Canada’s VC Blueprint: Review in Global Context with Olav Sorenson, Yale School of Management

June 25, 2012 at 10:43 am | Posted in OCTIE, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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UPDATE: July 31, 21012 – Thank you to the Financial Post for publishing this summary of our position.


Original Post …

In late March the Federal Government announced $400-million to help increase private sector investments in early-stage risk capital, and to support the creation of large-scale venture capital funds led by the private sector.

Olav Sorenson, Yale School of Management

Yale’s Olav Sorenson will lead this invitation only dinner to ensure that we place our conversation about Canadian venture capital in a contemporary global context.

On June 5, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), with the leadership of CEO John Reid and Sir Terry Matthews, released a recommendation of how to best deploy the $400M promised so as to maximize the potential to re-start large scale private sector VC Funds in Canada, pointing to a Canadian styled Yozma inspired model that would seem to lead to four new $200-million funds to be 50% private sector funded, each with a pre-determined separate theme.

Yet in early May the Kauffman Foundation released an indictment of the traditional venture capital industry based upon its twenty years of investing experience and Israel’s Yozma program was conceived and first implemented over two decades ago.

Few would argue that the venture capital industry is not experiencing rapid change due to the emergence of low cost startups (supported by cheap computing and bandwidth), the resulting explosion of angel investors and the slashing of regulations by governments desperate to kick start growth (witness the legalization of crowdfunding in the United States and Canada’s recent changes to Section 116).

Please take this opportunity to add to the quality conversation about Canadian venture capital. Share your opinion either confidentially or for the record.  We will be sure to incorporate all views.

To ensure that we place our conversation in a contemporary global context, we are grateful to welcome Olav Sorenson, Frederick Frank ’54 and Mary C. Tanner Professor of Management, to lead this small invitation only, casual dinner exchange (

Before moving to Yale’s School of Management, Olav was the Jeffery Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School of Management so his return to Toronto is somewhat of a home coming. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, UCLA, and London Business School.

His most extensive line of research examines how social networks affect transactions, thereby shaping the geography and evolution of industries and he has most extensively studied the entertainment and venture capital industries.


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