STARTUP TNT / Rainforest with Zack Storms

Startup Funding

Join us as Zack Storms and Jade Alberts share the story behind Startup TNT.

Transcript

00:00

hi everybody welcome to lunch without

00:02

lunch

00:03

i am bridgette lego community manager in

00:05

calgary we have amber rowden here

00:07

community story retailer in calgary and

00:09

a few folks from our edmonton steering

00:11

committee who can give a wave um james

00:13

kirsten will be introducing us to all

00:15

things rainforest here in just a moment

00:17

but prior to doing so we’ll just take a

00:19

moment to reflect and acknowledge

00:22

the beautiful lands that we have to

00:25

enjoy across our country and whatever

00:28

area you might be in today for those in

00:31

the calgary region

00:33

we acknowledge um the lands of the sikh

00:36

sika

00:37

uh kainai pakani blackfoot confederacy

00:39

that suits cinna

00:41

estonia dakota nations the metis nation

00:43

region three and everyone who makes

00:45

their home within treaty seven and for

00:47

those in edmonton we acknowledge the

00:49

unseated traditional lands of the treaty

00:51

six territory of the cree danae

00:53

blackfoot salto nakota sioux as well as

00:56

the metis um again if you find yourself

00:58

in another area of the world um we ask

01:01

you to take a moment and reflect on the

01:04

traditional territories on which you’re

01:06

uh you’re sitting on

01:08

and so with that i’m gonna turn it over

01:10

to james to give us a

01:12

refresh on what is the rainforest

01:17

welcome everyone

01:19

i think we get a video up here talking

01:21

about the rainforest

01:23

really quick so i can spare you that

01:26

my explanation this one will be better

01:28

i’m sure

01:30

here we go

01:34

what does it take to realize an idea

01:36

or for a seat to sprout

01:38

at rainforest alberta we know the answer

01:41

is rooted in trust

01:43

traditionally albertans have cultivated

01:45

their ideas in established systems

01:48

inputs that don’t fit these systems are

01:50

weeded out

01:51

opportunities for growth are missed but

01:54

now albertans want a dynamic landscape

01:57

that can evolve organically

01:59

like a rainforest

02:00

at rainforest alberta we believe a

02:02

culture of trust is the fertile soil

02:04

where ideas grow

02:06

our budding innovation ecosystem is a

02:09

network of relationships pulling each

02:11

other up as they push forward in their

02:13

own field

02:15

trust breaks down barriers an open

02:18

inclusive network increases

02:20

collaborative innovation successful

02:22

breakthroughs inspire new ideas

02:25

a cycle begins

02:27

rainforest alberta is a movement to

02:29

amplify trust by cultivating honesty

02:32

inclusion and accountability

02:34

how our social contract holds us

02:38

accountable to demonstrate trust across

02:39

the province we need to have honest

02:42

conversations around collaboration this

02:44

leads to more inclusive spaces for

02:46

everyone to fearlessly build new ideas

02:49

together

02:51

by raising the standard of trust

02:53

alberta’s ideas talent and resources can

02:56

be evergreen

02:58

visit

02:59

rainforestab.ca to sign the social

03:01

contract and start growing together

03:07

right so we use six pillars to guide our

03:09

conversations and actions not our all

03:12

are weighted equally like any ecosystem

03:14

the right balance is crucial

03:17

these are measured each year through uh

03:19

our scorecard assessment and for those

03:21

of you from the edmonton region we just

03:23

launched the scorecard

03:26

assessment here in edmonton for

03:28

november because we wanted to get it in

03:31

our normal annual cycle so if you’re

03:33

from the edmonton region and you want to

03:34

fill out the scorecard

03:38

let me know i’ll drop a drop it into the

03:41

chat as well

03:42

30 percent is culture 20 leadership

03:46

we’re also looking at resources engaged

03:48

activities policy and infrastructure and

03:51

role models

03:55

next slide

03:57

so

03:58

tips for making the most out of lunch

04:00

without lunch introduce yourself in the

04:02

chat connect with individuals through

04:04

direct messages

04:06

put your camera on it’s always great to

04:08

see faces i know this is virtual but the

04:11

more we can interact with another one

04:13

another the easier it is for us to build

04:15

that trust

04:16

and create

04:18

that

04:19

connection

04:20

ask questions keep connecting on the

04:22

rainforest slack workspace and check the

04:25

lunch without lunch notes for capture of

04:27

today’s chat

04:28

and recordings are also posted on

04:31

youtube

04:35

we added this last week i forgot

04:38

well hey this is great so we’re talking

04:40

about one of the uh principal values in

04:43

the social contract today it’s about

04:45

free help

04:46

i understand that i receive valuable

04:49

help from others for free

04:52

yeah that’s the great thing

04:55

and i think we have to pay it forward as

04:56

another one which is i’m always ready to

05:00

help the community help others without

05:03

expecting anything in return

05:06

absolutely and that was kind of the

05:08

purpose of uh

05:09

of this exercise we started adding one

05:11

of the social contract values at the end

05:13

of this intro every week and we ask for

05:16

you to reflect on how you live this

05:18

value and if you’d like to share that in

05:20

the chat please feel free um or you can

05:23

just uh you know think about that on

05:25

your own um

05:26

i sometimes get feedback in the

05:28

rainforest uh

05:29

you know that um there’s lots of

05:31

especially like uh

05:33

not selling your wares but a lot of kind

05:35

of promo being had on our flat panel and

05:38

that sort of thing so um part of

05:40

flashing the social contract values in

05:42

front of us every week is to

05:45

um get re-rooted in those and and maybe

05:47

reframe some of our conversation around

05:50

you know how can we not just ask but

05:52

help others and many if not everyone

05:54

here is is well versed in in practicing

05:57

this but it’s always a nice reminder and

05:59

we should also always be aware that

06:03

this isn’t about us creating a network

06:05

to sell our wares it’s about supporting

06:07

one another

06:09

so that should come

06:11

at in time as those relationships get

06:14

built and are stronger

06:16

people will naturally do business

06:18

together

06:19

but my recommendation to build trust

06:23

don’t ask

06:24

for people to

06:25

buy your stuff

06:28

yeah

06:29

yeah well said james yeah it takes time

06:31

to build that trust um so that’s great

06:34

i’m gonna stop sharing here

06:38

super excited to be here bridget to hear

06:40

both jade and my good buddy zach

06:43

share with us what they’ve been up to

06:45

and with that i’m gonna pass it over to

06:47

you to lead us on

06:49

thanks james that’s great um

06:52

