I am starting my new role as Entrepreneur in Residence at Innovacorp today.
While a lot of the details of what that means still need to be worked out, I can tell you what it means for me in the short term:
- I will be home. I have been traveling a lot in the last year. 85,000 miles in the last 6 months. That kills your creativity and I am looking forward to having my feet on the ground more often.
- I will be reconnected. Some of you may of noticed that I basically fell off the face of the earth in January 2009. David Crow picked up the slack in blogging here. After selling Firestoker and joining Dachis Group, I felt that I had no time to stay connected to the community. I am looking forward to getting re-engaged and to start moving some of the conversation about what it means to be a startup in Canada forward again.
- I will be working with startups. Innovacorp has invested in some pretty great startups here in Nova Scotia, and I am going to work with a few of them and help as best I can. I will be working with Ben Forcier and the Investment team, as well as Stephen Hartlan, the CEO. I have had a chance to get to know Ben, Stephen, Patrick and many of the other folks at Innovacorp in the last few months and I have been impressed with all of them. I love digging in to startups and figuring out what makes them tick and that was a big part of why I agreed to join as EIR.
- I’ll be building my own startup again. I can’t help it. Let me at it! This will be my focus.
- I’ll be blogging more. Enough said.
The decision to leave Dachis Group was a tough one and certainly the most bittersweet thing I have ever done. I had a chance to work with some of the most devoted, brilliant and kind people I have ever been lucky enough to be involved with. In a year and a half we went from 4 of us sitting in a board room in Austin to 150+ employees, 2 major acquisitions, offices in 5 cities and we were able to count the largest companies in the world as our customers. Looking back on it, it seems wild, but the truth is that it feels like Dachis Group is just getting started. As the company hits milestones and continues to grow, I will feel proud every step of the way, and I will continue to contribute in every way I can.
Things have been changing quickly here in Canada however, and I am glad to be part of the community again. The momentum is building slowly but steadily: The Job Board has more startups than ever looking to fill positions, we are seeing more and more new financings, and we are seeing some of the first exits from members of the community. The Canadian economy is also strong relative to foreign markets and the quality of talent available in Canada means that we should be able to be more competitive internationally than ever. Access to capital is still “complicated” in many ways, but we are seeing significant changes in availability and the sophistication of the investors deploying capital in the country. I hope that that shakeout continues.
This is an incredibly rich place to build a startup, and I plan to make the best of it.
Have something interesting? An idea or a new startup? Get in touch and let’s make it happen.