Rick Segal is going on tour. The idea? Get the message out there about what he, and other VCs, are looking for when they evaluate new opportunities, and help entrepreneurs get a better understanding of what VCs try to do. He will also be providing some useful tools, like sample term sheets.
This comes as there has been more publicity about the performance of private Venture Capital funds in Canada, and a significant amount of discussion about whether or not it is a good idea to start a company in Canada.
There is definitely a perception out there of VCs in ivory towers who expect everything to come to them. This is in stark contrast to the attitude that most entrepreneurs encounter when in the valley or elsewhere with a strong VC ecosystem. You get used to seeing VCs out at practically every community event, listening closely and watching as entrepreneurs grow. Those traits are rare here. As someone said to me recently “In any other business, if you complained you had no customers, everyone would tell you you are an idiot. We need to get out there an hustle, we need to find those customers.”
What Rick is doing is an example of how you can get out of your tower and start mingling with the plebs. The fact is, Canadian VCs aren’t poaching all sorts of great deals from other places, instead they rely on Canada to produce investible startups, and the best way to recognize that is to get involved and to take a long-term view. Venture Capital is only one piece of a big picture, but it is critical that VCs begin to mature along with our Angels and Entrepreneurs.
There has been a significant amount of anti-VC sentiment in the Canadian startup community and it is probably more related to a feeling of VCs being an unknown than anything else.
Here are the dates that are set up so far, starting on the east coast
- April 14th Morning – Halifax NS
- April 14th Evening – Moncton NB
- April 15th Evening – St John’s NF
If you want to register, email rick at jlaventures dot com with “VC Roundtable” in the subject.