yeah really excited about today i’ll

06:54

just make a really quick mention jamie

06:55

james mentioned the edmonton scorecard

06:58

as many of you know because we talked

07:00

about it a few weeks ago the calgary

07:02

scorecard is getting a bit of an

07:03

overhaul we’re hoping to get it out to

07:06

you all either before the end of the

07:08

year so we can capture 2021 data if not

07:11

it will be very early in january um so

07:15

watch for that in calgary i do know

07:16

there are two separate scorecards at

07:18

this point in time one for the edmonton

07:19

region and one for calgary um

07:23

we hope to see that combined next year

07:25

to be unified

07:27

totally

07:28

awesome okay so really excited about

07:30

today hi zach i see you in the polka dot

07:33

door there uh and jade is here um

07:36

i

07:37

am really excited because some

07:38

announcements today for awards that

07:40

startup tnt has been receiving both zach

07:44

individually and the organization as an

07:45

ecosystem supporter from start alberta

07:47

so i’ll let you guys maybe touch on that

07:49

more but um just to give like a really

07:52

quick intro and i don’t i don’t have

07:53

formal bios on either of you other than

07:55

i know you’re both entrepreneurs

07:56

co-founders investors um zach i think

07:59

you’re a scientist tell us more about

08:01

your background because i’m intrigued um

08:03

phd maybe i don’t know all sorts of

08:05

things and you add a lot of like uh

08:09

authenticity and um kind of grassroots

08:13

movement to what’s happening in the

08:15

ecosystem which is why i was really

08:16

happy to see you guys awarded with

08:18

ecosystem supporter this year because

08:20

the work you’re doing is like you’re

08:21

doing it you’re not just talking about

08:23

it so wonderful to see um so i’m just

08:26

gonna pass it over to you guys and we’ll

08:27

have an open conversation with you both

08:29

um you can tell us uh the the journey of

08:31

uh startup tnt

08:34

sure like um thanks i’m really happy to

08:36

be here and i’m really happy to be here

08:37

with jade

08:38

um who i met through startup tnt and um

08:41

actually i prepared a couple of slides

08:43

just to kind of give everyone an

08:44

overview but jade why don’t you and i

08:45

give us

08:46

give a quick intro for ourselves so just

08:49

everybody knows um and maybe i’ll go

08:51

first i’ll do a quick intro

08:53

there is a bit of a rainforest

08:55

connection to uh to the start of our

08:57

happy hour that i’ll also share which is

08:59

um

09:01

so quick background i mean i’m american

09:02

i like to share that up front with

09:04

everyone and uh i went to i went to

09:06

mcgill for my undergrad and phd in

09:09

chemical engineering moved out to

09:10

alberta to do a phd or to do a

09:12

postdoctoral research fellowship i

09:14

should say

09:16

but made a choice at that time to really

09:17

focus on

09:20

commercializing technologies rather than

09:21

building a research group

09:23

um so as soon as i got here i really

09:25

focused on

09:26

technology commercialization

09:28

uh actually met james kirsten early on

09:30

in those days who mentored me a little

09:31

bit on a few projects because he’s a

09:33

volunteer and helps out the community

09:35

quite a bit uh always giving back

09:37

um

09:39

and then you know at the same time that

09:40

i did this i also got involved in the

09:41

angel community so i’m able to be an

09:43

angel investor because my wife and i

09:44

have inherited some money so i was

09:46

experiencing our ecosystem as a

09:48

scientist with a background that wanted

09:49

to become an entrepreneur interacting

09:51

with other entrepreneurs uh through

09:53

those networks but then also interacting

09:55

with the local angel investing community

09:57

um and when i first heard about the

10:00

rainforest movement i actually got

10:01

really excited about it because i was

10:02

like we need something that’s a little

10:04

bit more grassroots that’s happening uh

10:06

james was one of the leaders in edmonton

10:07

who’s bringing people together to have

10:09

discussions and it was at one of those

10:11

kind of like all-day um forums

10:14

where i think it was before summit yeah

10:17

one of the summits one of those summits

10:19

um there was a sort of like an activity

10:20

towards the end where we broke off in

10:22

the tables and thought about what’s

10:24

what’s something that we could try out

10:26

like how can we get started bringing

10:28

like improving our culture improving

10:30

connection doing something that we want

10:31

to see in the ecosystem and in my table

10:33

we talked about having a regular meetup

10:35

of some kind where people could get

10:36

together

10:37

and this was when i think at the time i

10:39

was an mba student i was a new dad i

10:41

honestly didn’t really have the capacity

10:43

to launch a weekly happy hour but i did

10:45

it a couple of times with people we

10:46

tested it out it was really nice and

10:48

then i think it was about six months or

10:50

a year later when i finished my mba

10:52

i was a little bit older and i said you

10:54

know what i want to go back to that idea

10:56

and i want to do it i would have a

10:57

regular place where entrepreneurs can

10:59

meet um back when i was in university at

11:02

mcgill there was this thing called

11:03

thursday night tradition where all the

11:04

where everyone got together at the local

11:06

pub i said we should have something just

11:07

like that for entrepreneurs every single

11:09

week so i called it startup tnt

11:12

thursday the tnt stands for thursday

11:13

night tradition and we’ve now been

11:15

meeting for 100 tomorrow’s week 132 132

11:18

weeks we’ve been meeting every single

11:20

week and it’s very much embodies the

11:23

spirit of the rainforest get people

11:24

together are so we have a simple

11:25

philosophy have fun make friends build

11:27

companies

11:29

and that’s really all about get to know

11:30

people in a genuine way first

11:32

um you know

11:34

don’t complain about how other people in

11:36

the ecosystem aren’t pulling their

11:37

weight let’s all pull our weight let’s

11:39

all be the people that we need to be in

11:40

our ecosystem and let’s do in a way that

11:42

builds genuine relationships because

11:44

that’s what business is all about um

11:45

doing things with people that are great

11:47

so

11:48

that’s my quick intro and one of the

11:49

great people that i met was none other

11:51

than jade alberts i mean look at jw j

11:53

now it’s a perfect example of what i

11:55

love about tnt

11:56

the first time i saw jade alberts he was

11:58

on the zoom screen and i’m like who is

11:59

this guy he looks like he’s in like his

12:01

little son’s room or something like

12:03

what’s going on back there turns out

12:05

this guy is like a marketing aficionado

12:06

used to run like nathan’s franchises

