Archive for the ‘Academia’ Category

Ryerson DMZ Launches Advisory Council for Startups

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

Ryerson University’s startup incubator DMZ has launched an advisory council to support the Canadian startup and entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The 18-person council was handpicked from over 500 applicants and includes: Kirstine Stewart, former Head of Media at Twitter Canada, Yung Wu, Managing Director of NFQ Ventures, and Dino Trevisani, President, IBM Canada

The goal of the council is to “increase visibility for Canadian entrepreneurs, and to develop new approaches to fuel the success of Canadian innovators,” according to a DMZ press release about the initiative.

“The DMZ’s advisory council will play an important role in finding strategic and innovative approaches that will strengthen the DMZ’s position as a hub in the innovation economy,” says Mohamed Lachemi, president and vice-chancellor at Ryerson University.

“The council will also better forecast the needs of the startup community and find solutions that will be supported by some of the leading minds in business and technology,” he says.  

The first order of business for the advisory council is to create a bootcamp-style program to help new startup owners learn hard and soft skills needed to accelerate their success or failure in the first six months.

Beyond that, the advisory council will develop a collaboration agenda for Canada’s startups to bring together technology hubs nationwide and align with Canada’s innovation agenda.  

The Advisory Council members are:

  • Nadir Mohamed, (DMZ Advisory Council Chairman), Chairman, ScaleUP Ventures
  • John Albright, Managing Partner, Relay Ventures
  • Peter Bowie, Independent Director, former CEO of Deloitte China
  • Barry K. Columb, President & CEO, President’s Choice Financial
  • Bruce Croxon, Partner, Round 13 Capital
  • Maggie Fox, former Global Senior Vice President, Digital, SAP
  • Sabrina Geremia, Managing Director, Integrated Solutions Google
  • Nazmin Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Greystone Managed Investments Inc.
  • Anthony Lacavera, Founder and Chairman, Globalive Capital
  • Andrew Macdonald, Regional General Manager, APAC and Latin America, Uber
  • Kevin O’Brien, Chief Client Officer, Aeroplan at Aimia
  • Priya Patil, Corporate Director
  • Anoop Prakash, Managing Director, Harley-Davidson Canada
  • Michael Rossi, President, adidas Group Canada
  • Kirstine Stewart, Chief Strategy Officer, Diply GoViral
  • Dino Trevisani, President, IBM Canada
  • Yung Wu, Managing Director, NFQ Ventures
  • David Walmsley, Editor in Chief, The Globe and Mail
  • Mohamed Lachemi, President and Vice-Chancellor, Ryerson University
  • Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director, DMZ at Ryerson University

For more information about Ryerson DMZ and the advisory council, click here.

Mega Hackathon Hack the North is Underway

Friday, September 16th, 2016

Baristas, therapy dogs, and 2:00 am workshops about CockroachDB. 

Welcome to Hack the North, the student hackathon that offers users the chance to develop with VR and wearable technology and has produced at least one commercially viable startup.

It’s happening this weekend at the University of Waterloo Engineering School, and developers from across Canada and the world are attending:

Hack the North claims to be Canada’s premier hackathon with over 1,000 participants. It runs continuously for 36 hours from Friday evening to Sunday morning. Industry leaders from 500px and Y Combinator will be on hand.

For tired coders up all night, there are many opportunities for screen breaks: Morning yoga on Saturday, and a chance to cuddle with therapy dogs.

The sleep-deprived can also attend talks on topics such as Node.js and Cockroach DB, as well as soft skills such as team formation and ideation.

One of the 2014 winners of Hack the North was Eric Dolan, founder of Neutun Labs — a startup that develops seizure-tracking technology.

Dolan’s winning 2014 project, Pebilepsy, was based off data tracking and wearable devices, as it allowed users’ Pebble smartwatches to track their epilepsy symptoms. Neutun Labs is derived from this technology, and has since been accepted into 500 Startups.

“We’ve made continuous efforts to bring opportunities to students they wouldn’t have elsewhere,” said Ashna Mankotia, Co-Marketing Director at Hack the North. “For example, bringing ‘Y Combinator Office Hours’ to Hack the North in 2015 and again this year.

