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Posted October 14, 2008
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Small Business/Investors

There’s Money and Good Deals to be Had in Spite of Rocky Economic Times

Markham - Economic times may be uncertain and banks may be tightening their business-lending belts, but later this month, entrepreneurs from across the GTA seeking money to grow their business will have a unique opportunity to mingle with investors looking to infuse funds into promising local companies.

“Most sources of investments today – such as banks, venture capitalists, private equities and even some Angel investors – are tightening due to the current market conditions, however, there are a large number of Angels out there who feel that current business valuations are getting better and will bring them a greater return on investment,” said Matey Nedkov, President of Nedcorp Holdings and a Founding Director of Maple Leaf Angels. Angels are self-made, high net-worth individuals who typically invest, or co-invest with other Angels, between $50,000 and $500,000.

Maple Leaf Angels is one of dozens of investment groups and individual investors who will have their eyes wide open to consider a range of investment prospects – pre-revenue and early revenue companies – at the following event:

ISCM Money Chase: Investment Forum

Full-day conference bringing together early-stage companies with investors and other financing and business professionals

Thursday, October 23, 2008
Angus Glen Golf & Country Club, 10080 Kennedy Road, Markham.
7:00 a.m. registration and breakfast.
8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. program

A keynote address by John Wilkinson, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation.
The Money Chase – organized by the Innovation Synergy Centre in Markham (ISCM) Investment Network – will include formal company pitches to investors, “speed dating” for entrepreneurs, tabletop booths and extensive networking.

One company scheduled for a show-and-tell is Toronto-based Nulogy Corp., developer of PackManager, innovative supply chain software for companies that specialize in the design and assembly of retail aisle displays and other co-packed merchandise.

“We have developed a proven product, deployed satisfied customers and have generated excitement in the industry. Now it’s a matter of scaling beyond geographies,” says Jason Tham, Nulogy Chief Executive Officer, explaining that his company is looking for funds to accelerate its expansion plans and move to the next level of growth.

Working closely with the contract packaging industry since 2003, Nulogy has grown at a rate of 65 per cent per year. With the launch of the latest version of PackManager, Nulogy earned the 2008 Red Herring Top 50 award as one of the most innovative and promising companies in Canada, according to the California-based media company. Much of that success came from identifying a problem in the contract packaging marketplace and creating a feature-rich solution that is currently winning acclaim for its ability to help co-packers reduce costs, win business and increase overall performance, Tham explained.

Now the company is working with ISCM to fine-tune its go-to-market expansion strategy and marketing message, and Tham says he’s hoping to meet an investor at the Money Chase forum who’s equally excited by the growth potential ahead.

“We’re not just looking for financing, but for ‘smart’ money,” he says, noting that Nulogy is open to the idea of an investor playing a more active role in its business. “Toronto has a wealth of knowledgeable people who’ve been there and done that, and we aim to tap into that expertise.”

The company has already leveraged the experience of ISCM mentor Jane Gertner, a Managing Partner at Strategic Mentor Group (www.strategicmentors.com), whose background in the manufacturing private label industry was a perfect fit for Nulogy.

“Jason and his team are tremendously mature, button-down professional managers who are passionate about building their business,” says Gertner. “They have something strong to offer the marketplace and they also have a solid value proposition for investors based on a strong payback and exit strategy.”

It will be up to the participants to close any potential deals struck at the ISCM Money Chase, but event organizers are confident the experience will provide an excellent opportunity for up-and-coming businesses like Nulogy to meet potential financing sources at a time when traditional avenues may be less available. “The ultimate goal of the forum is to stimulate growth among Canada’s small and medium businesses, which are the backbone of the Canadian economy,” explains Catarina von Maydell, Director of the ISCM Investment Network.

For more information about the ISCM Money Chase: Investment Forum, please visit www.iscm.ca/moneychase. Registration is $95, including breakfast and lunch.

© Copyright 2008/Exchange Morning Post/Exchange Business Communications Inc.
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