12:08

across the country uh now he basically

12:10

works full-time uh peer mentoring other

12:13

entrepreneurs uh brother’s done a bunch

12:15

of great things he joined us many times

12:17

at the investment summit he’s one of our

12:18

leaders down in calgary jade

12:20

i like i like to tell people that

12:21

they’re gonna introduce themselves and

12:22

then i introduced them for them

12:24

the zack storm introduction hey this

12:26

takes it over

12:28

oh it’s good to meet everybody i i pop

12:30

in here uh at least once a month but my

12:33

background is is a heck of a lot

12:34

different than uh than zach’s i’m a

12:36

university dropout so i got no phd no

12:39

nothing just a small town sasky who

12:41

started his career in sales and

12:43

and ended up being an entrepreneur and

12:45

we exited our company which allowed me

12:47

to become an angel investor and we were

12:49

kind of doing it on our own for a while

12:51

with a couple buddies and a little bit

12:53

of an investing group and uh

12:55

i went into startup tnt because i heard

12:58

about it i think it was through the cic

13:00

i went and applied i got denied and they

13:03

said you can’t invest with us

13:05

and i was like what the hell

13:07

so i just left it alone and then

13:09

i i ran into another person who said

13:11

they’re investing through tnt and i said

13:13

how did you get improved and he goes i

13:14

didn’t get approved i just applied so

13:17

long story short i was approved and uh

13:20

and i wanted to go through the process

13:22

and to see what what it was like um

13:25

because i heard good things about them

13:27

and if they were going to be the company

13:29

that you know took the longest shot at

13:31

the biggest risk and things along those

13:33

lines i wouldn’t be interested

13:34

so the you know the training of the

13:36

angel investors to help our community

13:38

which will benefit you know two five 15

13:40

years down the road is priceless uh the

13:42

due diligence good we you know it

13:44

follows my investor thesis of really

13:46

looking at the founder and you know now

13:48

in two and a half years we’ve handed out

13:50

24

13:51

almost 4 million to 24 companies and and

13:54

growing and expanding across uh

13:57

across the country so that’s a little

13:59

bit about myself

14:02

thank you jay all right jake jade

14:04

jade points out that our initial vetting

14:06

process for the entrance for the

14:07

investors was a little bit uh confusing

14:10

so thank you

14:13

okay i got a couple of slides i wouldn’t

14:15

mind sharing the slides and showing just

14:16

like kind of key messages but then

14:18

definitely opening up i want to get

14:19

questions and have a conversation so

14:22

let me show everybody a couple of slides

14:24

that i’ve prepared

14:25

um they kind of give a bit of an

14:26

overview

14:28

i’ll go into present mode um so yeah at

14:31

the risk of getting a shameless plug we

14:33

are having our big like marquee event

14:35

tomorrow so if you’re in calgary or

14:38

you’re in edmonton you can join us in

14:39

person in calgary we’re gonna be that

14:41

brand new platform innovation center in

14:43

edmonton we’re gonna be at polar park

14:45

brewing uh the location of our original

14:47

happy hour um and uh it’s also gonna be

14:50

a virtual event too so if you wanna if

14:52

you wanna sign in uh from home you can

14:54

sign in from home

14:55

um you know and we i really view the our

14:58

investment summit program that i’ll talk

14:59

about a little bit here in the event

15:00

itself as part and partial to the happy

15:02

hour kind of building off the spirit of

15:04

the happy hour um

15:06

we got these sponsors on here this makes

15:08

me look really corporate but um these

15:10

sponsors are super helpful you know like

15:12

kind of just like give you a little

15:13

background here i can point to some of

15:15

these sponsors like i’ve heard of

15:16

enterprise corporation and accelerate

15:18

fund i literally just had like a call

15:20

out in my newsletter back when we first

15:22

started the happy hour and said hey i

15:24

want to put together some cool event in

15:26

february where we raise money for local

15:28

companies who can help us and both

15:30

alberta enterprise corporation and

15:32

accelerate fund responded and said we

15:34

can give you a little bit of money if

15:35

you’d like some money for that and now

15:37

they stuck with us and uh and they’re

15:39

still sponsors um and since then we’ve

15:42

built great relationships with people

15:43

like bdc cbre krp and am fm um you know

15:47

who really are helping the entrepreneurs

15:48

in the community uh people like peer

15:50

guided flip jade’s in there jade’s

15:52

company’s in there um

15:55

okay well let me give you let me give

15:56

you a little more history there so i

15:57

kind of talked a little about the tnt

15:58

again it stands for thursday night

16:00

tradition and here’s a fun image on the

16:01

left of our very first investment summit

16:05

uh or actually it might have been one of

16:06

the pitch nights for the investment

16:07

summits um and i think this like kind of

16:10

captures this spirit as well like if i

16:11

look at this image this is actually kind

16:13

of cool see this person here on the

16:15

right in the in the dress and like the

16:16

black and pink with the long hair that’s

16:19

victoria she was there at pitch night

16:21

back in like this is january 2020. uh

16:24

she’s pitching tomorrow or shelby her

16:26

partner is they’re in the summit they’re

16:27

raising money for their startup uh

16:30

that’s like such a cool story to kind of

16:32

see this happening right before our eyes

16:33

as part of the community which i think

16:35

is like really special if i make this

16:37

personal for me like really special uh

16:39

to be able to you know become friends

16:41

with the entrepreneurs become friends

16:43

with the investors and then watch them

16:45

grow and raise their companies right

16:46

before our very eyes and showcase and

16:48

celebrate them uh all in like one kind

16:50

of comprehensive experience um and then

16:52

over here on the left we have a couple

16:53

of investors that joined us that first

16:55

night and they’re still investing with

16:56

us now so and then everyone i think

16:58

that’s aaron budnik there one of the

16:59

founders of the rainforest here at mit

17:01

um okay so a lot of great local people

17:02

are recognizing and here fast forward to

17:04

today we’re still doing it um you know

17:07

here we’re we’re making a toast to one

17:08

of the local um

17:10

executive directors of startup edmonton

17:12

here in edmonton uh and actually this

17:14

person making the toast

17:16

uh works now she used to work at startup

17:18

everton now she works at drug bank the

17:21

first company that won our our

17:23

investment summit back in february 2020.

