Coming home to Canada, Owning the Podium for innovation
Snow and solitude make for great thinking time — Albinson to take on the role of CEO at Communitech on May 17, 2021
I am thrilled to announce that I will be taking on the role of CEO of Communitech as of May 17th, 2021. It is both a responsibility and a tremendous opportunity to support Canada’s founders and innovators, and I’d like to share some of the thoughts and conversations that are bringing me back home to Canada.
A mass exodus has commenced in Silicon Valley. Last month alone, Oracle Corporation, Tesla Inc., Charles Schwab Corporation, SpaceX and Hewlett-Packard Company announced relocation plans. Amid the pandemic, companies and their employees realized that remote work offered an opportunity to improve their competitiveness and quality of life elsewhere. But they are not coming to Canada. Instead, they are moving to jurisdictions that actively recruited their entrepreneurs and employees.
Today, Senso.ai announced a new financing round — adding five new leading institutional investors. BreakawayGrowth couldn’t be more excited for the team at Senso.ai!
Financing with five new investors is a great validation for any start-up, but to have secured this achievement in the middle of a pandemic is truly exceptional. The confidence of these new investors emphasizes the hard-won progress the team has made in disrupting the $1 Trillion market they are attacking, but also gives them fuel in the tank for opportunities to come.
It is hard to believe it has only been twelve months since we announced…
C100 was founded as a cultural movement for all technology professionals to help Canadian entrepreneurs.
The C100 is celebrating 10 years from its founding this week. A milestone worth reflection and excitement. They published a report this week “Celebrating ten years of building the preeminent global community of Canadians in tech”.
The data was startling — validating Canada has accelerated closing the gap with Silicon Valley — aka “owning the podium”.
Anthony Lee and I co-founded the C100 a decade ago as a movement of Canadian technology professionals who felt deeply inspired by the need to give back to the…
Breakaway had the opportunity to speak to Alex Lazarow, the venture capitalist and author of a brand new book — Out-Innovate: How Global Entrepreneurs from Delhi to Detroit Are Rewriting the Rules of Silicon Valley.
Below is a condensed version of our interview — for the full interview, please click here! We found the book a fantastic compilation of lessons learned from global entrepreneurs who have succeeded by being resilient. Powerful lessons on distributed and remote working and building resilient teams that are super instructive during these challenging times.
Why did you decide to write the book now…
Social Distancing, Communication & Cash Flow
Some good news first? Yes, there is light at the end of the tunnel, but it is a long tunnel. Make sure you have a 90-day plan so that you are proactive and are not a DiTHs (deer in the headlights). With some decisive actions, you, your family, your community and your company can survive and even thrive on the other side of this crisis!
In this post, we are covering two 90 day plan guides for Social Distancing/Communications and Cash Flow Management that might be helpful. Those of you that have been through…
A medical perspective 11 things we learned
As we predicted, we were not able to get through all of the material on the community meeting. In particular, Dr. Adrian Rawlinson’s perspective. Adrian is a fellow guru and has a pragmatic and balanced perspective on what we are all going through. We will have a follow-up Zoom in two weeks, but rather than wait, Dr. Rawlinson volunteered to summarize his “11 things we’ve learned” below.
We hope this is helpful and please feel free to ping the community back if you have additional questions or advice. We are all learning how…
CV19 is a material adverse change for all of us. It is unlike anything we have faced in our lifetime. It is global, changing very quickly, and has likely to have severe impacts — both personal and business, both known and unknown.
Sadly, we now know all of us will be impacted by the virus either directly or indirectly. We also know it will likely be very stressful for the rest of 2020 as long-lasting health and business impacts. In the interim, we should brace ourselves for turbulence and have a prepared mindset for the scenarios that may play out.
Chris Albinson, Co-Founder & Managing Director BreakawayGrowth
Twenty years ago this month, Webvan — the online grocery delivery service — raised $375 million dollars in a blockbuster IPO. Seven months later in June 2000, they acquired their nearest competitor — the Amazon-backed HomeGrocer.com — in a $1.2B deal that would see them serve nearly 250K customers across nine cities. And yet 24 months after its first order, Webvan filed for bankruptcy, laid off their final two thousand employees, and became part of dot-com bust lore. Five-year-old Softbank Capital was some of the last money in, investing (and losing) $160.3 million.
WebVan — a cautionary tale from the VC crypt
We were really excited for Andy Katz-Mayfield and Jeff Raider, the founders of Harry’s Shave. After 9 years of truly impressive hard work, they had their exit — a $1.3B acquisition by Edgewell Personal Care, the owners of Schick. The valuation (12x LTM revenue) was eye-popping to us, especially for a distant #2 market share when most direct-to-consumer (DTC) acquisitions have seen the acquired companies’ growth come to a screeching halt post-purchase.
We had also had a small investment with Michael Dubin’s Dollar Shave Club when it was acquired by Unilever…
VC from Canada; working in San Francisco; living in Marin; Co-Founder & Managing Director BreakawayGrowth