Launching a Start-Up? Consider Reverse Vesting

When launching a start-up, the founders of the company are typically allocated a certain percentage of the initial shares of the company. While the allocation of shares is expected to compensate each founder for their expected contribution to the company, circumstances can change over time and it is important to address expected contributions and the consequences of early departure amongst the founding team up front. As an example, if a founder decides to leave the company for another opportunity, in the absence of a reverse vesting arrangement, the departing founder does not have a legal obligation to return any un-earned portion of his or her shares to the company. This can leave the company and the other founders in a difficult position because: (a) the other founders are forced to work for the disproportionate benefit of the departed founder, and (b) the company and its shareholders will have to incur further dilution in order to provide equity as an incentive for another person to replace the departed co-founder’s skillset.

A reverse vesting arrangement sets the expectation for how long a founder must stay engaged with the company in order to earn his or her shares, and gives the company the contractual right to repurchase any un-earned shares at a nominal price if the founder leaves the company prior to fulfilling his or her full commitment to the company. As an example, in a typical four year reverse vesting arrangement, if a founder leaves the company after two years, he or she would be obligated to return half of his or her shares to the company. A typical reverse vesting term is three to four years, and, while most arrangements call for pro-rata vesting over the entire vesting term, some arrangements will have a “cliff” which requires a founder to remain with the company for a certain minimum period of time before the vesting begins.

Overall, a reverse vesting arrangement allows each founder to maintain legal ownership of their shares from the outset and as the company grows, which results in favourable initial tax treatment, long-term capital gains treatment and voting rights. This is accomplished while still protecting the interests of the other founders and the company in the event of early departure of a founder. As part of their due diligence, investors will also often look to see if reverse vesting arrangements are in place, and having arrangements in place in advance of a first financing gives the company and founders a better chance to dictate the terms rather than having terms imposed upon them by investors.

 

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Ally Bharmal is a Partner and business lawyer at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. His practice focuses on corporate and commercial business advice for a variety of clients, with an emphasis on the technology and agri-business sectors.   For more information about reverse vesting arrangements or other legal matters, contact Ally at abharmal@fasken.com

 

Hope BC Embraces Innovation for Experiential Travel

HOPE, BC – Responding to the trend of experiential travel, AdvantageHOPE has partnered with award-winning augmented reality tech company, QuestUpon, to create an interactive walking tour for visitors and residents of the community.

“We wanted to develop a fun, modern, and family-friendly way to help our visitors learn more about Hope and its history, while also being a leader in bringing this innovative technology to the tourism industry,” said Tammy Shields, Executive Director of AdvantageHOPE. “Many of our guests are only in town for a short time, and this self-guided walking tour gives them something to do while they are here, experiencing some of our local attractions and history – including Rambo – in a fun and interactive way.”

The Heroes of Hope quest takes the visitor on an interactive GPS-guided tour through downtown Hope, navigating to various points of interest. Some of these include wood carving scavenger hunts, trivia, travelling time to see history come alive with buildings that are no longer standing, seeing a sternwheeler come up the river, a gold panning game, taking photos, and more.

“With experiential travel on the rise, we wanted to provide a wide variety of activities or missions that educate and entertain,” said Tammy Meyers, co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of QuestUpon. “We blend animated 3D augmented reality into a real world scavenger hunt with geocaching, thereby delivering a compelling experience into the palm of the traveler’s hand, using their smartphone. It’s a fun way for people to enhance their visit.”

The Heroes of Hope quest is easy to use and fun for families and kids of all ages. Get started by downloading the free app, ‘QuestUpon’, on iPhone or Android.

District of Mission and SRCTec Welcome $30,000 in Provincial Funding to Support the Creation of a Regional Tech Sector Development Plan

Mission, B.C. – The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) and the District of Mission welcome $30,000 in provincial funding to support the development of a strategic plan to grow the tech sector across the region, including a framework for skilled technical training and education.

Presented by MLA Simon Gibson, the funding will allow the Municipality and SRCTec to develop a strategy to support the continued rapid growth of the tech sector in Mission.

The tech sector in Mission has seen exponential growth in recent years and the creation of the fastest growing technology hub in the lower mainland. The partnership between SRCTec and the Municipality has led to co-locating SRCTec’s Technology Centre of Excellence with Mission’s Economic Development Office, creating a central point of contact for established tech businesses and entrepreneurs looking to realize the benefits of locating in Mission.

