"Entrepreneurs that are really fixed in their view and don't respond to changes that exist in the marketplace are destined to a plateau and not necessarily continue that growth trajectory, right. So keeping an intimate gauge of how the market is changing, adapting in the area that they're in is a key factor."

- Angelo Del Duca

Angelo outlines what he looks for in a start-up

Talk Takeaways

Jeffrey talks with Angelo Del Duca on why he invests, his experience at IRAP, the number of companies he looks into investing in a year, his due diligence process, and his interesting insights on how the current COVID crisis can shift fuel the manufacturing sector of Canada.

As an investor Angelo finds that a startup’s ability to identify both their strengths and weaknesses can help the team identify alternative methodologies to achieve their goals. Entrepreneurs also need to respond to change and not rest on their laurels if they want an uptick trajectory in growth.

About

Angelo Del Duca has extensive experience in the electronics industry and holds an engineering degree from the University of Toronto in Electrical Engineering. Angelo is an active Angel Investor and is a member of the York Angel Investors, Maple Leaf Angels and the Spark Angels assessing potential investments opportunities and mentoring companies seeking investment and business growth. Angelo is also a Limited Partner and Advisor to the OPN (Open People Network) Supporters Fund which invests in growth oriented companies. He was named Angel of Year (2016-2017) by the York Angel Investors and was recently elected in 2020 as Chair of the Board of Directors for the York Angel Investors. Previously he was an Ontario Director at the National Research Council Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and co-founder of a microelectronics company providing expertise to North American customers. Angelo also held positions in engineering and management at Avnet Electronics, the Ontario Research Foundation, the University of Toronto – Microelectronics Development Centre, and Tektronix.

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Good morning! Welcome Angelo del Duca, angel investor, and I would say a big moving part in this entire ecosystem of what’s going on in the Ontario. Thank you for joining us today.

Angelo:
Well thank you for having me Jeffrey and thank you for the kind words. It’s always a pleasure engaging with you, OPN, and the entire ecosystem. So thanks once again.

Jeffery:
You bet. So we’ve now been working our way through this, I believe this is now our fourth interview and they’ve been going quite well. We’ve been keeping them nicely streamlined and getting lots of great insights from investors in the market so maybe just give us a little a little bit about yourself before we do jump into the questions

Angelo:
Alright so I have lots of gray hair. So I’ve been in industry for around 30 years so I’m maybe I’m exposing too much about how old I am. Did my own startup early in my career and prior to the startup worked at UT in the microelectronic space, did much start up again in the microelectronic space, exited and then decided to give back to the community and join the National Research Council IRA program. Became a director there, led a team of approximately 18 advisors and decided to do an early retirement, it’s now coming up to the fourth year. Four years ago because I wanted to get back to my roots which is engaging with the startup community and actually becoming an active investor. So since then I’ve been a part of the York Angel Investors, was Angel of the Year in 2017, 18 I believe it was and I’m also a member of Maple Leaf Angels, Spark Angels, join in with Karatsu. So I get around within the whole angel community and have not regretted a single day since I did my early retirement and I have to say I’m probably ten times busier now than I was when I was at at IRAP and enjoy it. One of the items in that whole and investment community ,is I had the pleasure of joining and being a part of the OPN Supporters Fund and work very closely on trying to identify great opportunities that have the potential for success.

Jeffery:
Awesome. Well said. And now you have an awesome background and lots therefore for us to dig into. So why don’t we start off with the first question, why do you invest in start-up companies?

Angelo:
The main reason that I invest in companies, and I have a fairly large portfolio, and like a lot of us investors we always try and identify all of the successes. We sort of a downplay some of the not so successful but really my main motivator beyond the opportunity of yielding a return on my investment is really about an opportunity where I can create a change and have an impact on the growth of the company. So I like to invest in companies where I see the potential of growth both in revenues and in people. I feel that if I establish a good rapport and relationship with the entrepreneurs, I can probably and hopefully bring some value to the table to help them overcome some issues or challenges that are preventing them from growing. So I look at those opportunities and if I see a good strong business case and some areas where entrepreneurs need some help if I can do it, great. If not. I can reach out into my ecosystem and also bring in specific resources to help them. So it’s really being active as opposed to a passive investor. And if I can accomplish that, it actually gets back to my driver, my passion, which is helping that a tech based a startup community grow because I see that piece of the marketplace, the the tech startups, being critical for the the strength of the economy and also job creation.

