The Hatchery

Financing Your Small Business

Canadian Playbook for Growth Businesses

The Silicon Valley playbook doesn’t work outside of Silicon Valley, London, New York, or Shanghai. And it probably doesn’t work there either anymore – if it ever really did.

The good news is that Canada has some of its own advantages. But you’ll need to build your own playbook because they don’t sell them at Walmart – or at your local college.

The most important thing is to understand whether you’re an entrepreneur or you simply own a small business. There is nothing wrong with a lifestyle business. But, investors don’t like them – and you can’t commercialize a business without investors.

While a lifestyle business can sometimes morph into a growth business, it usually happens the other way around.

© steve blank

The Evolution of SR ED Tax Incentives in Canada

Canada’s SR&ED program is a lucrative Canadian government incentive for businesses conducting eligible research and experimental development.
It has a long history originating in 1985 and continues to be an important source of funding for innovative companies.
While not the first tax program designed to support research and development, it was the first to include more broadly defined “experimental development” activities. This had the effect of engaging small, innovative companies. To this day, about 95% of claims relate to experimental development.
In Budget 2022, the government stated that the program continues to be a cornerstone of Canada’s Innovation strategy by supporting research and development and encouraging Canadian businesses of all sizes to invest in innovation that drives economic growth.
For many years the Federal and provincial governments have combined to deliver about $4 billion in funding annually.
In this video, we follow the CRA’s evolving explanations of eligibility.

Government Incubators

How do you build an entrepreneur? Business schools – and incubators – have programs for that. They’ll sell you courses or consulting services. But how effective are they?

© steve blank

KISS SERIES The End of BookkeRishi Sunak wants us to live in the 'Unicorn Kingdom'eping

Rishi Sunak spoke at a gathering of business leaders called Business Connect yesterday where he called the UK the ‘Unicorn Kingdom’ as a way to attract start ups to the country and left people grimacing.

He said: “We just launched a campaign.. in Silicon Valley just talking about our companies, what they were doing. Some of our ministers were out there the other week.

“It was a huge success. It was called Unicorn… what was it called? ‘Unicorn Kingdom’!”


Growth Business vs Lifestyle Business

Most businesses aren’t really growth businesses, at least not the way angel investors or venture capitalists see it. Most are what investors disparagingly call ‘lifestyle’ businesses. Lifestyle businesses grow organically and more slowly. A professional practice for instance, is almost impossible to scale. But it can still be a rewarding experience.

Choosing a business entity for your new business

In this video we take a detailed look at choosing a business entity. The conventional wisdom – taught in most business schools and universities is overly simplified. We started with a review of an online resource published by SMALL BUSINESS BC. We then described the way in which their overview was inadequate. Both lawyers and tax specialists have valid perspectives in this area. As with most issues in business, context is important.

Case Study: The Investment Banker

”A video shown at a local university business school, prepared by an MBA with alleged expertise in the area of corporate finance – especially exit strategies – is dissected. We also consider how and when the consultant’s expertise might be valuable.

How effective is entrepreneurship training?

Management science shares a common flaw with all of the social sciences. In universities and business schools, academics start with successful entrepreneurs and explain why they were successful. Predicting who will be successful is probably impossible.

Government Incubators

These days government agencies provide online content for new businesses. However, we should ask ourselves whether these are useful, or merely expensive vanity projects designed to tell us what they are doing for us.

The Economics of Angel Investing

As Startup Guru, Steve Blank says: The Chances of Success for a Startup are Infinitesimally Small” – That is almost always true if you measure success as becoming a ‘unicorn’. It makes more sense to transition to a growth business if, and when the stars align

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