The Need for Management Talent

By Ross Finlay

Early stage companies face two critical issues – lack of money and lack of management experience. Financing is available from a number of sources: friends and family, angel investors, government support (NRC-IRAP, ACOA, Innovacorp, NBIF, Innovation PEI etc.). However, many early stage companies in the region suffer from a lack of experience and management talent and do not have the same kind of sources for this talent. Typically, a company moving to commercialization is headed by young entrepreneurs sometimes coming straight from university or are in fact University professors who have developed an exciting new product but lack the management expertise to take it out of the university.

The Catch 22 situation for these young companies is they lack the financial resources to hire the talent through either employment or consulting agreements. On the other hand, investors are reluctant to provide the financial resources to young companies that don’t have the management talent.

First Angel Network, ACOA and the National Research Council are looking to the future for these companies. Important to the future is the effective implementation of business plans and commercialization of products through highly effective companies. Key to the success of these companies is the on-going management support that can be provided as they translate their ideas and vision from theory into reality. They require assistance in implementing their visions.

There exists a need for strong mentorship targeted toward small to medium sized businesses. Many of our economic development agencies offer these services. First Angel Network is looking to provide a formal offering of mentorship drawing from our pool of high-level business executives and successful entrepreneurs. This mentorship program will provide support and increase chances of success following the comprehensive mentoring support they will have received.