Category Archives: Event Review

A Recipe for Success: Helping Investors & Entrepreneurs Prepare for PDAC 2017

As many seasoned mining professionals know, two of the key ingredients to survive the often-harsh world of mining and exploration are hope and enthusiasm. At this year’s PDAC conference in Toronto, however, there was something more in the air – a feeling that has been missing for some time –  excitement.

Despite political uncertainties at the start of the year, prices for commodities and precious metals have rebounded enough compared to last year to give the mining and investment communities many more reasons to smile and, most importantly, to make deals. And it appears that deals are happening. In the fourth quarter of 2016, for example, CSE-listed companies in the mining sector managed to raise over $30 million signaling that deal flow, while modest, is improved over the same point a year prior for junior and small cap companies.

With the PDAC typically drawing in well over 20,000 delegates (this year they pulled in 24,000), hundreds of exhibitors and dozens of sessions and networking opportunities, it’s not enough to walk the walk – to get the most out of this show, companies and investors must also talk the talk.

In recognition of how important (and daunting) the PDAC can be for small cap mining firms looking to raise capital or for investors trying to navigate opportunities, the CSE, along with several like-minded event partners and sponsors, sought to help by putting the right ingredients in place to enable entrepreneurs and investors to have a positive PDAC experience.

PreDAC: Building Connections Early

Whether it’s polishing a pitch or simply mastering the subtle art of balancing finger foods, a drink and a conversation with an industry colleague, networking with the right people at the right time makes all the difference to an entrepreneur. Of course, it helps to get a head start.

To that end, the CSE along with its event partners, aimed to help PDAC attendees – as well as those who might not be able to attend the convention itself – connect with one another at two pre-PDAC sessions, known as PreDAC, in Toronto and Vancouver.

In each case, not only was there a solid turnout, but attendees were genuinely excited to connect and discuss the industry and outlook for the near term ahead of the whirlwind that is the PDAC. Based on the level of interest and enthusiasm with attendees of these events, PreDAC sessions were on point in getting folks in top form for PDAC 2017.

In Toronto, PreDAC was held at the fun East Thirty-Six resto-bar. Co-hosted by OCI Group, the session included insightful presentations from Dr. Francis Manns, Consultant & Independent Geologist; Krystal Ramsden, Mining Analyst at Extract Capital; Peter Campbell, Investment Banker at OCI Inc; Lawrence Devon Smith, Consulting Engineer; and Katherine Fedorowicz, VP Marketing & Investor Relations at Red Cloud, Klondike Strike Inc. To view more images from PreDAC Toronto, check out the Facebook album here.

PreDAC Vancouver took place at event co-host Clark Wilson LLP’s scenic downtown offices. Joe Mazumdar, Analyst and Co-Editor at Exploration Insights and Matt Zabloski, Founder and Lead Portfolio Manager of Delbrook Capital, provided attendees with their perspectives on what to look at when evaluating a mining company as well as the investment landscape for natural resources respectively.  To view more images from PreDAC Vancouver, check out the Facebook album here.

Following the presentations at both the Toronto and Vancouver events, attendees enjoyed networking opportunities, appies and drinks with industry peers, investment professionals and others during the networking session.

The CSE at PDAC 2017

PDAC is always a busy but this year was busier than most for the Canadian Securities Exchange. In addition to exhibiting at the Investor’s Exchange, the CSE hosted the increasingly popular PDAC Investor Luncheon, launched a special edition of the CSE Quarterly and co-sponsored an evening networking reception. All this in addition to the many meetings with investors, entrepreneurs and other industry professionals in and around the convention.

PDAC Investor Luncheon

The PDAC Investor Luncheon continued its growth in both attendance and popularity again in 2017, making it a must-attend event for those interested in the CSE as well as companies listed on the CSE.

In addition to a delicious buffet, attendees were treated to quick pitch-style presentations from several CSE-listed company executives, as well as a keynote special presentation on raising capital in the US by guest speakers Kenneth Sam from Dorsey Whitney LLP and Chris King from OTC Markets Group.

Exhibition Floor

On the exhibition floor, the infamous CSE booth and lectern made their return to the PDAC. With a larger crowd at this year’s show, there was a noticeable bump in traffic to the CSE booth. In addition to the exchange itself, the CSE was also well represented around the convention floor with nine CSE-listed companies exhibiting.

