Will some Canadian tech companies die during the downturn?

BetaKit Podcast SAAS NORTH
The BetaKit Podcast recorded live at SAAS NORTH 2022.
Founders: get used to hearing the 'Canadian no' more often.

Live from SAAS NORTH, it’s the BetaKit Podcast!

Recorded at… 7:30 AM. Whose bright idea was this?

“Are we willing to let companies die in Canadian tech?”

Look, if this week’s episode plays a little crotchety, there are reasons beyond the ungodly recording time.

It could be the addition of special guest Matt Roberts, Canadian VC and native son of Ottawa, helping to complete the ‘grumpy old white guy’ triumvirate with me and co-host Rob Kenedi.

The news isn’t helping, currently comprised of myriad layoffs within both Big Tech and Canadian tech, plus whatever the hell is happening at Twitter. There’s also the FTX bankruptcy slash Ponzi scheme slash clustercuss, which like crypto collapses of old, has unfortunate ties across Canada.

So, amidst the current downturn and before the impending recession, things look bleak. Leading to rather pointed questions put before your faithful podcast companions by SAAS NORTH attendees and speakers. Like OMERS Ventures’ Laura Lenz asking if we’ll see secondary funds emerge in Canada to scoop up shares from all the coming down rounds other VCs can’t participate in (pay close attention to Roberts’ answer), or Clio VP Natalie Archibald looking for leadership lessons from companies that have emerged better coming out of the pandemic (hint: do the opposite of whatever Elon is doing).

Then, of course, there was my pointed question to my fellow panellists, which serves as the title for this episode. The answer was at the same time encouraging (this has happened before) and depressing (but not at this scale).

It’s all very complex. But the coffee was flowing freely, and the live audience was thoughtful and encouraging (if you would like to hear more live or live-streamed BetaKit Podcast episodes, let us know). When a conversation about Canadian tech and tech from a Canadian perspective is a study in contrasts, you know it’s a very good AMA episode.

Let’s dig in.

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The BetaKit Podcast is hosted by Douglas Soltys & Rob Kenedi. Edited by Kattie Laur. Sponsored by Caravel Law.

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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