Draft Program

Shannon Byrne Susko
Shannon Byrne Susko
Shannon has 18 years of experience leading financial technology services companies in North America. Her technical expertise is coupled with extensive sales, marketing and operations experience. Shannon has served on for-profit and not-for-profit boards at a regional, national and international level.

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April 15, 2020

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

April 16, 2020

7:45 AM - 8:30 AM
Registration, Networking & Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM - 8:40 AM
Overview by Conference Chair
8:40 AM - 9:05 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.
9:05 AM - 9:30 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.

9:30 AM - 10:20 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 who they’re 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 
  • If you just want to take some cash off the table, what kind of partner or buyer is right for you 
10:20 AM - 10:50 AM
Networking Coffee Break
10:50 AM - 11:30 AM
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 exit possible 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 don’ts 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. 

  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
11:30 AM - 12:15 PM
Networking Lunch (Roundtable Workshops)
12:15 PM - 12:50 PM
Fireside Chat: Are you Desirable and Acquirable?

This session features a conversation with a tech entrepreneur that achieved maximum strategic exit value from an unexpected acquirer.

1:00 PM - 1:45 PM
Workshop (Concurrent Sessions)
1:50 PM - 2:30 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
2:30 PM - 2:50 PM
Networking & Coffee Break
2:50 PM - 3:15 PM
The Valuation Levers: What is Your Company Really Worth?

Do you really know what your business is worth? 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. 

From the get-go you should understand the levers you need to “push or pull” in order to optimize an eventual transaction.  This session will explore key value drivers that require immediate attention in order to maximize the saleability of your business.

3:15 PM - 4:00 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?  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.
4:00 PM - 4:15 PM
Mapping the Ecosystem
4:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Tactical 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