32 episodes

On our #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast series, hear from leaders, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists about the changing dynamics of the North American innovation economy.

CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast Michael Hainsworth

    • Business
    • 4.7 • 13 Ratings

On our #CIBCInnovationEconomy podcast series, hear from leaders, entrepreneurs, experts and venture capitalists about the changing dynamics of the North American innovation economy.

    The Most Common Mistakes Made by Early Stage Entrepreneurs with Head of Operating Platform at Jump Capital Jason Felger

    The Most Common Mistakes Made by Early Stage Entrepreneurs with Head of Operating Platform at Jump Capital Jason Felger

    Often, the most valuable insights into startup strategy and execution come from early-stage investors. For burgeoning entrepreneurs, having a chance to learn the ropes from a seasoned founder can be invaluable when it comes to guiding the company towards sustainable growth and longevity. In this episode, Michael sits down with someone who knows all about this. As the Head of Operating Platform at Jump Capital, Jason and his team work closely with founders to help them build and scale effectively in their formative years. During the episode, Jason explains how the firm’s overall mission is to invest in early stage companies, partnering with the founders early on in their journey of building the company so they can be with them throughout the entire lifecycle of the business. Jason shares some of the most common mistakes made by new entrepreneurs, how to establish effective growth expectations, and more key insights about startup life.

    Make the most of mistakes

    When it comes to building a new company from the ground up, mistakes are inevitable. Instead of aiming to achieve the impossible task of avoiding mistakes altogether, Jason suggests learning to quickly pivot and learn from any missteps along the way. Having someone on your side who has been through the founder’s journey can also help you make fewer mistakes overall, while minimizing the impact of those you can’t avoid.

    Opt for sustainable growth

    In the early stages of a company’s development, focusing on growth should be a key priority. However, Jason reminds us that prioritizing growth at all costs can lead to some pretty detrimental consequences in the long run. For new founders, Jason recommends avoiding unrealistic goals and instead focusing on smart, sustainable growth to ensure the company has longevity into the future.

    Focus on people

    Jason’s number one tip for entrepreneurs and early stage CEOs is to make people your top priority. In other words, if you hope to see your company flourish and succeed in the long run, it’s important to dedicate a significant chunk of your time to hiring and retaining top talent. Spending the extra time it takes to motivate, guide and communicate with your team to help them bring your vision to life will ultimately pay dividends for years to come.

    CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from startup to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

    This episode of The CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast was produced by Quill.

    • 29 min
    Maintaining the Momentum as a New CEO with Hootsuite CEO, Tom Keiser

    Maintaining the Momentum as a New CEO with Hootsuite CEO, Tom Keiser

    There comes a time when some startup founders need to turn over the reins of their company to someone new. Some founders may hold on for too long and ultimately fail to accelerate the company’s growth, and others may move too fast and miss out on a chance to capitalize on the first mover advantage. In this episode, Michael sits down with Hootsuite’s new CEO, Tom Keiser, to discuss his plans for continuing to grow the company now that he’s at the helm and further build on what founder Ryan Holmes created. During his career, Tom has more than quadrupled the valuation of Zendesk, re-platformed the parent company of Victoria's Secret and The Gap for e-commerce, and most recently, he’s stepped into the role of CEO at Hootsuite to scale up the social media management platform. During the episode, Tom explains how he’s applying lessons from his past career experiences to his current role at Hootsuite, his plans for taking the platform to the next level, and much more.

    Keep up a cadence
    During his time working in retail, Tom learned the value of maintaining a regular and rigorous cadence when planning for the future. When it comes to taking your business’s temperature through key metrics and signs of success, it’s not enough to check in once a quarter or even once a month. Tom adheres to a weekly or bi-weekly rhythm of checking in on the core metrics of the business to ensure short-term and long-term goals are on track.

    Lose the limits
    One major difference Tom noticed when he made the leap from retail to technology was the general lack of constraints in the tech world. While the retail world tends to be limited in a physical sense based on things like geographical space or supply chain issues, technology makes it possible to innovate much more rapidly without being held back by capacity limits. Since the tech world essentially affords infinite possibilities for the future, Tom looks for talent who live according to this limitless mindset.

    Skate to the puck
    When it comes to Tom’s overall strategy for taking Hootsuite to the next level, he plans on helping the company continue to evolve in tandem with the social media industry. By keeping his finger on the pulse of new and emerging social platforms, Tom and the Hootsuite team are skating where the puck goes to maintain alignment with the major players within the space.

    CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from startup to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

    This episode of The CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast was produced by Quill.

