HI SN! I Haz Question: We're on a late stretch towards closing a significant enterprise deal, and one of the final negotiation items is around insurance. The client is requesting that we have cyber liability and privacy breach insurance ($10M), and fidelity bond or commercial crime insurance ($5M) - which seems overkill.
Just wondering if anyone here dealt with a similar situation and if you were able to provide acceptable compromises, and secondly, if you have any recommendations around providers should we need to have it in place? Thanks! ... See MoreSee Less
Mudit Singh RawatWe just went through something similar around cyber liability with a very large public company. The insurance amount was so high that we weren't even able to secure one as a young startup. I had to personally speak to the financial controller who runs the procurement process to get an exception made as it did not make sense for us (and more importantly would have stalled the deal). I first got the buy in from the buyer as they really needed the solution and then reached out to the controller for help. She acknowledged that some of these policies are made for large vendors like Cisco/IBM and was happy to reduce the insurance amount as an exception.
Jodi EchakowitzI'm curious as to why the focus specifically on "Canadian Software" deals? (Also, how do you classify software?) I don't think this chart on its own looks right and/or tells the whole story (unless you have another chart that looks overall at Canadian investments by firm, and perhaps another that looks at overall investments...)
Ameet ShahMark - given that you (presumably) know all of the funds in Canada quite well, perhaps an opt-in email asking for info would allow Sure Path to collect better data on the ecosystem?
Also, I'm not sure about the full context of the slides, but "most active" is a misleading number. That's the equivalent of page views or app installs in VC land.
Perhaps $ deployed as a percentage of fund size would be more meaningful?
Some funds are very concentrated in their capital deployment, while others appeal to a wider gamut. A fund that deploys $100K across 10 companies would "out perform" by this measure.
... or maybe it's just VCs who care about this data 😜
Many of you have heard Jordan Jacobs and me pitch the importance of having a world leading academic centre as the engine of growth for an AI-powered tech economy. With funding secured, now the real work begins!
Vector will be led by an amazing group of Deep Learning researchers at UofT (Geoff Hinton, Rich Zemel, Raquel Urtasun, Brendan Frey and others) and Ed Clark, who dared us to think big.
Vector will work closely with universities across Ontario to up all of our game in AI, and is part of the larger pan-Canadian play to double down on AI research as announced in the 2017 budget. ... See MoreSee Less
Steve IrvineThanks for leading the way on this one Tomi and Jordan! A lot of behind the scenes work fell on you guys to get this off the ground. Very grateful for the effort and excited to see the impact on the community!
Daniel DebowOutstanding work Tomi Poutanen and Jordan Jacobs - you are both real "do-ers" who saw a problem and built a solution, fast. We're lucky to have leaders like you in our community. And also lucky that you come from the entrepreneurial world - so that Vector grows our companies and economy.
A little BetaKit exclusive and some great news for Canadians looking to raise or invest via AngelList. Congrats to Alexander Norman for getting this done in less than six months (!!). ... See MoreSee Less
Public service announcement: I'm guessing most startups on this list bill in USD and some raise funds in USD. If you need to sell USD for CAD, don't use your bank. I just got a quote from Knightsbridge to sell a bunch of USD. A full 4 % cheaper than what our bank was quoting. If you do FX transactions use Knightsbridge ... See MoreSee Less
Aran HamiltonDarrell MacMullin should see this chain. My understanding is that if both parties have a GoldMoney account, the cost to do this transfer would be 0.5% flat. My sense is that use cases like this are going to really open up huge opportunities for GoldMoney.
2 days ago
Darrell MacMullinlol There’s A few different things here I can educate on. The conversion of money , and preserving of money…both near and dear to any entrepreneur or investor
Something to be deemed “good money” needs to have 3 attributes
1) Unit of account - obvious
2) Medium of exchange - some easier than others…where FX friction comes in
3) Store of Value - how well does your money preserve its worth over time. …we’ve all felt the erosion of CAD and USD over time and the volatility between them.
Lots of examples of currency exchanges companies that try to lower the currency spread cost moving from one fiat currency to another, but you are still exposed to the value of either currency swings. Gold has always been been store or value, but wasn’t easily liquid or accessible.
