Made At McGill
Charlie Feng on investing $1B, 20-minute term sheets, and data-driven decisions
On today’s show, our guest is Charlie Feng, co-founder at Clearbanc, a venture capital firm led by Michele Romanow of Dragon’s Den fame. Clearbanc is the biggest ecommerce investor in the world. In 2019, they had the goal of “backing 2,000 businesses with $1 billion in non-dilutive capital by the end of the year.” And as you’ll hear in the conversation that ensues, they succeeded.Our conversation spans across Charlie’s career growth, lessons learned from his previous startups, and even some personal development stuff.Of course we also dive into how Clearbanc is different from other investment firms including their “20 minute term sheet”, the 2 metrics that they base their investment decisions on, and how they funded 8 times more female founders than the venture capital industry average.To learn more about Clearbanc or join their portfolio, visit clearbanc.com
Remix Snacks: Chocolate bars without the downsides
Our guests are Jamie Lee and Isabelle Lam. They’re both registered dietitians that graduated from McGill, and together they founded Remix Snacks, taking on the challenge of creating delicious snacks that combine the delicate taste of fine dark chocolate, with the nutritional benefits of their favourite plant-based protein – beans. They have a double-sided mission of making snacks healthier and protecting the environment.Our conversation spans across their founding story, how McGill helped them, and their experience behind the scenes on Dragon’s Den. They also share their insights on the consumer-packaged-goods industry, how to iterate on taste, and what they’d do differently if they had to restart their company tomorrow.To learn more about their company, visit remixsnacks.ca
Anna Chif on McKinsey, AI, and Dialogue's mental health product
Anna Chif is Co-Founder and Chief Strategy & Product Officer at Dialogue, Canada’s leading telehealth company. Dialogue provides progressive, premium and affordable virtual healthcare to Canadian businesses for their employees, accessible on mobile and online. This past summer they raised a $40M Series B Financing Round to expand to other markets including Europe.Previously she had founded Anna Cuisine, which was a healthy meal delivery service. And before that, she was at McKinsey.Our conversation spans across transferable skills she developed at McKinsey, lessons she learned with her previous startup, the founding story of Dialogue, and some of the exciting products they recently launched.This episode is brought to you by Interac, Canada's leading payment brand. Interac is chosen an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money. To learn more, visit interac.ca.
Emilie Boutros: CFO and General Partner at TandemLaunch
The Made At McGill podcast is brought to you by Interac, Canada's leading payment brand. Interac is chosen an average of 16 million times daily to pay and exchange money. To learn more, visit interac.ca.This episode features Emilie Boutros - who’s currently a general partner and CFO at TandemLaunch, which is a startup foundry and seed fund based in Montreal. They work with driven entrepreneurs to turn research from the world’s best universities into exceptional technology companies. Last week, they raised another $30M to support the creation of 20 new Canadian technology startups.Emilie is also a board member of several AI-based companies, including Contxtful, Sportlogiq, fluent.ai, and Deeplite. She graduated from McGill’s math program in 1999, before going on to complete the chartered accounting program at HEC, and performing in several accounting / finance roles before going on to become employee number 4 at TandemLaunch. If you’re interested in building a company with them, visit tandemlaunch.com.Topics discussed: management lessons she’s learned over the course of her career, how to work with a remote team, what the day-to-day of a board member is like, and how entrepreneurs can deal with their board better. We also talk about the secret sauce of TandemLaunch and their approach when building deep technology startups.
BONUS: Scott H Young on effective learning, education, Cal Newport, mental models, and more
In this bonus episode we talk about a bunch of different things, including: the 9 principles of effective learning, mental models, his friendship with author Cal Newport, motivation, cultural differences in storytelling between the West and the East, education, the mysteries of consciousness, and why we can form analogies between vastly different things.Scott H Youngis an entrepreneur and author of Wall Street Journal best-sellerUltralearning. This bonus episode is (a LOT of) extra content from my interview with him. You can learn more about Scott at his blogScottHYoung.com, and his bookUltralearningis in bookstores everywhere and of course, on Amazon.Scott is most well-known for a couple of things:Designing and completing “The MIT Challenge”, which involved teaching himself MIT’s undergraduate computer science curriculum in 1 year instead of the standard 4 without taking any classes.He also did “The Year Without English”, where in 12 months he learned 4 different languages in 4 different countries in complete immersion with little to no training in those languages beforehand.
How to become a world-class entrepreneur in one year
This episode is a definitive guide on how to develop your entrepreneurial skills: Scott walks us through the 9 principles of effective learning, and how to apply them to become a world-class entrepreneur.Scott H Youngis an entrepreneur and author of Wall Street Journal best-sellerUltralearning. You can learn more about him or read his free content at his blogScottHYoung.com, and his bookUltralearningis in bookstores everywhere and on Amazon.He is most well-known for a couple of things:Designing and completing“The MIT Challenge”, which involved teaching himself MIT’s undergraduate computer science curriculum in 1 year instead of the standard 4 without taking any classes.He also did“The Year Without English”, where in 12 months he learned 4 different languages in 4 different countries in complete immersion with little to no training in those languages beforehand.
Dax Dasilva: Origins of the Unseparator (Lightspeed, NeverApart)
This is the full story of how Dax Dasilva got to where he is now. He's the CEO of Lightspeed, which IPO'd in March & sits at a $3B+ market cap. He also founded NeverApart, a nonprofit cultural centre that aims to unite people through art. This episode explores all the untold stories you don't hear about in other interviews - it's not about business, it's about the human and his philosophy.His new book Age of Union is on Amazon, or any bookstore.
A conversation with Francis Davidson (Sonder)
This is a conversation I had with Francis Davidson when he visited McGill last year, and the subject matter spans across: The founding of SonderHis influences including Bill Gates, Elon Musk, and Jeff BezosHow building Sonder and living in San Francisco has changed his worldviewUsing VR to reshape educationThe 4 major activities he does to continue to develop his skills as an entrepreneur
Vent Over Tea: Real Talk with Strangers
Vent Over Tea is a social enterprise founded at McGill that offers a free active listening service in Montreal (and recently, Calgary) to anybody who wants to talk through their struggles. They won 1st place in the Social Enterprise Track in the McGill Dobson Cup 2016, and have been featured in the Montreal Gazette as well as Bell Media.The 3 founders: Chloe Chow, Sarah Fennessey, and Nimra Khan walk us through they journey.