Spotted this year on the show floor were:

Networking Reception

It wasn’t all work at the PDAC. CSE team along with friends from MNP LLP and Aird & Berlis LLP got together at Taverna Mercatto to celebrate another successful PDAC. This event, like many others around the show, was also busy and offered up the chance to recount stories of the day and to make plans for future meetings.

Recipe for Success

PDAC 2017 was undeniably great for the CSE as well as for CSE-listed issuers and the growing number of investors who are interested in the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

As this world-class event continues to grow, so too does the importance of getting the most out of the time spent at the show.  Judging by the response from industry experts, investment community professionals and investors who attended the CSE’s events, the extra support these activities provided might just be the extra ingredient needed to stay a step ahead.

Event Review: CSE Go Public Boot Camp – Vancouver Edition

For many entrepreneurs, the decision to go public is a significant milestone. Getting to that point, however, requires sound preparation and the right partners around the table.

Fortunately for those seeking to go public in Canada, there is now more choice, innovation and value than there has ever been in the past.

To help entrepreneurs navigate the journey to going public, the Canadian Securities Exchange organized their first ever Go Public Boot Camp. This event, co-sponsored by McMillan LLP, brought interested entrepreneurs together with a great team of thought leaders from across the capital markets landscape who offered their perspectives on important components of the public listing process.

Included in the list of presenters were:

  • James Black – VP Listings Development, CSE
  • James Munro – Partner at McMillan LLP
  • Quinn Martin – Audit Principal at Davidson & Company LLP
  • Simon Thomas – VP at Computershare Canada
  • Mark Faulkner – VP Listings and Regulation, CSE
  • Justin Meiklem – VP of Sales and Marketing at Stockhouse
  • Bryan Henry – Senior Investment Advisor, PI Financial
  • Brayden Sutton – President Sutton Ventures

Collectively, these presenters covered topics relevant to the process of taking a company public. Subjects discussed included how to properly prepare financial statements for a public listing, the importance of working with right brokers, what it takes to successfully structure a capital raise and much more.

To view the full set of presentations, check out the videos below or visit the CSE YouTube channel here.

Alongside the presenters and panelists were members of the CSE team including Mark Faulkner, Vice President Listings and Regulation, who provided an in-depth look at the requirements and better practices for successfully listing on the CSE.

Unlike a fitness boot camp, where the goal is to run around, attendees of the Go Public Boot Camp were glued to their seats. The thoughtful speakers in combination with the Q&A session definitely resonated with the audience, who were keenly interested in hearing about the shifting landscape of capital markets and how to overcome hurdles to raising capital in Canada.

All entrepreneurs know that learning ‘on the job’ comes with the territory.  For attendees of the CSE Go Public Boot Camp, in addition to learning what it takes to go public, the more valuable lesson learned was how to prepare to do so well. That is a distinction that can save time, money and ultimately bring entrepreneurs one step closer to reaching that significant milestone.

Event Review: CSE Day Toronto & Vancouver Spring 2016

In markets, timing is everything. With re-energized commodities prices and an evolving regulatory landscape, the spring edition of the CSE Day events in Toronto and Vancouver offered a well-timed opportunity for CSE-listed company representatives and investment professionals to assess the capital raising environment for emerging public companies.

The value proposition for attendees of these events continues to ring true. CSE Day sessions this year attracted strong participation from CSE-listed companies and investment professionals who look forward to the opportunity to  share knowledge, get connected, and be inspired.

CSE Day Toronto: Focus on Finance

CSE Day Toronto took place in the heart of Bay Street and once again drew a diverse audience representing the spectrum of the investment community.

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Based on feedback from attendees of previous sessions, this year the CSE decided to evolve the agenda to focus on addressing issues relevant to companies looking to raise early stage capital.

Specifically, two discussion panels as well as a presentation on the RegA+ roll out in the US comprised the first half of CSE Day Toronto followed by a ‘Pitch Reception’ and networking event to close out the day.

Navigating the Terrain

The first of the two presentations entitled “The New Realities of Public Company Financing” discussed investment dealer and prospectus exemptions, crowdfunding trends and an overview of the Ontario Offering Memorandum (NI 45-106).

Moderated by Michael Dolphin (WeirFoulds), panel members Raj Dewan (WeirFoulds), Jason Saltzman (Dentons), Richard Jozefacki (Foster & Associates), Ari Todd (Frontier Merchant Capital) and Stephanie Mann (Stockhouse) discussed new prospectus exemptions as well as the current opportunities and challenges facing crowdfunding in Canada.

