Jason Daley
IMPACT INVESTING

Jason Daley

#20

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Venture Builder, Serial Entrepreneur, Portfolio Investor

A.I. and Decision Making – Jason Daley

“Mentoring is a mindset. Being a student of life, being a student to give openly, and willing to receive information, and to process it in a way that is going to either make a change for you or what the job you’re trying to accomplish.”

ABOUT

Jason is a venture catalyst and portfolio entrepreneur with a unique talent for the Art of the Startup. His talent manifests all the business essentials around a great idea and bringing it to market by leveraging his business acumen, strategic connections, and his exceptional talents. Honed over 20 years of professional experience in a multitude of high growth industries with an emphasis on Media & Entertainment, Web Technologies, and Real Estate. Jason is a proven catalyst to help clients achieve their business goals, he is also a sought-after advisor, community builder, angel investor and speaker in the startup community.

Jason is a recipient of Ottawa’s top-40 under-40 (2012), multiple Bootstrap award winner and has received Invest Ottawa’s Rising Star CEO Award. He’s also received volunteer service recognition from Carleton University’s Student Association, Alumni Association and the Sprott School of Business.

Core Competencies:

  • Business models, planning, value propositions
  • Venture financing, investment, deal brokering
  • Branding, Corporate Strategy, Communications, Go-to-market plans, Business and Partner Development
  • Pitching and public speaking
  • Sales Funnel – Lead Generation, Business development, Sales closing
  • Integrated Marketing (design and execution) – Traditional, Guerrilla, Social, cross media, PR, large scale event mgnt, advertising, sponsorship
  • Film/TV/Web production

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Jason Daley

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Okay, awesome. Well welcome everybody. We’re super excited today to have Jason Daley on AskAnAngel. So, Jason, we like to jump right into things so why don’t we just throw it over to you. Maybe you can give us a breakdown of kind of where you’ve come from, a bit of your past, middle ground, and the future of Jason and all the great things you’ve been up to.

Jason:
Yeah, happy to do so. So I started in technology domain as my career back in the 2000’s, you know, the bubble when we were building the infrastructure. I worked for a company that was building the wavelength switching, allows us to have, you know, video on our hand devices now and that was pretty novel then because I had to learn about how you built the infrastructure, all the protocols, the wavelength switching, and they gave me a big thick book with the ISO model and said, “You got to learn all this in every chapter. You’re going to talk to another engineer in the department and you’re going to get the deep download”. I was the eighth employee of the company. It’s called Meriton Networks. It grew and scaled up to 250 and I was the emcee of the Christmas party. And I always had mentors along the way and that’s actually one of the most beneficial things I’ve found throughout my whole career. It’s definitely a theme. You probably… so talk to that later on but the fast facet there was I learned what technology innovation looked like, how it got funded. I was the executive whip boy (self-described) that I wanted the hard project. I wanted to dive in deep and support what was going on under this machine, this bubble that was bursting open, and ballooning, and we’re scaling. I wanted to understand all the mechanics underneath it and that brought me for almost close to three years. They had an exit to Xtera public company. Although, they were three years too short of when one of the major telco companies were going to be changing out their infrastructure and putting in this new equipment. So, it was just a little bit too soon. The burn rate exhausted and they had to basically go around and say, “Hey, we have to really shore up the business. Do you mind taking a package?” And I was so disillusioned, like, what? I was seemingly fundamental to the sales the marketing. I opened up accounts with 27 different major Telcos to get our series B round and I was just like, “What are you serious?” I understood now. Being a manager, being a CEO, there was families that had to be taken care of. There was critical technology had to be delivered against SPEC. And I was in a unique scenario where I was transitioning to a national sales role but I didn’t have any accounts. And so it put me into a scenario where I had to learn to be humble. I had to learn what matters. Let the technology and the customer had to be served. And so I didn’t realize that until I started doing my own business nine months after. I jumped into my own practice of doing consulting, helping innovation get deployed within different environments. That, let’s just say I thought I was gonna go sell the tech. But what did I do? I had mompreneurs. Some of my first referrals were an author and she enjoyed the working relationship. But I had all this blue chip training and I’m trying to fit into mompreneur, who’s only got so much time, it’s a side hustle, she wants to make money, and she knows where she wants to put it, but I can’t take all the tool sets I was working with. I need to put it into something that’s going to work so it came down to fundamentals. It came down to the value proposition, boiling it down. And when I discovered C case and all that work around, the lean startup, and the business model canvas, it just opened up more where that’s where I had to go. I needed to go help take great ideas, great founders, and move their ideas to market. And now the tools are there readily and the cost of starting a startup are vastly lower than trying to build, you know, an infrastructure tech company that required, you know, close to 90 million dollars of funding throughout. Where now you can do this for sometimes under ten thousand dollars. You can get a decent business opportunity where you can start generating at least a little bit of revenue. And from then, I discovered that I’m going to do some investment where I see the best and brightest ideas. I’m going to put some my own dollars and my own capital behind it. Yeah, so, that was maybe about a decade ago and that’s how I stumbled into it is based on doing consulting. I felt that I could work with some of the best and brightest. But I got us I got to do the sweat under the caller. I got to roll up my sleeves. I got to be in the fire. I’m on that founder’s journey with them and that’s been my my career ever since.

Jeffery:
Oh, it’s amazing. So, if you take your past experience and the last 10 years, it sounds like you found a really good solution on how to work and operate as a consultant/almost operator with some of these startups based on your earlier experience. You mentioned one thing that’s really fascinating and I always got to go into the subject, which is mentors. And you mentioned that you started off having mentors. Can you give us a bit more understanding of what mentors were able to help you with and where that helped you move into where you are today?

Jason:
Yeah, I appreciate that question. It’s something so important to me. I’m with the executive at Carleton University. I’m on the alumni and we created a mentoring program just to address this challenge because at a university, it was not easy to find someone in the industry to be mentored. And what I end up looking for out of my first starting career was someone that had a skill set that I knew could be really impactful, internet oriented, how do you take technologies and implement them. I got two offers I was told by my my parents “Try and find two offers to know your value. Know your worth so you’re no