Jeffery:
Well that’s awesome and we align some on so many different areas there as well. And you’re right, helping those companies overcome obstacles or stuck in a growth pattern they’re not able to move ahead so being able to explore those different ideas and concepts with them, strategize and move it forward, I think is a great way to kind of help these startups and it’s a great mindset on why to invest. You talked a little bit about what you were doing at IRAP, what was the driving force they got you set up and starting to invest in startups?

Angelo:
So it actually was very similar in nature. So I can’t speak enough about how amazing the program is. It’s one of the oldest programs that are out there and like all of us in the investment community, the program itself changes just as the mindset of the investors has changed over the years. And that’s natural. Because a program and investor are very similar in nature. They’re looking at creating the greatest impact. So when I was at IRap I always motivated my approval of projects with specific companies around the methodology of does this have the potential to create wealth for the country and also create employment for the the country. And so the return on investment may be viewed as slightly different but when you dig deep down it’s actually the same thing, right. Because if companies can demonstrate that they’re increasing their sales and increase employment then they have a greater chance of contributing to the country visa vie paying taxes and from an investor point of view providing a return on the investment. So both are amazingly in alignment and at IRAP I was able to go into companies and actually get them to open up their kimono to identify where we can help right and it’s a it’s amazing how the strength of the program enabled me to accomplish that. Similarly, companies are always on on a mission to be able to gain enough capital, to be able to execute on their vision and you’re a part of it too Jeffrey and you see it when we sit down with an entrepreneur. We want them to really put everything on the table the good, the bad, the ugly and then identify how we can change those bad and ugly all into good right. And if we can accomplish that I think we’ve done our job for the day and putting aside the the global altruistic aspects of doing that there’s also if we can accomplish that we also can accomplish increase the potential of yielding a return on investment so that everyone wins right. And so that I used the same drivers as to why would I support certain companies at iRAP as I do in the investment community. I also saw from IRAP having gone through a significant number of projects and proposals I probably have a really good handle on not necessarily the key factors for success but probably a good insight on what are the factors for failure. And if we can overcome those factors then the likelihood of success is dramatically increased.

Jeffery:
Know for sure it’s a two-sided coin right there’s always one way or the other of the direction to go but if you spend enough time in this space you start to be able to see different things on both sides. You figure out how to line those to go forward. So having that experience from IRAP and carrying that into the angel network is fantastic. So inside about what becomes your favorite part of investing?

Angelo:
Actually, doing a deep dive into the come into the company. I relish the opportunity of being an active participant and in a lot of situations taking the lead on doing the due diligence that’s required to really make that determination. I’ve been fortunate that colleagues actually respect some of my perspectives on a company after having done a deep dive with them and actually used me to a certain degree of mitigating their risk as to whether I’m in alignment with their thinking. Ultimately all the investors have their own methodology and triggers for doing an investment, but to me being very active in determining what stage the company is at, what are the risks associated with it, and how those risks can be mitigated and avoided. And I look at that aspect as being the most critical a factor of why I enjoy doing what I do.

Jeffery:
That’s fantastic and I’m a big fan of the data and the dive in so I appreciate all of that and I think that it carries a big value for one on your side in building a relationship with the CEO or the startup company which is very helpful but like you said it really allows you to align their principles along with the other investors, and that gets people a lot more comfortable and helps derisk that business opportunity for sure/ when you’re looking at investments is there a set criteria the amount of companies you look to invest in per year?

