Waterloo investing trends

4 responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    What unbelievable hubris you show! Has it not occurred to you that the current generation of entrepreneurs can (gasp) *exist without the services of traditional VC funding*? That self-funding and unpublished private placements are becoming the dominant form of financing?

    Yes, there’s lots of money and talent around. Maybe they’re smart enough to avoid the VC route.

    And this remark from your article:

    “Are the professors not getting comfortable with the Angel and VC world? Are they asking for a crazy pre-money value when folks knock on their doors? Are they spending time on ideas that can’t be financed still for years to come?”

    just goes to show that you have no real idea how academia is supposed to work.

  2. Mark McQueen says:

    Appreciate the perspective, and am not advocating a world where all start-ups require VC funding. RIM made the big time without a VC round, but they still raised institutional investor capital via their 1996 special warrant.

    In my mind, the VC stats are a decent proxy for what’s going on in the community. But I could be wrong. If there have been half a dozen $500k Angel financings in Waterloo since 2003, that’s wonderful news. Please name the names.

    As for not understanding how academia is supposed to work, I’m sure my sibiling, a tenured Univ. professor, might agree. But in terms of the IP commercialization, how should it work? Self-funding is one route, but not one I ever hear is the preferred one.


  3. Anonymous Again says:

    Requireless, which became Google Waterloo — originally self funded

    Kaleidescape — originally self funded

    Micohealth — self funded/angel funding

    (another one the name of which I forget but which was started by a former colleague — makes software for the financial services/brokerage industry).

    RapidMind — not sure about this one but I believe they’re still pre-VC

    And that’s just off the top, by myself, without contacting any of my colleagues.

    I’ve read the subsequent post in this web-log in “Waterloo Investing Trends 3” there are some inaccuracies and typical CS undergrads reactions. There *is* a UW IP Transfer office and it’s been around since the 1970’s. It is presently (was recently) advertising for another IP lawyer. The point of the UW IP policy is precisely *not* to have UW take a stake. It wants individuals to take the risks and reap all of the rewards.

    CS students, as a whole group, are known (in an endearing sort of way) for their inability to communicate effectively (and I’ve graded enough of their essays to know). The business/CS minor programs aren’t technical enough to foster real technical innovation (other than yet another web portal). I cringed the last time I took a CS major into a meeting with a VC — hopeless!

    I have often thought that the best thing any CS undergrad could to is to get a job working for a couple of years with an established entity (with a consistent income). Learn how the real world works. Sharpen business and communication skills. Watch other entrepreneurial organizations in action. Then they’re ready to get funding and do something with that Great Idea.

    I should also point out the Master’s program MBET — Master’s of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. Presently underutilized, it could become a useful stepping stone for students if there were a better scholarship/funding program in place.

  4. Mark McQueen says:

    Great to get some differing insights.

    Had a look at the names. The entire blog theme was referring to start-ups post 2003, however. Kaleidescope was founded in ’01. Micohealth was ’02. Rapidmind took VC money from BDC, which supports both arguments….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *