Public Venture Capital: Canada Comes to the Valley

By Aron Solomon

GSV Labs, a highly-renown incubator in Silicon Valley, hosted the Toronto Stock Exchange and the TSX Venture Exchange, for an informative session on Canadian public venture capital as a finding source for US and international companies.

Public venture capital is equity capital, the source of funds typically from hundreds of investors, including high-net worth individuals, and family offices. Public venture capital has been successfully raised by companies with as little as $2M in revenue up to hundreds of millions of revenue. Money is raised by “going public,” and part of what the event addressed was the misconception that only huge businesses goes public. The unique things about going public in Canada vs. the United States is that the process is far less onerous in Canada.

Half of the companies in the room were based in the US, the other half truly global, including a fair number from China, which should come as no surprise to anyone, given China’s strong and growing presence both here in Silicon Valley and in Toronto.

This event makes us part of a five-city U.S. public venture capital roadshow. These events are designed to bring together a community of entrepreneurs to explore the value and merits of public venture capital as a viable source of funding for early-stage companies.

While certainly only coincidence that the event was on the same day as the Stanford CodeX Future Law conference, there are really strong synergies between the two events. Both bring together a dynamic group of startup and scaling company founders along with rapidly-expanding innovation sectors of traditional industries.

Just as Future Law shared many of the best innovations and concepts in the legal industry, the public venture capital event brought some of the newest, most creative best practices to funding companies.

A great day for innovation in the Valley and two very compelling events.