Angelo:
Not necessarily. So one can look at it from two perspectives right when I look at the number of investments, one, can I utilize (sic) I’m going to set aside a block of money and with that block of money I’m going to allocate chunks of it into many companies write individually. I do that to a certain degree but what I’ve also done is been a part of funds where I put one chunk of money in and then it leads into investment of many companies and so my investment in and participation in the supporters fund is a good example of that. My contribution to that fund is not only going towards one company but rather many companies and the rationale for all of that boils down to a one factor and that is to make sure that I have a diversified portfolio. I don’t like to, some investors will only invest in a particular vertical right, whether it’s medtech whether it’s SAS based technologies I like to spread it out over many segments and have my money dispersed over a larger number of companies and then it’s essentially playing a game of with a larger number of companies that I’m involved in. The opportunity for one or more clicking in terms of rapid growth is dramatically increased. And as you’re aware probably in investing in ten companies, eight will either fail or be in the struggling area, and then there are the two that really start to succeed and possibly one that really explodes. So spreading it out over a large group of companies is key with the understanding of it’s risky right and the key would be looking at each Investment from the perspective that particular company is going to be that one in ten that really explodes, right. Now and that’s a real theory and if we can accomplish that at a much higher percentage then everyone wins right? So that’s my methodology and approach to investment as to why I invest in particular companies and why I like to spread it out. And as an example I don’t have an investment currently in a real dedicated life science based company so I’m actively seeking the right opportunity to invest in that. And so I at it from the point of view of what’s missing in my portfolio, what companies are in that area, and which ones have the potential of growth, and where can I provide value.

Jeffery:
No that’s great and I like in philosophy 100 percent. We align with that and you’re right, there’s diversifying and then there’s finding the right mix of companies that you can invest in. It kind of talks to our next question which was on the vertical side, if there was a specific vertical, and as you mentioned you don’t really tie things into a specific vertical. You’re looking at the business opportunity and the people that are running that company and going forward with that so very agnostic to market which is fantastic. So when you start to go through your due diligence is there any requirements that you look for before you make a commitment? Is there anything that’s really set in stone they gotta have or you’re out ?

Angelo:
I really like the t hone in a few areas that I think are really important. Now, the big one is what’s the market opportunity. So trying to gauge how fast can the company grow over a period of time, so at the very least I expect the three years projection of their revenue with the understanding projections are just that projections and they’re probably valid up until the time you say print or save that excel file. What’s really important in that is looking at the logic and the assumptions that were used to come up with those projections. So I look at that thought process of how did they see the market, how are they planning to capture that market, how do they differentiate themselves from everyone else in the marketplace. I don’t like to use blanket statements but but I do get concerned when a company says I’m the only one in this space and there’s no one else. And one could look at it from two perspectives, one being that’s great you’re just creating something new in the entire business world but you may also take a look at it maybe the reason why there’s no one else in that space is because there isn’t a market opportunity. So describe to me why you feel so strong that this is a real opportunity, and then I look at how can I bring value to the opportunity or investors in general what’s missing in he company in terms of capability and resources and how will the investment really be able to address those missing pieces. And one last thing that I look for that I’ve started using recently in my DD sessions and I have to acknowledge it was a colleague of mine that we were doing a joint due diligence and it’s actually a real thought provoking question and what the question that I asked the company is “assume that as a company you’re dead in 24 months what were the reasons that caused the death of the company and what are you planning to do to overcome that or prevent that situation from occurring and inevitably every company that I’ve asked that question recently they’re going wow that’s an interesting question let me think about that because that’s important. And so those are the elements that I look for in the in the due diligence but most importantly are the people, the right team, right. Are they the phrase that’s overused I think is “coachable”. I like to think of our is the team really focused on growing the company and how do they fit together. There have been a couple of situations where the founders after a year are at loggerheads with each other which is not that unusual right because the startup community is not for the faint of heartright. And I like to see founders that can put differences aside and concentrate on the the growth strategy of the company.

Jeffery:
That’s fantastic so there’s some good nuggets there on the marketing opportunity side, sales side, figuring out how you’re gonna grow your business, and how you’re going to you know put some numbers down give it a target and go after it. And then of course having a strong team makes a big difference. And there are two sides to coin, there’s the paperwork and what you’r shooting for and then on the other side there’s the people and how the CEO and all of them are going to click to drive that business. So they are two different fundamentals that really support that startup and growth. Is there a time frame that you have on an investment that you try to make sure that you can help close it?