“Hackers have the rare opportunity to have one-on-one meetings with some of the most connected people in the industry.”

Check back later for more details about the winners.

VIDEO: IBM’s Ontario Research Consortium Partnership

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

IBM provided a $200+ million “sandbox” and access to the country’s biggest supercomputer, along with an abundance of analytical tools as the company’s contribution to Southern Ontario Smart Computing Innovation Platform (SOSCIP), a research and development consortium that now includes 14 universities and 2 colleges.

The result? The partnership has generated $2 billion in pipeline revenue by helping university researchers and startups get to market.

This innovation model, facilitating collaboration between IBM, academic institutions, Ontario Centre of Excellence, and SMEs aims to help establish Ontario as a leading global centre for driving innovation in information technology, health, and urban infrastructure (water, energy, transportation).

By partnering with private enterprise, academic institutions can leverage cutting-edge technology and experience. Learn more about SOSCIP and its economic impact:

Choosing the Wrong Accelerator Can Get You Nowhere Fast

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Accelerators can put startups on a fast track towards growth-stage success, but founders shouldn’t be tempted to apply to a program simply on the basis of acceptance chances. Geography, funding, office space, and mentorship availability are all important, and there are still other factors to keep in mind.

We asked interviewees during our launch week about what’s most crucial for startup founders considering accelerators.

“It is very important to get the right accelerator based on the product that you have,” says Amir Azhari, President and COO of AOMS Technologies, a startup focused on fibre optic sensors for extreme environments such as oil and natural gas wells. The first accelerator he tried, which focused on software and app development, wasn’t meeting his needs.


Azhari joined the RIC Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, which he says worked better because of its manufacturing focus.“[They] introduced us to different potential investors who might be interested in our technology,” he says.

Sonia Strimban, Manager of Venture Operations at the MaRS Discovery District in Toronto, adds that accelerators help avoid isolation. “There’s a compounding network effect. If you’re not part, you’re missing out in introductions and meetings with potential investors. You have to be part of the community to receive the exponential effects of the momentum.”

Matt Roberts, associate director at the Business Development Bank of Canada’s IT Venture Fund, agrees that accelerators provide an important role, particularly with filling missing skills in your initial team. “They’re more often than not providing advice and feedback to allow founders to do some of that early sales and marketing themselves, or giving them advice and connections to make the first hires they need.”

But perhaps the best value you can get out of an accelerator is working with those already established. According to Strimban: “Founders like to learn from each other. There’s an element of trust they have with other entrepreneurs… It’s invaluable knowledge that will save you so much time and effort if you can benefit from the experience of others.”

Why Canada’s Tech Scene is Worth Getting Excited About

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Editor’s Note: This piece was re-printed from a LinkedIn Pulse item with permission from the writer, Jeff Booth, who is Co-Founder, President and CEO of BuildDirect. The original version lives here

Earlier this year, Microsoft added its fourth development office to downtown Vancouver, joining a who’s who of U.S. tech names that have set up shop in Vancouver in recent years, including, and Facebook.

It’s tempting to say the city is blossoming into Silicon Valley North but, to truly earn that title, Vancouver — or any other Canadian city for that matter — must build its own ecosystem of successful, home-grown tech companies. In fact, we’ll know Vancouver has made it when tech companies from here are setting up outposts in other places.

Of late, it’s become fashionable to point out all the reasons this will never happen. Canadian tech naysayers point to troubles finding experienced senior management, a shortage of funding and a university system not pumping out enough research and engineering talent as reasons Canada will never compete with hubs like California and Washington. Some of those critiques are valid, but do they predict the future or do they just describe the present?


Early on when building BuildDirect, I was asked to sit on a Conference Board of Canada roundtable on boosting tech innovation, comprised of leaders in industry, academia and government. Although the group was set up to help Canada win, the discussion always felt like an endless circle of laments: why entrepreneurs sell out too early, why Canada doesn’t celebrate our successes, etc. What frustrated me most was it seemed everyone got it backwards.

It’s the entrepreneur who starts the whole cycle by having a vision bigger than himself and carrying it out. That act, the vision of a different future, is what creates the value that attracts the rest of the ecosystem.

