This past Tuesday (September 26, 2017) we were happy to welcome more than 80 people into our offices for a session held as a part of Vancouver Startup Week 2017. The audience ranged from grizzled veterans of the startup world to fresh faced business school graduates eager to get their start, with a nice sprinkling of startup-related service providers thrown in for good measure.
Together, we learned a variety of things from our esteemed panel, which included Janelle Goulard of Pangaea Ventures, Noah Shipman of Vistara Capital, Peter-Paul Van Hoeken of FrontFundr, Cari Mai of Ayming and Saleh Tousi of Smartt. These funding experts each walked us through their process, and provided tips on what they look for in startups, as well as sharing some war stories of times when they have seen things go very wrong and impact a startup’s ability to pursue funding.
Highlights of these stories included startups that failed to secure their IP, or were a bit too generous with who they added to the payroll. Not everyone gave the same advice, which was a great reminder that different funders will have different goals, and be looking for different things in a startup. But everyone agreed that having a solid plan, and speaking to professional advisors early can save a lot of pain down the road.
Another common theme from all of our panelists was trust. Being able to trust your investors and advisors, and being trustworthy as an entrepreneur and as an organization, are keys to the relationships which you will build. Not every relationship meets the marriage analogy, but every one of value requires trust.
Stay tuned for future events from the Startups @ McMillan team!