A Great Time to Be in B.C. Tech

A lo­cal founder and an­gel in­vestor on what it takes to suc­ceed in today’s tech world, the hunt for the “di­a­mond in the rough” and his new Growth Hacks white pa­per

BC Business Magazine - - The Westeast Group - Growth Hacks for B2B Tech Firms: A proven model—17 years in de­vel­op­ment—that’s used to find new cus­tomers, se­cure more cap­i­tal and in­crease prof­its. Please go to: www.growth­hacks­for­b2btech.com to get your com­pli­men­tary copy.

Bran­don Roe founded his first tech com­pany in 1999 and has re­ceived na­tional press for his ven­tures. He is a pro­gram­mer by trade, and is skilled in mar­ket­ing, sales and rais­ing cap­i­tal. More re­cently, he’s added “an­gel in­vestor” to his re­sume, spe­cial­iz­ing in web­based B2B soft­ware firms.

What got you into tech?

When I was a child, my dad took me to hobby com­puter clubs. It was a place for com­puter en­thu­si­asts to learn more about per­sonal com­put­ing, swap pro­grams on 5.25" floppy disks and talk shop. I took to the whole thing like a fish to wa­ter, so much so that by the time I started learn­ing to code at the age of 12, I had no trou­ble work­ing with the guts of a sys­tem on both the hard­ware and OS side of things. It was a nat­u­ral fit to make that my ca­reer.

To what do you at­tribute your suc­cess?

I was lucky enough to have suc­cess­ful peo­ple show me the way. My first men­tor was David Chalk, one of B.C.’S most well­known tech en­trepreneurs and a real pioneer in the field. I still use what he taught me nearly two decades later.

What do you like best about the B.C. tech scene?

There’s so much life! Af­ter the tech bub­ble burst in 2000, we went through a re­ally dark time here. But now, there is just so much sup­port—for­mally through groups like Techbc as well as plenty of in­for­mal sup­port. Even the BDC is fund­ing projects nowa­days!

What's the big­gest chal­lenge to the B.C. tech scene?

The tal­ent short­age and high cost of liv­ing are clearly big is­sues.

Fund­ing is too. Cap­i­tal sup­port is still quite lim­ited here, rel­a­tive to the num­ber of good firms. Some of these com­pa­nies sim­ply won’t get the cash they need to thrive. And that costs all of us in terms of lost op­por­tu­nity.

What do you look for as an an­gel in­vestor?

I look for the prover­bial di­a­monds in the rough—founders who have an in­ter­est­ing tech­nol­ogy in a mar­ket that’s grow­ing fast. They don’t need to be “busi­ness­peo­ple” in the tra­di­tional sense—they just need to be re­ally good at de­liv­er­ing what they say they’re go­ing to de­liver.

We can help such firms get to the next level us­ing a mix of var­i­ous growth hacks and some good old-fash­ioned fun­da­men­tals. I cover that in my new­est white pa­per, Growth Hacks for B2B Tech Firms.

Any niche(s) you re­ally like?

I don’t re­ally have any favourites, but I do es­pe­cially well with web-based B2B soft­ware be­cause I un­der­stand both the tech­ni­cal and mar­ket­ing side of things bet­ter than most.

“I was lucky enough to have suc­cess­ful peo­ple show me the way”

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