Angelo:
So timing, so there’s two timing areas. And if I really look at it from the two different perspectives, right, the first perspective is how fast can you come to a decision in terms of an investment right and it really is dependent on each opportunity as to how quickly can we address all of the aspects within the deep dive and due diligence on the opportunity, the team, all of those factors right and if it’s all in place there’s no reason why one couldn’t come to a decision very quickly. Let’s say within a month right, but in other situations there may be missing factors in the make up which would require having the company and /or myself and my colleagues come up with some alternatives where we see limitations and that may take time right. So providing a linkage to a key player in the space that they’re going in looking at potentially providing a connection and a partnership with others that jointly benefit both of them. That may take time but realistically at the long end I’d like to see things definitely within a three-month period to go through that whole process, get not only the company in alignment with the investors but also getting the investors in alignment with the company too. It is a dance, right. And you need two to dance and sometimes there is some limitations on one end but there are also limitations on the other end, having said all of that once that’s undertaken and an investment is executed I look at being able to assess a company where within a three to five year period they’re going to be returning an investment to my injection of funds, and I’ve had a couple that actually have yielded exits within a two year period so I’ve been fortunate but again, as I mentioned on the at the outset of our discussion we always like to talk about the the hits and the winners right but there’s still quite a few there that are still working and the diligently trying to yield that return on investment because if they bring me an investment they’re clearly bringing a value to their company and the founders themselves.

Jeffery:
For sure. so it sounds like there’s always going to be a bit of time so it could be a month what it’s going to extenuate as long as it takes to get through all of the due diligence, and the questions, and the shift. the change that everybody brings to the to the table which is a good thing. Is there when you’re making investments, do you save back money for follow-up investments?

Angelo:
The one thing that I’m almost religious on requiring from an investment, one aspect, and Jeffery you and I are very much aligned in this having participated with you on several investments, and that’s the the opportunity for warrants. That essentially what i like to accomplish in an investment, having a set milestone that is mutually agreed between the investors and the company that indicates if you can achieve this growth within this period of time, I will put in more money at the original valuation and it is actually a wonderful tool because it sets goals and expectations from both parties. I being an engineer, I like to see objectives and goals, right. And I think that not only exists within the technical space but also within the business space, right. It’s not sufficient to sort of say I’m going to grow what probably is much more quantifiable within this period, my growth both in revenues and people will be at this particular stage and if you accomplish that well I’m going to help you more by providing you with more money. and I also like the opportunity and in certain situations where that warrant required but would exist not only for the investors but also for the entrepreneurs themselves, so you, they sign up they too, can inject more money ie gain more equity or maintained our equity position in the company. These are all benefits to both sides right with the goal of being driven by success.

Jeffery:
Yeah. That’s great and 100% support that. I’m a huge fan of that and I think it also aligns for if it’s done right and it’s in six to eight months not three years away, the value comes for being able to do that bridge route to get them to that next level. So there’s always being strategic ways to to input that dollar to help them grow. You mentioned a few other things around different ways that you can help startups outside of just financing. Is there anything that you look at that you really hone in on when you are helping outside of finance, from advising and other aspects, is there something that you can describe that you bring to the table that really will help startup?

Angelo:
So I look at in terms of what I can bring to the table besides the money right. And I guess in the investment community and also from the startup community it’s not just about the money, it’s about getting smart money, right. And I use the term smart money as what can an individual bring to the table that’s beyond their physical investment in the company. So what I look at is opportunities where I can leverage my knowledge of the whole funding program landscape that exists. Are there programs that are specific and well-suited to helping the company? Typically these funding programs are non-dilutive so the company can get money with giving up any equity in their company. Right and I can help them manage their journey through that process because that journey may not necessarily be that simple right. And having a better understanding of what the mindset is from the program perspective, entrepreneurs have a better basis to know how to effectively move through that process. And then there are specific programs that are initiated depending on market conditions and we look at Covid19 right now there are substantial programs that are available that I encourage all companies to explore to see how they can leverage those opportunities to further advance their capability. In addition to programs there’s also our (sic), they’re in subject matter experts, either a technology based or business based that can be brought into the the fold during the the pre and post investment stage with the company. So is there someone or some organization out there that really provides a particular skill set that can propel the growth. A good example could be is there a company that is well-positioned from an SEO perspective and if a company is a a direct-to-consumer business model, how can SEO be utilized to further expand their user base and increase their revenues, their traction, their exposure all of those elements. So it’s on not all on the funding side but also from my sort of connections within the business community and technology community on who can really assist.