17:25

um and they’re actually in the process

17:28

now of of uh you know going like

17:31

gangbusters and building and probably

17:32

doing another round in the very near

17:34

future here um

17:36

so that you know this is kind of like

17:38

if i look at this and i summarize the

17:40

organization it’s get together with

17:41

great people uh bring different parts of

17:44

the community together and then actually

17:45

help them build companies in a real way

17:48

which is which is with investors and you

17:50

know on the topic of investors like the

17:52

thing that appeals to me about our

17:54

investment summit and the process i

17:55

actually borrowed this from another

17:56

ecosystem i went to a seminar i learned

17:58

about this thing called an angel summit

17:59

that they’re doing down in seattle i

18:01

said this is perfect

18:02

because really what it focuses on is

18:04

simultaneously training entrepreneurs

18:07

and training investors and when you do

18:10

it with a process where

18:12

it’s casual and approachable and it’s

18:14

part of like a weekly cadence of meetups

18:16

you know it’s just about generally all

18:18

working together to build community as

18:19

like kind of one cohesive ecosystem and

18:21

i know that’s exactly what the

18:22

rainforest is all about

18:24

um and so we’re very much in line with

18:26

that so you know and i think that like

18:27

this is maybe a bit of an overlooked

18:29

aspect of any ecosystem any startup

18:31

community which is the amount of time

18:33

and energy and sophistication that’s

18:35

required to become a good angel investor

18:38

and like you know just because you have

18:40

the money or you have the experience in

18:42

business from a more traditional

18:43

background there’s a lot of things that

18:45

are quite different about angel

18:46

investing in a tech startup than in like

18:49

say a real estate company or a

18:50

traditional business

18:52

and start t investment summit offers an

18:54

opportunity for all those people that

18:56

are interested in it to learn in a very

18:58

hands-on way

18:59

where they’re they’re committing up

19:01

front to invest five thousand dollars

19:03

into one of the local companies that

19:04

supplies and basically education is

19:06

built into it we do proper education

19:07

seminars but we also do a bunch of

19:10

peer-to-peer learning you know people

19:11

like jade alberts that have been here

19:12

for a while

19:14

they ship they basically take the lead

19:16

on doing due diligence and they share

19:17

directly with the other investors you

19:19

know what they think and that’s where a

19:20

lot of the learning comes from

19:22

um actually maybe i’ll maybe i’ll stop

19:23

here and ask jay if he wants to add any

19:25

context to that yeah i i

19:27

you know talking about startup tnt the

19:30

i say you hear me say it all the time

19:31

the people that the entrepreneurs are

19:33

gonna meet are almost more important

19:35

than the money that they’re gonna

19:36

receive or not receive i mean and not

19:38

only through like our company that pure

19:40

guidance that does it but there’s many

19:42

opportunities that we sit there and help

19:44

these uh companies out that don’t win

19:46

we’ll sit on a monthly call with them a

19:48

weekly call with them make sure we’re

19:49

guiding them in the right direction

19:51

making sure they’re getting the right

19:52

advice

19:53

and that’s only me it’s the other 90

19:55

angels that we have

19:57

that are willing to give back and give

19:59

their time to help the the ecosystem

20:01

grow so it’s a very collaborative

20:03

community which ties into

20:05

you know even some of the main investors

20:07

you know not only are there ones that

20:09

just commit five thousand there’s ones

20:11

that’ll cut checks for a hundred

20:12

thousand or two hundred thousand dollars

20:14

so

20:15

and you know those comp those people

20:16

have had big exits so and they’re

20:18

willing to give back and even on telling

20:20

it like it is today when i had james

20:22

lockery on you know that’s kind of the

20:23

next level of them building their 100

20:25

million dollar fund to really give back

20:27

but it’s got to start somewhere and

20:30

these small little angels that are

20:32

starting at 5000 maybe two investments a

20:34

year

20:35

might have a couple exits in a few years

20:37

and then they’ll give back they’ll give

20:38

more and and learning how to properly

20:40

invest in a company is extremely

20:42

important

20:44

and you know you know i think jade

20:46

really hit it there which is like the

20:48

money is the thing that maybe grabs

20:49

headlines but the experience

20:52

of the relationships you’re building

20:53

especially like you know slowly building

20:55

genuine relationships over time is what

20:57

we go for um and we really work hard to

20:59

instill that culture among the

21:00

entrepreneurs and the investors like

21:02

it’s not it’s not supposed to be a

21:03

winner take all business plan

21:04

competition it’s real deals real

21:06

investors real transactions happening

21:10

um

21:11

okay and so actually the next slide i

21:14

believe is a quick summary

21:17

3.9 million dollars raised

21:19

um that’s incredible um you know

21:21

considering that when we do one summit

21:23

like

21:24

in one city we basically ask 25 to 30

21:27

investors each to commit

21:29

you know

21:30

five thousand dollars up front but what

21:31

we always see happening is that multiple

21:33

companies raise money because the

21:35

investors do all these dozens together

21:36

they gain stress amongst each other they

21:38

get excited about the deals

21:40

and we’re we kind of a system where we

21:41

can rapidly syndicate

21:43

many small checks so it’s beneficial to

21:45

the company the companies in the end

21:47

receiving fifty hundred even two hundred

21:49

fifty thousand dollars sometimes um as

21:52

basically one uh one check that they

21:55

receive on their cat table

21:57

and we kind of do all that kind of

21:58

hurting of cats behind the scenes and

22:00

look at the look at the types of

22:02

companies you see here and this i really

22:03

want to stress this you know these are

22:05

i’m showing you the 18 formal syndicates

22:07

that we’ve done there’s been another

22:08

half dozen deals that happened

22:10

uh just directly between the

22:12

entrepreneurs and the investors

22:14

um

22:15

but if you look at the ones we formally

22:17

syndicated you see

22:18

um basically a representation of our

22:21

startup community you know look like

22:22

future fields is in cellular agriculture

22:24

zs2 is in cleantech and building

22:26

construction drug bank is

22:29

