Randy Stewart Thompson – chairman and CEO of Valhalla Private Capital, managing director of Old Kent Road Financial and co-owner of Peterborough United Football Club – addressed the issue of “becoming Silicon Valley” on this week’s episode of the Current & Critical podcast, by Collisions YYC.
Speaking with host Tyler Chisholm, CEO at Clearmotive Marketing, Randy discussed the deal “food chain” and raising money for growth in Western Canada, hailing Alberta as “a place that’s learned to hustle and innovate since the beginning of time.”
Read Randy’s take turning Western Canada into Silicon Valley below:
“Some Albertans that have done extraordinarily well in the valley model, and we’ve had some great wins lately, in what I’ll call the Canadian model or global model.
“We wring our hands as if we’re behind, but the reality is I’ve actually taken our model to 30 countries and I find the questions are all the same – how do we become Silicon Valley? Well, actually, we don’t.
“Any deals that are screaming hot are leaving. They’re leaving Calgary, New Orleans, Belgium and going to San Francisco, and a bunch of us who have played in that valley game – I’d include myself in that – will invest and oversubscribe that round as it leaves our ecosystem.
“Those people will leave and they will participate in [San Francisco’s] ecosystem, but here in Western Canada we have great companies. We can go through the list of Canadian companies that kind of stayed – Skip The Dishes is one that’s been pulled out over the last five years, while in the last three years we’ve had Solium and Benevity.
“We have some companies that took 20 years to become billion dollar companies, but everybody did well along the path and we created a group of people that can actually run and operate big companies.
“We’ve created investors that have a win and we’ve created publicly traded opportunities for other investors. If we were back in the old days of a shopping mall, we would have some really, really good anchor tenants in our shopping mall here in Western Canada.”
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