New York City glittered last week. From the oversized Christmas ornaments outside of Simon and Schuster, to the Swarovski-laden 76-foot tree in Rockefeller Center, the city glowed brighter than normal as it prepared for the holiday season.
The Communitech HYPERDRIVE cohort, in town for meetings and events, also sparkled while in New York City, but this was no holiday. The five companies were here to hustle.
The HYPERDRIVE New York City trip is a bi-annual five days of meetings, panels and meet-and-greets. Generous spare time is allowed in the schedule, but not for quick shopping trips at Bloomingdales - participating companies are expected to fill their time meeting with industry experts, venture and angel firms and local...
That’s the thing about reality TV – the reality is often massaged, if not outright manufactured.
Not that Jacobson and co-founder Garrett Gottlieb, who came through Communitech HYPERDRIVE’s second cohort earlier this year, are complaining. While their Dragons’ Den appearance might have looked like a failure to viewers at home, they saw it for what it was: a massive PR opportunity that raised the company’s profile.
I sat down with Jacobson this week to talk about the experience.
To reach the suite occupied by Fidus Systems Inc. in Kitchener, visitors walk down a hall to a flight of stairs.
It leads them up to the next level.
This is what Fidus does for large, sure-footed companies and startups that are still finding their legs: It takes electronic ideas that have been roughed out in ink, wit and wire, and ramps them up a notch. Or several.
"We use top of the line professional simulation tools, and skilled designers, to provoke questions that maybe your team hasn’t thought of. Working closely with our customers to flesh out the architecture and take it from concept to being a verified circuit design or product with strong philosophy of taking the time to do it right, and first time success,'' says Cameron Redmond, vice-president of business development.
Sweaty palms or a confident smile? When making your big pitch to a potential investor, a few basic guidelines can help ensure you walk into that meeting set for success.
The key is to be ready long before you walk into the room, say angel investor Frank Erschen, OMERS Ventures senior associate Sid Paquette and Communitech HYPERDRIVE head coach Ted Hastings.
Don't assume that one pitch deck will work in every situation. Tailor each pitch to the specific audience to ensure you are speaking the investor's language.
"You should research your audience ahead of time," Hastings urges. "Find out companies that are currently in their portfolio and find opportunities to compare/contrast your business – it engages your audience in the presentation.
HYPERDRIVE Company, Title: Roadmunk, Co-Founder and CEO
Expertise: Start-ups. Product management. User experience.
Hometown: Calgary, Alberta.
Why did you choose to be an entrepreneur? Entrepreneurship is a mindset anyone can tap into. Once its presence is strong enough, it chooses you.
One thing you want to accomplish while being in HYPERDRIVE: Build and grow.
What is your strongest quality? I enjoy managing my time carefully. Instead of trying to work 15 hours straight, I figure out how to get it done half the time and balance my life with other activities.
If you had endless amounts of money what would you do? Many things come to mind. Buy out every oil company in the world and re-focus their entire R&D budgets on clean technology. Fund...
Career: Founder/CEO @ Penguin Power, Mentor @ EO (Entrepreneurs Organization), GM, @ Community Futures Development Corporation, Director @ Mornington Communications, Manager of Strategic Initiatives @ Canadian Tire Financial
Expertise: Start-Ups (all aspects), Sales/Marketing Strategy and B2B Sales Implementation, Channel Development, New Product Development, JV & M&A Transactions.
First job: Farm Boy/Slave (Poultry, Swine & Dairy)
Failure moment, and what you learned from it: Attempted Retirement. Learned one should never stop doing things they love – I love turning ideas into cash generation machines. For me, it’s way more fun than knitting, square dancing or bingo.