Stacey Crawford, Director of Economic Development with the District of Mission says, “We are pleased to be able to undertake these important projects and thank MLA Gibson and the Provincial Government for this funding. A tech strategy of the connectivity needs of the sector in Mission will help build on the considerable momentum we’ve created in partnering with SRCTec.”

SRCTec chairman and interim CEO Raymond Szabada adds, “We’ve known for a long time that Mission offers a prime location for start-ups and established tech companies. With this funding and the continued support of the Provincial Government and the Municipality we’re building an industry that will contribute to Mission’s profile.”

SRCTec also operates a very successful technology venture accelerator program, having graduated over 30 new technology businesses from the Technology Centre of Excellence (TCE) in downtown Mission over the past 15 months.

Together, the District of Mission and SRCTec have launched the Tech Starts Here campaign, attracting technology businesses and entrepreneurs to Mission.

For additional information contact: Media Inquiries:

Michael Boronowski, MA
Manager, Civic Engagement & Corporate Initiatives
604-820-3732
mboronowski@mission.ca

Athena Leskun
Marketing & Program Manager

1604.615.4619

aleskun@srctec.org


About the District of Mission: Mission, BC is located on the beautiful northern bank of the Fraser River. The only municipality in the Fraser Valley Regional District with rapid transit to Vancouver through the West Coast Express, it is home to a burgeoning technology sector as professionals and entrepreneurs realize the benefits of reduced costs of doing business, lower costs of living, easy access to gorgeous coastal lakes and mountains as well as the US Border and core transportation corridors. Find out more at http://www.mission.ca

About SRCTec: The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) is a not-for-profit organization governed by a select group of technology executives, and a coalition of local government, industry partners and high education institutions interested in attracting tech based investment into the Region. Based in Mission, BC, SRCTec operates a Technology Centre of Excellence, and two thriving venture accelerator programs having graduated over 30 new technology businesses across big data, mobile, manufacturing, augmented reality, and the agriculture-tech industries. Find more information at http://srctec.org

 

Graduates include:


My Green Space
– A master gardener for your pocket, My Green Space is an app helping

anyone grow their own food with confidence. http://www.mygreenspace.co/

Advanced Intelligent Systems Inc. – Using robotics to drive innovative systems increasing performance and productivity, and simplifying complex manufacturing processes. http://ai- systems.ca/

CEA Innovations – CEA Innovations offers some of the most advanced technology in robotics and mechatronics in North America, working with one of Canada’s best robotics teams at Simon Fraser University. https://ceai.ca/

Smartsettle – Smartsettle is changing the way the world negotiates with the world’s most advanced negotiation system. http://www.smartsettle.com/

Watergenics Inc – Watergenics holds the exclusive worldwide license to the patent-pending Hybrid Atmospheric Water Generator invented in the Laboratory for Alternative Energy Conversion at SFU. http://watergenicssolutions.com/

Greenhouse Games Develops ‘city builders’ app formats for the mobile & tablet mass market on a global level.

TechMist – Techmist is an effective disinfection system to help control problems such as pine beetles, West Nile and H5N5 virus control. http://www.techmist.com

Air Phaser Air Phaser’s non-thermal plasma technology-based system to solve indoor pollution problems. http://www.airphaser.com

Canadian Agri-Char – Canadian AgriChar, is a Canadian based company located in British Columbia whose main focus is the manufacture and distribution of “biochar” for use in soil remediation and growth enhancement. http://www.canadianagrichar.ca

GrowZorb – Precision growing materials. We are proud to offer the world’s first commercially viable, food safe, polyurethane hydroponic growing medium. http://www.growzorb.com

Lumex Instruments – We work for those who are engaged in unraveling the mysteries of smallest differences in chemical composition. For them, we develop analytical procedures and design new original instruments. http://www.lumexinstruments.com

Nova BioRubber – Production of natural rubber and latex from rubber-bearing plants in North America to satisfy global demand and to solve latex allergy. http://novabiorubber.com

SRCTec Celebrates 30 Local Tech Start Ups Through the Venture Acceleration Program

Businessman and business sketch

MISSION – The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) a non-profit agency based in Mission, dedicated to facilitating innovation and entrepreneurial ventures in the Fraser Valley, is celebrating their 30th venture in the Venture Acceleration Program.

Since January 2015 technology entrepreneurs who are focused on enhancing ideas in Agriculture, ICT and Manufacturing Technologies have been entering the doors of SRCTec for the Venture Acceleration Programs that SRCTec offers. This program that is funded through the Province and BCIC, has given local starts up a chance to access resources, training and support within the SRCTec network. With a mandate of 30 ventures during their 3-year contract, SRCTec is celebrating their 30th graduate at the halfway mark of their program duration.