Goldmoney (small shameless plug) solves both points there
1) If you are sitting on company funds or personal funds that you don’t want to put at risk in investment vehicles, and stay liquid, pick a money that perserves the best over time. Chart Below shows Gold vs every major national currency short and long term. (yes, it actually beats the performance of most VC funds ;-) )
2) If you don’t care about that, and just trying to find a fast easy way to transfer funds today between people and currencies without major FX conversions, You can use Gold as the neutral bridge. You buy Gold in CAD (any amount) instantly, transfer Gold value to anyone instantly, and they can sell the Gold for USD for 0.5% of the spot price. So effectively doing a global transfer between any 2 parties and any 2 currencies using Gold as the bridge way more effective than the banking system. www.goldmoney.com/personal/gold-transfers
2 days ago · 2
Ilan KoganIf you are regularly doing foreign currency conversions over $25K USD your best bet is to register with a brokerage and do the FOREX trading yourself. You can save a significant amount of money doing so. I use Interactive Brokers for currency trading and pay 0.1% - 0.2% of the current spot rate (even less if you convert greater amounts, down to 0.08 basis points * trade size tier). The more currency you convert the better deal you get--custom quotes over $7MM.
You can also use Norbert's Gambit, but it's actually still quite slow and expensive (doesn't work as well for short term trades). Using the technique at TD, for example, costs 2 x $9.99 if you are willing to wait a few days (or an additional $50 if you need it done "quickly" aka a few hours). You are also exposing yourself to significant FOREX risk, especially during volatile periods, using Norbert's Gambit. Since a brokerage will offer you variable rates, you can often get a better deal than this fixed price.
Let me know if any questions! Happy to help.
2 days ago · 2
Ryan DochukI'd be interested in how this compares with enterprise currency trading platforms with big banks. i.e. not just consumer online banking where you're obviously going to get hosed. I can't imagine they can beat it by 4%, as our bank for example is only around 0.005% off the FX market.
Christian LassondeLesson here is: call your bank for a quote. Don't ever convert at the posted rate. Shop around.
1 day ago · 1
Denon OstermanFor what it's worth we use Firma FX and are very happy with them, great service, MUCH better rates than the banks, and free wire transfers (which really helps when you have multiple suppliers to pay)
1 day ago
Steven PulverThanks! Personally, I have fallen in love with TransferWise. You get the actual conversion rate plus a small fee that they charge. I have used it dozens of times. Shameless plug to use my promo code which will give you your first $500 in conversions for free. transferwise.com/u/05fba8
I'm guest curating an upcoming edition of Mattermark's Raise the Bar newsletter, and would love to showcase some great thinking from the Canadian startup community - if you have written or read something really good on sales, marketing or growth, please post here or send me a note at [email protected] Thanks! ... See MoreSee Less
Need advice: what are the best tools (SaaS or otherwise) for growing startups to give their teams to help with HR, performance management, incentives, getting a pulse on team culture and mood, etc? Basically I am wondering if people have suggestions on great tools out there that make teams perform and work better / happier. ... See MoreSee Less
Jennifer BouyoukosIf you need a core HR database for tracking you can look at BambooHR. Otherwise, try WorkTango (Toronto Startup) or Reflective for managing teams and culture. You won't find a single stop solution that manages compensation or incentives in the start-up space (at least I haven't found one). Some have recognition built in but then you need to manage the payments outside the system.
Jonathan KreindlerAli, our solution, PeopleAnalytics.ai, does exactly this - real-time insight into team and organizational psychology that enables you to measure mood, engagement, disgruntlement, stress, quality of relationships and team dynamics. No surveys or active participation required. We’re in pilots with a number of large FIs. DM me if you want to discuss.
There are 20 public companies in the S&P/TSX IT index. According to their websites, the following seven have zero women on their boards: Constellation Software, Enghouse, Mitel, Avigilon, Absolute Software, Evertz, and Computer Modelling. Another six have one woman on their boards (Kinaxis, Sierra Wireless, Sandvine, Wi-Lan, Halogen and Redknee). Four have two women (BlackBerry, Solium, Celestica, Descartes) and three (CGI, Open Text, DH) have three women. None of the companies has more than 33% female representation on their boards. I counted 23 board seats occupied by women out of the 162 total between the 20 companies, which amounts to 14% female representation. That's just the top 20 Canadian public tech companies (for some reason Shopify, with one female board member, isn't part of the index) and doesn't include top venture-backed private companies. Just going to leave these statistics here, in case anyone wants to discuss. ... See MoreSee Less
Jodi EchakowitzI know that I've connected with folks like Joanne Fedeyko who are trying to change the ratio through initiatives such as theboardlist.com (per Ben's reference to Sukhinder). Of course, it all takes time, but perhaps it's moving the dial (to quote Jodi Kovitz) in the right direction. Part of the challenge is that to be considered for a director role on a board (in theBoardlist's case), you need to be the CEO or Founder of a company with at least $5MM in revenue - OR - C-Suite or VP+ at a company with at least $25MM in revenue - OR - Director at a company with at least $500MM in revenue. So many of the women we all think might make fantastic directors don't qualify because of these minimum requirements.