    • 28 min
    Passionate Problem Solving with Insight Partners Managing Director Deven Parekh

    Passionate Problem Solving with Insight Partners Managing Director Deven Parekh

    As every startup entrepreneur and enterprise CEO knows, the growth stage is all about scaling up the company, which typically requires a cash infusion. That's where investment gurus like Deven Parekh come in. As a Managing Director at Insight Partners who has been with the firm for more than 22 years, Deven has some insightful advice to share for entrepreneurs hoping to secure funding to fuel their business. Over the course of his career, the companies he’s invested in have all had major payouts—Buddy Media was acquired by Salesforce, Football Fanatics was bought by GSI Commerce, and eventually eBay, and Media Mind was sold to DG Fast Channel after the IPO. During this episode, the global investor shares the top qualities he and his team are looking for in software companies worldwide.

    On the lookout for large markets

    Deven shared a few of the main characteristics he and his team are looking for when it comes to finding businesses to invest in. First, he said they’re most interested in targeting large markets to maximize growth opportunities. In addition, they look for businesses with a technology product that’s not easy to replicate so they can keep competition at bay, and an exponential increase in momentum in terms of buyer interest. And last but not least, Deven noted they typically look for solid teams with great management leaders who truly feel passionate about the problem they’re helping to solve.

    In-person interactions minimize risk

    As the pandemic continues to subside over time, more of its long-term impacts on the business world will be revealed. Deven commented that for investors, arranging in-person meetings followed by dinner or drinks isn’t just a nicety—it can actually help to minimize risks by building trust on a personal level. Although many companies will continue to use tools like Zoom and a hybrid working environment for the sake of convenience, meeting in person will continue to play an important role in creating a foundation of trust and collaboration among teams.

    Invest in your passions

    Deven’s overall advice to entrepreneurs was to choose a problem that you’re passionate about solving and make it the main focus of your business. While it can be tempting to dive into hot new trends in the market, he recommends following your passion instead because you’ll be more likely to actually find a solution to the problem you’re trying to solve. Deven commented that people tend to complicate the road to success, but it’s really quite simple: identify a pain point, work on solving it, and convince customers to buy your product.

    CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

    This episode of The CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast was produced by Quill.

    • 28 min
    A Powerful Mindset for Business Growth with Canalyst CEO Damir Hot

    A Powerful Mindset for Business Growth with Canalyst CEO Damir Hot

    Professional investors need an efficient way to compare their universe of companies, which is where firms like Canalyst come in. Canalyst’s database of thousands of enterprises helps give the pros the edge they need to uncover more investment ideas, generate better returns and bring in more assets. In this episode, Michael sits down with Canalyst’s CEO and Co-Founder, Damir Hot. During their discussion, Damir shares how co-founding a tech startup has been a lifelong dream of his since he was a child. He offers his perspective on the state of startups today, and what the future may hold for the startup ecosystem. Finally, Damir shares some of the key strategies Canalyst implemented to grow its customer base to over 400 in a relatively short period of time.

    Partner up

    Now that he’s on the other side of success with Canalyst, Damir says he highly recommends partnering with a co-founder from the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey. If you can find a business partner with similar goals, values and interests as Damir did, it can double the power, purpose and passion fuelling the enterprise. The entrepreneurial journey can be a lonely one, so having a like-minded co-founder to share the ups, downs, wins and losses with can make it all the more rewarding.

    Sales experience is key

    Damir mentioned that one of his must-haves when it comes to launching a business is ensuring that you have at least one person on the team who can bring a strong sales background to the table. At the end of the day, launching a successful business is all about selling—whether you’re selling investors, prospective hires or prospective clients. Sales or “storytelling” skills, as Damir calls them, are essential and highly valuable when it comes to the early growth stages of a business and beyond.

    Just do the work

    Overall, Damir says there’s no magic formula for finding success as an entrepreneur. At its core, entrepreneurial success isn’t necessarily about launching the perfect marketing campaign, uncovering a secret strategy, or cutting corners to get ahead: it’s about staying committed to doing the work day after day, hour after hour. He mentioned that at Canalyst, about 40 per cent of their new bookings now come from word of mouth, which isn’t something that happened overnight—it came as a result of consistently driving relationships forward, delivering a high-quality product to customers and spreading the word organically.

    CIBC Innovation Banking delivers strategic advice, cash management and funding to innovation companies across North America, the UK, and select European countries at each stage of their business cycle, from start up to IPO and beyond. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

    This episode of The CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast was produced by Quill.

