A Digital Innovator Finding & Investing in The Next Canadian Wave
Bruce Croxon made his mark as a digital pioneer by co-founding Lavalife and revolutionizing how people connect. Under his direction, he grew this early tech start-up into the marquee brand in online dating with over two million users. Partner, chairman and CEO, Croxon helped lead the company’s growth from four to 600 employees, and achieving revenue of just under $100 million. After its spectacular rise, he led the sale of the company for $180 million dollars.
Since that time, Bruce has been active as both an investor and advisor in early stage companies in the technology and hospitality sectors, continuing to expand the reach of his entrepreneurial successes.
As an ex Dragon on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, he adds a broad range of businesses and products to his portfolio that tap into his passion for digital media, health and marketing. Croxon currently helms Round13, a company dedicated to investment in growth stage digital Canadian companies. He currently co hosts The Disruptros on BNN and CTV, a weekly show spotlighting Canadian business and believes our entrepreneurs can hold their own with anyone in the world .
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We all know company culture is a critical piece for success. How do startups create and maintain a healthy culture?
Listen to 'been there, done that' successful startup founders talk about their F@#$-ups and how they overcame them.
Startups never get easier, the challenges just change over time. CEO and co-founder Cathy Han will share 42's lessons and stories from developing a SaaS product processing billions in sales data, taking it to market, fundraising, hiring, and the experience of growing the company in Canada and Silicon Valley.
Cathy Han is the CEO & co-founder of 42 Technologies, a Y Combinator backed data analytics company. 42 uses data mining and statistical analysis to help retailers grow revenue and optimize assortment. Prior to 42, Cathy worked at Procter & Gamble on growth strategy and data analytics, focusing on the billion-dollar brand Olay. Cathy holds a Finance degree from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
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Rainforest Alberta is leading a discussion of how we can grow Alberta’s future in the 21st economy. Through your projects, products, companies, and collaborations, you’re shaping the ecosystem of innovation that we all share.
Stock options and other equity compensation arrangements are a great tool to incentivize team members and preserve cash. In this session, Fasken Martineau will provide an overview of common equity compensation arrangements for Start-ups and issues founders and management need to keep in mind and manage - The focus of the session will be on customary types and sizes of plans, pricing, vesting, termination, and taxation of stock options.
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Provocative author, speaker and leading practitioner in the field of strategic foresight Alexander Manu, surveys the fast changing context for incumbent organizations in market spaces where online behaviour is replacing physical proximity, and users seek engagement with platforms and services that allow them to behave, to leave a mark, and to participate in the community of others.
This is a major challenge to incumbent organizations as their markets are being disrupted on an unprecedented scale. To survive and be adopted in the new ecology, incumbents need to understand that this is not about change, but it is about transformation. While Change affects the condition of something in relation with a previous condition, Transformation affects the nature of something, the very structure and working mechanisms of an activity, as well as its relationship to everything around. This is the major provocation of the future, the transformation of all relationships, and how it will affect society, business, culture and consumption models.
The transformation at hand starts with the strategic question: if you were designing your organization today how would you design it? This means Starting from Scratch; it means the ability and agility to create the future from the ingredients of the present alone. In this context the future is not an imagined destination years down the road, but simply a symbol placeholder for an environment that is unlike the environment around us today. This means designing life on Earth at the level of the possibility that surrounds us, and not at the level of our inherited capability.
Manu proposes that we have two clear choices when it comes to our treatment of the future: Choice number one is to stay in the present and let the future flow towards you. Choice number two is to design your path to where the future is, and purposefully claim it as YOUR future. The future is not a Forecast; the future is a Foresight.
- Future-proofing the organization for the behaviour economy
- Strategic Ambition
- New Models: The Subscription Economy
- Data as Material and the challenge of working without archetypes
Alexander Manu is a strategic innovation practitioner, international lecturer and author. He provides strategic counsel and future based advisory to executive teams in Fortune 500 companies in industries as diverse as consumer packaged goods, media, advertising, mobile communications and manufacturing. Alexander lectures around the world on innovation, imagination, change agents and strategic foresight. He teaches “Innovation, Foresight and Business Design” at the Rotman School of Management, is a Professor at the OCAD University in Toronto and a visiting lecturer at the Wallace McCain Institute for Entrepreneurship.
In his client and research work, Alexander is involved in transforming organizations by exploring and defining new competitive spaces, the development of new strategic business competencies and creation of imaginative innovation methods. He believes that the exploration of possibility requires imagination as a prerequisite for strategic change and innovation. For over 25 years he has enabled global companies as diverse as Motorola, LEGO, Whirlpool, Nokia, Navteq and Unilever, to develop policies and strategies that address emerging issues through strategic foresight and pre-competitive business models.
His most recent book,” Transforming Organizations for the Subscription Economy: Starting from Scratch” will be released by Gower Publishing in 2017.
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Connect with the Startup Community
Startup Drinks is a casual gathering where startup founders, funders and enthusiasts come together to exchange ideas, share knowledge, discuss challenges and learn from one another.
Mix and mingle with inspirational guests, Alberta’s top mentors, founders, and funders from AccelerateAB at Startup Drinks:
- Cathy Han, CEO & Co-Founder of Silicon Valley startup, 42 Technologies
- Alexander Peh, Head of Market Development & Mobile at PayPal Canada
- Trent Johnsen, CEO & Co-Founder of Hookflash and A100 mentor
- Jim Gibson, Co-Founder of Rainforest Alberta, Founder & CEO of JAGYYC, and A100 mentor
- Founders from the AccelerateAB Roundtable companies
- Government funders from Alberta Innovates and IRAP
Join the community for a drink and get connected with Alberta's startup scene during this special Startup Drinks hosted by Startup Calgary the night before AccelerateAB! Don't forget to use their hashtag: #startupdrinksyyc