New Ventures BC

News about the New Ventures BC competition and seminar series

Mentors

Amp Up Your business Idea with Accelerate Okanagan

If you’re in the Okanagan, here’s a great opportunity for early stage entrepreneurs and career changers.

The Startup Basics program can help provide you with the tools and resources to take your idea to the next stage.

The program is comprised of weekly sessions and seminars, taking place from September to December 2015. Sessions are presented by Community Organizations, Accelerate Okanagan Executive in Residence Mentors, Partners, Clients, and Alumni. Two of our NVBC mentors will also be taking part!

Each session is designed to educate the entrepreneur on the fundamentals essential to developing their startup.

Learn more or sign up »

Board of Directors 2015-2016

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We are pleased to announce our new board of directors, for 2015-2016:

  • Bob de Wit, CEO, Greater Vancouver Homebuilders Association
  • Todd Farrell, President, entrepreneurship@UBC
  • Blaize Horner Reich, Dean, SFU Beedie School of Business
  • Steven Lukas, Partner, Fasken Martineau
  • Richard Mockett, Partner, Ernst & Young Vancouver
  • J. Brock Smith, Professor, Winspear Scholar, Peter B Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria
  • Wal van Lierop, President and CEO, Chrysalix Energy
  • Michael Volker, President, Western Universities Technology Innovation Fund (WUTIF), & President, GreenAngel Energy Corp.

We would like to thank our outgoing directors for their time and dedication:

  • Kip Morison, Chief Technology Officer, BC Hydro
  • Richard Sawchuk, Director, Ministry of International Trade
  • Daniel Shapiro, Professor, SFU Beedie School of Business

myBestHelper selected as finalist for Cartier Women’s Initiative Global Entrepreneurship Competition!

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We are happy to announce that former New Ventures Competitor myBestHelper have been selected as a finalist for the Cartier Women’s Initiative Global Entrepreneurship Competition! Since the creation of the competition in 2006, myBestHelper is only the second Canadian company to ever receive the nod, after the 2009 finalist selection of Michelle Romanow then CEO of Evandale Caviar,  and now better known as one of the Dragons on CBC’s Dragon’s Den.
Read more

David Raffa – Equity Crowdfunding: Financing Solution or Just a Distraction?

David Raffa has published the fifth in a series of blogs on launching, growing and ultimately selling a technology company, with a corporate finance focus.

His blog will cover:

-Cap structures
-Equity plans
-Financing
-Corporate partnering
-Board matters
-Achieving a successful exit
Read more

Video Replay: The Business Case with Mike Volker

This year’s fourth seminar The Business Case (What Angels Really Want) took place on April 8th with Mike Volker presenting.

For those who missed the presentation, a video and link to Mike’s slides is after the jump.


Slides from Mike’s presentation can be found here.

Meet Your Mentor Networking Event on June 26th

On Wednesday, June 26th this year’s Top 25 companies will meet their mentors in-person at the annual Meet Your Mentor networking event. This event is for our top 25 companies to meet their mentors in-person, but it’s also a great general networking event.

If you’d like to reconnect with the New Ventures community, please join us. Hors d’oeuvres and your first drink provided.

The BCIC-New Ventures Meet your Mentor Networking Event takes place on June 26th from 5:30pm-7:30pm at the offices of Fasken Martineau.

It is free for all 2013 competitors, volunteers, and sponsors but $20 for general admission tickets (and $10 for students). Register online to attend.

Creating Green Elephants

Wal van LieropInvestors are not just looking for companies that are taking advantage of the surge in green technology and environmental awareness. They’re looking for companies that can truly become green elephants; the Fortune 500 leaders of tomorrow.

At a gathering of Vancouver’s clean-tech community organized by VEF Momentum and Chrysalix Energy on Friday, Chrysalix President and CEO and New Ventures Society Director Wal van Lierop gave some direction and inspiration to those future leaders:

“If you are a young entrepreneur and you want to know key elements, the first is the wow factor,” he says. “We want to see it and say ‘this will change everything.’ You need a patent. It needs to be capital-efficient. We want a huge market! And we need to see a clear path to that market. How are you going to reach your customers?”

It’s all about people, van Lierop says. “Create a top team. Not just your executives, but board members, advisors, mentors. Have that team focused razor-sharp on the operations. Revenues are becoming important. Last, but not least, have a realistic exit plan. What are you going to do when you grow up? Greed is good in that respect, but don’t be too greedy. Most of the exits in this sector will be exits to big elephants. It’s very important early on to learn how to dance with the elephants.”

You have to be willing to push some boundaries. “For new entrepreneurs, understand your role: seeing things others don’t see and making them happen. And that means taking risks.”

What do you do after you’ve built your prototype? “Sell your story to investors in the best way possible. Have a very good business plan and a very good power point presentation. Sell it to investors and sell it to customers.”

As your company grows, keep your eye on the big picture. “Then of course, building that team. Focus on execution and creating wealth for all stockholders. Share your ownership of the company with co-founders, with crucial members. If by giving part of your company away you can get a bigger pie, everyone will win.”

And possibly the most important advice that night? “Never stop believing.”

Mentor Profile: Darren Frew

1)  Who are you? Give us your 100-word elevator pitch.

I have offered business development services and mentoring to BC’s high-tech community for nearly 20 years.  Presently, I’m doing this working with both the BC Bioenergy Network and the Canadian Institute for Photonic Innovations.  I also support budding entrepreneurs, via mentorship and as a member of the Vancouver Entrepreneurs Toastmasters Club.

2) How long have you been a New Ventures BC mentor/judge?

Since the very first competition in 2001.

3) Why did you get involved with New Ventures BC as a mentor/judge?

I believe my service with NVBC is a great way to give back to the community that has been so supportive of me.

4) Many companies enter the competition but not all can be recognized in the Top 10. Outside of the Top 10, what has been your favorite company in the competition?

In 2007, I mentored a company that had developed and was marketing a novel mat that is placed on the floor of a garage and collects oil and other fluids which drip from an engine.  It was a simple idea but it was also a great business run by an enthusiastic entrepreneur.

5) Of all the companies that have passed through the competition, which one most impressed you?

The 2003 overall winner was Resonance Technologies.  I was part of the Panel Mentoring for the company and I was really impressed with the vision and professionalism of the company’s founder, Matthew Janes.  It was a very cool technology with terrific potential as a business.

Mentor profile: Stephen Smith of Webnames.ca

1) Who are you? Give us your 100-word elevator pitch.

I have over twenty years of experience working in information technology.  While at the UBC UILO in 2000 I worked on the transfer of the .ca internet domain registry to CIRA and as part of that project I founded Webnames.ca where I serve as CEO.  I also founded Flintbox in 2003 – an innovation database used by over 100 universities around the world to disseminate early stage research results. Flintbox was acquired by Wellspring Worldwide in 2010.

I was a finalist for Ernst & Young’s 2005 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for Information Technology in the Pacific Region and I was also a recipient of Business in Vancouver’s  Top 40 Under 40 Award for Outstanding Achievement (2005). I also serve on the Board of Tasktop Technologies.

2) How long have you been a New Ventures BC mentor/judge?

Since 2006.

3) Why did you get involved with New Ventures BC as a mentor/judge?

I was asked by my good friend Bob de Wit.

4) Many companies enter the competition but not all can be recognized in the Top 10. Outside of the Top 10, what has been your favorite company in the competition?

Tasktop – they are a very good company that continues to do things right.

5) Of all the companies that have passed through the competition, which one most impressed you?

See above.