    • 24 min
    Lessons from the past two years from a venture capitalist with Impression Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Christian Lassonde

    Lessons from the past two years from a venture capitalist with Impression Ventures Founder and Managing Partner Christian Lassonde

    Although some venture capital firms snapped their wallets shut during the first few months of the pandemic, it quickly became apparent that the startups who were able to pivot their business model and go fully digital would not just survive this time period, but thrive. In this episode, Michael sits down with Christian Lassonde, the Founder and Managing Partner of Impression Ventures, to discuss lessons learned from the pandemic and why there’s hope for the future yet. As an entrepreneur himself, Christian applied the knowledge he gained from past experiences working in the video game and tech industry to his role as a venture capitalist today. He shares how the lessons he’s learned throughout his career have informed his work as a venture capitalist, why he’s not interested in a high profile, the importance of playing the long game in business, and much more.

    All problems are created equal

    During his time as a video game programmer, Christian developed valuable problem-solving skills that he would later take with him into future roles. He learned that regardless of the subject matter or the industry you find yourself in, all problems are created somewhat equal, and finding the answers comes down to your passion, determination, and willingness to solve for X. Ultimately, Christian recognized that while there’s an infinite number of paths you can take while running a business, it’s all about finding the one magic formula that works for you.

    Fail fast

    While building Claystone, an Android software development firm, Christian and his team were constantly inundated with the unofficial Silicon Valley mantra: “fail fast.” Taking this maxim to heart, they launched themselves into a continuous, fast-moving loop of test, launch, learn, iterate, and repeat. Christian says the lessons he learned from this experience ultimately made an indelible impression on his overall outlook, arming him with the tools and the repertoire he needed to launch Impression Ventures.

    Equal parts optimism and cynicism

    Christian believes that a great venture capitalist should be equal parts optimist and cynic. He noted that without the fundamental belief that what lies ahead is greater than anything humanity has collectively experienced in the past, you likely won’t make it very far in the business. Overall, Christian is optimistic about the future, which fuels him to keep moving forward despite any challenges he may encounter along the way.

    CIBC Innovation Banking is a trusted financial partner to entrepreneurs and investors. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

    This episode of The CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast was produced by Quill.

    • 21 min
    Connecting the Data Dots with Tealbook CEO Stephany Lapierre

    Connecting the Data Dots with Tealbook CEO Stephany Lapierre

    It’s been said that data is the new oil. Not only has it acted as a fuel for growth, but data has been the catalyst for a whole new way of doing business. In this episode, Michael sits down with Stephany Lapierre, the founder and CEO of Tealbook, a supplier data foundation that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to enable supply-side innovation. As a supply chain thought leader, Stephany has raised more than $73 million for the company, and much of it during the pandemic. While COVID-19 was breaking down supply chains, Tealbook was building up its ability to connect buyers with suppliers in a whole new way. During the episode, Stephany explains how Tealbook accelerated its fundraising while pivoting to tackle the greatest health crisis of our time.

    Connecting the dots

    The idea behind Tealbook is to collect supplier information for global enterprises that need to access data quickly, easily, and efficiently. Recognizing the need for a faster way to access data, Stephany leveraged technologies like AI, machine learning and the cloud to create a system that could keep up with the rapid evolution of the supply chain. By connecting the dots in a way that no one else had yet, Stephany was able to create a service that’s completely unique and allows companies to make sense of an abundance of data—fast.

    Never give up

    After years of running her own successful consulting business, Stephany didn’t need to create Tealbook, but her vision was so clear and persistent that she couldn’t not bring it to life. This strong vision and her belief in the product helped to keep her driving forward, even when things got tough. Although there were plenty of opportunities to throw in the towel along the way, Stephany never gave up, keeping her vision alive in the face of obstacles and refusing to compromise.

    Be a thought leader, not a follower

    For Stephany, an important step in bringing Tealbook to life was positioning herself and the company as an influential voice in the space. By focusing on building relationships, solid branding, and earning credibility, Stephany was able to establish a place for herself in the data and supply chain industry. Posting on LinkedIn and writing about the subject regularly helped her gain a following and become a trusted thought leader over time.

    CIBC Innovation Banking is a trusted financial partner to entrepreneurs and investors. Get in touch with our team at cibc.com/innovationbanking.

    This episode of The CIBC Innovation Banking Podcast was produced by Quill.

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
13 Ratings

13 Ratings

TechGuru 2020 ,

Must listen!

CIBC Innovation Banking is really giving access to top quality companies and there secrets!! Keep going!

Alentse ,

Great podcast

Super informative podcast and covers so many different topics that are affecting tech startups and VCs. I highly recommended it!

RME_Bay St ,

Insightful

Smart, insightful.

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