Brightspark Blog

Inside the Mind: Understanding the Pivot

Posted by Julian Legrand on 3/2/17 4:15 PM

Pivot is a word that tends to be thrown around. You might have heard it in an infamous Friends episode, in basketball and, more recently, in the startup world.

Our Managing Partner Mark Skapinker is no stranger to the term. Like many experienced VCs, Mark started his career on the other side of the table as an entrepreneur in the ‘80s. He was the bright mind behind Delrina—a Canadian tech darling that created over 800 jobs and sold to Symantec for $500M in 1995.

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Topics: startups, venture capital, narrative, Learning Room, throwback

Breaking down our 66% net IRR

Posted by Brightspark on 2/28/17 4:11 PM

Today, we’re delighted to announce Brightspark’s 10 year performance of 66% net internal rate of return (IRR).

Because Brightspark as a VC firm has taken a few different forms in the last 10 years - two “traditional” funds and a new model of investment featuring single purpose funds - it took a little bit of elbow grease to calculate a net IRR we were confident was fair and transparent. Here’s a breakdown of our approach.

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Topics: venture capital, Brightspark news, finance, investor, returns

Inside the mind: Relationships and Venture Capital

Posted by Julian Legrand on 2/14/17 1:15 PM

In many ways, building a business is like building a wild and exciting relationship. There are ups and downs, twists and turns, and strangely, some adventures that take you in directions you never expected—in the startup community, we call those pivots.

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Topics: Opinion, venture capital, Learning Room

Venture Capital 101: Making Sense of VC Returns

Posted by Eleonore Jarry-Ferron on 1/31/17 3:02 PM

Venture capital returns are notoriously tricky to report and analyze. As I was working to prepare the Brightspark year-end reports, I looked back on our performance over the last 10 years (you can find a breakdown of our 66% IRR here) and thought it would make sense to first shed some light on the complexities of VC returns and what they can mean.

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Topics: venture capital, finance, Learning Room, tips

Artificial Intelligence: The Future is Now

Posted by Mark Skapinker on 1/19/17 5:15 PM

If there’s one thing I have learned in my 30+ years as an investor in startups, it’s that you must give yourself a set of ground rules to adhere to – your investment manifesto. At Brightspark, we outline a set of “non-negotiable” criteria that guide our investments, and I believe it’s been a key factor to our success. The main criteria of selection will always be a team that we firmly “believe in”, and we distilled this rule over the years–along with lessons learned the hard way–to usually only invest in repeat entrepreneurs. Our manifesto also includes investing in markets that we think are at the right stage for investment.

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Topics: venture capital, Tech trends, Artificial Intelligence

Wisdom and tough love on the Startup Canada Podcast 

Posted by Brightspark on 1/17/17 12:04 PM

“Are you going to change the world? The reality is, if you’re going to succeed in this business, you need to dedicate 24 hours/day for the next 5 or 10 years of your life. You need to throw absolutely every piece of energy into it so you may as well take on a big idea, because it’s as hard to do a small idea as a big idea.”

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Topics: venture capital, tips

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Read the musings of our team and learn about what's happening at Brightspark. We share our thoughts on Venture Capital, startups and everything tech. 

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