The reality is these are early days for aspiring technology centres like Vancouver, Toronto or Waterloo. It’s easy to look to established ecosystems and see countless shortcomings in comparison: there isn’t a giant anchor company like Google to spin off ideas and talent; soaring housing prices and border bureaucracy sway top talent from moving; start-up capital can be in short supply.

But that’s a near-sighted approach. Looking at the bigger picture, Vancouver and other Canadian cities hold enormous promise and advantages even Silicon Valley didn’t have in its infancy. We should be looking to leverage those advantages instead of wallowing in our shortcomings. The more apt comparison for Vancouver isn’t the Seattle or Northern California hubs of today, but where those centres were at their beginnings.

From Prunes to Electronics

A century ago, the Santa Clara Valley’s export specialty was a plum variety that could be processed into prunes. In fact, it wasn’t until 1971 when the Silicon Valley moniker was first used. The area’s technology industry began with World War II-era government investment into radar and electronics research at Stanford University. More government money flowed throughout the Cold War to the Valley and to Massachusetts’ Route 128, fostering the growth of now-famous companies like Hewlett-Packard and Xerox PARC. Seattle’s smaller hub was built around companies like Boeing.

Often overlooked is the fact that Silicon Valley’s tech sector didn’t overtake Massachusetts in profits and innovation until the 1980s — proving that a smaller, weaker player can grow and win. Even then its economic output was a fraction of what it is now. It’s easy to see the economic powerhouse that Silicon Valley has become, but it’s worth remembering the long road it took to get there and the many failed companies it left along the way. The vibrant ecosystem we see now is a byproduct of those struggles.

It’s also important to point out the role that determined, focused individuals played in these early histories, when success was anything but a surefire bet. Silicon Valley literally began in a Palo Alto garage rented by Stanford University graduates Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, who started the Hewlett-Packard Company in 1939 with $538 in working capital and a used Sears Craftsman drill press.

Elon Musk, Stewart Butterfield

Canada does not lack people with great ideas and grand vision. It’s often overlooked that one of the most esteemed innovators of the 21st century, Elon Musk – the mind behind PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla – is a Canadian citizen and attended Queen’s University in Kingston before ultimately moving to the U.S. Vancouverite Stewart Butterfield created the original photo-sharing site Flickr in the mid 2000s and went on to build the office social platform Slack, now headquartered in San Francisco and valued around $4 billion.

At the same time, dedicated entrepreneurs can achieve great success within Vancouver’s ecosystem, and help the ecosystem as a whole flourish. This is the difficult path that Silicon Valley’s founders took, and that local companies like D-Wave Systems, Hootsuite,, Mobify and my own company are committed to taking. We might have reached a steeper growth trajectory by moving to the U.S., but wanted to build something great here.

Yes, there’s room for improvement on a variety of fronts north of the border. We need to ramp up investments in education, loosen red tape for importing talent and build up our funding infrastructure. But true entrepreneurs see opportunities where others see problems. They go where everybody isn’t.

In that sense, there are more opportunities in Vancouver in 2016 than in the Silicon Valley of today, precisely because not everybody has seen them. Investment opportunities here are under-exploited compared to the sky-high valuations seen in more prominent centres, a fact that many of smartest (and best funded) VCs are clueing into, bringing new sources of funding to the city. Not all home-grown companies will succeed, but some will — and the payoff is going to be more than just money.

Self-sustaining Engine

We’ve seen that building a technology hub takes time, resources, and innovation, but those investments combine to create a self-sustaining engine for economic growth and advancement. The sum is far greater than the parts.

Vancouver is a young ecosystem, but it’s a closely knit community whose leaders reach out and support one another. It can achieve greatness if it holds to the kind of faith that built Silicon Valley from its humble start. And the same goes for Waterloo, Toronto and the other emerging and established tech hubs in Canada. The potential is, in fact, enormous, if we can see beyond the early hurdles.

There will always be shouts from the sidelines from people who say things can’t be done. But, to borrow a line from Teddy Roosevelt, the credit belongs with he who “spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” This may seem melodramatic, but for entrepreneurs dedicated to building a tech ecosystem in Canada, business is truly more than just business. This is a project fueled as much by passion as by profit, and one that promises extraordinary things in the years ahead.