SRCTec is the only organization in BC that offers agri-tech specific venture acceleration. The funding has allowed SRCTec to bring on dedicated Executive in Residences (EIR’s) to the team to provide training and mentorship to the companies in the program. With agriculture and technology in two of the eight key sectors in the BC Jobs Plan, SRCTec is working with its ventures to create employment, and it’s working.

To name a few from the many that have enrolled: Two weeks ago SRCTec venture My Green Space, released their much-awaited gardening app on the App Store. Their vision is to have thriving, nutritious, fresh food gardens in every home, office and green space on earth. A more sustainable world is a couple of seeds away. They believe that once you are empowered to grow your own food, the impact is everlasting. Ventures such as Air Phaser’s non-thermal plasma technology-based system to solve indoor pollution problems, TechMist’s effective disinfection system to help control problems such as pine beetles, West Nile and H5N5 virus control, innovation such as these are being developed right outside our front door.

Greenhouse Games on the ICT Venture Acceleration Program front develops ‘city builders’ app formats for the mobile & tablet mass market on a global level, has completed the Market Validation Training (MVT) and is poised to get into the gaming movement.

Businesses are being developed and jobs are created – which is exactly what the objectives are.

Quick Facts:

  • Established in 2012, Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tec (SRCTec) is a not-for-

profit organization governed by a select group of technology executives that form a volunteer board of directors.

  • SRCTec is a coalition of local government, industry partners and high education institutions interested in attracting tech based investment into the “Region” (including the District of Mission, City of Abbotsford and Chilliwack).
  • SRCTec is committed to the technology-led Economic and Educational development of the region.
  • BC’s technology sector is the third largest contributor to the province’s economy, making up to 7.6% of our gross domestic product and producing $23.2 billion in annual revenue and, $31 billion in exports.

Learn More:

Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech: www.SRCTec.org

Contact:

Athena Leskun

SRCTec, Marketing Manager

aleskun@SRCTec.org

604-615-4619

SRCTec at the China-Canada Economic & Trade Cooperation Conference

SRCTec CEO Raymond Szabada in partnership with the City of Mission, delivers presentation on Regional value propositions as related to the Tech Sector at
the: CHINA (GUANGDONG)-CANADA (BRITISH COLUMBIA) ECONOMIC AND TRADE COOPERATION CONFERENCE
TWO-WAY INVESTMENT AND TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION ROUND TABLE

Guangzhou & Canada Strengthens Cooperation in the Technological Innovation Field
Release time : 2016-05-17

The Two-way Investment and Technological Innovation Sub-forum of China (Guangdong)-Canada (British Columbia) Economic and Trade Cooperation Exchange was held in Vancouver, Canada on the morning of May 9, 2016. The sub-forum was jointly held by Invest Guangzhou. The roundtable is the largest of the four sub-forums of the economic and trade cooperation exchange with the largest number of participants. Xiao Zhenyu, director-general of Guangzhou Municipal Commission of Commerce, introduced the advantages and prospects of Guangzhou as a city focus on entrepreneurship and innovation and a series of policies on supporting enterprise innovation. Canadian enterprises and Guangzhou Economic and Trade Cooperation Delegation exchanged views on the energy, e-commerce, energy conservation and environmental protection and the high and new technology and reached a batch of intent of cooperation.  More than 100 representatives, from the Government of British Columbia, Vancouver investment promotion agency, municipal government of the City of Mission, The Sumas Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) Canadian enterprises, and Guangzhou Economic and Trade Cooperation Delegation, attended the roundtable.

 

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Business Resource Basics from BDC

The fact is that a business plan — even just a one-pager with a few financial projections — can be a valuable internal tool.  A road map for even the smallest or earliest-stage idea. It can foster alignment, set the tone for the business and even help you craft your brand messaging. Along with your business plan your marketing strategy should be outlined to help communicate your messaging. Our sponsor BDC has provided us with links to three key resources that every business can use – business plan templates, marketing strategy template and information on starting a business.

Business Plan Template

https://www.bdc.ca/EN/articles-tools/entrepreneur-toolkit/templates-business-guides/Pages/business-plan-template.aspx

Marketing Strategy for Businesses

https://www.bdc.ca/EN/articles-tools/marketing-sales-export/marketing/Pages/default.aspx

Starting a Business

https://www.bdc.ca/EN/articles-tools/start-buy-business/start-business/Pages/default.aspx

 

 

 

 

 

My Green Space App is Ready for Download!

