "3HAG Way"

4:45 pm
 
Happy Hour