What am I looking for?

Posted on September 24, 2020

Once one gets through the "why" question after announcing a big life change, the next follow up question is "what's next" or "what are you looking for". As I outlined in my previous blog post, I honestly don't know. That said, after a dozen conversations there are some things that I am very confident in saying that I do want which has been helpful in guiding some of my decision making. I thought there would be value in sharing this more ...

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Time for a new adventure

Posted on September 17, 2020

After 4 years at Encircle, I have decided it is time for a new adventure.  Of course, when one makes a significant life change the obvious question is why? Sometimes there isn’t a clear answer - it is just time for a change.  Time to try something new and to stretch my comfort zone.   Looking back on the past four years, it is crazy how many “roles” I held at Encircle. I am so very proud of the accomplishments of my ...

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Tribute to Phil Everson

Posted on October 6, 2019

Tribute to Phil Everson

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Huggy Rao spoke this morning at the Communitech Scale Up Breakfast and it was a really solid talk.  For those who weren't able to attend here are my notes from the talk. Excellent organizations allow you to be you.  Are we creating an organization where people can be themselves? Scaling is about spreading and sustaining a mindset not just a footprint. This isn't about hiring cops to ensure people do the right thing. They should do the ...

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I am leaving Velocity

Posted on April 5, 2016

Originally published at http://velocity.uwaterloo.ca/2016/04/velocity-prepares-to-bid-farewell-to-director-mike-kirkup/ I am leaving Velocity. After four years of working to make it the best place in the world to build a startup, the time has come for me to go help a startup become the best in the world. This wasn’t an easy decision. I truly love the team we have built at Velocity and will miss working with them every day. It has been an ...

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The Three Rules of Silicon Valley

Posted on October 29, 2015

At the end of September, Velocity held its “Big Dinner” event, where entrepreneurs in our programs are invited to join us for dinner to meet new people and hear an amazing speaker.  Tom Williams flew in from California to share some of his insights and set a very high bar for future big dinner speakers.  One of my favourite parts of the talk was Tom’s three rules of Silicon Valley: 1) Always be helpful 2) Always be honest 3) ...

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BNN Interview – Talking startups

Posted on October 19, 2015

I had an opportunity to participate in an interview on BNN today to discuss the Canadian startup ecosystem ahead of the election today.  A good discussion about the importance of intellectual property policy, how we keep companies located here in Canada versus heading to the Bay Area, and my suggestion for improved tax treatment to help angel investors.  Check it out. BNN Interview  

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Founding Employee Compensation

Posted on September 4, 2015

One of the most common questions I get from new founders is how they should compensate their first employee.  We call your first set of employees “founding employees” because although they are not officially considered founders they are joining the company at an extremely early stage and sharing much of the risk with the founders.  On top of that, these new employees will be critical to the success (or failure) of your company so ensuring ...

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Giving back with GiveGetWin

Posted on August 18, 2015

I had the opportunity to meet Russell Silver last week when he reached out to tell me about GiveGetWin asking if I was willing to help out.  The concept of connecting great mentors with those looking for help with all of the proceeds going to charity sounded like an amazing concept.  This fit so well with our "pay it forward" approach at Velocity that I jumped at the opportunity.  Based on a short discussion with Russell and then followed ...

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Currency matters!

Posted on May 20, 2015

It has been too long since I last blogged and I wanted to spend some time sharing lessons we are learning at Score More Baseball.  One of the biggest lessons learned this week was that currency really makes a difference.  When we first set up payment through Stripe we were selling to the local community in Waterloo such that charging in Canadian (CDN) dollars made perfect sense. However, as we continued to sell to more and more intern...

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