Kicking off 2022, 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 – has discussed a need for “Valhalla 2.0” as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect startup ecosystems across the globe.
“Pre-pandemic I was flying all over the world, and feeling like a jetsetter, a global citizen,” Randy began.
In fact, since 2014 Valhalla Private Capital has been invited by international donors, universities, business networks and governments across more than 25 developing countries – including a partnership with African Development Bank and contributions to Vietnam’s Swiss Entrepreneurship Program and US Department of State’s Tigers@Mekong Program across Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Thailand – to share our insights into investing and raising capital. As a result of these efforts, Valhalla’s networks mobilized $3m in investments and unlocked an additional $9m of local capital for entrepreneurs.
At the same time, Valhalla has managed and implemented four Investment Summit programs in the past four years in provinces including Saskatchewan and British Columbia. Each program costs more than $100,000 to develop and nurtures local investor communities to facilitate capital for early-stage entrepreneurs in their province.
Taking note of the “hyperlocal” nature of both startup ecosystems and wider society as the pandemic progresses – “it’s now your house, your community, your grocer”, the Valhalla CEO remarked – Randy maintains businesses will have to readjust in order to counteract the fall of globalization.
“We’re built wrong – now it’s time for Valhalla 2.0.”
We need to get to a place where we’re meeting people,” Randy continued, “but Valhalla 2.0 isn’t getting on a plane and going to Bogotá.”
Instead, Randy believes that in the next six months hybrid events will continue to be a saving grace for startups – a startup category Randy claims he will be keeping an eye out for in 2022.
Evolving his metaphor of Valhalla Private Capital as a banquet tent, Randy said: “The tent analogy is really good: you can’t just put one peg up – you literally have to have everybody on a tent peg.
“It’s ‘1-2-3 go’, and if four or five of the people aren’t ready with their tent peg, it’s not going up.”
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