a health technology company

22:31

um uproot foods is a food company i mean

22:34

this is a food company

22:35

like with an innovative business model

22:37

around

22:38

um

22:39

you know high quality local uh goods

22:42

arbor’s is a b to b

22:44

i’m sorry b to c sas company with uh

22:46

with an esg focus 2s water is you know a

22:50

hardware company aerolytics is a b2b sas

22:52

company that’s in cleantech focus on oil

22:54

and gas wine crush another clean tech

22:56

company um you know you’ve really just

22:58

got everything i think this is what’s

23:00

really interesting to me

23:01

um is that at start tnt where industry

23:04

agnostic you know any company that meets

23:07

the key definitions of a startup which

23:09

is they’re going for a global customer

23:10

base or scaling to create something big

23:13

uh is a fit for raising money at sarptnt

23:15

and all sectors have been represented

23:17

and that’s really exciting

23:19

and even to what allison has a question

23:21

here that says all people it’s amazing

23:23

of all the lives you touched and one

23:25

thing that zach didn’t say is

23:27

we are putting almost 120 150 companies

23:30

from alberta now into saskatchewan

23:33

on the

23:34

on on a global stage where companies

23:36

from all over the world are seeing them

23:38

they’re they’re and they’re investing in

23:39

them we’ve had five companies

23:41

that we weren’t allowed to invest and

23:43

while four of them we got to james led

23:45

us in with arbor but four other

23:47

companies that started off in our summit

23:49

and they were fully funded because

23:50

someone saw them so it sucked as an

23:53

investor not getting to get in on them

23:54

but you know what you’re happy for them

23:56

because they filled their round and and

23:58

and having these people having these

24:00

companies you know seeing in these

24:02

summits for top 20s and top 30s

24:05

it is priceless to to show how great

24:08

and what great companies are starting to

24:10

come out of alberta yeah i think i think

24:12

that’s actually pretty a pretty

24:14

important point

24:15

that we really like to focus on is that

24:17

showcase like let’s let’s celebrate and

24:20

and broadcast what we’re doing here as a

24:22

community so everyone knows and let’s be

24:24

really proud of it

24:25

um and we there’s some great like some

24:28

of the highest quality investors that i

24:29

know in alberta are also investing in

24:31

these deals which i think is quite

24:33

special

24:34

for first-time investors and i think

24:35

this to me what it’s all about as a

24:37

first-time investor you could be

24:38

investing in a company like drug bank

24:40

that received investment from the

24:42

accelerate fund receive an investment

24:43

from raymond zika like these are like

24:45

top quality investors in your ecosystem

24:47

that you’re co-investing within some of

24:48

these deals very very cool

24:50

yeah

24:51

um okay i think that’s kind of kind of

24:53

all we had yeah that’s kind of where i

24:55

wanted to stop with the slides to be

24:57

honest with you

24:58

um

24:59

here’s here’s current stats for the last

25:01

summit so well actually maybe i’ll just

25:03

touch on this one briefly which is you

25:04

know we started off with in edmonton

25:07

this was before the pandemic hit and

25:09

everything was in person we did in

25:11

edmonton

25:12

and then with the pandemic hit we

25:13

realized that everything had to be

25:15

virtual for a while in fact i joke that

25:17

we actually ran our happy hour virtually

25:18

for longer than we did in person i think

25:20

we might have caught up at this point

25:22

but um that was true for a while

25:25

we now are running three independent

25:27

streams so this isn’t just like an

25:28

edmonton this isn’t even just an alberta

25:30

thing anymore we now have alberta and

25:31

saskatchewan happening so tomorrow if

25:34

you join us you will see five companies

25:35

from edmonton five from calgary and five

25:37

from saskatchewan

25:39

and we have independent investor teams

25:41

from each of those regions also

25:42

evaluating all the deals and you’ll see

25:44

a minimum of three companies raising

25:47

money

25:47

um and we’ll see how many end up how

25:49

many deals actually happen but i would i

25:51

would anticipate more than three

25:55

um so there i think i can leave it there

25:57

maybe i’ll stop sharing my slides

26:02

um yeah

26:04

yeah really incredible guys um yet the

26:07

work you do is like alan said it touches

26:09

so many but it’s just uh it’s inspiring

26:13

to see to watch the summits one of the

26:15

first virtual events i i did in the

26:18

ecosystems act was like a jeopardy thing

26:19

you hosted at the la was it last summit

26:22

yeah it was

26:24

hilarious

26:25

um

26:26

i was just getting to know everybody was

26:27

a great way to get to know everybody

26:28

really funny um

26:30

so you make it all fun and you make

26:31

investing accessible to many it’s

26:34

incredible uh we got questions so so

26:36

let’s go to v uh v you want to mute

26:39

yeah love it amazing

26:42

uh can’t wait to get involved

26:44

and i just wanted to know what uh what

26:46

are your thoughts on trust and getting

26:48

people to share their ip

26:52

so general thoughts on trust um i mean

26:55

i’ll be honest with you the philosophy

26:56

of startup tnt is kind of in the order

26:58

that i think is important for building

27:00

trust and building relationships have

27:02

fun

27:03

make friends build companies so

27:05

you know we we try to focus on i think

27:08

how bridget put it was perfect

27:10

accessible casual fun kind of all those

27:12

things together

27:13

um and so you can sort of get to know

27:16

people slowly over time that’s why it’s

27:17

a weekly happy hour like when we first

27:19

launched this people like no one’s gonna

27:20

show up every week and i’m like i know i

27:21

am because i want to build trust and

27:23

relationships with everybody slowly over

27:25

time um so i try to focus on kind of

27:27

genuine relationship building through

27:29

the happy hour and then um

27:32

maybe on the ip question i think that’s

27:34

one that

27:36

actually is a bit of a challenge because

27:37

people are nervous about sharing their

27:38

ip

27:39

um but

27:41

you know don’t don’t share it willy

27:42

nilly but i think sometimes we keep our

27:44

ip too close because we’re worried that

27:45

people are gonna steal it even though

27:46

it’s very very low probability that

27:48

happened

27:49

yeah i guess on on that i mean we have

27:52

i think once out of all the investments

27:54

at summits that i’ve been in i think we

27:55

signed one nda right i mean we have a