CSE Day Toronto Panel Discussions

In the second panel discussion, entitled “Enhancing Liquidity – Challenges and Options” moderator Elizabeth Naumovski (Caldwell Securities) explored different aspects of markets including the role of IR in facilitating liquidity, market makers and their role in marketplaces as well as the impact of electronic trading on junior markets. Participants on this panel included James Beattie (D&D Securities), Cathy Hume (CHF IR), Adam Schmidt (CSE) and Dave Houlding (Independent Trading Group).

To complement the financing panel discussion, Jason Paltrowitz, Executive VP of the OTC Markets Group in the US, provided an overview of Regulation A+, which has introduced equity crowdfunding in the US as the last stage of the JOBS Act. Reg A+ allows companies to raise up to $50 million in a public offering traditionally only reserved for participation by accredited investors.

A noteworthy example of the promise of this new funding mechanism cited by Paltrowitz was Elio Motors. Elio Motors raised US $17M and reached a market cap of approximately $1B shortly thereafter.

CSE Day Vancouver: Succeeding as an Entrepreneur

West of the Rockies, CSE Day Vancouver featured a slightly different format than Toronto. An exclusive executive lunch presentation was held at the historic Vancouver Club in which attendees were treated to a great meal as well as food-for-thought on entrepreneurship and business success from renowned entrepreneur and speaker Peter Legge.

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Among the highlights of his presentation were numerous anecdotes from his own business experience, each revolving around a common theme of “becoming what you think about the most.” All the attendees of the executive lunch also received a complimentary copy of Legge’s book entitled “Lunch with Joe”.

In addition to the presentation, Richard Carleton, CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange provided a brief update on the exciting online initiatives being undertaken by the CSE, including enhancing the Exchange’s digital presence.

CSE Day Vancouver Spring 2016

To that end, there was a new feature of the CSE Day experience which was broadcast live via the app Periscope.

CSE Twitter followers and many more from across the globe were able to tune in to the live broadcast of the networking session and engage directly with VP of Listings Development James Black as he navigated the event venue. Live broadcasts of the pitch presentations were also provided online.

Pitching for Success

In keeping with CSE Day tradition, several CSE-listed companies also presented their company pitches to event attendees.

For those not familiar with the CSE pitch presentations, company representatives have the opportunity to tell their firm’s story to attendees within two minutes. Not only do firms who present benefit from the practice of their pitch to an important audience, the CSE also records and makes these ‘pitches’ available on the CSE YouTube channel here.

In total, CSE Toronto saw 13 companies present while CSE Vancouver had 12 provide company pitches. Below is a list of those firms who participated in each city as well as videos of company pitches.

Toronto – April 28, 2016

  1. Augustine Ventures Inc. (WAW) – Bob Dodds, President and CEO
  2. Urbana Corporation (URB) – Thomas S. Caldwell, President and CEO
  3. Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc. (SL) – Zach Stadnyk, Corporate Finance
  4. BacTech Environmental Corporation (BAC) – Ross Orr, President and CEO
  5. Beleave Inc. (BE) – Roger Ferreira, CEO
  6. Dundee Sustainable Technologies Inc. (DST) – John Mercer, CEO
  7. PUDO Inc. (PDO) – Frank Coccia, CEO
  8. West Red Lake Gold Mines Inc. (RLG) – John Kontak, President and CEO
  9. Taku Gold Corp. (TAK) – Zachery Dingsdale, President and CEO
  10. Victory Nickel Inc. (NI) – Sean Stokes, VP – Public Affairs
  11. Metalo Manufacturing Inc. (MMI) – Francis MacKenzie, President
  12. Robix Environmental Technologies Inc. (RZX) – Nathan Hansen, CEO
  13. BitRush Corp. (BRH) – Karsten Arend, President

Vancouver – May 26, 2016

  1. Mag One Products Inc. (MDD) – Nelson Skalbania, Chairman
  2. West Isle Energy Inc. (WEI) – Arthur Skagen, CEO
  3. Biomark Diagnostics Inc. (BUX) – Brian Gusko, Director of Corporate Relations
  4. ParcelPal Technology Inc. (PKG) – Jason Moreau, CEO
  5. Asante Gold Corporation (ASE) – Douglas MacQuarrie, CEO
  6. Enertopia Corp. (TOP) – Robert McAllister, President
  7. Qwick Media Inc. (QMI) – Ross Tocher, CEO
  8. New Age Farm Inc. (NF) – Richard Cindric, Investor Relations <- Missing from photos
  9. Hello Pal International Inc. (HP) – Ryan Johnson, Investor Relations
  10. International Wastewater Systems Inc. (IWS) – Lynn Mueller, CEO
  11. CopperBank Resources Corp. (CBK) – Gianni Kovacevic, Executive Chairman
  12. MGX Minerals Inc. (XMG) – Jared Lazerson, President

Sharpening the Saw

Regardless of which side of the country the CSE traveled to, the challenges facing entrepreneurs trying raising early stage capital are very similar.

