Finding Canada’s best venture partner, for any Canadian growth-stage company, can be a stressful job.
Canadian venture capital continues to be an exciting space. And while it may not be as prolific as its southern counterpart in the US – yet – the Canadian ecosystem is becoming increasingly robust. One of the leaders in the venture capital space is Bruce Croxon. A serial entrepreneur turned venture capitalist, whose passion lies in supporting Canadian entrepreneurs.
Bruce is a life-long entrepreneur with more than 30 years of experience building and helping companies grow. His first notable success was Lavalife, one of the first online dating sites that he co-founded in 1988. He spent 3 years investing on CBC’s Dragon’s Den which gave him a wide range of exposure to all kinds of deals. This also led him to add exciting businesses to his portfolio.
This explains why one of Bruce’s passion is to speak to entrepreneurs. There is no doubt he is a multi-talented individual as he is also the co-host of The Disruptor on BNN.
BRUCE CROXON AND CANADA’S ENTREPRENEURIAL POTENTIAL
As the Managing Partner of Round 13 Capital, Bruce and his partners manage over $325 million in three funds. A firm that, based on their investment philosophy, could easily become Canada’s best venture partner of modern times. They are an avenue for growth-stage digital companies in Canada to access capital. Bruce sheds some light on when to consider them as a venture partner and the different strategies they employ. Finally, we touch on the varying levels of support Round 13 provides to companies at various stages.
We also take a look at why the Canadian venture capital market is becoming increasingly attractive for US firms. As competition in the States is at an all-time high, exploring other options without compromising quality is enticing.
At Round 13, they present partners with all the options rather than selling themselves as the fully-packaged solution. Gone are the days of the person holding the cheque yielding all the power. Instead, as a venture partner, it is important to be flexible with companies you work with. We also discuss the importance of thorough due diligence. Bruce explains his process when deciding on partners and traits he looks for in CEOs to potentially work with. Undoubtedly, we also ask how he’s managing financial crisis during COVID-19.
“I try not to short change the amount of diligence that gets done on the type of people we are looking to partner with as a firm.” — @bruce_croxon [0:25:57]
Not only is Bruce incredibly successful, but his humility, self-reflexiveness, and desire to help others succeed is remarkable. We loved having him on the show, and we know you’ll enjoy listening to him.
KEY POINTS FROM THIS EPISODE:
Learn more about Bruce, his background as a Canadian entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
Insights into Round 13’s venture and growth funds and their two strategies.
Find out more about the Canadian venture capital space and its pros and cons.
How the Canadian venture capital-backed firms fare against their US counterparts.
Why US venture capital is welcomed by Canadian companies.
Round 13’s take on adding value to entrepreneurs and the ‘popularity contest’ in VC.
What Bruce means when he says Round 13 is ‘flexible.’
How Bruce’s perspective has changed over the span of his career and lessons from failures.
The character traits that Round 13 looks for in potential CEOs they want to invest in.
Getting through the coronavirus crisis: How Round 13 is helping its investee companies.
What has surprised Bruce most about the coronavirus crisis and given him renewed optimism?
Why Bruce doesn’t dwell on companies he’s passed on and books he reads.
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