Jeffery:
So it’s a good round up of a bunch of different things that you can really bring into that startup, again outside of the financial side I think those are all great ways to help open the company up especially in an early-stage company when you’re in a pre-seed and a seed round, they really do tend to look for a lot more hands to help and being able to come in and explore offering expertise in how to raise other or not diluted funding to being able to help them with experts that can help them really Drive into a new vertical or at least align their vertical all great things that they’re going to need at the base as they start to climb that mountain. So that’s some fantastic advice. is there, since all of this COVID has started happening markets have been changing, has there been any change or pull back on the types of investments that you’re looking at or other Angels in your space?

Angelo:
I’ve done several, well not several, but around four or five opportunities that have gone through to complete investment and I do have to say that there are some investors that have been looking deep in their portfolio to see whether they’re going to do any further investment at this particular stage in light of the the markets and it’s effect from the the COVID19 crisis that were in. So yes I have seen an impact on that side but I do have to say it’s a smaller percentage than I had anticipated okay. I think that regardless of the economic like environment that we’re in, a good opportunity is still a good opportunity right. and investors will jump in on a good opportunity. They may not jump in at the same degree or same level that they normally would but if there is a good opportunity for an investor they’ll find a way of being a part of that opportunity and looking at investing. On the other side I’ve had the startups themselves being affected by COVID but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised that one opportunity for example where I did a DD yesterday and I had assumed before the the DD session that this company was going to be struggling with the COVI situation and in fact the entrepreneur as at the early onset of the crisis was really worried and concerned, lo and behold they just identified that April was their strongest April ever. And it was a SAS based technology and we both concluded yes with this situation, with that everyone is in self-isolation and bunkered down, that people actually have a little bit more time on to research what things are available and saw their offering as to be much more attractive and so there have been examples where actually the crisis has and I hate to use the term because that Covid is a completely tragic, but from a business point of view that there has been some positive aspects associated with having more people being able to take advantage of some of the offerings that companies are offering.

Jeffery:
For sure. So there is a bit of a shift because of it, but at the same time I you know things have come down a little bit, things have slowed in all sectors but at the end the day there’s always going to be problems that need to be solved and startups stop to pivot and they have to do the things that will allow them to align and make success. So we’ve kind of gone through this life cycle from you know coming from why you invested going through DD and learning more about the company and getting really associated with the startups making an investment, finding ways to intrinsic ways to help them grow and build, so now that you’ve kind of structured all this, is there an underlying piece of I need to be updated regularly, what type of how do you install and what is the method that you look for when companies you’re looking for feedback after an investment. Is there a form of communication you like or ways that you support them outside of this as you move forward?

Angelo:
So in terms of maintaining that gauge of how a company is performing, during the the post investment stage, there is the mechanical one that is always embedded in an investment to some degree which is I need to see a status report every quarter. I don’t want to inundate my invested companies with focusing on doing paperwork to such a degree that it deflects them from what they’re supposed to be doing which is succeeding. Having said that, every quarter seems to be a reasonable approach to give me an update, tell me the the major accomplishments during the past three months, what obstacles are you seeing, what changes have occurred in the marketplace and do you have to as you appropriately described Jeffery do I have to pivot, do I have to look at new opportunities or new ways of doing business. So I try and get those as quickly and as regularly as possible every every quarter and I do like to sort of follow up and if there is something there that I see engaged with the entrepreneurs and sit down and being respectful of not trying to divert their attention. the The one thing that we are all passionate right, both the entrepreneurs and the investors right. The key is to have a dialogue, a fruitful dialogue, and I don’t have necessarily all the answers and possibly if I turn around and suggest you need to do this and then the next person comes in and says well wait a minute you should actually be doing this which is where they were initially right I want to avoid a confusing the entrepreneur and having them zig zagging when they should actually be going forward. And that’s why it’s critical to have an engaged dialogue with them on what makes sense and it should be a mutually agreed approach as opposed to one-sided right a good active engagement is critical.