By providing a forum for CSE-listed issuers to learn alongside one another as well as to engage with thought leaders and innovators in the capital raising space, the CSE continues to change the paradigm of how a securities exchange can support its clients. Commented Barrington Miller, Director of Listed Company Services:

“We are excited about the evolution of our CSE Day events – having welcomed well over 200 guests to our two most recent events in Toronto and Vancouver and attracting our strongest slate yet of presenters. What really stands out is the diversity and entrepreneurialism of the audience that joins us at these events. There is always a palpable sense at these forums that the next game changing company could be there in the crowd, potentially making its next critical connection on its path to success.”

With no shortage of potentially market moving events on the horizon, investors, markets and publicly listed companies will have a great deal to digest. Fortunately, the CSE Day events will be back again in Toronto and Vancouver this fall. Despite the uncertainties in the marketplace, continuing to invest in knowledge and development is always a sound bet, regardless of the timing.

Brighter Prospects: Review of PDAC 2016

Whether it’s trekking through desert badlands, exploring the depths of the ocean floor, or facing thousands of investors in one of the world’s largest mineral and exploration conferences,  all successful natural resource and exploration entrepreneurs know tenacity is an important quality to have.

In spite of the still turbulent times for many mining and exploration linked companies, this year’s PDAC Convention showed that tenacity is alive and well with over 22,000 attendees converging in downtown Toronto and bringing an abundance of buzz along with them.

Though excitement levels were noticeably higher than past years, the most precious resource for the mining and exploration crowd seemed to be accessing low cost investment capital. Fortunately, for a growing number of firms, the CSE’s networking events at the PDAC provided great opportunities for increased exposure, valuable connections and all-important deal-making.

Working the PDAC Floor

The CSE’s footprint at the 2016 edition of the PDAC continued to expand, with a new booth configuration, two major networking events as well as six CSE-listed issuers exhibiting at the Investor’s Exchange and Prospector’s Tent. The delegation of CSE-listed issuers on the PDAC Convention floor this year included:

  • Murchison Minerals Ltd. (MUR)
  • Rockex Mining Corporation (RXM)
  • Pasinex Resources Limited (PSE)
  • GAR Limited (GL)
  • Renforth Resources Inc. (RFR)
  • Augustine Ventures Inc. (WAW)

As part of a series of exciting upgrades planned for the upcoming year, the CSE unveiled its new and exciting booth that featured a much more dynamic view of Canada’s fastest growing securities exchange.

Picture at the CSE booth at PDAC 2016
Taking some time at PDAC 2016 for photos at the new CSE booth.

The new booth came fully equipped with a ticker feed of CSE-listed company quotes as well as two video screens that showcased the growing number of CSE-listed companies including those featured on BTV and BNN. Of course, the added attention was also on the fact that the exchange has seen itself climb to well over 300 listings.

The CSE team also had a great time meeting investors, big and small. One thing that definitely stood out from these conversations was the optimism and excitement from both the investors in attendance but also from the fellow exhibitors on the conference floor.

Observed James Black, VP – Listings Development:

“The PDAC Convention is always a great temperature check on what is happening in the Canadian capital markets, especially as it pertains to junior public companies. Needless to say, the overall energy and optimism at PDAC improved appreciably from the past couple of years. A lot of the shock from the marketplace seems to been set aside, and now companies are working hard to stay relevant and create value in-the-face of a bottomed out market.”

Interesting Prospects

One of the biggest highlights for the CSE team was getting a chance to have listed issuers tell their stories as well as meet and interact with decision makers and investors of all sizes at the two networking events.

The lunch session, which took place at the Intercontinental Hotel and which was jointly sponsored by a number of partners, including MNP LLP and Equities.com, saw a record turnout. While the chance to grab a great meal was definitely a pull, the more than 150 attendees of this event were treated to 13 company presentations, prizes and updates on the latest news from the CSE.

CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange addresses attendees at the PDAC luncheon.
CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange, Richard Carleton, addresses attendees at the PDAC luncheon.