Toronto is a Cockroach Nest

Sunday, May 1st, 2016

The University of Toronto and RBC recently announced ONRamp, an initiative that will include a startup incubator meant to help entrepreneurs network with investors and each other. ONRamp’s RBC Innovation Hub is the newest among many multilaterally funded programs meant to help startups in a city endowed with world-class academic and financial resources.  

Toronto distinguishes itself as Canada’s financial center, the fourth-largest metropolis in North America, and its namesake university ranks in the world’s top-20. Toronto is also one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, a metric that McKinsey & Co. says supports corporate success.

So where are the Toronto-bred unicorns?


Ranked 17 in the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Report by Compass, Toronto has yet to produce a pre-IPO company valued at $1 billion or more. There’s no unicorn pasture in Toronto; it’s more of a “cockroach” nest. But given the shift away from frenzied VC funding of any startup that grew its user base, this might be a good thing.

Toronto’s Flixel exemplifies the cockroach, a moniker for startups that prioritize revenues over users when it comes to growth. Others include UberFlip and Wattpad. The city has also produced a number of reputable exits, including Kobo, which was bought by Japan’s Ratuken for $315 million,, and VerticalScope.

“It’s about shots on net, and muscling the good shots through i.e. you need a healthy number of seed/A stage companies, and when it comes to scaling you need growth capital,” says Kobo’s founder Michael Serbinis. “Toronto-Waterloo has the former now, but there are few funds here that can write big, later stage cheques.”

Serbinis currently serves as board director for the Toronto-based MaRS Discovery District, an innovation hub that connects startups with investors and corporations and is a founder of LEAGUE, a personal health management platform.

Endangered Species

If VC funding in the first quarter of 2016 is any indication of what’s in store for startups this year, unicorns are becoming an endangered species. KPMG’s latest Venture Pulse report noted that the first quarter of 2016 saw $25.5 billion invested across 1,829 deals, marking the second-straight quarter in which investors dialed back VC funding and activity.

Only 5 new unicorns were minted world-wide in the first quarter of 2016. By comparison, the fourth quarter of 2015 produced 13, while the second and third quarter each produced 25.

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Mark Skapinker, co-founder and managing partner at  Brightspark Ventures, says: “If you look at locations outside of Silicon Valley that have had huge successful companies, it is quite devastating to the surrounding market if they fail at a later stage [like] Nortel in Ottawa, Nokia in Sweden, Blackberry in Waterloo. So, having a unicorn is not always amazing for a city.”

The tougher funding environment will play to Canada’s strengths. The country’s banking system withstood the global financial crisis that began in 2008 while U.S. financial institutions went bust or survived on government support. However, the robust regulatory regime that kept Canada strong throughout the turmoil is a reflection of the conservatism that makes it difficult for all but the most self-sufficient startups – cockroaches, in other words – to get funded.

“Toronto does have a number of cockroach-type companies,” Skapinker said. “It is much harder to get funded in Toronto than somewhere like Silicon Valley and we have a [startup financing] infrastructure that is not very ‘robust’ so companies need to work much harder and be ready for hard times at every stage. That makes them ‘cockroach’ like.”


Shopify Takes Vacant BlackBerry Throne—And What’s Next for Ontario

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

Analysts tempered their expectations in early 2015 when Shopify announced an IPO to raise $100 million. At the time, the e-commerce software company had 165,000 clients ranging from press-on tattoo retailer Tattly to Tesla Motors. If share prices held during the IPO and Shopify retained its $713 million valuation, the offering would be deemed a success.

After the implosion of Nortel and the missteps of BlackBerry, Canada wasn’t exactly a symbol of tech success. Ottawa-based Shopify’s IPO offered a chance to restore some faith in the country’s innovation capability. A free-fall in the price of oil, which was about wipe out tens of thousands of jobs in the energy sector, raised the stakes even higher.

Shopify’s valuation didn’t just hold, share price soared. By the time the IPO was over, the company was valued at $1.9 billion — more than double initial expectations.

Success stories like Shopify underscore the importance of Ontario’s startup ecosystems of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, and Toronto to the economic growth and innovation of the province and nation. They generate wealth and attract foreign investment.