27:58

slack channel everybody that is in as an

28:00

investor understands the importance of

28:03

of keeping someone’s technology ip

28:05

whatever patents um secret or to

28:08

themselves so it’s not shared it’s it’s

28:10

discussed internally when we have our

28:12

due diligence and where they think it’ll

28:14

go what the value it brings to the deal

28:16

and things like that so it’s again i

28:18

mean maybe it’s a western philosophy

28:20

thing a prairie thing that uh that the

28:22

trust is there but uh you know there

28:24

hasn’t been any i don’t know i don’t

28:26

know leaks i guess if that’s what you

28:27

want to call them but the trust is there

28:29

in our in our ecosystem

28:32

thank you so much

28:35

peter

28:37

hey nice to see you jade zach and uh

28:40

thanks very much and uh i think this

28:42

whole approach just embodies the whole

28:44

concept of the rainforest uh social

28:46

agreement quite frankly that whole idea

28:49

of getting together and working together

28:51

um emmy comments zach on how you see the

28:55

relationship

28:56

expanding into the larger

28:59

uh equity players and the big financing

29:02

companies and the stage three stage four

29:05

and

29:05

are they uh onside with that kind of

29:09

infectious nature that this kind of

29:11

sharing agreement looks like

29:14

um are you referring to people that are

29:15

doing like

29:16

series a series b rounds like

29:18

ventricular yeah yeah the big players

29:20

that want to come in after things you’re

29:22

kind of moving ahead and yeah all that

29:24

stuff yeah well you know this is this is

29:26

actually a big part of our philosophy at

29:27

tnt is that you know if you want to

29:30

build a great angel investing community

29:32

the angel investors have to be

29:33

approachable but i could actually

29:34

explain that to investments if you want

29:36

to build a great investment community

29:38

they have to be approachable and

29:39

basically a part of the startup

29:41

community so any any high quality great

29:44

entrepreneur in your local ecosystem

29:45

should be talking to the angel investors

29:47

at kind of those very early days

29:49

um and you know what we find is that

29:52

the like we actually work hard to try

29:54

and build relationships with vcs

29:56

because we know that we might be

29:58

investing in a slightly earlier state

29:59

than them but you know

30:02

all those vcs realize that you know the

30:04

deal funnel in the pipeline it’s a

30:05

long-term play so i think they actually

30:07

aren’t quite open to we especially we’re

30:09

doing it virtually we actually had quite

30:10

a few that would join us

30:12

um virtually there’s less dc’s

30:14

physically in say edmonton although

30:16

there’s more in calgary so we don’t get

30:17

them we get them fairly often at our

30:19

happy hour in edmonton uh the ones that

30:21

are active so i think the vcs that i

30:23

know are generally quite open and

30:25

embracing this spirit and i might on

30:27

this note bridget mentioned an award

30:29

earlier um i just was received this

30:32

award that is actually sponsored by the

30:34

venture capital association of alberta

30:36

so

30:37

i think like if you guys believe that in

30:39

our spirit that’s like pretty formal

30:41

recognition that the venture capital

30:43

industry also believes in it

30:46

and we also get a lot of uh

30:48

a lot of phone calls from the vcs right

30:50

they want our opinion they know that you

30:51

know we’ve run businesses we’ve probably

30:53

exited businesses or are still running

30:55

them

30:56

and they want to know what it’s like to

30:58

work with that founder right i mean

30:59

everybody will have their investors

31:00

thesis and so will vcs and they’re

31:02

looking for certain things you know if i

31:04

was to share mine i would say i’m

31:05

looking for mrr i’m looking for the

31:07

founder and then i’m looking for

31:09

scalability and it kind of goes from

31:10

there if you talk to someone like edon

31:12

he’s focused more on tech and and then

31:14

and it filters down from there for him

31:16

but a lot of vcs want to know how are

31:18

they how are they to work with you know

31:20

are they coachable

31:21

in are

31:22

any and and tons of questions i mean i’m

31:25

probably on one or two calls with vcs a

31:27

month asking questions about some of the

31:28

companies that we’ve invested in

31:30

and you know honestly again it starts

31:32

with the founder right and that’s if

31:34

you’re going to sit there and be a dick

31:36

to angel investors vcs aren’t going to

31:38

want to invest in you so you know it’s

31:41

it’s start you got to treat everybody

31:42

the same and and make sure that you’re

31:44

coachable

31:55

richard you’re muted

31:58

oh

32:02

it’s nice of you to all wait for me to

32:04

unmute like that

32:06

uh you could have just started talking

32:08

uh i’m just laughing at james’s comment

32:10

to great comments though jade but uh i

32:12

was just chuckling at james’s comment to

32:14

zach about uh his pivot from phd in

32:17

chemical engineering uh to this to this

32:19

work uh comment zach

32:23

uh you know that’s

32:24

that’s uh that’s a great question james

32:26

um

32:27

i you know i was uh sometimes i was

32:29

sharing this recently with people

32:31

where i feel like

32:33

it took me

32:34

until i was 35

32:37

so between the ages of roughly like 18

32:39

and 35 to figure out kind of like my

32:42

professional life

32:43

in a way that made sense for me and like

32:45

what i wanted to do like i joke like

32:47

back when i was in high school like made

32:48

sense to me i played sports i was good

32:50

at school i had great friends we did a

32:52

lot of fun stuff it was like like this

32:53

is what life was about and i felt

32:55

amazing and then once i graduated from

32:57

high school i felt like i literally

32:58

spent the next almost 20 years trying to

33:01

re-figure out how to how life makes

33:02

sense as an adult um and i feel like as

33:05

a phd and purely a phd it only semi made

33:08

sense because i wanted to do more with

33:09

my life

33:10

so now i feel like star tmt brings it

33:12

all together for me that’s my short

33:14

answer and i’m 49 and i still have no

33:16

idea what i want to do

33:19

you’re in good company and i’m older and

33:20

i have no idea

33:23

alan did you have a question i know

33:25

you’re needed

33:26

any comments questions

33:28

um no i’m just in total i don’t know how

33:31

i kind of didn’t really uh become part

33:33

of i guess it’s because i kind of

33:34

returned to the entrepreneur’s space

33:36

that i didn’t really know that much

33:38

about you guys so um

33:40

i’m wowed

