One reason to attend our luncheon in Halifax on Nov. 8 is to get a chance to listen to Shaun MacDonald, one of the most experienced tech players in Atlantic Canada.
Though he makes his home in Halifax, MacDonald is a Managing Partner of Toronto-based Extreme Venture Partners, one of Canada’s leading VC funds. He’s so interesting to chat with because of the global perspective he brings to discussions about the Atlantic Canadian tech community.
He will join Innovacorp President and CEO Malcolm Fraser and Volta Labs CEO Jesse Rodgers on a panel at our event Atlantic Canada’s Startup Industry by the Number. The luncheon will be hosted by Entrevestor and Charcoal Marketing and will feature the release of our data on the Atlantic Canadian startup community. You can buy tickets for the event here.
MacDonald recently joined Extreme Ventures after a stint heading global sales and business development for Saint John-based Mariner’s largest division, xVu. Previously, he worked in Silicon Valley heading an M&A and investment team for Cisco, during which time he was involved in more than $1 billion of transactions.
MacDonald understands the flows of capital in the tech industry and wants Atlantic Canada to participate in them more fully.
“How do we attract global companies to Atlantic Canada for investment and M&A, and to connect with our entrepreneurs and business leaders to drive innovation? That’s the big thing that comes to mind with me these days,” he said during a phone conversation this week.
“The whole technology industry is in acquisition mode. Years ago, the primary exit strategy was to go public. Now that’s still a good result, but in over 90 percent of the success stories, the result is achieved via the sale to a public company.”
He noted that the world’s largest tech companies have vast pools of capital sitting on the sidelines and they’re search for the best places to invest it. Meanwhile, ICT companies everywhere are developing technology that is redefining the way we live – in areas like mobile technologies, the Internet of things, virtual reality, and digital health solutions. These companies need capital, and sales to corporations have replaced IPOs as the main source of exits.
The goal, he said, is to position more Atlantic Canadian companies to take advantage of the corporate appetite for investment in the short term, and acquisition in the medium to long term.
“This is not unique to Nova Scotia,” said MacDonald. “There’s been a long-term trend of companies waiting longer to go public, and taking advantage of more private equity and corporate capital.”
MacDonald, Fraser and Rodgers will form a panel at our luncheon to discuss the outlook and ecosystem of the Atlantic Canadian community. The agenda will include a presentation of Entrevestor’s most recent data on the community to be followed by the panel discussion.
We hope you’ll be able to join us.