In addition the great food and “food for thought”, there were also numerous opportunities for new connections to be made and existing ones to be refreshed.

While a recent bump in commodities prices heading into the conference certainly helped contribute to the positive mood, having a bear-market chocolate bar to bite into also helped add some levity.

Pic_Blog_20160316_PDAC

In addition to the lunchtime session, this year the CSE along with event co-sponsors Aird & Berlis LLP, MNP LLP, Euro Pacific Canada and Invest Barbados held an evening networking reception at Taverna Mercatto.

As with the session earlier in the day, this event was a phenomenal success, bringing together a great mix of listed issuers, service providers, investors and entrepreneurs paired with great food and entertainment. Added Barrington Miller, Director – Listed Company Services:

“We were thrilled to co-host two fun events with a great set of partners – we are very grateful for the support that the CSE has within the local business community and want to thank everyone who helped make this our best PDAC yet.”


While this was the first year in which this event was run, the support and enthusiasm for the post-conference get together will definitely be something to look forward to returning for future conventions.

Exciting adventures ahead

After the events were all said and done, this year’s conference continues to show that the resource sector, both here in Canada and around the world, is resilient.

For the CSE, this year’s PDAC couldn’t have gone better. With exceptional turnouts to the networking events, great feedback on the exhibition floor and accolades from clients, investors and those looking to join the Exchange for Entrepreneurs, it looks like there are even more reasons to look forward to returning again next year.

Click the gallery below to view pictures from the CSE events at PDAC 2016.

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The CSE would like to extend a special thanks to the following generous sponsors and event partners who helped make the luncheon a tremendous success:

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January 2016 Events Recap

With events in Toronto, Vancouver and even as far away as Hong Kong, the CSE team hit the ground running in the first month of 2016. Here are some brief highlights from the CSE’s most recent adventures.

Vancouver Resource Investment Conference

To succeed in the mining and exploration space takes tenacity and resilience and, it seems, this year has definitely been a test of that resolve.

Fortunately for the investors and companies that attended this year’s Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (VRIC) there were many interesting stories that highlighted the challenges and opportunities in the natural resource sectors.

In addition to exhibiting at this year’s conference, the CSE was also a sponsor of VRIC and Richard Carleton, CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange, participated in a panel discussion with John McCoach of the TSX Venture on the role that securities exchanges can play in helping listed companies weather the current economic storm.

Pic_Blog_Event_VRIC16_2
Richard Carleton (centre), CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange along with John McCoach (left) of the TSX Venture Exchange on a panel discussing Canada’s capital markets.

Among the topics discussed, one that was certainly on the minds of many in attendance was the ability of many junior mining and exploration companies to navigate a challenging moment in their economic cycle.

For its part, the CSE referenced its commitment to streamlining both the costs and burden associated with maintaining a public listing as one of the ways to lower the cost of capital for junior companies.

Overall it was another great opportunity to connect with investors and entrepreneurs, as well as to showcase how companies listed on the CSE are benefiting from an efficient public listing model.

Pic_Blog_Event_VRIC16
James Black, VP of Business Development, fielding questions at the CSE booth at VRIC 2016.

AME Roundup & Bonspiel

What happens when you give a group of mining and exploration professionals a sheet of ice, some brooms and the promise of a great after-party? Well a few folks from the CSE found exactly what at this year’s AME Bonspiel held at the Hollyburn Country Club in West Vancouver.

The AME Roundup and accompanying curling event were great opportunities to connect with the mining and exploration community and take the pulse of the industry at a challenging time in its economic cycle. Encouragingly, there were many bright spots, including the fact that demand for the AME Roundup remains strong from both industry participants and exhibitors as well as attendees.

Check out some photos of the CSE team hurrying-not-so-hard…

Cantech Investment Conference

Despite the challenges in other sectors, technology has been one area that has continued to attract interest and investment from various markets. Against that backdrop, the Cantech Investment Conference in Toronto brought together a number of key players in the tech investment scene from big names in VC to dozens of innovative tech companies looking to showcase their new and sometimes disruptive solutions.

Several CSE-listed firms were among the firms exhibiting this year. Specifically HealthSpace Informatics Ltd. (CSE:HS), NuRAN Wireless Inc. (CSE:NUR), Plus8 Global Ventures Ltd. (CSE:PGT) and PUDO Inc. (CSE:PDO) were great examples of the kinds of innovative technology firms helping to fuel the growth at the Exchange for Entrepreneurs.

To stay up to date on where to meet team members from the CSE or to find out about upcoming events of interest to entrepreneurs, be sure to visit the CSE events calendar often.