33:41

um from where you are because it’s not

33:43

just

33:45

about the entrepreneur’s space it’s you

33:46

know it’s really that community

33:48

connection and

33:49

um

33:50

you know bringing people together like

33:52

and it’s not always easy but your

33:53

concept is

33:55

fantastic

33:57

and we actually have a lot of people

33:59

that are current entrepreneurs that are

34:00

investors as well right they want to

34:02

give back and start building their

34:03

portfolio before they retire or exit or

34:06

they’re tired of the stock stock market

34:08

or like al probably al daldegan have too

34:10

much bitcoin so they they want to do

34:12

something else

34:14

well i think and

34:16

we actually see this a little bit

34:17

already like actually one of our

34:18

investors in um

34:20

calgary was the co-founder of one of the

34:23

companies that raised money at the

34:24

springs summit

34:26

um but you know i’m like i’m looking

34:28

forward to the day when some of the

34:29

early entrepreneurs that participate

34:31

with us you know grow their businesses

34:32

to a point where like yeah exactly now

34:34

now they want to invest with us and i

34:36

think we’re going to start seeing that

34:37

pretty soon here which is pretty

34:38

exciting for me

34:40

now what about if i’m an individual with

34:43

a bit of cash that i want to try i want

34:45

to try this out as an investor

34:48

we have a rigorous application process

34:50

you have to talk to jade about it i

34:51

heard it

34:52

i heard that

34:57

you know this is what i like about it

34:58

right i mean we have we have accountants

35:00

we have hr professionals we have

35:03

um construction workers that want that

35:05

want to invest in yeah and they can’t

35:07

write a maybe a bigger 25 or 50 or 100

35:09

000 check but they want to start

35:11

building their portfolio so at 5 000 at

35:14

a time they really start to understand

35:17

why you should invest in company

35:19

um and and and i don’t want to say why

35:22

you shouldn’t invest in a company

35:23

because every company we look at

35:24

probably has a thousand reasons not to

35:26

invest and we try not to focus on that

35:29

we want to you know think more

35:30

positively and and that everyone’s going

35:32

to be successful even though we don’t

35:34

but it’s very it’s it’s a very good

35:36

community where you even as i have i

35:39

think 15 or so investments out there

35:41

i’m still learning every time i’m going

35:43

through a due diligence whether it’s

35:44

from the entrepreneur or someone a new

35:46

investor that comes in i was like oh man

35:48

i never thought of that before or well

35:50

that’s a very valid point so

35:52

you really get to understand the the art

35:55

of investing through tnt which is in my

35:58

opinion priceless

36:00

yeah and you know it’s it’s a continuous

36:02

learning process

36:04

um so but i mean this i think your

36:06

original question was like how do you

36:07

get involved it’s really just we

36:09

generally just have coffee with you and

36:10

confirm there are some specific criteria

36:12

you have to meet that are set by the

36:14

elder securities commission which is i

36:16

think why we accidentally rejected jade

36:17

originally

36:19

there was a miscommunication about those

36:20

criteria and how to meet them uh but uh

36:23

once we confirm that you meet those

36:24

criteria and honestly the conversation’s

36:26

really about understanding you have the

36:27

right mindset because keep in mind

36:28

people aren’t committing if you’re an

36:30

investor in our process you’re

36:31

committing to more than just like

36:34

angel investing as an angel investor

36:35

you’re committing to learning you’re

36:37

committing to a sort of team-based due

36:38

diligence process you’re committing that

36:40

the money is going to go into one of

36:41

these companies even though it might be

36:43

your second choice you know it’s usually

36:45

competitive we don’t have like 100

36:47

investors saying this is the number one

36:48

company

36:49

you know we have a subset of that

36:51

we use a ranked ranked ballot process to

36:54

determine the winner but it’s each each

36:55

investor gets an equal vote

37:00

anyone else want to throw out a question

37:01

before we head into breakout rooms

37:04

i’ll throw out a quick question hey zack

37:08

so

37:10

so much is going on thankfully you know

37:13

we’re getting a lot of uh momentum going

37:16

on in the tech sector

37:17

and so it’s great to see uh you know

37:20

this investment mindset and the

37:22

entrepreneurs getting supported through

37:24

dollars and through you know we help

37:27

employ people through the first jobs

37:28

program and then the accelerators the

37:31

alberta accelerators are coming and uh

37:34

which are funded by alberta innovate

37:37

and the the international accelerators

37:40

coming as well as that pre-accelerator

37:43

with platform calgary and innovate

37:45

edmonton so

37:46

how do you see in the next three years

37:49

perhaps whether it’s this year or next

37:51

year that um all of this can come

37:54

together to help create just just a

37:57

better future in alberta for the tech

37:59

industry

38:01

well i think the real thing those

38:02

accelerators bring is like a world-class

38:05

and international network of experienced

38:07

people that can really help our local

38:09

entrepreneurs

38:11

um you know take their companies to the

38:12

next level

38:14

and i i view

38:16

startup tnt’s role is getting

38:18

more of our

38:20

local wealthy individuals that are ready

38:22

to invest able to invest

38:24

and supporting entrepreneurs at the very

38:25

early stages and building community

38:27

around that but also working closely

38:28

with those new accelerators so that say

38:30

a company comes through tnt maybe they

38:32

raise money maybe they don’t they might

38:33

be a good fit for one of those

38:34

accelerators to get to the next stage

38:36

and

38:37

um that’s 100 what we plan to be doing

38:39

uh and working closely in many ways you

38:41

know i see what’s happening here is like

38:43

another

38:44

pre-accelerator um that that you’re

38:46

running or or next level up but also uh

38:51

i i think three years out five years out

38:54

these types of grassroots initiatives

38:56

whether it’s rainforest or technology

38:58

alberta or tnt

39:01

it’s what’s going to keep the companies

39:03

here in alberta and create the new ones

39:05

right because that’s kind of it there’s

39:06

always a concern if you bring some

39:08

external in here we could lose our

39:10

companies if there’s nothing keeping

39:12

them here but the community and a

39:14

supportive community is what can do that

