Financing Your Vision Seminar at CTI

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This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the Financing Your Vision seminar at Calgary Technologies. This is the one-day seminar that covers all of the financing options available to entrepreneurs – covered by speakers with direct and relevant experience in their respective fields. It seems to be aimed primarily at high tech entrepreneurs, but the discussion is certainly not limited to this type of company — anybody who is seeking financial partners for their new start up venture would be a candidate to attend.The session is put together and facilitated by Kerri Knull, Manager of the Calgary Innovation Centre, which is based at Calgary Technologies. It’s a very well-organized event. Comfortable, but not overly lavish. Most importantly, Kerri exercises polite, but firm control over the agenda so the schedule is respected and each speaker is marched through on time. The speakers seem to appreciate it, and the attendees as well. Kerri also makes a direct contribution to the agenda in her own segment, putting the day in overall framework.

The guest speakers in our session included Revett Eldred, Al Saurette, Corey Keith, Greg McLean, Mike Scarth and Wayne Powell, all drawn from the local entrepreneurial community. I have read a ton of material on this subject, but there is nothing like hearing from, and being able to talk with people who have really been there and done the kinds of things you are contemplating taking on yourself. They cover the full range of options from bootstrapping, angel investment, venture capital, bank financing and even a short section on one government sponsored program (SR&ED) aimed at start up companies.

For me, the session put my own efforts in context. It also enabled the sequencing of the steps to get where I’m going from here. I may not know all of the things that I have got to do to fully realize my objectives, but I have a clear sense of what’s next. I also now know that there are certain stages of the process for which I’m not ready. That’s useful information, in itself.

If you’re in the bootstrap phase, which best describes where I’m at currently, you’re giving every penny one last squeeze as it heads the door — it’s your money after all. The $250/300 fee for the seminar is well worth it, and I would highly recommend the investment of your money, and likely more precious, your time.

If you have any specific questions about this seminar, I would recommend you get in touch with Kerri, whose email address can be found on the CIC site. By all means, if you have any questions for a previous attendee, please leave a comment, below, and I’ll do my best to answer as promptly as I can.

One additional comment; for all would-be entrepreneurs who are currently labouring away at the soul-crushing work of the mothership, you owe it yourself to spend a day amongst your own kind. If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll feel like an entirely different person, and walk away with a renewed feeling that you really can do this.

February 24, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterButzi

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