Ask John Ruffolo Anything: SVB fallout, VC groupthink, government dependence & more

John Ruffolo, Maverix Private Equity
Canadian tech's maverick investor answers your submitted questions.

In what has become a monthly tradition, we have another AMA edition of the BetaKit Podcast for you this week—where we get a special guest to come on and answer all the Canadian tech (and tech from a Canadian perspective) questions we can’t.

“The [Canadian] venture ecosystem is never going to get to the right level of maturity if they constantly rely upon the taxpayer to provide them with the capital.”
– John Ruffolo,
Maverix Private Equity

This month we have one John Ruffolo, founder and managing partner of Maverix Private Equity. Boy howdy were you excited to have him on the podcast, submitting questions that seemed built in a lab for Canadian tech’s maverick investor.

On the podcast, Ruffolo sounds off on a variety of topics, starting with the cause of SVB’s implosion (including a personal anecdote from ringside seats) and the potential fallout for Canadian tech before offering a stern warning for our Big Five banks looking to take advantage of shrinking competition in the venture debt market.

It leads to a broad-ranging conversation on VC groupthink, the difficulties for investors at all stages in timing the market, and the current most attractive tech sectors for investment. It was inevitable, then, that the conversation would turn to concerns of government dependence in venture and regulatory capture across a number of sectors. It’s a set of topics we’ve dedicated no small amount of airtime to on the podcast this year, but Ruffolo has a unique perspective to share given his role as vice-chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators. He didn’t hold back.

“The problem is our folks in government, whether it’s the political level or the bureaucratic level, have been very equipped and ill-trained to understand that battle,” Ruffolo says on the podcast. “We have to retrain them.”

John Ruffolo let us ask him anything. Want to hear his answers? Let’s dig in.

The BetaKit Podcast is sponsored by Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP.
Osler, the leading law firm for startups, high-growth companies and investors in Canada, has released its second annual study of 353 anonymized Canadian venture capital and growth equity financings. Read the Deal Points Report: Venture Capital Financings.

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Feature image courtesy Maverix Private Equity. Sponsored by Osler.

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys

Douglas Soltys is the Editor-in-Chief of BetaKit and founder of BetaKit Incorporated. He has worked for a few failed companies and written about many more. He spends too much time on the Internet.

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