39:17

so i think you’re already seeing that uh

39:19

gail right i mean even when talking to

39:21

james today right who have to leave and

39:23

what does he do he comes back and he’s

39:25

going to be investing in the majority of

39:27

alberta companies but i think you know

39:29

benevolent has proved that cement has is

39:31

proving that jobbers are showing that uh

39:34

um who just got you know a lot of them

39:36

now are here and they live here they

39:38

stay here and they’re gonna play here

39:40

and they’re gonna invest here when

39:41

they’re done and that is like we are

39:43

early on in that cycle right now

39:46

and accelerators will help that as long

39:48

as companies don’t get accelerator happy

39:50

and start jumping from one to one they

39:51

got to focus on growing their business

39:53

but people are going to stay here invest

39:55

here and play here and and and over the

39:57

next 10 to 25 years it’s just going to

40:00

be a booming economy for for many

40:02

sectors not just tech yeah i think i

40:05

think bridget brings up a really good

40:06

point there in the chat too which is

40:08

there’s a lot of advantages and that are

40:09

that make alberta very attractive from a

40:11

practical business standpoint we were

40:13

just talking to future fields one of our

40:15

first companies we’re gonna do a virtual

40:17

lab tour with them

40:18

and they actually like they tell they

40:20

tell other people that they know

40:21

internationally like how much they’re

40:22

paying for rent and it like blows their

40:24

mind and like what they can accomplish

40:26

with like a two million dollar raise is

40:28

like ten times it’s like feels like two

40:30

or three times maybe not ten but two or

40:31

three times more than what people with a

40:33

two or three million race can accomplish

40:35

in a place like silicon valley or boston

40:36

so i agree like kind of that community

40:38

piece to support everyone

40:40

you know complements the the practical

40:42

business reasons why you want to build a

40:43

company here and and we’re we’re golden

40:47

yeah i i just thought to you that

40:48

manitoba government just announced

40:50

funding into neo’s uh neo’s staff which

40:53

is pretty

40:54

pretty great um that it’s heading east

40:57

into and that you guys are operating in

40:58

saskatchewan sasky girl so

41:01

bring it to the prairies that’s awesome

41:02

okay but we will pop into breakout rooms

41:04

we have time v i see your hand up but um

41:06

maybe we can ask it in the breakout

41:08

rooms or when we come back so we have

41:09

some time to connect on a smaller scale

41:11

and everybody can have a chance to chat

41:14

so i will open up the rooms um i just

41:16

want to say that uh

41:18

normally we do reserve uh the last five

41:20

minutes for community announcements but

41:22

if you could please check out the link

41:24

amber put in the chat for um uh

41:26

nominations for people’s choice guest

41:29

and host for the libby podcast awards if

41:31

you could take some time while you’re

41:32

here at lunch without lunch to nominate

41:34

your best your favorite rather host or

41:36

guest be uh really greatly appreciated

41:38

and don’t forget to join us on the 25th

41:40

rooms are opening i’ll see you in about

41:43

seven minutes ish

41:45

starting marie okay

41:47

welcome back hopefully you all had some

41:49

great conversations

41:50

um

41:51

a few minutes left for a community

41:53

announcement so before doing that big

41:55

thank you to jade big thank you to zach

41:58

uh for coming and sharing your story and

42:00

inspiring all of us to to take part in

42:03

the work you you’re doing it’s so

42:04

rainforesty and we just love it um

42:08

startup tnt investment tomorrow link is

42:10

somewhere buried in the chat or google

42:12

it for tickets to watch these pitches

42:14

tomorrow um innovation week in calgary

42:17

next week tons going on i’ll throw the

42:19

link up for that

42:20

her story competition female pitches

42:23

tomorrow through the 51 and alberta

42:26

innovates

42:27

you could spend uh the next you know 10

42:29

days just on zoom watching things so um

42:33

or in person so have fun with that any

42:35

other announcements out there other uh

42:37

we do have the livvy podcast awards if

42:39

you want to come and watch we have a bit

42:41

of a fun hour planned an hour and a half

42:44

ish with a lot of networking time

42:45

connection time built into that um link

42:48

is in the chat as well so please come

42:50

help us uh

42:52

acknowledge all of the volunteers that

42:53

take part in the libby podcast

42:56

anybody else

42:59

um can we make event announcements yes

43:02

okay so weekly uh the hubble incubator

43:05

is running uh educational sessions

43:08

uh

43:09

for entrepreneurs who want to build

43:11

their skills

43:13

as they transition from validating to

43:15

skip to scaling and they’re free events

43:18

we have them on thursdays from 12 until

43:21

1 30 and i posted the event registration

43:24

this uh in the chat

43:27

they’re free and today our this week’s

43:29

focus is on uh product market fit so

43:32

going through and making sure you’re

43:34

making a desirable product and then how

43:36

do you go about telling that story to to

43:38

have the most impact possible

43:43

very cool cameron you have a link you’ve

43:45

shared okay yeah it’s just a little bit

43:47

further up i can repost it if you want

43:50

yeah i i sure that’d be great awesome

43:52

thanks for sharing that’s great um

43:55

anyone else

44:01

hello

44:02

can i yes

44:04

hello nice to meet you girls not to meet

44:06

demands for everyone i am here in

44:08

calgary for

44:09

10 days

44:11

and i’m so happy because i can start

44:13

talking to you physically near

44:17

and i am so happy to stay here again and

44:20

the last time when i was in the um

44:24

rainforest moment or in this room is

44:27

from brazil

44:28

so now i’m happy for staying calgary

44:30

nice to meet you guys i put my link

44:33

or linked in in the chat now and i

44:37

will be happy to stay and connect to you

44:39

there

44:40

awesome welcome to alberta jack nice to

44:42

have you uh that’s great

44:44

thanks thanks for sharing anybody else

44:50

all right that’s a wrap next week um

44:54

we’re doing something super cool i

44:55

should really start pulling up the

44:56

schedule so i know what’s happening next

44:59

uh something awesome watch our social

45:01

and we’ll keep the room open if anybody

45:03

wants to stay and continue connecting

45:06

for the next half hour-ish uh you’re

45:08

welcome to do so have a great week

45:10

everybody



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.