The Latest from Build Ventures

Build Fund I Build Fund II

Building Better Start-up Boards

By: 7th June 2022 Strategy

Board composition is a key differentiator for successful start-ups. But here is the thing I have noticed throughout my career: Boards are more likely to break a company than help it. That is why being intentional and thoughtful when establishing a new Board of Directors for a start-up is so important. Properly constructed, the board plays a significant role in setting the start-up’s strategy, including fundraising, hiring and firing c-suite executives, setting budgets and determining an exit path. That requires a board that understands its role is to provide advice and guidance, not get down in the weeds of operations….

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Build Ventures Fund II Is Here

By: 12th September 2019 Strategy

When we launched Build Ventures in 2013, it was with a lot of hope and a little bit of trepidation. No one had run a private early-stage venture capital firm in Atlantic Canada before. Success was hardly guaranteed. But like many others in the East Coast startup community, we believed in the abilities of the entrepreneurs in this region. With the first Build fund, we invested in 14 companies including Affinio, Introhive, Dash Hudson, Manifold and other great companies led by experienced and ambitious professionals. A unique ecosystem has emerged here on the East Coast. It is more collaborative and…

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Rob Barbara Is Going Back To School

By: 1st August 2019 Strategy

The Kauffman Fellows is a two-year program that brings together the most innovative minds in venture capital. So, imagine how thrilled I was to find out I was one of two Canadians selected to its Class 24 cohort. It’s like a school for VCs, a well-respected Silicon Valley program aimed at accelerating success through peer learning and mentoring by other venture capitalists and thought leaders. It’s also a massive networking opportunity with a powerhouse group of people involved in venture capital. I will be working alongside VCs from 21 countries in Class 24, including my fellow Canadian Janet Bannister of…

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Mastering the art of the pivot

By: 1st May 2018 Strategy

How Dash Hudson launched (and killed) four products in two years and lived to tell the tale. If you’re an early-stage startup founder, a successful pivot story is much like a modern-day fairytale. It’s got all the right elements—heroism, suspense, and near-death encounters. Most companies that attempt a pivot will die on the battlefield. They’ll put up a good fight, but eventually, their time runs out and they’re quickly forgotten. Yet, every so often, a legend is born… Twitter started as Odeo—a podcast network. Instagram started as Burbn—a check-in app for gamers. Groupon started as The Point—a crowdfunding platform for…

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Building a Healthy Product

By: 25th October 2017 Strategy

Mamoon Hamid from Social Capital has an incredible talk on Numbers that Actually Matter for SaaS Founders. The heart of his talk revolves the illusion of product/market fit and failing to understand if your product continues to deliver value once you’ve acquired a user. The last company I built was based on a pain I had. As an entrepreneur, I rolled up my sleeves and got to work… With a product built, I needed to get people using the product. So we invested time into a number of marketing channels. We went from a couple of hundred new accounts to thousands…

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Affinio Makes the Pitch at Microsoft’s Seattle Demo Day

By: 6th June 2016 Portfolio

On Thursday, June 2, Affinio – one of our portfolio companies – presented at the Microsoft Accelerator’s Machine Learning Demo Day in Seattle, Washington. It was the culmination of a pretty exciting four months for the company. Back in February Affinio was selected to join the third Microsoft Seattle Accelerator, winning out against hundreds of companies applying from over 50 countries. In discussing this cohort’s special focus on cognitive technologies, Microsoft cited a Deloitte study that found over $1 Billion in venture capital has been invested in machine learning and data science in the last two years alone. During their time…

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Predictive Forecasting Company Fiddlehead Technology Picks Up $1.8 Million In Seed Funding Led By Build Ventures

By: 28th April 2016 Press Release

Fiddlehead Technology, an innovator in predictive forecasting for the food and beverage industry, today announced it received $1.8 million in seed funding led by Build Ventures. The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation also invested in the company’s seed round. Fiddlehead’s flagship product, Forecast Guardian™, helps food and beverage companies improve forecasting performance. It provides recommendations on how to maintain more accurate forecasts with less effort. The cloud-based solution integrates with existing ERP or forecasting software, and can be set up in as little as two weeks. “Forecasting has often been more art than science. But with our prescriptive analytics we can…

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False Assumption: The Reason Why It’s Not Always Cheaper To Launch a Startup in Atlantic Canada

By: 18th November 2015 Strategy

  One of our unquestioned assumptions when we closed the Build Ventures’ fund in 2013 was that launching a startup in Atlantic Canada was cheaper than doing it in other parts of Canada or the United States. Our location, at least in this respect, was thought to be a competitive advantage. There are certainly challenges to building a company here given the early stage of our ecosystem, but we thought we had the core ingredients: lots of smart entrepreneurial people and an environment which allowed those people to get more done with less.  The key cost driver at the early…

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Affinio Sees $4 Million Series A Round

By: 3rd November 2015 Portfolio, Press Release

At Build Ventures we are excited to see the continued progress of Affinio, a marketplace intelligence company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Build Ventures was an early investor in Affinio and today we are part of the company’s Series A round. Here is the press release announcing the news: Innovative Content Tech Continues Hot Streak with $4m Investment in Affinio Deep-learning based social-affinity startup will focus on global growth and continued R&D HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, November 2, 2015 – Affinio, a fast-growing marketing intelligence platform, today announced a Series A investment of $4 Million, led by venture fund Whitecap Venture…

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The State of #StartupEast: A Wave is Forming

By: 21st October 2015 Strategy

The September event calendar for our Atlantic Canadian Tech community was jammed packed as usual. A few weeks ago the new team at Propel ICT held their Demo Day in Moncton featuring 12 companies on stage from the 33 companies that went through the Launch and Build programs. A few days later Volta held their second Startup Empire conference in Halifax. Both events were electric. Demo Day showed that Gerry Pond’s vision of a truly Atlantic Canada-wide startup community is becoming a reality, with strong representation from throughout the region. Propel ICT delivers its program through Planet Hatch in Fredericton,…

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