Why is Canada great for start-ups? And how are investors looking for opportunities?

NextMontreal has an excellent interview and profile of Derek Smith, who’s just joined Silicon Valley venture capital firm Bridgescale Partners as their managing director.

In the interview, the ex-pat Canadian Smith talks about  why Canada in general is a good place for start-ups, and how he looks for investment opportunities:

NextMontreal: Are Canadian companies at a disadvantage compared to US ones because of there being less capital, and the target market isn’t as big in their backyard?

Derek: No. The best companies will always get funded. In fact, with the right finance partner, Canadian companies have an advantage over their US counterparts given the technology talent pool, aggressive government support programs and access to global markets.

NextMontreal: Where does most of your deal flow come from? How proactive are you in seeking out opportunities vs. waiting for them to come inbound?

Derek: We are very focused on seeking out the best companies. We are hyper proactive in the market with initiatives like Digital Puck, Mentor Mondays where we help CEOs get feedback from a group of experienced peers, host regular meetups across Canada and finally we work our extensive networks in the technology, investment and professional services community. 90% of our deals are developed in this fashion.

It seems like the heart of Smith’s message is something everyone knows, but can never hear enough: networking is really important. Investors like Smith are always looking at these events for the next big thing.

So, start-ups: keep growing those networks.