How Simple Ventures plans to fill a gap in Canadian entrepreneurship 

The BetaKit Podcast Simple Ventures
Rachel Zimmer discusses the power of geographical arbitrage and the current impediments to Canadian entrepreneurship.

It’s a weird time for entrepreneurship in Canada right now. As you know from this podcast, BDC has a report noting 100,000 fewer entrepreneurs in Canada now compared to 2000.

“When you think about that shark American ethos, playing to win … but then also having the Canadian kindness, I think that’s where Canada and Canadians have a really big opportunity.”

Rachel Zimmer
Simple Ventures CEO

And there are a lot of things in Canada that you want but simply can’t get. Things available in the rest of the world but not here, for a variety of reasons.

So some Canadian tech leaders are stepping up to fill the gaps with a new venture studio, Simple Ventures. Co-founded by Rachel Zimmer, formerly of 5Crowd, and Michael Katchen, currently of Wealthsimple, and backed by a bunch of other names you might be familiar with: Shopify president Harley Finkelstein, Knix CEO and founder Joanna Griffiths, and Ada CEO Mike Murchison. Today, we walk to Zimmer about the impetus behind Simple Ventures and how its operating model is different from other venture studios in Canada. 

You’ll note in this interview that Zimmer is trying to walk the line between being candid and not revealing the exact math behind Simple Ventures, but I think most people listening will understand what she means when she says ‘founder-level equity share’. 

All in all, it’s an interesting conversation about net new company creation, the power of geographical arbitrage, and the structural, cultural, and economic impediments to Canadian entrepreneurship. 

How does Simple Ventures work? Let’s dig in.

The BetaKit Podcast is presented by Osler, Hoskin and Harcourt LLP.

Osler, the leading law firm for startups, high-growth companies and investors in Canada, has released its third annual study of 486 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. Produced & edited by Kattie Laur.

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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