Waterloo Investing Trends 2
Okay. So this topic is near and dear to the hearts of more than a few people. Our web traffic hit an all-time unique visitor high the day the original post was filed.
As a follow-up, I had a look back at the public and industry sources data from Jan. 2003-present timeframe for IT deals announced in Waterloo. You might recall that disclosed deals totalled $60 million, although the Slipstream financing didn’t have a figure attached to it.
This doesn’t count Angel investments, but if those had succeeded they’d have morphed into a Series A round.
Of that $60 million, $38 million was invested in just two companies: Sandvine and Sirrific Wireless. Both are terrific stories, and justify large capital injections (both received VC capital prior to Jan. ’03 as well, so these were actually follow-ons). Of the remaining $22 million, $7 million of that was invested in Agile Systems, also a follow-on investment.
So, $15 million in reported new VC investments (plus Slipstream’s maybe $3-4 million) between January 2003 and today (to put that into perspective, our fund led over $155 million in deals across Canada during the same timeframe). $18 million ex Sandvine and Sirrific. Over 4 years. In Waterloo. The capital of Canadian engineering schools. The HQ area of RIM, COM DEV, MKS, Open Text, Descartes, Dalsa, plus a bunch of CDN HQs of U.S. tech firms.
What were the combined budgets of Communitech and the University of Waterloo’s commercialization efforts during the past four years?
Probably not a great invetsment multiple there.
If I may, I think Communitech’s next Tech Fair should be entirely about:
“Starting your own Tech Company. What are the barriers? What are the solutions?”
Invite professors, students, Angels, VCs, IP lawyers and the government folks that keep hearing about all the innovation taking place in one of my favouirite places in the country. Let’s try to connect some dots, before another four years passes….
Dr. Scott Vanstone and Mike Lazaridis would certainly be candidates to stimulate some new approaches, framed by their own success.
Tomorrow I’ll have a modest proposal that might tie the capital to the ideas.