Julia KassamJust read the Betakit post this past Friday that also discussed diversity. So thanks Sean Silcoff for bringing these stats up from a public company perspective. It's been over a year since securities regulators introduced the comply or explain rule which orders public companies to track and disclose women in senior positions, including board seats. Although the numbers have yet to shift dramatically ( and in my opinion will take much more than a policy) it has forced the discussion since public companies have to explain their reasoning for lack of representation and what their plans are to address the situation. Here is an article that may be of interest that discusses stats in Canada and what other countries are doing to address the topic: www.google.ca/amp/s/www.thestar.com/amp/business/2016/09/28/virtually-no-change-in-getting-woman-....
Martin KrátkýWhat percentage of the founders of those companies were female? Founders generally occupy at least 1-2 of the board seats, so if there's a bias there, that would explain part of the discrepancy
Daneal CharneyYes boardlist and women getonboard are two great ways to solve this problem. Also profiling more women in the media via expertwomen (this is hosted by expertfile) #MoveTheDial
3 weeks ago · 4
Alex SirotaI bet the boards of the largest not for profits around the world reverse the male/female ratio. I'd love to see the stats on that. The important work is being done outside the fortune 500.
3 weeks ago · 2
Stephen LakeFrom the perspective of a private tech company / startup - here's the current challenge: the vast majority of your board members will be your VC investors and the founders. Both VCs and founders of venture-funded companies are skewed highly male right now. For independent board members you have more flexibility, however the first pool that founders look at are often their angel investors, and CEOs/former CEOs of other companies - again two pools that skew highly male right now.
Basically - these are all linked. If we can address increasing the percentage of female partners at VC firms, female angel investors in tech companies, and female founders - we also help address the board challenges, at least for private tech co's.
Randall HowardSean, kudos for highlighting this, a problem that needs to be dealt with systemically. One might spend too much time arguing which comes first in startup diversity (like chicken or egg): women as Board members or founders, My own experience suggests the issue needs publicity coupled with massive conscious effort over a period of time to rectify. Case in point, I'm on the Board of a larger company which had its first woman on the Board almost 20 years ago--that event itself being major sea change. Recently, I chaired the Board nominations committee which was part of getting the company to today's situation, in which women are now over 40% of the Board. Because there are fewer senior women candidates in the recruiting pool, it takes great work and care to find top women Board members. Without such extra effort, by default male Board members would be the outcome. That's not an excuse to defer, but rather a call to action to put extra focus onto getting top women candidates (who are indeed out there). For startups, the lesson from this is that people need to lead by example and all parts of the tech startup ecosystem need to respond to the challenge: from developers to founders, not to mention Angels and VC investors. As a leader in the Angel ecosystem, I know that despite significant efforts to address the gender imbalance, more work needs to be done here as well. It is an ongoing focus.
Huda IdreesLove this Sean! I've been looking at % of female founder companies in investor portfolios as we choose who to bring on. The numbers are not good. It's especially bad in Canada. To Stephen's point, if the founders aren't female, that's automatically a ding for female representation on the board. And if we're not funding them, well... we know where the problem is.
Jacoline B. LoewenShopify is the younger generation so perhaps that impacts their choices.
3 weeks ago
Lylan MastermanWhile there are many ways for women to become board members, one of my favourites (of course) is by founding a company. Here is an article I wrote "For Women in Tech, Bias Runs Deeper Than Most Think" entrepreneur.com/article/283434
Naomi Elana ZenerThere are lots of women on philanthropic boards in unpaid positions, but not on corporate ones. Thriving philanthropic organizations, I might add. Time for corporate boards to revisit their thinking in reconstituting their boards with women. #SmashTheGlass