Vancouver entrepreneurs Michael Moll, Harp Dhinsa & Harpreet Bains have created an app to help anyone grow their own food with confidence. The app is now live and ready for download across Canada.

 

My Green Space™ is a mobile app that helps you grow your own food with confidence.  

Plan the garden of your dreams in minutes. My Green Space™ customizes your garden plan based on your city, sunlight exposure, size of space and season.

Daily reminders and easy tutorials keep you on track from seed to harvest. A built-in plant doctor helps you troubleshoot pests and diseases with ease. What are you waiting for… grow your own food… We can help.

 

Postcard_dark copyWhether you want to grow a few herbs on your patio, set up a garden for your kids, or have veggies-on-tap at the office, you can do it with My Green Space™.  We believe that gardens grow people and community, while they benefit your health and the planet.  After years of experiencing the benefits of growing our own food, we are honoured to share this app with you to do the same.  Join the global growing community. Enjoy our premium features with a My Green Space™ subscription for one free month. Download our app and get started today!

 

Key Features:

– Customized Garden Plan: Tailored to your unique conditions.

– Visual Garden Map: Know where to plant what and how much room it needs.

– Automated Companion Planting: Our algorithm knows which plants belong together for enhanced growth, plant health and flavour.

– Maintenance Reminders:  Our app intelligently sends you reminders of when to plant, water, thin, troubleshoot and successfully harvest your crops.

– Rapid Troubleshooting: Debug your plants in seconds; nip any pests and diseases in the bud.

– Exclusive Content: Weekly updates for subscribers to get access to the latest tips, tricks, and recipes from garden experts and foodies.

 

We believe every space deserves a garden.

Our vision is to have thriving, nutritious, fresh food gardens in every home, office and green space on earth. A more sustainable world is a couple of seeds away. Once you are empowered to grow your own food, the impact is everlasting.

 

Company Background:
The concept behind My Green Space was born out of the imagination of Michael Moll. Michael saw the benefit of growing his own food for 4 years and wanted to share this with as many people as possible.  Michael then went on to found the company with Harp Dhinsa & Harpreet Bains.

 

 

Bioenterprise Corporation Announces Signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech

Vancouver, BC (April 27, 2016) – Bioenterprise Corporation, the leading agri-technology business accelerator in Canada, is pleased to announce the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec), who is committed to the technology-led economic and educational development of the Fraser Valley.  The MOU signals the commitment to enhance the contribution that each organization can make to the agriculture, agri-food and agri-technology sectors of the British Columbia economy.

Through the office location recently launched in British Columbia, Bioenterprise accelerates the commercialization of agricultural technologies in the province.  As members of the BC Acceleration Network (BCAN), an initiative of the BC Innovation Council (BCIC), Bioenterprise and SRCTec are dedicated to helping entrepreneurs grow their business ventures.  The collaboration will provide companies with greater access to strategic networks as well as Bioenterprise’s quality and range of commercialization services.

Headquartered in Guelph, Ontario, Bioenterprise has office locations in Toronto, Ontario, Vancouver, British Columbia; Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  Bioenterprise Corporation’s national expansion is supported by the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP), delivered by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

Quotes

“We are committed to advancing innovative agribusinesses and look forward to working closely with SRCTec in various collaborative capacities.  The signing of the MOU launches an enhanced relationship with SCRTec and their entrepreneur network to provide access to our global connections as well as our scientific, technical and industry expertise.  We are looking forward to the joint efforts between Bioenterprise, SRCTec and the rest of the BC Acceleration Network in the development of the Canadian private sector and our contribution to the economic and commercial growth in BC.

–       Dave Smardon, President & CEO, Bioenterprise Corporation

 

“The SRCTec alignment with Bioenterprise is a true testimony of our commitment to our entrepreneur clients. This partnership provides us with enhanced capabilities to service the needs of the companies that are enrolled in our AG-Tech Venture Acceleration Program. More specifically, this partnership allows SRCTec to expand its focus for agricultural tech companies by delivering assistance to local companies that are beyond the start-up phase. Additionally we can now tap into Bioenterprise’s comprehensive mentoring, business planning, funding and International network.”

