Draft Program

Robert Antoniades
Robert Antoniades
Robert Antoniades co-founded Information Venture Partners in 2014. Robert has led investments in and currently serves on the Boards of Thoughtexchange, Procurify, YayPay, Flybits, PostBeyond and Q4. Prior boards include Adaptive Insights (acquired by Workday), Placemark Investments (acquired by Envestnet), Varicent (acquired by IBM), ITM Software (acquired by BMC), Igloo Software and Verafin Software, among… Read More

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April 28, 2020

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Welcome Reception – Tech Executive Ticket Holders Only

April 29, 2020

7:45 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 than ever to take chips off the table.  This quantitative session will address key sectors, trends multiples and global trends for full and partial exits in tech.

You will walk away with:

  • An understanding of the current market trends with respect to mergers and acquisitions for technology companies.
  • Insights into industry sector consolidations and new business and liquidity options.
9:15 AM - 9:40 AM
Are you M&A Ready? Behold: The Checklist!

Whether you want to be ready for a knock on the door, or you want to raise money for growth, it takes time (and in some cases years) to check all the boxes.  There is a reason (actually, many) why a large percentage of acquisitions fail – early, measured preparation is key.  

Operating efficiently, professionalizing processes, limiting vulnerabilities around IP, source code and accounting records are just some of the things to take into consideration. This session will showcase the most comprehensive, honed “checklist” the essential must-do’s for getting M&A ready.

9:40 AM - 10:15 AM
The Valuation Levers: What is Your Company Really Worth?

Do you really know what your business is worth? More importantly, WHY?

As a business owner in tech, it’s imperative to focus on why specific areas of your business drive value, even if you have no immediate intention of an exit. What is strategic value versus financial value and what can you even do about it?

From the get-go you should understand the levers you need to “push or pull” in order to optimize valuation.  This session will explore key value drivers across various tech verticals that require attention in order to maximize potential inbound acquisition interest.

10:15 AM - 10:40 AM
Networking Coffee Break
10:40 AM - 11:30 AM
Lessons from Seasoned Buyers

Positioning your company based on your technology, product, team or brand could be the single most powerful factor to ultimately stoke acquisition interest in your firm.  What do buyers look for when assessing a potential acquisition? Growth prospects, bottom line, management team and strategic fit are just a few of the considerations.

In this session you will hear from a broad spectrum of serial acquirers who will help you get in the mindset of active buyers in today’s market, and understand which buyers are buying, and why.  

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 
11:35 AM - 12:20 PM
A1 + A2 Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
A1: The Exit Team: Selling to a Third Party – Who Do You Need On Your Side (and What Will It Cost)?

If you want the biggest possible exit one day, you’ll likely want to “run a process” to attract multiple bidders for your company. This probably means that you will need a team of experienced professionals helping you, after-all, the 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. 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 “running a process” looks like.
  • What the ideal exit team is, and how to select the best advisors for your business.
  • What your exit team will cost and how they’ll be paid.
A2: How to be a buyer: When it makes sense to ante up.

Considering growth by acquisition? Whether it’s about competition, consolidations in your industry, or team talent, you may need to consider growth by acquisition strategies. Before you are ready to buy a company, however, you need to understand what problem you are trying to solve.  

This session will address the essential do’s and dont’s for getting buy-side ready and identify some of the significant mistakes companies unknowingly make which end up limiting their options and impacting the outcome of potential acquisitions.  This session will discuss reasons to become a buyer and the strategy behind it including:

  • aquahires
  • assets
  • ip
  • whole co.

  You will learn:

  • How to choose who to buy (product/culture/revenue)
  • How and what to prepare
  • Obligations & liabilities to look for
  • How to handle intellectual property issues 
  • Why company culture fit is important
  • Why cost & length of integration is important
12:20 PM - 1:00 PM
Networking Lunch
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Fireside Chat: Are you Desirable and Acquirable?

This session features tactical/practical stories looking in the rear view mirror of the acquisition of Wave HQ by H&R Block.  The conversation will focus on two key areas of the transaction: Cultural/people ) + Structure/Financial.

1:35 PM - 2:20 PM
Workshop (Concurrent Sessions)
WORKSHOP 1: “Chips Off The Table Case Study”

In this session, you will learn about two scenarios in which entrepreneurs took on a minority Private Equity partner in their organization.  In these two scenarios, the Founders were able to take chips off the table, while securing additional capital for growth. However, the final results of these two transactions were vastly different. 

You will learn about the pros and cons of taking on Minority Private Equity Investments.

WORKSHOP 2: Manage These Metrics to MAX OUT the Valuation of your SaaS Company

For SaaS businesses, managing customer acquisition rates and churn rates are essential to increasing the value of your business.  This workshop will dive deep into these metrics and other mechanisms that buyers use to evaluate growth, which will directly impact the valuation of your SaaS company.

Regardless of your acquisition strategy, managing the metrics discussed in this session will have a significant impact on the overall health of your business.

2:20 PM - 3:00 PM
B1 + B2 Concurrent Sessions (Breakouts)
B1: Reverse Takeovers: Going Public as an Option for Liquidity

So…. you need cash for growth, or to simply take chips off the table – but you want to maintain control.How does a Reverse Takeover work?  What considerations or qualifications should you take into account? Is it realistic? 

This session will explore first hand what steps owners took on their road to RTO and share their reflections now that they (and their advisors) are on the other side.

B2: Typical Deal Terms and Negotiation Points for Selling Entrepreneurs

In every acquisition, there are a number of key terms (including price but much more) that are at stake. As a seller, your bargaining power diminishes when you go “exclusive” with a prospective buyer – hence it is important for you to be well prepared and know in advance what are your desired outcomes on a number of fronts. This session will explore what terms could or should be on your table, and even how to gain leverage in the negotiation process.

You will learn:

  • What “market” is for terms these days
  • How to maximize leverage and bargaining power while you have it
  • Common terms included in transaction structures
  • Do terms correlate to the type of tech company? (eg: services companies vs software companies vs MSPs, etc)
  • Earn-outs – how to make them more favourable
3:00 PM - 3:25 PM
Networking Coffee Break
3:25 PM - 4:10 PM
Deal Killers: Preparing for Transaction Challenges

So….someone wants to acquire your company, and you’ve signed an LOI – now what?  Negotiating the sale of your business requires providing unfettered access to some of the most confidential aspects of your business – sharing that information can be scary. 

As a seller, what will buyers be looking for? How can you prepare?  What The challenges that are inevitable to this phase must be carefully navigated to avoid collapse of the deal. 

You Will Learn:

  • Why so many acquisitions fail during the due diligence phase
  • Areas that buyers will focus on that you may not have thought about
  • Negotiation tactics used by savvy buyers and their acquisition teams
  • Tactics to avoid major post-sale surprises.
4:10 PM - 5:00 PM
Keynote Panel: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly.

This candid discussion will feature select entrepreneurs sharing their behind-the-scenes learnings on what worked, what didn’t and what they would do differently if they went through their acquisition again.

5:00 PM - 5:05 PM
Closing Comments
5:05 PM - 6:30 PM
Happy Hour