If you’re in Toronto this March, stop by the PDAC and meet the CSE team at our booth or at our special lunch reception.

Bringing Entrepreneurs Together: CSE’s 5 á 7 in Montréal

Even though February in Montréal can be quite chilly, the CSE’s 5 á 7 networking reception at the prestigious Mount Royal Club was a hot spot of company pitches, great food & wine and innovative entrepreneurs.

This recent networking reception, which was co-sponsored by MNP LLP, brought together entrepreneurs, investors, and key decision makers within the local investment community. Not only were they able to meet and greet with one another but there was also the opportunity to meet with members of the CSE team  including CEO of the Canadian Securities Exchange, Richard Carleton; VP Listings Development, James Black; Quebec Representative, Scott Pritchard and Director of Listed Company Services, Barrington Miller.

As part of the reception, the following four listed issuers in the technology and mining sectors had the opportunity to showcase their stories with three minute ‘pitches’ to those in attendance:

Barrington Miller, Director of Listed Company Services at the CSE described the event as “an incredible success” and stated that “it was fantastic to see so many industry leaders, representatives and participants in the same room.”

Browse the gallery below for photos from the event and be sure to check out the events calendar or follow the CSE on Twitter for more information on upcoming networking events.

Building a Toolkit for Success: Fall CSE Day Sessions Recap

If there’s something all growing companies know, it’s that investment capital is crucial to bringing a business to fruition. Having overcome many of the challenges most growing firms do, the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE) understands the terrain entrepreneurs can encounter in the journey to landing a successful deal. While important to the end result, getting the attention of investors is only the first step. With so much competition for investors’ capital and attention, however, successfully landing a deal starts by investing in compelling messaging and becoming a great communicator. Fortunately for issuers listed on the CSE, there’s a special event that can help deliver on all of the above.

CSE Day Numbers Continue to Grow

Building on the strong interest from the sessions in Toronto and Vancouver last spring, the CSE once again held CSE Day from sessions in the fall of 2015. These sessions took place in New York City, specifically at the OTC Markets headquarters as well as at feature locations in Toronto and Vancouver.

Judging by the turnout, CSE Day events were once again, incredibly successful.

With over 200 attendees spanning the investment industry spectrum, over 30 listed issuers participating in workshops and pitch presentations, and numerous handshakes and meetings arising from each session’s networking events, the CSE Days’ provided firms looking to raise capital the tools and opportunities they needed to craft compelling pitches and interact with deal makers.

As many attendees noted, however, CSE Day was about more than just the numbers. Francis MacKenzie, President of CSE listed Metalo Manufacturing Inc. (CSE:MMI) and an attendee at the CSE Day Toronto noted:

“The CSE Day Toronto was an exceptionally well organized event …. The CSE continue to serve and support their listed companies with a dedication that should be applauded…truly recommend the CSE for any early stage companies keen to participate in the public markets.”

For the CSE, it is exactly this kind of sentiment from its listed issuers that continues to drive the Exchange for Entrepreneurs to build and implement a better model for public growth-stage companies.

The First Pitch

With the fantastic season of the Toronto Blue Jays not far in the rear view mirror, the lessons learned from great pitching are clear.

Listed issuers who attended pitch sessions in Toronto, New York and Vancouver were treated to great tips from seasoned communications professionals. Marc Gordon of Fourword Marketing, Tony Herrling of Brainerd Communications and Taylor Thoen of BTV-Business Television, for example, gave the listed issuers in attendance the framework and feedback needed to craft their company’s story in a way that investors are most interested to hear it.

Taylor Thoen of BTV (top left); Tony Herrling of Brainerd Communications (bottom left) and Marc Gordon of Fourword Marketing (right) at CSE Day events in Vancouver, New York and Toronto
Taylor Thoen of BTV (top left); Tony Herrling of Brainerd Communications (bottom left) and Marc Gordon of Fourword Marketing (right) at CSE Day events in Vancouver, New York and Toronto.

Sharpening the Saw

While being able to deliver a great pitch is essential, it’s not the only skill needed to win over potential investors. As any publicly listed firm knows, staying current on compliance and regulatory matters, especially those that directly impact raising capital can be crucial to navigating opportunities.

This year’s suite of sponsors and event partners provided valuable information in areas growing companies need to stay on top of. Representatives from sponsoring firms provided insights into topics ranging from shareholder activism to audit compliance to listing in the US. The sponsors for this year’s events included:

Readers interested in accessing the presentations from this year’s events can contact Barrington Miller from the CSE here.