Jeffery:
Wholeheartedly agree that being able to keep everybody active and aware helps solve new problems that come up and you know that I think is really beneficial while you’re going through this. I know that in the past it’s been pretty relevant but do you look at taking board seats and participating on that side? )r do you rather be an adviser or just quarterly updates? is there a piece that you really find that you could invest with?

Angelo:
Yeah. In terms of active participation with the company in my investments, I try where it makes sense right. Try to be either on an advisory board or ideally on the board of directors right. And in if but York Angels for example is leading on investment the term sheet that I generate through York Angels actually has that as a requirement that there would be one board seat allocated to the investors. And it may be myself in one situation or it may be another individual in another situation so it’s whatever it brings the greatest value. I I think that having a seat for the sake of having a seat shouldn’t be the driver. Right? The driver should be really about can I bring value? Do the entrepreneur see value? And then how can I be a part of that? And the one thing that we have to keep in mind is once on the board the role of a board member is really all about the be having the additional responsibility in the best interest of the company right. It now makes it really formal right and having that commitment as a participating board member brings a lot from the perspective of focusing on success of the company.

Jeffery:
No that’s great and you’re right it ties you in nicely with that business. And again that opens up the lines of communication and ways that you can help and I know that a lot of companies will structure these either quarterly updates or monthly at the beginning just to kind of help things move forward faster, and again you’re you become a rolodex to that company because the responsibility that you bring as an advisor you also want to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to help that company grow and in the right directions and solve problems so that’s great that you’ve got the opportunity to to be in that position. So we’ve got two last questions that we’re gonna ask you the first one, so from all the previous investments that you’ve done, everything that you’ve done at IRAP, you mentioned already earlier on in the discussion that you know there’s you see a lot of the good things that companies do but you also see a lot of the bad things and you can figure out kind of is this company gonna be successful because you’ve seen right on the onset some of the may be bad things that they’re looking at doing then you can make that choice that this company might not be a fit to move forward which is great, so can you round up all of that kind of information you have and give maybe one or two sound bites to what you find will help a startup get off the ground and move quickly and be successful?

Angelo:
Some of the key factors I think that really drive success in companies are really led by the the key management of the organization so the founders especially in early-stage startup companies it’s not going to be a large well-established team that you would normally find in an existing mature company, right. And so invariably entrepreneurs will have many many hats. And when they wear many hats their stretched thin. So I look at one of the key factors as being the flexibility and openness to look at alternatives and sometimes that may mean taking one or two of those hats off and delegating to the appropriate resource. Because as I know as a founder and an entrepreneur, we always have this natural tendency right to have our finger in everything. Sometimes removing our finger in certain areas and delegating it to someone that is very focused in that area creates a real opportunity for success. So being able to identify where one strengths and weaknesses are is a real key factor. and I look at that when I sit down with founders and entrepreneurs. Do they have that ability right, if they have that ability of being able to identify where opportunities are where they can play the greatest role in they have the potential of greater success. That also extends into not only on a from an activity based but also from a business and market direction. Entrepreneurs that are really fixed in their view and don’t respond to changes that exist in the marketplace are destined to a plateau and not necessarily continue that growth trajectory, right. So keeping a an intimate gauge of how the market is changing, adapting in the area that they’re in is a key factor. So when I look at entrepreneurs, their knowledge of the marketplace how their solutions play a role in that marketplace, how those solutions have to change as the marketplaces change, that’s critical so look at that trait also how well versed are they in the marketplace that they’re identifying. And look at it not only from the perspective of this is a current tech not solution to a well-defined problem in the marketplace but if it isn’t a sustainable long term solution then the company may implode within a fairly short period of time. Even though they can enjoy a momentary spike in growth but you want to avoid that spike from becoming an impulse and then coming right back down again, right. So you always want to ensure that that trajectory is always on the uptick and not a leveling off or or coming down.

