A special thank you to Randall Howard, Verdexus portfolio investments, who stepped in as guest speaker when Drew Green, Indochino, was unable to attend. Randall is a senior serial technology executive committed to building the leading technology firms in Canada. Randall shared several critical take-way point for the evening:
Focus: When Randall and the founding group of his succesful tech buddies donated a large sum of cash to get Communitech off the ground, they did not have any idea how big it would get. Randall said, "It took a group of committed individuals to make the technology industry thrive in Canada."
Important Partners on the Journey: By coincidence, in the room was the investment banker who figured out a new financial structure to raise the capital for Randall's first tech company. The banker was a Waterloo engineering graduate too. There were many Waterloo graduates in the room. They certainly have figured out the secret sauce for producing winners. Randall emphasized how the profesionalism of the banker made the big difference in his career.
Giving back: Having reached the heights of success in his business life, Randall is now focussed on giving. He has won Angel Investor of the Year which really underlines how seriousy he takes helping the emerging Canadian entrepreneurs. Randall is particularly interested in social impact investing and along with his corporate and university board responsiblities, he sits on boards of arts and drama groups too.
The Fourth Revolution: The theme of the evening was the next stage of techology. Julien Favre, UBS, shared with our guests the white paper on the theme of this year's World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, on January 20-23. The white paper is entitled Extreme automation and connectivity: The global, regional, and investment implications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.It outlines:
A brief history of the four industrial revolutions that have taken place since the late 18th century.
It also explores the potential economic and investment consequences and likely regional winners and losers.