Continuing to Build

Finally, CSE Day sessions also provided an opportunity for the CSE management team to recap the Exchange’s performance and highlight upcoming opportunities the CSE is hard at work on bringing to key stakeholders.

The recap of key metrics showed the CSE that the market continued to vote with its dollars. Through the end of September the CSE saw over $122M raised by issuers, more than $14M compared to the same point last year; over 180 completed financing deals and the number of listings exceed 300 for the first time in the Exchange’s history.

Trading volumes also remained strong. As CEO Richard Carleton pointed out, at one point during the past year, the CSE was the busiest Canadian stock exchange in terms of volume of shares traded – a signal that the marketplace is hitting its stride with investors of all sizes.

As the CSE marketplace grows, it is also evolving. The CSE continues to seek out and encourage real businesses to consider the advantages that being public on the Exchange for Entrepreneurs brings. It is a message that continues to resonate with the entrepreneurial community.

Commented James Black, VP Listings Development at the Exchange:

“the CSE Day sessions are becoming our marquee issuer event, where we gain an opportunity to educate, inspire, and connect our listed companies. These are truly community events where listed companies can continue to build their toolkit for success in public markets and hopefully make useful connections to service providers and investors that can help them reach their goals on our market. We look forward to continuing to grow these events in the coming year.”

Built by and for Entrepreneurs

It’s not often that a triple bottom line gets met. For the CSE Day sessions, however, listed issuers, investors and the CSE collectively benefited from these events.

By making the investment of time and knowledge in the firms listed on the Exchange, the CSE is optimistic that those companies can, in turn, improve their odds of landing the deals that help bring real businesses to fruition.

Event Review: Canada Cannabis Conference

Venturing into uncharted territory is not for the faint of heart. For many entrepreneurs and investors in the fledgling medical marijuana sector, however, uncharted territory is something everyone seems to be taking in stride. Earlier this month, Jacob Securities organized their first Canada Cannabis Conference, an event that brought together numerous business and thought leaders from across the commercial cannabis space.

One of the key reasons for holding this conference was to bring together many key players and evaluate the licensing process within Canada as well as some of the early lessons from the initial licensees.

While the conference was modest in size, owing in part to the fact that it was an ‘invite only’ event, there was nonetheless strong interest for most of the sessions – with some being standing room only.

Attendees ranged from international accredited and institutional investors to representatives from strategic industry groups, most notably insurance and pharmacy owners. Overall, there was a definite sense that the investing climate for medical marijuana companies is considerably different this year compared to last.

In fact, one of the defining characteristics of the medical marijuana industry is just how quickly it is maturing. According to Jacob Securities analyst Khurram Malik the sector is evolving “faster than anything I’ve seen.”

According to data from Health Canada, there are 25 licensed producers and, as of March 31st there have been 1284 applications received with 324 of those applications currently in process. According to Malik, with the first cohort of licensed producers beginning to see revenues start to come in, more supply is reaching the market, and with more on its way investors and analysts will begin to have a clearer picture of how to value companies in this space based on supply/demand dynamics.

Number of Licensed Producers in Canada (as of June 2015) Source: Health Canada
Number of Licensed Producers in Canada (as of June 2015) Source: Health Canada

The CSE has also witnessed a rapid and sizeable interest in this growing sector. CSE CEO Richard Carleton had the following observation about where the Cannabis sector is heading and why so many firms are looking to the Canadian market to list:

“Canada has emerged as the clear source of public finance to the emerging industry in its various guises. With relatively fewer complexities to navigate, US domiciled companies are looking to Canadian corporate finance firms for access to public equity raised through an exchange listing in Canada. Increasingly, the exchange of choice is the CSE.  Not only do we have more than 30 companies in the space in some way, we have a number of large deals in the pipeline, many of them from the US.”

Even so, there are still signs of an industry in flux. Just this past month alone there were three blockbuster announcements around the space.

First, there was a historic decision by the Supreme Court of Canada to allow for sale/distribution of edible marijuana products and then came the news of a major merger deal between two important players in the space: Tweed Marijuana Inc. and Bedrocan Cannabis Corp. And, in Vancouver, the city just passed a by-law regulating where medical marijuana dispensaries may locate.

As the industry continues to evolve, attitudes are also changing towards medical marijuana use. One of the key observations from the Canada Cannabis Conference was the attendance and interest from both the insurance industry as well as from pharmacist groups who, for the most part, have been observing from the sidelines.