–       Raymond T. Szabada CEO & Chairman of the Board, SRCTec

 

About Bioenterprise Corporation

Bioenterprise Corporation is a national, non-profit business accelerator offering commercialization services to support the creation, growth and expansion of businesses in the agricultural technology sector.  Since 2003, Bioenterprise has focused exclusively on agri-technology, providing companies with scientific and technical expertise, industry knowledge, business services and global connections.  Bioenterprise is supported through Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative, and the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) delivered by the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

www.bioenterprise.ca

 

About Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech

The Sumas Regional Consortium for High Tech (SRCTec) is a non-for-profit organization governed by a select group of technology executives that form a volunteer board of directors. SRCTEc is a coalition of local government, industry partners and high education institutions interested in attracting tech based investment into the “Region” (including the District of Mission, City of Abbortsford and Chilliwack). As a consortium, SRCTec understands the necessary infrastructure and programs required within the Region, in order to create jobs, foster innovation and drive skilled training.  SRCTec is committed to the technology-led economic and educational development of the region.

www.srctec.org

 

Contact

Jennifer Kalanda, Marketing Manager

Bioenterprise Corporation

519.821.2960 ext 248

jennifer.kalanda@bioenterprise.ca

Grants, Contributions and Financial Assistance

The Government of Canada has a list of available grants, contributions and financial assistance resources for Canadian business owners to tap into. Below is a list outlining each one and you can also find the list here.

Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development

Apply for financing to start or grow your Aboriginal business.

Adam Chowaniec Memorial Fund for Global Entrepreneurship

You could qualify for a $3,000 grant for activities that support the promotion or development of export opportunities for Canadians.

AgriInnovation Program

If you have an agri-business, you can apply for an R&D contribution to get your new agricultural product or technology ready for the market.

AgriMarketing — SME Component

Your SME in the agriculture, agri-food, fish or seafood sector could be eligible for funding to develop or further penetrate export markets.

AgriMarketing — Assurance systems stream

Your not-for-profit organization could be eligible for funding for projects that support national food assurance systems and tools.

AgriMarketing — Market development stream

Your not-for-profit organization in the agriculture, agri-food, fish or seafood sector could be eligible for funding for market development projects.

Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program

By collaborating with government researchers, you could increase your business’ scientific capacity for projects relating to fish health and environmental performance.

BC Tech Co-op Grants Pogram

If your business operates in the technology sector, you may be eligible for a grant to hire a BC co-op student.

Canada Job Grant

You could get up to $10,000 per employee to help cover the cost of training.

Canadian International Innovation Program

If you are a Canadian company with R&D projects in science and technology, you could get funding to work with a foreign partner to commercialize your technology.

Career Focus

You could get funding to hire young people if you can give them useful work experience.

Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN)

Is your next-generation communication solutions project ready for commercialization? You could qualify for support valued up to $100,000.

Community Futures Self Employment Programs

If you live in BC and are underemployed, unemployed or have made an EI claim in recent years, you could get help to start or buy a business.

Industrial Research Assistance Program

Your small or medium-sized business may qualify for financial assistance to develop, adopt, adapt and/or commercialize new or improved technologies.

Investment Agriculture Foundation funding programs

If you are part of the agriculture and food processing industry in BC, you could be eligible for funding.

Micro-Business Training Pilot Program

If you are over 19 years of age with no recognized certifications or post-secondary credits, you could receive up to $1000 of funding for business education courses.

Networks of Centres of Excellence

Explore various funds available for your R&D activities that respond to current research and innovation needs.

Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities

If you are a person with disabilities who wants to start a business or if you are an employer who would like to hire someone with a disability, you could qualify for funds.

Power Smart Express

This program provides financial incentives to help you replace old, inefficient technologies with new energy-efficient products.

Soft Landing program

Are you ready to take your ICT business global? Get help making the right connections abroad.

Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative

If your aerospace and defence company is incorporated in Canada, you could receive money for R&D projects in Canada.

Sustainable Development Technology Fund

Need money to develop and test a new energy technology? You could qualify for funding to create clean technology products that fight climate change.

TECTERRA Geomatics Technology Programs

If you are an entrepreneur in the geomatics industry, you could access funding and resources that can help you develop and commercialize your business.

Technology Demonstration Program

You could receive up to 50% of the costs of a next-generation manufacturing project for the aerospace, defence, space and security industries.

Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative

Your Western business could get financial assistance to bring innovative products, processes and services to market.

Youth Employment Program

You could obtain financial assistance to hire a skilled post-secondary graduate to work on your innovative project.