On October 24th, Plaza Ventures hosted its annual LP RoundTable and CEO Summit at McKinsey & Company’s Toronto Experience Studio. With over 70 investors, 20 companies and several partners in attendance at various points throughout the day, this year’s event marked our largest assembly to date.
The opening presentation by our Managing Partner, Rob Richards, provided a general industry update that touched on recent trends in venture and opportunities for PV, followed by an informative report on our funds, the exciting growth of each of our portfolio companies, and our sustained mission to help shift generational wealth to the technology industry in order to fuel the next wave of leaders. The conversation generated stimulating questions and insights from the group, as well as enthusiasm for Plaza Ventures’ unique model within the growth-stage ecosystem, that has been tailored for private investors.
As the Roundtable concluded, the CEOs of our portfolio companies arrived for a networking session with our LPs. Our operating ethos is centered on access, transparency and alignment of interests. By creating a setting for our investors and CEOs to independently interact, we provide visibility, promote confidence and encourage follow-up for connections and advice. The collective wealth of knowledge, operating experience and rolodexes of our LPs are a significant value-add for our companies.
Following the networking session, we hosted a 4-hour intimate gathering of the executive teams of our portfolio companies. This year’s CEO Summit was facilitated by speakers Ernie Cormier and Michael Raw, both of whom have lived through scaling companies from start-ups to thousands of employees, and have led accomplished careers as executives in the technology industry.
The conversation within this open forum was deep, mature and thought-provoking. Several themes emerged. First, our CEOs acknowledged that leading a growth-stage company can be a lonely job. Very rarely do they have the opportunity to speak with others who have been through similar experiences and challenges. Second, irrespective of leading different types of businesses, our CEOs identified that their scaling stories and hurdles encountered at particular stages of growth were quite similar. Third, ‘organizational design’ and ‘the segmentation of everything’ were two very relevant discussion topics.
To conclude the day, our CEOs were invited to join 30 other prominent growth-stage CEOs at an exclusive dinner co-hosted with Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a premier U.S. growth-stage VC. This great group of emerging leaders wined, dined, and engaged in a fireside chat led by Corey Thomas, CEO of Rapid7, and TCV General Partner, Tim McAdam, discussing “Scaling to $100M & Beyond”. The evening was a topical and wonderful conclusion to the day’s agenda.