In 2015, Canadian venture capital investments hit a 10-year high thanks to 536 deals totalling $2.3 billion (Canadian). Of that amount, $1.25 billion was invested in Ontario, according to the Ministry of Research and Innovation.

Direct Economic Returns and Job Creation

Ontario tech ecosystems also provide significant, direct economic returns and spur job creation. According to the Kauffman report, The Importance of Young Firms for Economic Growth, new businesses account for 20% of gross job creation in the U.S., while research findings from Nesta in the U.K. indicate that 6% of young, high-growth firms create half of all jobs in that country.

These patterns align with the economic impact seen in Ontario, as noted by the Ministry. Within the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), 5,899 new jobs were created and an additional 8,970 jobs/year were retained over the last two years. Furthermore, through the risk capital programs currently in place, the ministry expects a return of $10 for every dollar invested.

While startups make substantial contributions to Ontario’s economy, the province also has much to offer tech startups. Software engineers making less than half of what their Silicon Valley counterparts do are abundant, and this will help keep the operating costs of startups down.

Cultural diversity within the province brings different perspectives and skill sets to the table. Federal and provincial R&D tax credits are generous – a company spending $210,000 (Canadian) on R&D could receive a refund of $135,000 in investment tax credits.

Given the increasing desire by the national government to support Canadian tech, and the province’s recent investment in the IBM Innovation Incubator Initiative, the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, and Toronto tech ecosystems may improve their global clout.

While tech companies are spread out throughout the province, clusters of high-performing startups exist within the Kitchener-Waterloo, Ottawa, and Toronto areas. These regions are producing internationally recognized tech companies with high valuations other than Shopify, including Freshbooks, Open Text, Kik Interactive, and Wattpad.

The characteristics of Ontario’s main tech ecosystems, and their respective economic impacts, are outlined below.


Shopify was not the only Canadian tech company in the spotlight in 2015. Kitchener-Waterloo’s Kik secured unicorn status, and is one of two Canadian companies currently holding that title. Altogether, the Kitchener-Waterloo ecosystem has produced 1,845 new tech startups, thanks to the era ushered into the region by BlackBerry.

Communitech, an innovation centre, home to 1,000 startups, was co-founded by regional entrepreneurs including Jim Balsillie, former of CEO of RIM, the makers of BlackBerry. Today, BlackBerry’s former employees fill the workspaces of the region’s most successful tech startups including D2L and Freshbooks.

From 2014 to 2015, financing in Kitchener-Waterloo grew 97%, compared to the Canadian average of 5%. Although Kitchener-Waterloo is no longer considered a top 20 tech ecosystem, its drop from the ranking follows the removal of “startup output per capita” as a performance metric, not poor performance. It retains a growth index of 2.45, higher than half of the world’s top 20 ecosystems.

A 2013 PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey attributes more than 20,000 jobs to tech companies located in Kitchener-Waterloo. One of the biggest components of its success is the University of Waterloo, which accounts for $2.614 billion (Canadian) in annual “economic impact,” according to the study. The university’s comprehensive co-op program churns out top entrepreneurs and engineers sought by Silicon Valley’s tech giants, and its incubator, Velocity, has contributed to the success of startups like Kik and Vidyard.

Despite its impressive overall performance, a number of factors prevent Kitchener-Waterloo from fulfilling its potential. Techvibes notes that startups in the region raise a quarter of the funding received by their U.S. counterparts, and are four times less likely to obtain financing. In Silicon Valley, the bulk of angel investors are former startup CEOs who reinvest in the ecosystem.

In the Kitchener-Waterloo region, only 20% of former CEOs are investing in 80% of the companies, suggesting that an underlying fear of failure is hampering the region’s success.

In addition, its small size and relative isolation from Toronto is preventing the region’s startups from connecting with funding and resources. Infrequent, one-way trains hinder easy transit between Kitchener-Waterloo and Toronto, and a high-speed rail initiative connecting the two tech ecosystems will take 10 years to build and cost $2-3 billion (Canadian).

By contrast, Slovakia has entered discussions with Hyperloop Transportation Technologies to build a high-tech train that will carry passengers from Bratislava and Vienna or Budapest in 10 minutes or less for $200-300 million by 2020.


