Draft Program

Robert Antoniades
Robert Antoniades
Robert co-founded Information VP in 2014 as a spin-out of RBC Venture Partners from Royal Bank of Canada. Robert joined RBC Venture Partners as a Managing Director in 2004 and led direct investments in a broad range of software and technology companies in enterprise software and FinTech. Robert also used his expertise in venture capital… Read More

View Full Bio »

April 29, 2020

7:30 AM - 8:30 AM
Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM
Conference Overview by Chair
8:45 AM - 9:15 AM
Opening Keynote: M&A Megatrends & The Changing Landscape of Fundraising in Canada

Canada has the talent, capital and innovation to build global tech giants. There are now more options to access growth capital, top level talent and groundbreaking academic infrastructure. This session will address the key trends for scaling, acquiring or exiting a tech company in Canada. You will walk away with:

  • An understanding of the current economic and market trends you need to consider when thinking about your business
  • Insights into industry sector consolidations and new business models
  • An overview of fundraising alternatives and the different ways they can impact the future of your company
9:15 AM - 9:50 AM
Morning Keynote: Fireside Chat ~ Are you Desirable and Acquirable? Why Knowing What Kind of Company You Are Building From Day One Will Be The Key To Your Success

Positioning your company based on your technology, product or brand, becomes the single most powerful factor and can ultimately stoke acquisition interest in your firm.

This session will feature a global story of a tech entrepreneur and his or her major investors who achieved a strategic exit value.

9:50 AM - 10:30 AM
Lessons from Seasoned Buyers

What do buyers look for when assessing a potential acquisition? Growth prospects, financial health, management team and strategic fit are just a few of the considerations.

You will hear from the spectrum of buyers including: Public VC’s, Software Consolidators, Corporate VCs and Private Equity, will be among those who will discuss what they look for as acquirers to help you get an understanding of who your ideal buyer might be, or who is the partner you can’t see.

This session will dive into:

  • The metrics that matter most to different buyer personas 
  • Lessons these buyers have learned along the way 
  • How did cultural fit impact the purchase process
  • If you just want to take some cash off the table, what kind of partner or buyer is right for you
10:30 AM - 11:00 AM
Networking Coffee Break
11:00 AM - 11:45 AM
A1 + A2 Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
A1: The Exit Team: Who Do You Need Around Your Table and What Will It Cost?

The successful sale of a business involves many moving parts, making it the largest and possibly most complicated transaction of your life. You can’t do this alone, you will need a team of professionals to help you successfully sell your company. The right team will get you the best price, terms and most importantly, ensure that the transaction closes.

After attending this session, you will understand: 

  • What the ideal exit team looks like and how to select the best advisors for your business.
  • What your exit team will cost and how they’ll be paid.
A2: Buy-Side Bootcamp Part 1: How to Be a Buyer

Considering growth by acquisition? Whether it’s about competition, consolidations in your industry, or team talent, you need an acquisition checklist to start your due-diligence process. Before you are ready to buy a company, you need to prepare for what to look for.  This session will address the essential do’s and don’ts for getting buy-side ready and identify some of the significant mistakes companies unknowingly make which end up limiting their options and reducing the value of their potential purchase. 

You will learn what:

  • Obligations & liabilities to look for
  • How to handle intellectual property issues 
  • Why company culture fit is important
  • Why cost & length of integration is important
11:45 AM - 1:15 PM
Networking Lunch (Roundtable Workshops)
1:15 PM - 2:25 PM
Luncheon Keynote: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This candid discussion will feature the good, the bad and the ugly as entrepreneurs who have exited share their stories on what worked, what didn’t and what they wish they had known when they started their company

2:30 PM - 3:15 PM
B1 + B2 Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
B1 IPO Musings

What considerations or qualification should you take into account if you are looking at an IPO? Is it even realistic? Are you just looking for liquidity options? This session will explore first hand what steps owners took on their road to IPO and share their reflections now that they are on the other side.

B2 Buy-Side Boot Camp Part 2

Why 50% of Acquisitions fail. Horror stories from the other side.

3:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The Valuation Levers: What is Your Company Really Worth?

Do you really know what your business is worth? Most entrepreneurs don’t get nearly what they should because they weren’t prepared, and this can gravely affect the value of your company. As a business owner in tech, it’s imperative to focus on the specific areas of your business that drive value, even if you have no immediate intention of selling. Furthermore, a successful sale for your shareholders can be very different from what you, the business owner, defines as a success. From the get-go you should understand the levers you need to “push or pull” in order to optimize the results you are looking for.This session will explore key value drivers that require immediate attention in order to maximize the saleability of your business.

4:00 PM - 4:35 PM
Deal Killers: Common Deal Challenges & How to Address and Avoid Them

Negotiating the sale of your business can vary significantly, not only between bidders but also with any particular potential buyer. The process selected and terms dictated by the seller in a transaction will impact the “price” paid. It is fundamental to understand how the selling process will impact what you receive for your company.

The challenges that are inevitable to this process must be carefully navigated to avoid collapses or changes to the negotiated deal. Buyers and sellers often have different needs and objectives – and the idea of providing unfettered access to your confidential business information is scary. 

This session will look at real-world examples:

  • How to structure your company well in advance of a potential sale
  • Help you consider all of your business options to reap the benefits and avoid pitfalls
  • Tactics to avoid major post-sale surprises. 
  • Why companies should be sold, not bought
  • This is your opportunity to learn about common “deal breakers” so that you and your advisors can prepare well in advance.
4:35 PM - 5:00 PM
Closing Keynote: Are You Ready to Be Naked?

This closing session will feature a rapid-fire discussion with entrepreneurs
Who will share some of their epic professional fails. How did they evolve
from founder to CEO and what mistakes did they make on their scale-up
journey? What lessons will they take into their next endeavour?

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM
Happy Hour