Senior Analyst at Verdex Capital
I was born/grew up in: Toronto, Ontario
I now live in: Toronto, Ontario
I completed my training/education at: University of Toronto (HBSc), University of Western Ontario (MSc)
Describe what you do at work.
I evaluate technologies behind new agriculture startups to see if the companies can do what they say they can do. I conduct commercial due diligence, and source deals for our venture fund. Basically I look at the research conducted by companies to see if based on the data, I can draw the same conclusions. I also spend a lot of time talking to entrepreneurs, researchers, government people, and other funds to identify new companies we can invest in. My job is essentially identify new technology companies our fund can put money into so that these companies can build great new products for agriculture.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people’s lives?
Venture capitalists make it possible for companies to grow and develop their products. My job helps people by helping companies bring new and needed technology to help feed the world in a more sustainable way! It's very rewarding.
What motivates you in your career?
I really enjoying seeing all of the new technologies being developed in agriculture, and being on the VERY cutting edge of what is happening in science and technology development. It's really really cool to know about products before the public hears about them, and use my scientific training to evaluate the merits of these products. It's also very rewarding because the sector in which my fund invests (Agricultural Technology) has direct and tangible effects on the lives, and health of everyone on the planet. So the companies and products I invest in really do have the potential to help billions of people in the long run, that's an incredible feeling!
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I have an undergrad specializing in Developmental Biology, and a masters of science in Cell and Molecular Bio. From the time I was in elementary school, I wanted to be a research scientist. But when I realized that there are very few jobs for researchers in Canada, I changed course. It was a very tough decision not to do my PhD, but in the ended I decided to take a job doing Business Development for a pharmaceutical services company after graduation. It wasn't want I wanted, but because I have an outgoing personality I was able to do the job. I then worked for two years at an Agricultural Technology accelerator, helping startup companies in Agricultural Technology figure out how to get their products to market and build their businesses. While I was at the accelerator, I met one of the Managing Partners at the fund I work for now, and was recruited to join the team as a Sr. Analyst, and here I am!
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I love walking my dog, running, skiing, camping, cooking, and reading. I love having my friends over for dinner, and playing European strategy board games. I've also recently taken up weight lifting, because being strong is cool.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
Know what you THINK you want to do and work towards it. But remember to be flexible, you never know where an opportunity will take you. It's important to help people as much as you possibly can, because this (more than anything) leads to opportunities opening up for you.