While the ‘heady’ days of last spring are behind us, the prospects for the medical marijuana space as a whole appear promising. This highly dynamic space still has many questions to answer and regulatory bridges to cross before becoming a well-established treatment option.

Overall, feedback on Jacob Securities’ initial Canada Cannabis Conference was  very positive. With a diverse range of market participants, both local and international, as well as in-depth coverage of the medical marijuana landscape, this conference provided a fascinating window into a space many are eager to see grow.

The CSE Day Helps Entrepreneurs Shine Brightly

As every entrepreneur knows, having a great story to tell and being able to tell it can spell the difference between an uncomfortable elevator ride and a lucrative one.  Of course, it helps tremendously if the right people are in the elevator to hear that story in the first place.

As the Exchange for Entrepreneurs, the CSE has been supporting its listed issuers with a series of recent events geared towards building great pitches and bringing together the right audience to hear them.

These sessions, known as “The CSE Day”, were held in Vancouver and Toronto, and provided listed companies the opportunity to work with leading communications experts, network with fellow entrepreneurs and of course, connect with the CSE team.

The CSE Day Vancouver, which took place in April, was a classic West Coast experience. Co-sponsored by Equities.com, Clark Wilson LLP and Davidson & Company LLP, it started early with a power breakfast and delivered plenty of food for thought.  Attendees were provided with a wealth of insight on upcoming regulatory changes to raising capital in Canada and the US as well as on key issues in the tax landscape for public companies to be aware of.

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The Toronto edition of The CSE Day, by comparison, took place in the heart of the concrete jungle in the exquisitely designed Trump International Hotel on the Exchange (for Entrepreneurs) Floor. The CSE Day Toronto was co-sponsored by chartered accounting firm Collins-Barrow, Equities.com and information distributor Newsfile Corp. and featured presentations from Richard Carleton, CEO of the CSE, as well as pitch workshops and an incredibly lively networking mixer.

Continuing to Shine

In both sessions, the CSE provided updates on the continued strong performance of the CSE for the first several months of 2015. From listings, to trading activity to connectivity to financing deals, the CSE maintained positive momentum as Canada’s fastest growing securities exchange.

Some of the major milestones achieved by the CSE as of mid-May 2015 included:

Hints were also dropped of bigger and bolder moves on the horizon.

Additional connectivity of online brokerages as well as bringing a major online financial portal aboard as a market data provider are around the corner. Also, on the heels of a very productive trip to Europe late last year and interest from partners in the US and further afield, the CSE is looking to widen its global footprint this upcoming year.

Pitch Perfect

To help firms listed on the CSE improve the ability to tell their company stories, a cornerstone of the The CSE Days were free hands-on pitch training sessions with communications professionals.

In Vancouver, Julie Durant of Market Motion Media led a workshop on how to provide an effective pitch; in Toronto, Marc Gordon shared his formula for creating a powerful and compelling talk to a full house.

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Of course, with any skill, it’s practice that makes perfect.

After the workshop sessions, participating firms were given the chance to show off their pitches during the networking session that followed.

In total, a dozen CSE-listed companies took part in providing their pitches for fellow attendees. To view the full slate of company pitches,  check out the video below or visit our YouTube channel here.

Companies that presented pitches included:

Landslide of Support

Regardless of which side of the Rockies attendees participated in, the feedback from The CSE Day was overwhelmingly positive.

Attendees, presenting companies and sponsors shared in their assessment that The CSE Days demonstrate that the Exchange for Entrepreneurs continues to hit the right notes with junior firms.

According to James Black, VP, Listings Development, “as the Exchange for Entrepreneurs we are proud of the fact that much of our success has been based on providing real value for our listed issuers. Events like The CSE Day are great for learning as well as for bringing entrepreneurs together to interact with one another. We’re genuinely excited to continue holding these sessions throughout the year.”

By all accounts, The CSE Day Vancouver and Toronto were incredibly successful. With insightful presentations on raising capital, hands-on pitch workshops and the chance to network with key members of the capital raising community, the CSE is continuing to help entrepreneurs make the elevator to the top much more enjoyable experience.

Enjoy the pictures from The CSE Day Vancouver and The CSE Day Toronto!

The CSE Day Vancouver Spring 2015

The CSE Day Toronto Spring 2015

Special thanks to CSE staffers Barrington Miller, Rob Cook,  Natalie Kovacs, and Kayla Matson for helping make these events a tremendous success.