Jeffery:
That’s some great advice. I really enjoy the fact that you put a lot of bonus on the CEO to understand the market but then also as they start to grow push out a lot of the things that they’re working on and find the experts that can support them so they can really shift their focus on hitting that market again and how they can start to grow inside of it and I think that that is 100% a good way of looking at good CEOs versus once they want to hold on and do everything and forget that there’s got to be a growth pattern and you can’t do everything. So the last the last question that I have and we’ve gone a couple minutes so I want to be quick on this last one but so based on everything that’s going on in the environment right now in North America early stage investing where do you see the next 12 months going and then worry predicting we’re gonna be in three years? So is there a category or vertical a space that’s really gonna blow up and really everybody’s gonna dive into over the next 12 months and then what do you see in the next three years and once we get these sound bites out I’m gonna hold you to it so make sure it’s good cuz I gotta find everything you say?

Angelo:
Well now you’re asking me to put my crystal ball in front of me and identify well both near-term and long-term and in terms of where things are going to be and that is a really difficult question, right. Having said that near-term I’d look at opportunities and I’m actually helping out some colleagues in this area, the near it’s actually not only near-term but also long-term and it’s in response to the current crisis that were in, COVID. So if we can, as a country, remove our reliance on foreign sources for particular solutions in the PPE space, it removes that reliance and dependency externally. That’s one area that is a real opportunity right now. But more importantly it also accomplishes something else, and the other thing that it accomplishes is establishing a stronger manufacturing capability locally. I think that the current crisis that were in, it’s actually identified some real challenges that currently exist that we have fallen into because we’ve lost that capability and resource to be able to do things locally while still focusing on a global perspective. So if we’re reliant on external sources for a large percentages of the things that we need whether it be food, medical devices, all of those aspects to a large degree, externally it raises a huge risk for the country and when when I say raises a few, a huge risk for the country that turns into investment opportunities too right. Because if we’re all struggling with those situations then the economy will suffer and if the economy suffers, then investments suffer and it has that whole chain reaction throughout the whole ecosystem both to investors, entrepreneurs, and companies right. When I look back at what had happened in Ontario in the late 90s, I had indicated to one of my colleagues at one point that you know the biggest challenge I see for Ontario is that for the longest time we relied on the strength of a really weak dollar and that’s why we were so successful in manufacturing and we didn’t innovate. Well lo and behold in the late 90s to 2000 if you remember the Canadian dollar flipped where it was much stronger than the US well all of a sudden the manufacturing sector collapsed because it was driven by a weak dollar as opposed to a strong solution. And we sat on our laurels of not innovating, right. so I still see advanced manufacturing as being a key area where we can a sort of really look at a great returns and strength for the country. And that may actually (sic), this crisis, may actually fuel that sector and ensure that we not only have the strength from our dollar but more importantly from the way we provide the products and the services.

Jeffery:
Well that’s a fantastic view and I know there’s been a few discussions that have come out from the United States and around the world where people are starting to say hey maybe we should be in sourcing development and services because we’re putting ourselves in a tough, tough position that we’re not able to get products that we want or quality of products that we need. We’re too reliant on foreign but at the same time we’re also looking at foreign investment. So there’s a big moving shift that kind of has to really refine itself down and figure out what Canada wants to be. I know in the late 60s and the architect that designed this is totally going to be looting his name but there were two people that were paid by the Canadian government to say where does Canada want to be long-term and they wrote up this fantastic document that stated that you know what Canada is going to be the world’s think-tank and we’re gonna put together everything around how to do things and but we’re not going to manufacture or do anything in Canada we’re going to be the brain power that feeds the rest of the world. Well, they succeeded in making that happen. Canada is well known and brought into that space but now you’re stuck at a position where now you’ve outsourced to everything where the brain power is all in Canada and we’re helping that way but now we’re at a lack because we can’t actually manufacturer and do all these great things that we need to be self-sufficient so I think there is going to be a good change of pace and that will drive out the future in the next three years as well. So that is awesome. Well in saying that Angelo, I would as always I’m a big fan of everything you do and I’m glad that you were able to join us today and we’ll continue to keep doing the great push in the early stage sector and I appreciate all of your time today thank you very much again. Give me two seconds, we’re gonna do a nice little picture or whatever at the end I haven’t done this yet so I keep forgetting but again thank you your insights were fantastic and will let you know when everything gets posted it will be in the foreseeable future. The next couple weeks we’ll start pushing out sound bytes. But thank you again for all of the insight.

Angelo:
Well thank you so much Jeffrey and I really look forward to it as always.

Jeffery:
Awesome.

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