Shopify’s success has revived some of the recognition that Canada’s capital city once received as a tech ecosystem, and the area buzzes with hopes of potential IPOs in the coming years. Ottawa hosts 1,700 tech companies, ranging from startups such as Series B, funded Kilpfolio, as well as being the location for the regional offices of multinationals including Apple and Facebook.

Ottawa also has the highest concentration of science and engineering employment in North America, outside of Silicon Valley, perhaps due to the numerous multinationals that also make Ottawa their Canadian headquarters, including IBM, Cisco, and Ericsson.

The Conference Board of Canada estimates Ottawa’s tech industry enjoyed a robust 8% annual growth over the past 5 years, higher than the global annual tech market growth rates. Aside from Shopify, its most notable and successful startup, Ottawa companies brought in upwards of $100 million (Canadian) in VC financing in 2015, including Corsa Technology, GaN Systems and You.i TV.

While the Ottawa tech ecosystem has experienced a recent bout of success, it still has a long way to go. Ottawa enjoyed its ‘Silicon Valley of the North’ status for number of years with notable examples including Nortel.

When the dotcom bubble burst in 2000, Ottawa’s pedigree fell. To date, there are no direct flights from Ottawa to San Francisco, an unnecessary obstacle between startups and Silicon Valley VCs. During the 2000s, Ottawa experienced dozens of venture-backed startup failures and former giant tech companies were either downsized, sold off, or disappeared.

For the most part, recovery has been slow and bootstrapped. If Ottawa wants to regain its global status in the sector, it needs to capitalize on recent success by pursuing venture capital both within and outside the city. At the very least, it needs a direct flight to San Francisco.


According to the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking report, Toronto ranks 17th among the top 20 global tech ecosystems, the highest of any Canadian city. Canada’s most- (and North America’s fourth most-) populous city hosts between 2,500 to 4,000 active tech startups, with notable examples including Nymi and Chematria.

Efforts to cluster startups in the downtown core are underway. Increased support for incubators and accelerators such as Ryerson DMZ, home to IBM’s Bluemix Garage, has created 1,833 jobs. Foreign investments, driven by the elimination of taxes on capital gains, are bringing more money into the province. In 2015, Toronto saw a 30% increase in total venture deals from 2014. These are all signals that the city’s tech ecosystem is headed in the right direction.

However, unlike Kitchener-Waterloo and Ottawa, Toronto has yet to produce a unicorn. Despite efforts to cluster startups, tech companies are still dispersed throughout the city and its surrounding suburbs. An underdeveloped transit infrastructure is seen as an obstacle.

Unlike other global tech ecosystems such as Tel Aviv, Toronto lacks founders with hypergrowth-company experience, an important factor in scaling up. Toronto dropped 9 spots in the 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking report, largely due to a slow growth rate, which lagged behind Berlin, Sao Paulo and Bangalore, among others.

Support for billion-dollar companies:

In the near future, the current decline of the Canadian dollar could make Ontario’s tech ecosystems more lucrative in the eyes of foreign investors who contributed $591 million in venture capital in 2015, as reported by the Research and Innovation Ministry. Disruptive tech startups in emerging industries such as fintech, connected cars, artificial intelligence, IoT, and smart city technologies will have a critical economic impact in the next 5 to 10 years.

In response, Canada’s federal government has identified the need to attract large corporations to participate in incubators and accelerators as one of six key priorities to ensure Canadian tech startups become billion dollar companies. This could translate into more strategic partnerships that would yield benefits experienced in other global tech ecosystems, such as Singapore.

There’s one wildcard for the health of Ontario tech innovation: how the province’s basic income pilot program could impact startups and entrepreneurs.

In the meantime, Ontario’s entrepreneurs face the same headwinds hitting those in the U.S. and elsewhere in terms of funding. The volume of venture capital investment in North America dropped off sharply in the last quarter of 2015. A joint report released by KPMG International and CB Insights pointed out that a number of IPOs fell short of expectations. It also stated,“VC investors could be less willing to invest in innovative companies without a far stronger business case for how their new business models should create profit over the longer term.”