I remember my early days at BTI Systems – always trying to punch above our weight – but not having the full resources or the luxury of depth, breadth and experience of team to do so.  For example, before I could afford a VP of Supply Management, I needed to secure “big company” price breaks from key suppliers in order to deliver product margins attractive to a VC. And so I depended on a trusted advisor and a purchasing expert that I knew for the help – but it cost me a few lunches (and some stock options). The same applied as I set strategy to enter into the U.S. market – by leveraging a Chicago-based senior sales executive from our industry whom an investor had introduced to me.

As an entrepreneur in start-up mode, having a useful reference tool for many of the common challenges would have saved me a lot of lunches and time.

I’m one of the co-authors of the newly released book, “The Entrepreneurial Effect: Practical Ideas from Your Own Virtual Board of Advisors”. This book does just that – provides “expert” commentary on common start-up questions including:

  • How do I develop my business strategy? Tools to make it an evolutionary process
  • Angel financing versus Venture Capital: What are differences in the business model?
  • What is the business model and structure that will qualify my business for VC?
  • The role of CEO: When do I manage? When do I lead?
  • Strategic partnerships? What are they? Why bother? How do a pursue them?
  • Outsourcing to China? Lessons learned.
  • Do I have the right people? Setting metrics for your management team and for your sales people.
  • How do I determine the right direction for my precious R&D spend? Building the business case to help you decide.
  • And 24 more!

With forward by Terry Matthews, other contributing authors include Angels, VCs, Founders and CEOs from an array of Technology companies that have grown up in Ottawa’s Silicon Valley North.

There are three things I really like about this book:

  1. It’s a diversified read – and therefore engaging – with 32 articles grouped around entrepreneuring, business development, alliances, leadership and financing.
  2. It’s packed with practical advice from Canadian business executives we can all relate to – and use
  3. It supports a really good cause: young Canadian Entrepreneurship. The authors have donated their articles – all proceeds from the book are being used support student technology entrepreneurship – via University of Ottawa tech scholarships.

The book launches on November 5th in Ottawa and is available online now.

Lance Laking

Lance is an Investment Director with the MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund, with additional responsibility for Cleantech sector deals. See more…